Support 3.75 Inch Joe Vol 4 on Kickstarter!

If you haven’t already, it’s time to support 3.75 Inch Joe Vol 4 on Kickstarter!

3.75" Joe Tunnel Rat

It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of Dan Klingensmith’s incredible 3.75″ Joe series of books.  (Also known as 3.75 Inch Joe: Creating G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero) These meticulously researched volumes collect rare pieces of production artwork and pair them with insightful commentary from the classic line’s original designers.  The end result is nothing short of amazing– a brilliantly laid-out piece that long-time Joe fans will pore over for hours.

3.75" joe beach head preview

Author Dan Klingensmith is currently seeking funding on Kickstarter for 3.75 Inch Joe Vol 4.  As such, he’s revealed some of what will be included in this next amazing volume: Continue reading

Cobra Sentinel Automaton project coming to Kickstarter

Coming soon to Kickstarter: the Cobra Sentinel Automaton project!

G.I. Joe Cobra Sentinel from the Palace of Doom

Let’s face it– for many fans the G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero animated series is THE version of Joe.  Debuting as a pair of syndicated mini-series, these cartoon adventures greeted countless school children as they rushed home from school each day to catch the next installment in the serial.  The cartoons showcased the vehicles and characters that were soon to dominate store shelves and children’s imaginations in the coming months.  However, as diverse as the roster of figures and vehicles was there some were moments in the story where the writers and animators introduced their own concepts.  One such moment occurred in the third episode of the “Revenge of Cobra” mini-series in episode cheekily-named “The Palace of Doom“:

Remember the Cobra Sentinel?  The giant snake-themed robot that went mano-et-mano with the giant temple guardian?  The mechanized monster just blew me away.  As a kid, I had to have one but sadly it was not meant to be.  The automaton that towered over Major Bludd existed only in the cartoon and was never produced in action figure form.  However, that is about to change. Continue reading

G.I. Joe Club Female Cobra Troopers up for preorder

The G.I. Joe Collector’s Club female Cobra Trooper 3-packs are up for pre-order!

G.I. Joe Club Female cobra troopers

Yes, this isn’t exactly “breaking news”– we’ve fallen a bit behind on the Club updates of late.  However, the G.I. Joe Collector’s Club recently opened up pre-orders for the female Cobra Troopers 3-pack.   The set makes for an ideal compliment to the female Cobra Officer that was released at Toys R Us in Oct/Nov 2016 as part of the Cobra Legions 3-pack.

A set of three female Cobra Troopers will set fans back a cool $65.00.  This trio of femme fatales will arrived poly-bagged and will include all weapons shown as well as file cards and combat knives.

There’s been no official word on what the projected availability of these figures will be after the pre-order period.  (The projected shipping date is “early April” according to the product listing.) We can assume that the Club will have some on hand for attendees of the 2017 G.I. Joe Collector’s Convention but that’s not guaranteed. Given how quickly the 2016 Toys R Us product disappeared from both store shelves and the website, these might be gone sooner rather than later.

So, if you’re looking to add some ladies to the ranks of the armies of the serpent, now’s your chance!

Animal Warriors of the Kingdom Kickstarter returns in May

Animal Warriors of the Kingdom returns to Kickstarter on May 1, 2017!  Check out the official announcement below!

spero-studios

Spero Studio was founded by Jason Bienvenu and Brandon Gary, inspired by the 4 scale, toy lines of the mid 70’s, 80’s & 90’s, Spero focuses on bringing back the fun and joy from these eras with high quality products featuring modern articulation and accessories!

Figure design and control art by Jason Bienvenu, beautifully sculpted by Jose Fernandez and Fabiano Carlos Coelho.

Animal Warriors of the Kingdom

ANIMAL WARRIORS OF THE KINGDOM™ Series One: will consist of Ape, Canine, and Feline warriors, including the series main protagonist the albino ape Pale and he’s vile nemesis Baron Kah Lee. Each figure features 17 points of articulation as well as weapon accessories.

THE FIGURES: are 1:18 scale figures similar to G.I. JoeMarvel UniverseH.A.C.K.SMarauders Task ForceDime Novel LegendsEagle Force ReturnsZombie Lab and Hellscreamerz figures. The figures are sculpted, colored and faithful of the comic book source material while remaining highly detailed with have great crossover potential for lines like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and the Vitruvian H.A.C.K.S.!

