An explosive delivery

It has been a while, but I finally got a new Classified figure in. Thanks to the people over at In Demand Toys, I received Firefly this week.

Firefly

The figure itself closely resembles the original 3.75” figure with a 50 shades of grey color scheme. He has a backpack, goggles, a drone, a nice looking gun, a tablet to control the drone and some TNT or other explosive device.

The art on the side

The art on the side of the box is like any other figure of the Classified line of very high quality. This time around (they use a different artist for each figure I read somewhere), the art is by Jeremy Wilson. Check out his website for more gorgeous looking art by him. It shows Firefly doing what he does best, and if you ask me, he is grinning from ear to ear beneath his balaclava.

The other side

The other side, depicts the symbols we’ve seen on the other figures and the number 21. I’m still looking for a complete overview of what all the symbols mean, but let’s give it a shot. The top icon means he’s a deadly contract killer for Cobra, the 2nd symbol shows that there is no known data on his identity, the 3rd symbol is showing TNT explosives – straightforward what this means – and the last symbol is showing he has technical skills (to operate the drones). Feel free to correct me in the comments below.

That’s it for this update. A nice addition to the collection if you ask me. Can’t wait to get more figures in.

Until next time! Happy Collecting and YoJoe!

Time for a POPping lunch!

Just a few weeks ago, I posted an update on the latest Funko Pops I added to my collection. This time around, I can show you some more new ones. The GameStop exclusive lunch box with Duke and Cobra Commander have arrived!

The Transformers’ side of the lunch box, nice, but you’re not here to look at this, right?

The lunch box is really nice. Very bright colors and lovely artwork. I was a bit afraid that the international transport would damage it, but it arrived in pristine condition.

More Transformers on the side… When are the Joes coming?

The box has 2 themes, two sides for the Transformers, two sides for G.I. Joe. You’ve already seen the Transformers’ sides, get ready for the Joe sides of the lunchbox.

The front of the lunchbox

Ain’t she a beauty? The A.W.E. striker in all it’s original box art glory! Crankcase at the wheel, Gung-Ho riding and wielding a shotgun and Dusty hanging on for dear life on the side.

The G.I. Joe side of the lunchbox

On the sides, we get Duke, Shipwreck and Zartan. Nice characters, but the link between them and the box is missing. Sure, they all got a Funko Pop figure made (Zartan even has a chase figure), but other than that… why put them on this lunchbox? The theme is heroes vs villains and contains Optimus Prime or Duke for the good guys and Megatron or Cobra Commander for the bad guys. Both the Transformers are on the side of the lunchbox. Why is good old CC left out and being replaced by Zartan? Strange design choices.

The top of the box

The top of the lunchbox is displaying both the G.I. Joe and Transformers logo flanking the bright red handle. The colored bands around the logo’s match those from the big images on the front and sides which is a nice design touch.

The bottom of the lunchbox

Okay, this isn’t the most interesting shot, but hey, I’m just glad I can show off this lunchbox that I’m picturing it from all sides. The bottom is printed with some legal information about the brands and a ‘Made in China’ sticker.

Now let’s take a look on what’s inside this beauty.

First off, there are 4 buttons, one for each of the heroes and villains. Next, you get a very nice Cobra logo keychain. And finally, there’s also a G.I. Joe logo decal sticker included. While these are all very nice, the Funko Pops are the real attraction here, so let’s take a closer look at them.

The goodies inside.

This is Cobra Commander.

Cobra Commander Funko pop #47

This is the third Funko Pop figure of the big snake. The #44 shows him in his Battle Helmet as well, but with a silver pistol. The #46 (Bait Exclusive) shows him with his cloak. I’ll put a comparison below.

As you can see, each time, there are some differences to the color and the design of the figure. And enough reason for collectors to buy them. There is actually another Cobra Commander out there in Funko Pop land, the #47 Freddy Funko in Cobra Commander style. This one is extremely rare (limited to 400, 2016 SDCC) and is on my radar, just not in my budget for now.

