Rank & File volume 2 & 3 Reprint Kickstarter almost funded!

With EIGHT days to go, the Rank & File volume 2 & 3 reprint Kickstarter has nearly reached its goal!

Rank & File vol 3 reprintA good reference book is an invaluable resource when managing a collection. In fact, you might even say that it’s ESSENTIAL, especially when the collection involves multiple variations of characters and a seemingly endless supply of tiny accessories.  The internet and hobby dedicated websites are an invaluable resource but nothing beats a good tangible book filled with high quality photos showcasing every knife, pistol, helmet, and accessory.  Plus, a good book is always there whether or not you have a WiFi connection available.

Enter the Rank & File book series from “noted author” (and long-time friend of JBL) James Kavanaugh!

We’ve talked about these books before.  Rank & File volumes 1, 2, and 3 have proven to be so popular with fans that the original print runs of all three have sold out, with volume 1 receiving a second printing!  Now, supplies of volumes 2 & 3 are almost gone and newly-revised and updated second printings are seeking funding on Kickstarter!  With just eight days remaining, this project could use your support to reach its goal and see this books available once more!

The current campaign ends Saturday March 17, 2018 at 7:10pm CST.

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GIJoeCon 2018: Meet Sgt Smasher of Slaughter’s Marauders

The final GIJoeCon 2018 preview has been posted.  Everyone– meet Slaughter’s Marauders squad leader Sgt. Smasher!

GIJoeCon 2018 Slaughter's Marauders Sgt Smasher front

SLAUGHTER’S MARAUDERS SQUAD LEADER:
SGT. SMASHER

– 25th Anniversary Style/Fully Poseable Action Figure.
– NEW Modern Era Character in original SM design.
– Inspired by “Mister C” from the Sunbow: G.I. Joe Cartoon!
– Features exclusive NEW Head Sculpt with Mowak hairstyle,
and NEW removable Marine Drill Instructor hat.
– Includes removable vest, whistle, baton, pistol, Gatling gun,
backpack with ammo strip, and G.I. Joe Logo Stand.

Every so often the G.I. Joe Collector’s Club manages to surprise the fandom.  This is one of those times.

When Sgt. Smasher was first announced, many fans (myself included) jumped to a logical conclusion.  In a convention set built around Slaughter’s Marauders a character using the name of the Funskool release Sgt. Smasher would be a clever way of releasing fan-favorite Sgt. Slaughter without infringing too terribly much on the all-powerful copyright of the name by WWE.  However, there is a danger in making in assumptions… Continue reading

GIJoeCon 2018: Python Patrol Major Bludd is revealed at last!

The GIJoeCon 2018 previews are nearly complete with a look at the Python Patrol Major Bludd

GIJoeCon 2018 Python Patrol Major Bludd front

PYTHON PATROL INFANTRY COMMANDER:
MAJOR BLUDD

– 25th Anniversary Style/Fully Poseable Action Figure.
– Modern Era Update of Character based on 2003 design.
– Features NEW Head Sculpt with removable helmet.
– Includes removable grenade harness with pistol,
handgun with rocket, backpack with rockets x 3,
sonic bazooka, and Cobra Logo Stand.

Hmm… I find myself conflicted on this one.

On one hand, the overall deco looks fantastic!  It’s an excellent recreation of the 2003 six-pack Major Bludd! (Those colors are just ridiculously engaging.) I like the Cobra Shock Trooper legs and the Retaliation Cobra Trooper harness and torso look great together!  Heck, I even like the backpack choice.  I’d say that 85% of this figure is pure win. Continue reading

GIJoeCon 2018: Slaughter’s Marauders Spirit stands proud!

The preview for the GIJoeCon 2018 Slaughter’s Marauders Spirit dropped yesterday!

GIJoeCon 2018 Slaughter's Marauders Spirit and Freedom

SLAUGHTER’S MARAUDERS
TRACKER with EAGLE:
SPIRIT IRON-KNIFE & FREEDOM

– 25th Anniversary Style/Fully Poseable Action Figure.
– Modern Era Update of Character in original SM design.
– Features exclusive NEW Head Sculpt with ponytail hairstyle.
– Includes removable harness, scoped dart rifle with cartridge,
knife, backpack with dart cartridges, and G.I. Joe Logo Stand.

It’s funny… I didn’t expect to be blow away by Spirit… and yet here I am.

The 2011 Slaughter’s Marauders Spirit was a fun update of the 1989 original version.  It borrowed the classic color scheme but leaned heavily into the “Predator Billy” Pursuit of Cobra Spirit that took the fandom by storm.  As such, I questioned the Club’s decision to update Spirit once again in the GIJoeCon 2018 set.  I was wrong to do so. Continue reading

GIJoeCon 2018: Python Patrol Laser Viper lights it up!

Another day and another GIJoeCon 2018 figure reveal!  Today we have a look at the Python Patrol Laser Viper!

GIJoeCon 2018 Python Patrol Laser Viper

PYTHON PATROL LASER TROOPER:
PYTHON LASER VIPER

– 25th Anniversary Style/Fully Poseable Action Figure.
– Modern Era Update of Character based on 2003 design.
– Features RE-TOOL of Laser Backpack Weapons System
– THREE Army Builder action figures in this exclusive set.
– Includes removable helmet, dual cannon laser backpack,
connection hoses (not shown), adjustable control arm,
holster with pistol, and Cobra Logo Stand.

Sometimes, figure reveals are exactly what you expected them to be.  Other times, they’re BETTER than expected!

