How to become a Supreme Happy Collector?

Well, it turns out, it’s not that difficult. Although I must admit that I may have been lucky to find this one over here across the Atlantic. The latest addition to my collection is none other than the G.I. Joe Classified Series Snake Supreme Cobra Commander Figure. Yay!

For someone who was skeptical about the whole 6″ line, I have quite the collection so far… And even more figures are coming my way. This figure is the 11th figure of the Classified Series that I can add to my collection. And I am just so glad I got this one! It’s an awesome looking figure! Very deluxe and regal if you ask me. And the cape! And the scepter! And the original Cobra Commander Laser Pistol is there too! Excuse me while I go and drool some more…

Just a short update this time, I hope you enjoyed the pictures and see you later!

Happy Collecting and YoJoe!

Why retro is the new modern

I don’t remember what playset and figure from the original ARAH toys (1982-1994) was the last one I bought/got brand new from a store. The 1994 Razor Blade most likely was the last vehicle and one of the Star Brigade figures will probably have been the last figure. Today, I can relive that feeling with the arrival of the first Retro Line figures and vehicles. Keep on reading below to see which ones arrived here.

Before I show off the new additions to my collection, I want to share a short extract from a column I read in a Retro Gaming magazine (Retro Gamer, #212).

“I know why I’m doing this. And I also know it won’t work. I’m trying to recreate that moment. I’m trying to time travel via videogames and, I hate to break it t0 all of you, it isn’t possible. Not completely. I can maybe get the feel back for a few minutes, even smells can return when I’m playing an old game, but actual pure time travel? Sorry. It doesn’t work.”

After reading the column, it stuck in my head for a while and when the package with the Retro Line toys arrived, it popped back into my mind. Are we collecting to travel back in time to the time when life was simpler for us? No work, no worries, no stress, no pandemics, no deaths. Are we trying to recreate the feelings we had when seeing all those toys in the store and dreaming up stories for when we actually would get to play with them? I think, in a way, we are. Collecting is a form of escapism. It takes you back to those happy days, but here’s the catch. Each time, the feeling is shorter and less intense, so you try again and again and there’s no way you can stop, or you start feeling miserable and sad. Collecting is an addiction of some sort. Not just towards the collected items, but to the feelings and memories that are associated with the items. Am I saying that we shouldn’t collect anymore? No. Definitely not. I still get excited when I see new toys and when a package arrives. But I also need to realize that part of that feeling and excitement, is a memory of prior feelings and childhood memories that will forever be a part of me. Some bring me joy, some bring me tears. I guess what I want to say is, collecting is more than the items. It’s a part of me and that will never change.

After this little ‘serious’ talk, let’s get back to what you actually want to see. The new toys!

First off, we have the first wave of figures. The Baroness, Storm Shadow and Snake-Eyes.

I know they aren’t O-ring figures, but I don’t really mind that. The ‘Retro’ part to me is the wonderful card art and the feeling you get when you have these in hand. How wonderful it would be to see a toy isle filled with figures and vehicles again.

Naturally, I didn’t just get the first wave of figures. I got the vehicles too.

This is my first A.W.E. Striker and my first H.I.S.S. v1 too if I’m not mistaken. My collection is still in boxes, so I don’t really know what I have and don’t have at the moment. I do have a H.I.S.S. mark 2 ever since I was a kid (see this post). Oh, and a Septic Tank too if you can classify that one as a H.I.S.S. variant.

These last few weeks have been crazy with all the new toys coming out and some of them coming into my collection. I’m still looking for the 1st 6″ Snake Eyes, though I’m starting to give up on him ever getting into my collection. Scalpers have been buying up the stocks in the US and are selling them for ridiculous prices on eBay. I really love these toys (as you can tell by reading all the posts here on the blog), but as I mentioned before, it’s getting harder and harder for international fans to get a hold of them. It’s time Hasbro recognizes that there is an international market and maybe sells them over here through their own channels. For now, I have been able to buy several toys over in the UK and have them shipped over, but with Brexit on the way, importing from the UK may prove to become more difficult as well and more costly too. I paid just over €100 for these 3 figures and 2 vehicles (+ shipping) which is quite fair if I compare it to the US prices (they would add up to about €75). A 33% difference, but that includes shipping, VAT and taxes. Not too bad, but looking at some of the prices online, it’s rapidly becoming less and less affordable for me to keep buying them. So, I may have to start limiting my purchases, there’s still many more from the Vintage line I need and want. I’m still debating whether to keep buying new stuff or only focus on the vintage toys (not that they are getting cheaper to find).

