I’ve updated the G.I. Joe Collector’s Convention page with the latest con summary including links to all of the previously posted content as well as a final wrap-up of all things that I observed in Indy. It’s not a complete record of EVERYTHING– simply because that wouldn’t have been possible. For example, I missed out on the What’s on Joe Mind taping because of a call from Madmac41 that the Concept Vault figures had been put on display. So, any omissions are not intentional slights– but rather a reflection of the fact that one person can only be in one place at a time.
Also, due to some registration wackiness, my convention set will be arriving when the Homefront Heroes sets ship. However, I’ve got some quick images up and reviews of the souvenir items will begin THIS WEEK! (Lady Jaye is most like going up first.)
It was a great overall experience to reconnect with so many friends I’ve not seen in years.
If you’ve been you’ve been following the JoeCon coverage here at JBL over the past few days– thank you! It’s been several years since I’ve been both at a con and an active part of the Joe community and there was some personal apprehension about coming back to this event after being away for nearly 4 years. However, I can honestly say that it’s good to be back in action again.
Earlier today, I posted live coverage of the Hasbro panel on Twitter. What follows here is a more detailed summary of the information that was presented earlier.
Hasbro had a very small presence at JoeCon this year. Consisting solely of Derryl DePriest and John Warden and a single display case, fan weren’t quite sure what to expect. In fact, the Dynamic Duo from Pawtucket opened their presentation by saying that they were showing the same slide show that was used at Toy Fair and that nothing new would be presented. However, some good information came out of their discussion.
In terms of G.I. Joe Retaliation, the highly anticipated wave 3 will be available later this year– and it’s looking like late July/early August. The order has been sent to the factories in China and production has begun. Figures like Kwinn, Data Viper, Ultimate Duke, Ultimate Roadblock, and Ultimate Flint will be hitting stores with a great deal of fan and retailer anticipation. During this part of the discussion, John Warden broke down some interesting facts for the wave.
More news from JoeCon from the land of the block figures– KreO!
Hasbro’s product showing on Friday was pretty minimal but what they lacked in quantity they made up for in quality. The wave two Kre-O sets were on hand and should be hitting Toys R Us in the coming months. Of course, all of this could change with the Hasbro 2013 panel set for 11am on Saturday.
Enjoy the pics of the figures below. Honestly, if there is one true SURPRISE hit in the Joe brand right now it’s Kre-O! Let’s just hope it moves beyond Toys R Us to mass retail in the near future!
One of the more unusual G.I. Joe lines to debut this year is the Kre-O series featuring our favorite Real American Heroes. Exclusive to Toys R Us, Kre-O looks Lego square in the eye and says “bring it!” Featuring characters from both the classic Generation 1 ARAH era and the earlier Adventure Team, Kre-O is a bold new direction for G.I. Joe.
Here’s the official word from Hasbro:
KRE-O G.I. JOE 2013 PRODUCT INFORMATION
A new line of KRE-O G.I. JOE building sets will be available exclusively at Toys “R” Us retail locations and www.Toysrus.com beginning in February 2013. The addition of KRE-O G.I. JOE sets to the brand’s portfolio will offer the opportunity to build environments and vehicles to play out the G.I. JOE vs. COBRA fantasy and will feature KREON figures based on popular characters from both the heroic G.I. JOE team like DUKE and SNAKE EYES as well as the villainous COBRA organization like FIREFLY and STORM SHADOW.
Beginning with the single packs:
KRE-O G.I. JOE KREON FIGURE PACKS (Approximate retail price: $3.19; Ages: 6-12; Available: Spring 2013)
Start your KRE-O G.I. JOE collection with these iconic G.I. JOE and COBRA characters! Each G.I. JOE KREON figure comes with a unique weapon and cool accessories, and is sold blind-bagged. The first wave of characters includes CRAIG “ROCK N’ ROLL” MCCONNEL, KIM ARASHIKAGE, COBRA TROOPER, CRIMSON GUARD, SCARLETT, COBRA AXE NINJA, COBRA NINJA VIPER, QUICK KICK, ALLEY VIPER, EDWARD “TORPEDO” LEILOHA, and ADVENTURE TEAM COMMANDER. Each sold separately.
Last week, Hasbro announced that G.I. Joe would be getting the Kre-O treatment this February exclusively at Toys R Us. Last night, as a special media event in NYC, Hasbro unveiled the building block product that will be hitting store shelves early next year. Consisting of boxed “battle sets” consisting of figures and bricks to build vehicles and bases as well as blind-bagged individual figures, the team from Pawtucket unveiled Joe’s first really attempt at conquering the small “Lego figure” world.
Honestly, these figures create a bit of a dilemma for me as a G.I. Joe collector. On one hand, they represent a bold new direction for the Joe brand and feature some details that show the line was developed by someone who gets the brand. (Quick Kick’s “Frozen Fudgee” and a fuzz-headed Adventure Team Commander? That’s just awesome!) Plus, the character selection– which includes fan favorites like Snake Eyes but also features Kamakura and Torpedo is great. (One could argue that Torpedo merely repurposes parts from the Battleship movie line of Kre-O figures.) Lego-like figures extremely popular with collectors and kids alike– as the success of lines released by both Lego and competitor Mega-Blocks can attest.
On the other hand, this line is a pretty radical departure for G.I. Joe in terms of retail presence. Kre-O items aren’t typically found in the figure aisles of most retailers. G.I. Joe’s last attempt at conquering the construction block world– the ill-fated Build To Rule line– met with mixed reactions and little retail success. Plus, Kre-O will be hitting shelves around the same time as the movie merchandise which means that collectors, who are the primary audience of the brand now, will be focusing their efforts and $$$ on the more traditional 1:18 offerings.
Only time will tell if this line can succeed where previous attempts have failed. Personally, I think I’d be more inclined to snag these if the figures were closer in scale and style to Art Asylum’s popular Mini-Mates lines. I’m not a Lego figure collector myself– although I have to admit that I’m tempted by the mini Kamakura and AT Commander figures. Joe fans, however, are more habitually geared toward looking for product in the action figure aisles of retailers and many of us just might forget to look for these guys when February rolls around. I can’t help but wonder if the line would have a great potential for success if it had hit TRU stores in the coming weeks– at a time when G.I. Joe is all-but-absent from stores after the disappointing rescheduling of G.I. Joe: Retaliation earlier this year. For me, these might just be a casual purchase but I don’t see myself going “all completionist” on this. Of course, that’s just one Joe fan’s opinion.
Additional coverage of the Kre-O debut can be found over at ToyNewsI.com