The second Pop in the lunchbox is that one of Duke.

Funko Pop First Sergeant Duke

Blond hair, green pants, tan shirt, green belt. It’s classic Duke.

Duke

I’m surprised it took so long before we got a Duke figure. He is one of the popular figures and a leader of the G.I. Joe team, still, they released Shipwreck, Leatherneck and Beach Head before him. I guess, he only got introduced in the comics after a while (way back in issue #22) as well. Together with Roadblock, who got a Pop before him too.

Well, that’s it for now. I’ve got some more toys incoming soon, be sure to keep following on the Socials and stay up to speed. Any feedback is welcome through commenting here or over on Twitter or Instagram. You can also send an email if you have feedback, questions, praise or remarks.

Happy Collecting and YoJoe!

POP goes the collection

My pre-orders of the Classified and Retro line are on hiatus. It’s been a while since I received something new, and to be honest, my wallet is glad it’s been calm the last few weeks.

The only new additions I got for my collection are some of the new Funko POP figures.

First up we have the Beachhead figure, (un-)lucky #13? At first, I had a hard time finding this one as it’s a Funko 2020 Fall Convention Limited Edition. But as always, perseverance overcomes anything and I was able to find one for a reasonable price through eBay. If you want to read the whole story of his travels, see this post.

Beachhead

Next up is Cobra’s evil genius Dr. Mindbender. He was fairly easy to get. I actually found him om Amazon. The German site that is. I pre-ordered him, but after a while I got an email that they couldn’t deliver it. I had to look around again to find him. The solution was again Amazon, the US site this time. A bit more expensive (due to the shipping costs), but still affordable. Not long after I pre-ordered them there, I found them on the Dutch Amazon site as well for nearly the same price. So, I canceled the US order myself – would this be good for the ecological footprint of the pops? – and placed the order in The Netherlands. A few days after the official release, the Pop landed on my doorstep.

Dr. Mindbender

Together with Dr. Mindbender, I also pre-ordered the Leatherneck figure. It was the same story as above, several pre-orders and cancellations later, it too arrived. Again, Leatherneck? Yes, again. After the 2 mini Retro Pops, this time a full scale Funko Pop one. But the question remains. Why Leatherneck? He isn’t that popular I’d say. My guess is that they had a similar mold and just went looking who fit the mold…

Leatherneck

Around the same time, I also was able to find the missing mini Retro Pop, Cobra Commander. This one was more difficult to find than the other ones. As you know (and we all know what knowing is…), these mini Retro Pops are sold in blind boxes, so it’s a surprise which one you get. Not so much for me, as I only bought them opened, but you get the idea. Shipwreck and the regular Leatherneck have a ratio of 1/6, Snake-Eyes is more limited to 1/24. The tan version of Leatherneck is a Target exclusive, but he too has a ratio of 1/6 (but only in Target). Cobra Commander has a ratio of 1/36, so there are lot less of him going around, making him more expensive and harder to find.

Cobra Commander – Funko Mini Retro Pop

There are a number of new Pops coming our way later this year. They will feature Snake-Eyes, Storm Shadow, Scarlett and The Baroness. These will be tied to the new Snake-Eyes movie. I’ve pre-ordered the regular ones, I’m still looking for the Funko Pop Exclusive Snake-Eyes & Timber.

More Pops will be released later this year…

I have one more order already on it’s way and it’s the Gamestop Exclusive Duke and Cobra Commander with the tin lunchbox. I found this set on eBay and really wanted it as a part of my collection, not just for the Pops, but also for the lunchbox. The package is in transit, so keep following my Socials (Instagram, Twitter, Facebook) and this page to see the update when they arrive. They also come with four buttons (see bottom right of the image below), a Cobra keychain (center of the image) and a G.I. Joe logo sticker (bottom left). Can’t wait to get them in hand. The product image below only shows the Transformers side of the lunchbox. The seller provided me with an image of the G.I. Joe side (see below).

