We’re one shipment away from the end of G.I. Joe FSS 3 and that means it’s time for two more figure reviews. This month it’s the unusual pairing of G.I. Joe team member Bombstrike with the affiliate of Cobra – the Night Creeper Leader!
Do this blind-folded ninja master and forward air controller go together like chocolate and peanut butter? Or is this pairing more of a case of oil and water? Even more importantly, do Chris and Fred agree on anything when it comes to these two penultimate figures from G.I. Joe FSS 3?
Thanks to Alyosha of BrokenArrowToys.com, images of the latest G.I. Joe FSS 3 shipments have been posted on Facebook. Having glanced at the pictures, I can safely say that this is most definitely a “glass half empty/glass half full month” with this shipment containing one of the most anticipated and one of the least desired figures from the entire series.
Want to know more? Keep reading, Joe fan! If you don’t want to be spoiled then stop right there! Continue reading →
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”.
Normally, I’ve been enjoying these previews but this time I can’t honestly tell what we’re getting. This is by far the most “digital’ of all of the mock-up right down to a head that might have been lifted directly from a video game!
The original Bombstrike figure was released in Valor vs. Venom wave 7 in a two-pack that also featured the redesigned Croc Master. That version was clad in a tan t-shirt and camouflage pants. The G.I. Joe Collector’s Club appears to be basing this version on Renegades version of Scarlett from a few years ago based on the legs and torso. However, rather than showcase mock-up of the sculpt we get a full-on digital version. Honestly, I understand that the Club is wanting to release preview images as far out from production as possible but I have very little idea what the final head sculpt will look like based on this. That might be the Agent Helix hair or that might be something entire new. I’d also like to know why Bombstrike is looking decidedly evil in that photo. I guess part of the “surprise” of getting this FSS will be seeing what Bombstrike actually looks like when she arrives.
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!