Was the FSS 3 Alpine worth the wait? Does the new Boss Fight Studio breathe new life into the character? What’s the secret to his muscular calves? Find out the answers to some of these questions as two long-time Joe fans offer up their thoughts on this update to a classic Sunbow-era character.
Joe Con 2015 and G.I. Joe FSS reviews are coming. Really. I had photos shot for these reviews for weeks now and even have the web page built. Joe Con 2015, Joe Con 2013, and the FSS reviews for Hit & Run, Alpine, Crimson Guard Immortal, Big Ben, and Frostbite are about 85% ready to go!
So, you might find yourself asking, what’s the holdup?
Between my current real-life job and some family obligations, I’ve just not had the time to sit down and really finish the writing. Knock on wood I can sequester myself away this weekend for a bit and finalize my portion of the text.
However, I don’t want to leave folks hanging. Below is a preview gallery of images from many of the G.I. Joe FSS and Joe Con 2015 reviews that will be hitting here soon. Consider it a bit of a “mea culpa” for being so tardy.
Today is the day– the final day to sign-up for the G.I. Joe Collector’s Club FSS 3.0. In order to provide that final incentive, the Club released the following “group shot” yesterday.
Yes, it’s just a composite image of the previews shown thus far but it provides the only real “at a glance” look at what subscribers will receive over the forthcoming months.
It’s an interesting roster– with many Nocturnal Fire alumni, three Cobra-affiliated ninjas, a member of Action Force, and the final member of the Stall family whose saga played out in the file cards of the G.I. Joe vs. Cobra era.
It’s not a cheap subscription– with the subscription running $315.00 if paid in full with additional charges for both shipping and credit card processing. (Or paid in three installments of $105.00 each.) However, if you really want to obtain these figures and don’t want to have to deal with the hassle of tracking them down individually the subscription is the way to go– and the only way to guarantee receipt of the “mysterious 13th figure”.
The G.I. Joe Collector’s Club starts the week out with another preview from the forthcoming Figure Subscription Service (FSS) 3.0. Feast your eyes on the G.I. Joe Mountain Specialist: Alpine!
Color this Joe fan pleasantly surprised! When the preview images were shown at Joe Con 2014, the pictures indicated that it would be based upon Alpine v2 figure. Thankfully, someone at the Club realized that this would make Alpine resemble a McDonald’s employee and instead opted for the dollar store v3 color scheme. It’s a good color scheme that combines the colors of the original Alpine figure with his updated look from the Valor vs. Venom toy line to give eveyone’s favorite yodeling mountaineer a fresh new look in Generation 3 construction. Plus, it’s different enough from his hard-to-find 25th Anniversary version that fans will most likely want to own both.
Plus, there’s a new head sculpt coming from the guys at Boss Fight Studio! Let’s face it– those guys do outstanding work!
No word yet on when the subscriptions will go live but this line-up is looking pretty good so far! (Granted this is just a digital mock-up but I don’t expect the final version to look THAT much different.) So far, the G.I. Joe Collector’s Club has really stepped up on this third installment.
Keep your eyes peeled to JBL and GIJoeClub.com for details of when the FSS 3.0 sign-up launches!
In recent years the G.I. Joe Collector’s Club roundtable panel has become one of the most anticipated G.I. Joe Convention events. The reason for this has been the announcement of the year’s forthcoming Figure Subscription Service line-up. At a time when the G.I. Joe brand is essentially absent from retail shelves, this “members only” service is the only avenue for many collectors to acquire new G.I. Joe figures.
This year JBL was unable to attend the G.I. Joe Convention in Dallas but fortunately good friend of the site Justin Bell of GeneralsJoes.com was on hand and live-tweeted the entire panel. I’m mirroring his images below with some thoughts on each character in the announced line-up.
First off, here’s the announced line-up for FSS 3.0:
Crimson Guard Immortal
Hit & Run
Night Creeper Leader
Repeater (original colors)
Spearhead (& Max)
It’s a decent line-up that filled with characters that are sure to get fans excited. Granted, one quarter of the series will consist of repaints from the Nocturnal Fire 2013 convention set but that set had some of the best convention figures produced yet. Plus, given the oft-repeated mantra of how expensive everything is for the GIJCC, this level of cost-saving makes some logical sense. So, let’s break down the figures and some possible construction options.
Dipping back into the well of Valor vs. Venom, Alpine v2 will be seeing new life in the FSS. Construction for this one is a no-brainer; given the shorts and short sleeves this will most likely be built on a G.I. Joe Retaliation Kwinn body with the hard-to-find 25th Anniversary Alpine head plopped on top. It’s a relatively easy parts combination that requires next to no new tooling– although I’m surprised the Club went with the v2 “McDonald’s color scheme” as opposed to the Tiger Force Alpine that followed a few waves later.
Big Ben is one of those Joes that came after “my era” of G.I. Joe. He’s one of the cast who was featured more in the DiC episodes and so slipped complete beyond my notice. However, he’s got a basic enough uniform that the club should be able to replicate his body design with ease, possibly topping it off with the 25th Anniversary Rock-n-Roll ammunition belts. It was confirmed at the panel that he will be getting a new head sculpt as seen in the sketches in the slide.