Well, that’s it for now. See you again soon with new updates or maybe a new post on the Impel Trading Cards (I haven’t forgotten about them!)

Happy Collecting and YoJoe!

6 inches of pure evil and silent red danger

2 new 6″ figures arrived in Belgium this week and they are not the friendly kind. First up, we have the Red Ninja.

Red Ninja Box

The question here is, are the Red Ninjas part of the Arashikage Clan or a part of Cobra or somehow both? You see, the art (see below) depicts the figures with the Arashikage symbol on their foreheads, whereas the figure itself has the Cobra sigil there. What’s the deal here? Anybody know why this is? A miscommunication between art en production team? A mistake made somewhere down the line or just some insignificant detail to drive some of the collectors nuts as they try to understand why this is…

Symbol aside, the figure looks really menacing and is stocked with some very deadly weapons. A long sword, a short sword, 2 dagger like weapons (who I know are actually defensive tools called sai), 2 axes and 2 scythes. They probably all have cool Japanese names, feel free to comment them below. Knowing is half the battle after all, and clearly I don’t know them all.

Next up we have the big Cobra honcho himself, Cobra Commander (they will make Serpentor sometime down the line, I’m sure of it, but in my book, CC is the leader of Cobra, Serpie is just a science project gone wrong by Dr. Mindbender).

Cobra Commander Box – Regular version

It was pretty obvious that Cobra Commander would get a figure in the Classified line. It’s actually a nice updated look on his original color scheme. I really like the deep blue and the small gold details. I don’t care for the weapons all that much. The gun looks like he stole it from a pirate somewhere (probably in Disneyland) and the sword looks very ceremonial, as in used by some obscure cult leader to slice open a sheep for an even weirder ritual… Anyway, the figure is great. And talking about great things, just look at the artwork. True pieces of art yet again.

That’s it for now. Believe it or not, but even more figures are in pre-order! So hopefully I’ll be able to show them off here in the not too distant future. This post will go live after the Hasbro Pulscon will hopefully have revealed some new figures. Fingers crossed we get some new goodies coming very soon. Until then, see you again soon and …

Happy Collecting and YoJoe!

24 inch growth

No blue or other pills, but another 4 new Classified figures have arrived. 2 figures from In Demand Toys and 2 from Amazon.com arrived this week. I was quite happy to find out that the figures on Amazon.com could be shipped to Belgium and so I pre-ordered some there when they became available. The first figure to arrive is Arctic Mission Storm Shadow. Now, they packaged him as a member of Cobra, but come on, we can all agree that the look of the figure is based on the 1993 3.75″ Ninja Force Storm Shadow, who by then was a member of the Joe team. A bit of confusion on Habro’s part (to be fair, Storm Shadow did change sides a few times, it’s hard to keep track of) or did they just choose the best look for him?

As with all of the figures released in the Classified series, the art on the box is on point. The artists really delivered the goods on these boxes.

So far, I haven’t had any issues with the quality of the figures (I haven’t actually unboxed them yet, maybe when I do something will come up), but with this one, I can see a (very little) paint error on his face. A small drop of skin tone has dropped on his black covered chin and then a little black drop is located on his gold Arashikage logo… No big deal I guess, but it just caught my attention.

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The next figure I ordered with Amazon that arrived is Gung-Ho. As with Roadblock, it’s a bit of a mystery to me why they chose him over Flint or Lady Jaye or – fill in your favorite figure… In any case, the figure looks good.

In my opinion, the art is better than the figure (something like the book being better than the movie I guess). 

Perhaps it’s the placement in the bubble or maybe it’s a design flaw, but his cap looks a bit off to me, a bit too small for his head.

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That’s it for the Amazon figures for now, there is more to come in the following weeks… I already got my shipping notices. I’ll keep you posted on the blog and on socials. If you’re not following on socials, there’s Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Give us a follow and a like.