SERIES ONE WAVE ONE

FIGURE INCLUDES: 1 Figure, accessories as well as removable armor! Mix and match your figures weapons and gear to create unique army builders

pale

PALE: ADVENTURE ARMOR  –The young albino ape king sports his trademark Mohawk and red armor while wielding the ability to absorb his fallen enemies powers; however this gift comes at a great cost as their ghosts become attached to him and slowly drive him mad!

baron-hahlee

BARON KAH LEE – The tyrannical ruler over all of the Ape Kingdom. This devious villain rules with an Iron paw and will stop at nothing to secure his place at the thrown, including eliminating the rightful ruler, Pale the young ape king!  Create Kah Lee’s Elite Guard with alternate head accessory.

leon

LEON: This traveling hero roams from town to town fighting for honor and revenge. His people were among the first to be displaced and enslaved by the Baron’s reign.

chunari-soldiers

CHUNARIAN SOLDIERS -These heroic soldiers make up the backbone of the Chunarian army and guard the walls of the sanctuary jungle city of Chuh-Nar from enemies of every kind. Create the Captain of the Guard with alternate head accessory.

captain-brutus

CAPTAIN BRUTUS & THE HORRID KNIGHTS – Feral Mandrill soldiers meant to overwhelm and decimate rival armies; what they lack in fighting skill they make up for with sheer numbers and unhinged savagery! Create the Horrid Knights with alternate head accessory.

horrid

HORRID ASSASSINS – Only slightly less vile than the mandrills these chimps are deadly with a bow but can wield a blade when in a bind. These apes rain hate down on opposing armies as the city gates give way to the steady push of the horrid!

STRETCH GOAL FIGURES! Sneak Peak

SERIES ONE WAVE TWO

stencher

STENCHER! This skunk is his own one animal army, his wretched stench can incapacitate almost anyone; and if his fowl odder doesn’t defeat you his formidable fighting skills will.

For more information, follow Animal Warriors of the Kingdom on Facebook or visit SperoToys.com!

Super Joe returns at the G.I. Joe Collector’s Club store

Super Joe has returned and he’s at the G.I. Joe Collector’s Club store!

Super Joe last adventure

In the history of G.I. Joe, no chapter may be more obscure than Super Joe.  The line followed the popular 12″ Adventure Team era which ran from 1970 – 1976 was a response to the rising price of oil and the increasingly popularity of science fiction and space opera, thanks to the premiere of Star Wars.  As a result, G.I. Joe was transformed into Super Joe, an 8 inch tall warrior armed with a light-up vest and alien opponents.  The series ran from 1977 – 1978 when it disappeared from store shelves with little fanfare.  This appeared to be the end of the line for the Super Joe concept– until the G.I. Joe Collector’s Club announced two new exclusive 12″ scale items in the Club Store.

Yes, it would seem that Super Joe has returned.  Sort of…

Here’s what’s available:

Super Joe Commander w/Terron:

superjoe500px

The Super Joe Commander is an homage to the classic 1977 figure— minus the signature light-up chest harness.  The figure retains the signature jumpsuit and the classic beard but instead has to make due with a hand-held flashlight.  Sure, it’s a far cry from the original accessory but let’s be honest– tooling up an entirely new harness for what is essentially a one-off figure isn’t exactly viable for the niche 1:6 G.I. Joe fan base.  However, Joe’s not alone as he comes with a miniature version of Terron, the dreaded light-sensitive monster that was a signature piece of the classic 1970’s line.  Terron is a lot smaller than fans may remember and, in all honesty, appears to be a repaint of the Safari Ltd Desert Dragon that is available at online retailers.

Darkon-Gor:

darkon500px

Okay, I’m going to give the G.I. Joe Collector’s Club props for this design.  The original Gor was a reptillian monster with a light ray in his chest and who was dubbed “King of the Terrons.”  Darkon was a green-skinned humanoid billed as “half human/half monster”.  In essence, he was a green release of the Super Joe Commander with no backstory offered to explain his bizarre moniker.  The Club, every thrifty, merged these two concepts with that of their 2013 1:6 convention set “Secret Mission to Dragon Island” to produce Darkon-Gor.  Essentially, the James Bond-inspired villian from that set, Sebastian Gorman, has been transformed into this bizarre half-man/half-monster concept– allowing the club to reuse the Joe Con head sculpt once more.  Darkon-Gor comes with a recreation of the original Darkon’s lightning bolt weapon.

