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!

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

Joe Con 2017: Meet Battle Force 2000 Blaster

Registration for Joe Con 2017 is now LIVE and we’ve got another preview: Battle Force 2000 Blaster!

G.I. Joe Con 2017 Battle Force 2000 Blaster

G.I. JOE BF 2000 TEAM:
Brian “Blaster” Davis

– 25th Anniversary Style/Fully Poseable Action Figure.
– 1st Modern Era Release of Character based on 1987 design.
– NEW Head Sculpt and includes removable Holster, Knife,
Assault Rifle, original DK-528 Laser weapon,
with G.I. Joe Logo Stand.

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

Now THAT’S what I’m talking about! Battle Force 2000 Blaster is looking GOOD!

Let’s be honest– reaction to the Joe Con 2017 preview images so far has been pretty mixed.  Fans seemed to like Maverick and Avalanche and they were lukewarm to both Dodger and Knockdown.  With only three figure designs left to show, it was up to the Club to turn the tide with the remaining figures.

Blaster does a pretty solid job in that department.  Yes, it’s the return of the tried and true PoC Duke torso that has been used by the Club for both Psyche-Out and Barrell Roll. I think I’m seeing the PoC Jungle Viper arms and at least the lower legs of of the amazing PoC Snake Eyes.  For the most part, it’s a decent match to the original 1987 Blaster design.  I’m still not 100% sold on retooling the vintage weapons but c’est la vie.

I’m very curious to see what this head sculpt looks like in a non-digital sense.  It’s still hard to get a feel for what Blaster will really look like from this Photoshop preview.

With this preview we’re down to two previews remaining– Blocker and the new BAT v1.8 — of which there will be eight included in the set.

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.  Regardless, it will be interesting to see how the Club intends to replicate the signature vehicles of this DARPA-inspired team.  Could another RHINO re-release be in the works?

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

Joe Con 2017: Battle Force 2000 Dodger unveiled

The Joe Con 2017 preview came early today with a look at Battle Force 2000’s Dodger!

G.I. Joe Con 2017 Battle Force 2000 Dodger

G.I. JOE BF 2000 TEAM:
DODGER

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

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

Okay, I’ll just say it— “a swing… and a miss!!!”

I get it… not every one of these previews can be a winner.  In the case of Dodger… yeah, I don’t know what happened.

Several years ago, I sat down and reviewed the 1987 Battle Force 2000 Dodger figure.  Of all of his compatriots, Dodger was the most realistic looking in terms of overall design.  From this sculpted web gear, to the darker hues of green and orange used for his uniform, to the helmet design, the Marauder driver conveyed the impression that his design might be plausible someday in the future.  The only thing about his design that seemed truly fantastic was his rifle and that was my least favorite part.

I don’t know– maybe it’s the fact that this image is HEAVILY Photoshopped.  Maybe it’s the fact that the odd hue of metallic green is so prevalent that it overpowers the entire image.  I just know that the figure that I was looking forward to the most in this Joe Con 2017 isn’t all that and a bag of chips in this preview.  At all… (Plus, I really really hate those gimmicky Snake Eyes legs.)  He’s missing some of the bulk that made the original Dodger so impressive. Plus, where’s the comms gear from his helmet?

We’re now over the halfway point when it comes to the previews of this year’s set.  So far, the reaction online has been “lukewarm” to the set.  Hopefully the remaining three previews will knock it out of the park as fans have been requesting Battle Force 2000 for years now.  (I hate to think of what the Club will charge for the souvenir vehicles this year.)

Here’s the roster, just in case:

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.  Regardless, it will be interesting to see how the Club intends to replicate the signature vehicles of this DARPA-inspired team.  Could another RHINO re-release be in the works?

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

Joe Con 2017: Battle Force 2000 Avalanche preview

The Joe Con 2017 previews continue with a look at Battle Force 2000 Avalanche!

Joe Con 2017 Battle Force 2000 Avalanche

G.I. JOE BF 2000 TEAM:
Ian “Avalanche” Costello

– 25th Anniversary Style/Fully Poseable Action Figure.
– 1st Modern Era Release of Character based on 1987 design.
– NEW Head Sculpt and includes removable Bandolier, Knife,
Assault Rifle, Re-tool of iconic P-460 Sub-Zero Stun Gun,
with G.I. Joe Logo Stand.

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

Holy Photoshop, Batman! The preview of Battle Force 2000’s Avalanche is more digital than real!

According to the description, we’re getting a new head for this figure, which is a good thing.  However, given the fact that the helmet is non-removable and the design deviates somewhat from the original 1987 design, it’s a good bet that we’ll be seeing this head reused in the next FSS as we did with Airborne into Scoop.  (I’m thinking maybe Windmill?  That’s just some idle speculation on my part.) There’s also the fact that last year’s Static Line head bore more than a passing resemblance to Persuader driver Backstop.  Hmm…

Additionally, we’re seeing another original Battle Force 2000 weapon retooled for this figure.  This begs the question: are THAT many fans really enamored with BF2K’s vintage weapons?