I don’t think anyone out there presumed that the Python Patrol Laser Viper would be anything more than a repaint of 2017’s GIJoeCon Laser Viper. It was a solid build, based on a concept case reveal from 2012, and it seemed to be a hit with the fan base.  Just toss on some of that sexy 2003 Python Patrol deco and the Club would be good-to-go, right?   Continue reading

GIJoeCon 2018: Hardball swings for the fences!

The GIJoeCon 2018 previews continue with a look at the Slaughter’s Marauders take on Hardball!

GIJoeCon 2018 Slaughter's Maruaders Hardball front

SLAUGHTER’S MARAUDERS
MULTI-SHOT GRENADIER: HARDBALL

– 25th Anniversary Style/Fully Poseable Action Figure.
– First Modern Era Release of Character in SM design.
– Includes removable hat, harness, pistol with suppressor,
knife, re-tooled multi-shot grenade launcher, backpack,
and G.I. Joe Logo Stand.

“Multi-Shot Grenadier”… that makes me laugh. It should be “guy with a grenade launcher so big he’s going to blow up the world!!!”

Man, I love the character of Hardball!  Ever since I first encountered his vintage 1988 version I had an affinity for the character. He was never the most popular Joe nor did he get any screen time in animation.  Still, a guy who carries a launcher that large is a force to be reckoned with and the Club did just fine with this build! Continue reading

G.I. Joe FSS 5 Scoop & Ambush reviews!

No, you’re not seeing things: JBL has finally posted the FSS 5 Scoop & Ambush reviews!

G.I. Joe FSS 5 Scoop & AmbushChris and Fred have been whittling down the tremendous backlog of FSS reviews that has build up here at JBL over the past few months.  Long since photographed and written, our two interpid reviews finally take a look at two DiC-era Joes: Scoop and Ambush.  (Or, as Fred likes to refer to them: “Giraffe Boy & the Tangerine Dream“…)

They’re two Joes from the second-era of G.I. Joe animation that have been both been long overdue from an update.  However, was it worth the wait?  Do our intrepid reviews find this DiC duo to be worthwhile purchases?  Does Deadpool rear his scarred head once more in another gratuitous cameo?

Check out the reviews of the FSS Ambush and Scoop in the G.I. Joe Collector’s Club FSS Review Index and check back as we tackle more FSS 5 & FSS 6 reviews next week!

GIJoeCon 2018: Python Patrol HEAT Viper lights it up!

The GIJoeCon 2018 previews are coming fast and furious! Today’s reveal: the Python Patrol HEAT Viper!

GIJoeCon 2018 Python HEAT Viper

PYTHON PATROL
HIGH EXPLOSIVE ANTI-TANK TROOPER:
H.E.A.T. VIPER

– 25th Anniversary Style/Fully Poseable Action Figure.
– Modern Era Update of Character based on 2003 design.
– THREE Army Builder action figures in this exclusive set.
– Includes removable harness, bazooka shells x 6, bazooka,
connection tube, backpack, and Cobra Logo Stand.

Hmm… not quite as “hot” as I was hoping for…

The recipe for the Python Patrol HEAT Viper is pretty simple.  Take the 2014 50th Anniversary HEAT Viper and apply an approximation of the 2003 Python Patrol HEAT Viper color scheme.  I say “approximation” because this one is close but there’s something off about it. Continue reading

GIJoeCon 2018: Slaughter’s Marauders Mutt revealed!

Another day and another reveal from the GIJoeCon 2018 set.  Today: Slaughter’s Marauder’s Mutt & Junkyard!

GIJoeCon 2018 Slaughter's Marauders Mutt

SLAUGHTER’S MARAUDERS
MILITARY POLICE & K-9: MUTT & JUNKYARD

– 25th Anniversary Style/Fully Poseable Action Figure.
– Modern Era Release of Character based on 1989 SM design.
– Includes removable helmet, muzzle, vest, submachine gun,
baton, knife, dog leash, and G.I. Joe Logo Stand.

Say what you want about the G.I. Joe Collector’s Club but they certainly stick close to the vintage designs. In this case, the recipe for the convention exclusive figure is simple: take the 25th Anniversary Mutt build and apply the 1989 Slaughter’s Marauders version color scheme.  Some might criticize this as not being different enough from the 25th release in terms of parts but it is in keeping with the spirit of this set so far.  After all, Footloose was a repaint of his previous Club release in the team deco. Continue reading

GIJoeCon 2018: Python Patrol Lamprey preview!

GIJoeCon 2018 is 139 days away and we’ve got our second figure preview– the Python Patrol Lamprey!

GIJoeCon 2018 Python Lamprey

PYTHON PATROL AMPHIBIOUS TROOPER:
PYTHON LAMPREY

– 25th Anniversary Style/Fully Poseable Action Figure.
– Modern Era Update of Character based on 2003 design.
– THREE Army Builder action figures in this exclusive set.
– Includes removable face mask, vest, submachine gun,
pistol, swim fins, backpack, and Cobra Logo Stand.

Hmm… not entirely what I expected in terms of build.

Let’s be honest– this could have been an easy repaint for the Club.  Take the 2009 Defense of Cobra Island Cobra Lamprey, slap on the color deco from the 2003 Python Patrol Lamprey and call it a night.  Instead, the build is different– I’m possibly seeing some Paris Pursuit Snake Eyes legs.  They’re baggier than I would have presumed practical but they still look pretty solid. Continue reading