While I’m not a huge Super Joe fan myself, I find these sets fascinating.  As a kid I apparently had a Super Joe Commander– something I discovered decades later while cleaning out boxes at my parents house.  However I was only four years old when the line debuted and have no memory of this at all.  Still, while these aren’t the Club’s usual vintage-obsessed near-recreations, they do some fairly close to the mark in terms of capturing the feel and style of the original Super Joe line.  Plus, by moving Super Joe from 8″ to 12″ they help this errant part of G.I. Joe history find a more permanent place in the 1:6 scale mythos that the G.I. Joe Collector’s Club has been building for the past several years.

Now if only some Super Joe concepts would make it into a future 1:18 Figure Subscription Service!

The pair of these figures will set collectors back a cool $154.00 plus shipping and are available for preorder at the G.I. Joe Club store.

And now you know…

G.I. Joe FSS 5 Darklon & Salvo reviews!

Two more G.I. Joe FSS 5 figures get the review treatment this week: Darklon & Salvo!

G.I. Joe FSS 5 Shipment 3 darklon salvo

What is this?  Could it be?  Have the admins publisihed two MORE G.I. Joe FSS 5 reviews this week?  You bet your sweet Evader it’s true!!!  Fred and Chris are back with a look at the two latest figures to arrive from the G.I. Joe Collector’s Club Figure Subscription Service: Darklon & Salvo!

You’d be hard-pressed to find a more mis-matched parir of characters from the latter half of the A Real American Hero run than these two.  One is a distant cousin of Destro whose fashion sense could best be described as “thrift store chic as assembled in a darkened room.”  The other is a towering anti-armor trooper whose basic philosophy on firepower is emblazoned on his hand-lettered t-shirt.

So what do our intrepid reviewers think of the G.I. Joe FSS 5 dynamic duo of Darklon and Salvo?  Does Darklon improve upon the original 1989 design or is it another faithful club recreation?  Does this second build of Salvo better satisfy the expectations of fans? (After all, the first Salvo build went over like 2016 Joe Con JUMP pack souvenir sets.)  Heck, does Deadpool return after his glaring omission in the last two reviews?

Head on over to the G.I. Joe Collector’s Club Review Index and check out what two long-time Joe fans think of both Darklon and Salvo!

G.I. Joe FSS 5 Charboil & Battle Corps Cobra Viper reviews!

It’s time– the G.I. Joe FSS 5 Charbroil and Battle Corps Cobra Viper reviews are LIVE!

G.I. Joe FSS 5 Charbroil Battle Corps Viper

It’s a been more than a few weeks since the first shipments from G.I. Joe FSS 5 started arriving at subscribers’ homes.  In that time, our intrepid reviewers have been remarkably silent on both the FSS Charbroil and Battle Corps Cobra Viper figures— until now!

Fred and Chris are back with a look at both of these figures from the first shipment from January. At first glance, this unlikely duo might seem familiar. Well, there’s a perfectly good reason behind that sense of deja vous!  First of all, Charbroil is remarkably similar to the 2013 Nocturnal Fire convention figure. Consequently the Battle Corps Cobra Viper bears more than a passing resemblance to the 2015 Peril in Paradise Iron Anvil.

Do these simularities hinder our reviewers’ enjoyment of either of these two figures?  Do Fred & Chris agree that the Battle Corps Cobra Viper is indeed wearing a hue named “Fanta grape”? What is Chris’s fascination with Charbroil’s helmet? Why does it cause Fred to start humming that Kenny Loggins song from Caddyshack?  More importantly– where’s DEADPOOL?!!!

Check out the reviews of Charbroil and the Battle Corps Cobra Viper over at the G.I. Joe Collector’s Club Review Index and check back later this week to find out their thoughts on the recently arrived Darklon and Salvo figures as well!

Joe Con 2017: Meet Cobra BAT v1.8

The final 1:18 Joe Con 2017 preview has been posted – the Cobra BAT v1.8!

gi joe con 2017 Cobra BAT v1.8

COBRA BATTLE ANDROID TROOPERS:
B.A.T. V1.8

– 25th Anniversary Style/Fully Poseable Action Figure.
– Modern Era Character Update with NEW Head Sculpt!
– EIGHT Army Builder action figures in this exclusive set
– Includes removable Chest plate, interchangeable Hand
attachments: Sword, Claw, Flamethrower, Laser weapon,
Backpack, Pistol, and Cobra Logo Stand.

(Note: Photo depicts action figure mock-up and final product may slightly differ.)

This is how the Joe Con 2017 previews end… not with a BANG but with a whimper.