As far as the rest, I think I’m seeing the Retaliation Firefly torso, and maybe Wraith’s lower legs?  (I can’t be certain the last point– it’s been a long time since I looked at my Wraith figure.)

With four Joe Con 2017 figures previewed, we’re at the halfway point for the character designs in this year’s set.  As such, that leaves just four more previews before the entire set is revealed.

Here’s the roster, just in case:

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.  Regardless, it will be interesting to see how the Club intends to replicate the signature vehicles of this DARPA-inspired team.  Could another RHINO re-release be in the works?

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

Joe Con 2017: Brochure now online and pricing revealed

As Joe Con 2017 grows closer, the G.I. Joe Collector’s Club is releasing more details about this year’s event in Walt Disney World.  Yesterday, the convention brochure was released— containing details on this year’s sets as well as the pricing.

Gi joe con 2017 logo

You can view the entire Joe Con 2017 brochure HERE but here are a few of the highlights:

Battle Force 2000 vs. Cobra BATs:

We’re celebrating the 30th anniversary of the G.I. JOE Battle Force 2000 team with this untold tale of the original team members from a recently declassified special mission.

 

The G.I. JOE BF 2000 team is the walking, breathing proving grounds for tomorrow’s battlefield technology today! These highly trained specialists are entrusted with one-of-a-kind, state-of-theart prototype weapons. Their mission is to field-test experimental equipment under battlefield conditions.

 

COBRA has developed a new laser weapon system so dangerous that it threatens the safety of the entire planet! The G.I. JOE BF 2000 team is called into action and must travel through the Pacific Northwest into British Columbia to dismantle the operation. What they don’t know is that COBRA is ready for them with a battalion of their upgraded B.A.T. (Battle Android Troopers) guarding their base. This G.I. JOE team will be fighting against insurmountable odds, and must pull their individual specialties together to battle these deadly threats. Will the cold and calculated programming of the COBRA B.A.T. SQUAD LEADER be the end of this G.I. JOE team?

 

Our 2017 exclusive 3 3/4-inch convention set contains a highly requested G.I. JOE team and some new additions to your COBRA army that are available for the first time in the modern era 25A action figure style. This special edition 15 action-figure set includes:

 

Six G.I. JOE team members: Ian “Avalanche” Costello, Brian “Blaster” Davis, David “Blocker” McCarthy, Thomas “Maverick” Kiley, Knockdown, and Dodger.

 

Nine enemy combatants: COBRA B.A.T. SQUAD LEADER, and COBRA B.A.T. V1.8 (troop builder x 8). Each of these great teams comes with their classic weapons, accessories, figure stands and file cards!

We now have the roster for this year’s set: 6 members of Battle Force 2000 vs. 1 Cobra BAT Squad leader and 8 Cobra BATs.  This means that the Club will be utilizing a total of 8 unique figure designs this year to produce the boxed set. Continue reading

Joe Con 2017: Battle Force 2000 Knockdown unveiled

As the Joe Con 2017 reveals continue, feast your eyes on Battle Force 2000 Knockdown!

Joe Con 2017 Battle Force 2000 Knockdown

G.I. JOE BF 2000 TEAM:
KNOCKDOWN

– 25th Anniversary Style/Fully Poseable Action Figure.
– 1st Modern Era Release of Character based on 1987 design.
– Includes removable Helmet and Vest, Tactical Rifle, Re-tool
of iconic Ground to Air Pistol, and G.I. Joe Logo Stand.

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

The Battle Force 2000 Sky Sweeper driver Knockdown is back– even if this image is pretty Photoshop heavy.  Right off, I’ll admit that I didn’t see the reuse of the 2013 Retaliation Lift Ticket helmet coming but it works!  The PoC Techno-Viper lower legs are a decent approximation of the original 1987 Knockdown design— or at least as well as could be done with existing parts.  I can also appreciate the newly-tooled vintage weapon recreation– even if I’d much rather have a new head sculpt for the character.

As far as the Joe Con 2017 previews go, he’s not bad.  He’s not the strongest of the three, but he’s not bad.  Definitely a decent approximation of the original design.

So far, we’ve had the following characters from this year’s set revealed:

G.I. Joe Battle Force 2000:

  • Avalanche, Blaster, Blocker, Dodger, Knockdown, Maverick

Cobra: BATs:

Without a greater description of this set, we’re still left wondering just who exactly is coming on the Cobra side of this year’s Battle Force 2000 vs Cobra BATs set.  Could Overkill be in the works?

For more information of this year’s event, visit GIJoeCon.com.