I’ve made no secret of my love for the new character that were introduced in the G.I. Joe vs. Cobra era and Bombstrike is no exception! Part of the “Stahl Family” storyline, she’s a welcome addition to my Joe collection! For constructions I’d be surprised if the lower body wasn’t based on the Rise of Cobra Cover Girl. The upper torso will either have to be be newly-tooled or the design altered as no female t-shirt torso exists. I could, however, see the GIJCC using the Renegades Scarlett body as well. A SOLID addition to the line-up!
Crimson Guard Immortal:
Okay, this is one that I didn’t see coming in any way but that’s not a bad thing! For this, I’d almost expect the Club to utilize the base body of the recent Retaliation Crimson Guard. For the padded chest armor, it all depends on how closely the Club wants to adhere to the original design as a myriad of body armor choices exist. While I have never had particularly strong feelings about the Crimson Guard Immortal this is an interesting entry in the line-up!
Hit & Run:
Justin would kill me for saying this but I’ve never been a huge fan of Hit & Run. I don’t dislike him but I’ve never really had any strong attachment to him. However, a lot of fans do and last year’s Nocturnal Fire version seems to have fallen short with many of them. So, at risk of duplicating the 2009 25th Anniversary Hit & Run the GIJCC is diving in with another attempt replicate the v1 design– this time based on the Concept Case version that was shown at Joe Con a few years ago. I have to admit, if he’s more poseable than the 25th version I’ll be quite pleased– even though it means I’ll now have 3 different generation 3 versions of Hit & Run and still not one functional version of Gung-Ho!
YES! I’ve been a fan of the original Muskrat for years now and last year’s Nocturnal Fire version was a fantastic update! For this figure I pretty much a straight repaint of the 2013 Joe Con version but it looks like his boogie board will be added to the figure’s kit. Usually repaints like the FSS Tiger Force Shipwreck do nothing for me but in this case I’m very much looking forward to a more classic color scheme on Muskrat.
Night Creeper Leader:
There’s a quote from the TV series Firefly regarding mercenary Jayne Cobb’s bright orange stocking cap that applies here:
“A man walks down the street in that hat, people know he’s not afraid of anything.”
Yep, that’s exactly how I feel about the bright orange tiger-striped ’93 Night Creeper Leader shown above. There’s something about a blind-folded martial artist in that outfit that is just visually striking! How can you go wrong with that color palate? (It’s certainly better than the “Minnesota Vikings” ’94 version.) I can’t wait to get this version because, well, he’s Grrr-EAT! (Yes, I went there.)
Last year’s Noctural Fire convention set featured a stellar roster of both characters and figures but in the opinion of this Joe fan Psyche-Out was one of the best of the bunch. The GIJCC managed to recreate a vintage character in a plausibly updated fashion and took a character whose first version could be viewed as “kind of doofy” and made him a star of the set. I expect this figure to be a straight repaint of the 2013 convention version with no real changes to the character’s accessories.
For many fans, Repeater was one of the star’s of the 2013 Nocturnal Fire set! The updated convention version of the character was based on the G.I. Joe Retaliation Ultimate Roadblock body and added significant height and girth to the figure when compared to the original 1988 version. As with many of the Nocturnal Fire pieces, I don’t expect the Club to do anything new other than to re-release the Joe Con version with a more vintage color scheme.
Well, it was bound to happen as the first FSS contained Dice. These two go together like peanut butter & chocolate or Batman and Robin. A very simple recipe for this figure exists, especially given the original Dice’s color scheme. The club has merely to take the Dollar General Storm Shadow figure and mold in primarily in red with only a black paint application. It’s a very simple recipe when the Dice mask has been previously tooled and released for years now. (It was initially released with the Temple Guardian Snake Eyes figure.)
Spearhead (& Max):
I reviewed the vintage Spearhead (& Max) figure years ago and was very excited to get an updated Night Force version of him last year as part of the Nocturnal Fire set. In fact, he was one of my favorite pieces in the entire set! As with the other Nocturnal Fire alumni, I expect a straight repaint with no real changes to the figure or the figure’s accessories. Yes, it’s a cost-saving step for the Club but anymore that is to be expected.
The original Vypra was a straight repaint of Jinx in darker colors– so I think it’s a safe best to assume that we’ll see the same here. The most logical choice would be to use the body from the SDCC Jinx as it most directly resembles the vintage figure. Perhaps we’ll see the kit from the FSS version of Jinx used again here?
So there you have it– one fan’s take on both the roster and the parts construction for the forthcoming G.I. Joe Collector’s Club FSS 3.0! As of now I’ve not seen any details on when the sign-up period would begin. Given the fact that no prototypes (digital or otherwise) were shown it’s probably quite likely that the FSS sign-up won’t be for a few more months with the service to start shipping in late Fall 2014.
One thing to note– apparently the Club is aware of some of the dissatisfaction that subscribers had with the “13th Figure” this year.
A big thanks to Justin Bell of GeneralsJoes.com for live-tweeting the entire panel yesterday!