The final preview is live and fans finally get a look at the Cobra Battle Android Trooper v1.8.  I’ll be blunt– it’s exactly what I was afraid it would be.  The Cobra BAT v1.8 is merely the existing 25th Anniversary Cobra BAT with the head of the BAT Squad Leader, which is essentially that of the classic 1991 Battle Android Trooper. The only real new addition to the BAT’s kit is the blade that was last released with the FSS 4.0 Inferno BAT.

This year’s “Force of Battle 2000” set is going to include eight of the Cobra BAT v1.8 and one Cobra BAT Squad Leader.  Normally, nine reuses of the same tooling might be a good thing– if the the figure was a highly sought after piece.  However, there have been so many re-releases of the Battle Android Troopers in recent years that I find it hard to believe that anyone out there is actively clamoring for more of them.  Heck, there have been TWO re-releases in the 50th Anniversary line alone!  (2014 Arctic Ambush and 2016 Cobra Legions Urban camo.)

Essentially, this new BAT v1.8 is a repaint of the BAT Squad Leader.  Call me crazy but that just feels uninspired and, quite honestly, lazy.

Unless the Club is saving all of their production budget for the souvenir exclusive items, this year’s set feels pretty lackluster from a character standpoint.

In case you’re keeping score, here’s the roster and all of the previews shown thus far:

Battle Force 2000:

Cobra:

According to the convention brochure, this year’s Joe Con 2017 boxed set will retail for $410.00.  Also, there’s no word on souvenir pricing at this time although it’s a safe bet that prices will remain at or around levels seen in both 2015 and 2016.  With so many vehicle drivers in the mix it’s a sure bet that the souvenirs this year will be mostly vehicles.  The question remains– which vehicle molds will be repainted and reused?

For more information on this year’s event at Walt Disney World, visit GIJoeCon.com!

Joe Con 2017: Battle Force 2000 Blocker revealed

A new week and a new Joe Con 2017 preview.  Meet Battle Force 2000 Eliminator driver Blocker!

G.I. Joe Con 2017 Battle Force 2000 Blocker

G.I. JOE BF 2000 TEAM:
David “Blocker” McCarthy

– 25th Anniversary Style/Fully Poseable Action Figure.
– 1st Modern Era Release of Character based on 1987 design.
– NEW Head Sculpt and includes removable Vest,
Tactical Shotgun, original XL-13 Laser weapon,
with G.I. Joe Logo Stand.

(Note: Photo depicts action figure mock-up and final product may slightly differ.)

Just like that we’ve now seen every member of the Joe Con 2017 iteration of Battle Force 2000.

Blocker’s not bad… It looks like we’ve got another Club use of the Retaliation G.I. Joe Trooper web gear to recreate the original 1987 Blocker torso.  I see my least favorite Pursuit of Cobra Snake Eyes lower legs as well.  We do get a brand new head sculpt for the figure– but it appears to be missing the visor found on the original figure.  Really?  That’s kind of big omission but the Club seems to be going with head sculpts that require ZERO additional attachments these days– most likely to keep costs down.  Thank goodness that cost savings was passed on to the Joe Con 2017 attendees.  Oh wait

Overall, it’s a decent approximation of the original vintage figure.  Plus, there’s the recreated 1987 sidearm that the Club has tooled up for each member of the team.

With this preview we’re down to the preview of the new BAT v1.8 — of which there will be eight included in the set.  (Let’s hope it’s good.)

In case you’re keeping score, here’s the roster and all of the previews shown thus far:

Battle Force 2000:

Cobra:

According to the convention brochure, this year’s Joe Con 2017 boxed set will retail for $410.00.  Also, there’s no word on souvenir pricing at this time although it’s a safe bet that prices will remain at or around levels seen in both 2015 and 2016.  With so many vehicle drivers in the mix it’s a sure bet that the souvenirs this year will be mostly vehicles.  The question remains– which vehicle molds will be repainted and reused?

For more information on this year’s event at Walt Disney World, visit GIJoeCon.com!

G.I. Joe FSS 5 shipment 3 is inbound!

G.I. Joe FSS 5 subscribers should start checking their mailboxes – shipment 3 is incoming!

G.I. Joe FSS 4 shipment

It’s that time again– when a new G.I. Joe FSS shipment hits the porches and mailboxes of subscribers everywhere!  However, after an error with the warehouse, fans are getting one shipment early.  Shipment 3 has deployed… well ahead of shipment 2 and, thanks to Alyosha of BrokenArrowToys.com, we’ve got an early look at just who is in the box.

For those of you that wish to remain spoiler-free, click no further.  To paraphrase the old pirate maps: “Here there be G.I. Joe FSS spoilers…” Continue reading