Now over to the figures I was able to order over on In Demand Toys. I was not expecting to be able to find the Target Exclusive figures here in Europe easily, but to my surprise, they popped up on the site. I was too late for the Cobra Trooper and The Baroness, but I’m on the waiting list, so hopefully they’ll have some more stock coming. For now, I’m quite happy with a v2 Roadblock (I don’t know why he’s so popular, is this The Rock effect?) and the very cool looking Beach Head.

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These boxes really are cool to put on a shelf just like this. And the contents and artwork are even better.

I must admit that I have my doubt about a second version of Roadblock this early in the line simply because there are so many cool and exciting characters to choose from on both sides of the battle. The figure does look cool and it’s not a simple repaint. He actually looks like a different figure, Heavy Duty vibes on that v2 Roadblock. And very hipster with that beard…

Beach Head is a fan favorite for most Joe fans and the figure is a true homage to the original 3.75″ from 1986. I’m not so sure about the color of his weapons, I’d have preferred them in black or even grey (as the ’86 version), but I guess you can’t have it all. The beret is awesome though!

Roadblock’s art gives me a Devil’s Due kind of vibe, where Beach Head looks a lot more realistic. Both true pieces of art though.

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The back of the boxes for these figures features a depiction of Cobra Island (I’m not seeing a landlocked freighter). Interestingly, both show different details and a slightly different view of the island.

That’s it for now, I hope I can get back to you soon with more inches on the way…

Happy Collecting and YoJoe!

Finally 6 inches

Now, before you click away thinking this is some erectile spam message, just keep on reading. This post is dedicated to the first G.I.Joe 6″ Classified figures that made it to Belgium.

I originally has a pre-order for the Exclusive Snake-Eyes figure with zavvi, but they canceled the order. I’m not going to rant on that again, but it still stings. The other figures I had in pre-order, I canceled myself after that. I don’t want to be their client anymore after they canceled my Snake-Eyes. After some serious browsing the web, I found InDemandToys.co.uk,  who also accepted pre-orders and so I ordered Duke, Scarlett, Destro and Roadblock with them.

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They got shipped early August and I finally got them delivered to my home last week. Check out the pics below. I’m still in the process of getting the new man-attic built, so I’m keeping them MOC (or MISB really), but recently I must admit that I’m thinking more and more about opening up my MISB vehicles and MOC figures. They are toys and shouldn’t they be played with? Well, with ‘played’ I would mean setting up some dio’s or something like that for display, rather than having them hanging on the wall. I’m still considering all the options, but having the new figures in hand, I’m really considering opening them. Anyway, for now, enjoy the pics below from the boxed.

First off, here’s #01, Roadblock. While, we’re at it. Why the fascination with Roadblock? Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great figure and character, but in my perception of the Joe world, he’s not that big a player to warrant 2 figures in the first wave of toys. Is it because of the movies and thus The Rock or am I missing something here?

Next up is #03, Destro. The first Cobra (is he though? The man is CEO of the biggest weapon manufacturer in the world. I would have loved to see some MARS reference tbh.)

At #04, we have Duke. I really like that they kept his look close to his original look. He does look somewhat young. The artwork is a bit strange, he looks quite menacing there and older, more resembling General Hawk if you ask me.

Finally #05 is Scarlett. As deadly as she is beautiful. A detail I’m puzzled about is the fact that the figure has earrings, where her art is not showing any. Talking about the art, she has this real Mona Lisa vibe going, a mysterious smile.

That’s all of them for now… I have some other figures on the way. Still looking for the Target exclusive ones, I may end up buying from … scalpers… on eBay I’m afraid. I have some more shots below of them all together and the beautiful artwork on the back of the boxes. I really must admit that I really like the art. This was something that has always been excellent on the (vintage) figures and vehicles, and it’s keeping the legacy alive with this great art.

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I can’t wait for that Alley Viper. Oh, and the FANG and the Conquest. Will they release more vehicles? I truly hope so. The Dragonfly would be cool too, and a HISS tank. Let’s face it, we won’t be saving any money in the coming weeks/months/years, but we should be glad there are so many toys coming out. I only hope that they don’t forget about the international fans. We could use an EU exclusive Tiger Force line or something like that.

Happy Collecting and YoJoe!