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GIJoe Collector's Convention 2004

  Contemporary Hotel, Walt Disney World Resort, Orlando Florida

[The staff of would like to thank the staffs of Master Collector, Devil’s Due Press, and Hasbro for all of their contributions to an amazing show!

To say that my Joe con experience was a whirlwind tour is a bit of an understatement. Spending just 24 hours in Orlando events rushed by at a breakneck pace. I went to the con somewhat concerned about the future of my favorite toy line ever. I left feeling better than ever about the fate of a certain group of Real American Heroes.

First off, the Hasbro staff was fantastic! Every single person I spoke with was extremely informative and very willing to take time to talk to fans. In fact, both Clankiller and I picked up several interesting tidbits from various Hasbro staff:

  • The Real American Hero 12” line is dead. Unfortunately, sales just weren’t there to support the line much longer. The Spy Troops DVD two pack, meant to boost sales of 12” figures, raised sales of 3.75” figures. While the regular 12” line will continue on it seems that RAH has found its niche in the 3.75” scale.
  • The Mechs were a hit! Despite the relative scarcity of these at retail currently Hasbro has received such overwhelmingly positive feedback that more mechs are slated for next year. None were shown but members of the design team confirmed that we will be seeing more of the exo-skeletons next year.
  • Comic 3 Packs. So far, there has been overwhelmingly positive response to these—and they’ve just hit the market! It seems that Target has an early release on these but they’ll be showing up at all major retailers, including Wal-mart in the coming weeks. Currently there are nine sets planned and, if sales are strong enough, characters such as Dr. Venom and Billy could finally see action figure treatment!
  • Wal-mart is not phasing out the RAH line. The past few months have seen a relative dwindling of stock from the shelves of the nation’s largest retailer. It seems that Wal-mart will be increasing Joe sales into fourth quarter with the release of ‘Valor vs. Venom: The Movie”.
  • “Valor vs. Venom”. Hasbro was showing a four-minute trailer for the film and it leaves Spy Troops in the dust! First off, the voice casting seems more solid with Beachhead having a southern accent and General Hawk having a strong voice of leadership! Members of the design team confirmed that an animation producer was brought in to help with the film and the result is a much stronger story that features more character development than was found previously. It was also pointed out that the animation is much more detailed than in the previous animated feature.
  • A cartoon series? Politics and toys seem to have collided with the current anti-war climate in the United States. Hasbro has the desire to see a new Joe television series but it seems that most networks are a bit cagey about airing a “children’s military series”. It would seem that a letter writing campaign is in order!
  • The Crimson forces return! Kmart is currently slated to offer a Crimson Strike force in October. Consisting of a crimson HISS tank, crimson ASP, and at least 3 Crimson Guard figures this set will retail for @ $19.99. NOTE: This information is subject to change until reports of this also being a KB Toys exclusive can be confirmed.
  • Toys R Us sets continue! In addition to the Anti-Venom and Urban Strike Force, Hasbro was showing another TRU exclusive pack—the Ninja Strike Force. Comprised of repaints of Storm Shadow v2, Storm Shadow v1, and Jinx v1, this set is tentatively scheduled to hit shelves in November of 2004!

Devil’s Due Press was also on-hand and offered quite a few bits of news in their panel. Aside from learning that Tim Seeley loves to draw Carcass and Toxo-zombies, DD President Josh Blaylock gave some hints about forthcoming projects including GIJoe vs. Transformers, volume 2. The series will involve a malfunction of the spacebridge between earth and Cyberton. Joes will end up on Cyberton and Transformers will be catapulted throughout various points in Earth’s history. Each team will have to stop the time disturbance or there will be disastrous consequences for the Joe’s home world. The storyline will also feature the return of the Joe mechs seen at the end of the previous series, as well as Autobots and Decepticons having to take on forms from various eras of Earth history. Josh also confirmed that Frontline is still on hiatus—with various mini-series such as “Master and Apprentice” filling the gap. He further stated that forthcoming issues of Joe: Reloaded will feature some allegiances not previously found in GIJoe and that one member of the team won’t survive a future issue. Brandon Jerwa informed us that the response to “Master and Apprentice” has been extremely positive—with the book selling equally well to both male and female fans. He also confirmed that a major surprise is in store for the Joes in issue 33 and the future issues will see the active team’s size diminish in number.

Now, what you’ve all been waiting for—the pics. I’ve organized pics of the figure line by the release dates. A few items feature multiple release dates as they will first be Target Exclusives and then see national release a short time later. [Note: the latter half of the year features o-ring versions of many action attack figures.]

September 2004   October 2004
Kamakura vs Storm Shadow: 1 2 3   Crimson Guard Strike Force: 1 2
General Abernathy vs. Overkill: 1 2 3 4   Sting Raider w/ Electric Eel: 1
Snake Eyes w/ Ninja Lightning: 1 2    
Link vs. Night Creeper: 1    
Duke (o-ring) vs. Venomous Max: 1 2 3    
Gung Ho vs. Wild Weasel: 1 2 3    
Comic Pack 4 (Zap, Grunt, Snake Eyes): 1 2 3 4    

Comic pack 5 (General Flagg, Cobra Officer, Steeler): 1 2 3

Jungle Strike Humvee w/ Rollbar: 1 2    
Ice Sabre w/ Frostbite: 1 2 3    
November 2004
December 2004
Tiger Force Alpine & Crosshairs: 1 2 3   Comic Pack 7: Oktober Guard (Horrorshow, Stormavik, Stalker): 1 2 3 4
Tiger Force Switch Gears & Scarlet: 1   Comic Pack 8 (Rock'n Roll, Short Fuze, Flash): 1 2 3 4
Night Force Gung Ho & Grunt: 1   Comic Pack 9 (Breaker, Scarlet, Cobra Commander): 1 2 3 4
BAT v 3.2 & BAT v4: 1    
Storm Shadow w/ Ninja Lightning: 1 2    
Barrel Roll w/ Assault Glider: 1    
Cobra Ninja Strike Team (TRU): 1 2 3    

Viper & Televiper (Python Patrol): 1 2 3

Cobra Commander vs. Duke: 1    
January 2005
Sgt. Bazooka vs. Dreadnok Torch: 1 2 3 4    
Cobra Slash & Cobra Slice: 1 2 3    
Frostbite vs. Snow Wolf: 1 2 3 4 5    
Night Creeper & Ninja Viper: 1 2 3    
Tunnel Rat vs. Razorclaw: 1 2    
Venom Chamber w/ Venomous Max: 1 2    
Shipwreck vs. Electric Eel: 1    



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