The Gamestop Mystery Box
The other side of the lunchbox.

That’s it for now. Until next time. Keep Safe.

Happy Collecting and YoJoe!

Did I do that?

I’ve done something today what I didn’t expect to be doing but it was necessary. I sold a piece from my G.I. Joe collection. It’s not like I never sold anything before, but that were figures and vehicles I had bought in a lot to complete one of my own or to get something from the lot I didn’t already have. This was different because it was a MISB item I had since I started collecting as an adult, so about 20 years.

I wasn’t actually planning on selling it, but we encountered some trouble with the renovation of our house and if there’s no roof (or a very leaky one) above my Joe stuff, my entire collection could become damaged. I always said and I always will say that I don’t collect for the value, but selling this item has given us some breathing room in the budget for the renovations. With COVID, our total income has took a dip and it doesn’t look like this will end soon.

I thought about it a bit and slept bad for a few nights, but in the end. It wasn’t my favorite vehicle of the line and I can honestly say that it won’t cause me more sleepless nights. I don’t think I’ll miss it in my collection. And hey, you never know, in a few years, maybe I can buy it again if I really do miss having it around.

Keep fighting, keep safe and sane! But above all, Happy Collecting and YoJoe!

Saying goodbye to 2020

The year 2020 is over and I’m confident it will be a year we all shall remember for quite some time and a year that will make it into the history books. It was the year that saw G.I. Joe figures back in retail! There was a pandemic too, and some heated elections, forest fires and disappearing Chinese billionaires. But that doesn’t matter that much if you got hold of these new figures.

I must admit that – at first – I was very skeptical about the new 6″ Classified line. I’ve quite literally grown up with the 3.75″ toy line. Sometimes change can be hard, but sometimes you just have to accept it, I guess. I’m glad that the 3.75″ (or 4″) line did get some love, albeit that the figures we got were a bit overused. As soon as I got my hands on the first 6″ figure, I knew that I was going to get a whole lot more. There is more to love (1.25″ give or take) and the designs were recognizable and yet fresh.

As always, the hardest part was getting hold of the figures over here in Belgium. No toy stores are selling them. We have no online retailers that sell them. For a while, it seemed that I would have to go through eBay and pay scalpers’ prices + shipping to get them. Then I discovered In Demand Toys. They’re a UK based toy store (yes, a physical store as well as a webshop), but they ship to Belgium. I placed a few orders immediately – both for the Classified and the Retro Line. There are still some items that are pre-ordered. But now it seems, Brexit may be causing the prices to go up significantly. And not just the prices, but we’re facing Import Duties and Taxes when receiving goods from the UK. And of course, our local postal service will be more than happy to charge an increased handling fee (INSERT bPOST RANT HERE). Nobody can tell right now how it’s going to be, since even the transport companies don’t know how everything will work. We’ll just have to wait and see.

One more point I’d like to make on the new way Hasbro is distributing the new Joes. It’s killing us International Collectors. We love the brand and we are paying top dollar to get our hands on them, but if the trend of store exclusives and limited editions continue, it will become impossible for us to keep on getting the new stuff. So, if anybody from Hasbro is reading this, get the deals done to sell G.I. Joe back in European stores. Or let us purchase directly from Hasbro. There are a great many of us over here that collect and who go to extreme lengths to get our plastic crack, but it keeps getting increasingly difficult. I won’t beg (just yet, who knows what the rest of this year brings), but I will ask you with great urgency to keep us international collectors in mind.

As you may have read, I still shop on eBay occasionally and I keep a close eye on some of the local marketplace apps we have available. Most of the sellers think that some vintage Joes are worth ten times their weight in gold, but sometimes, I can find a good deal. I’m always surprised if I can find something I never knew existed. Even in French (Part 1 & Part 2). I don’t just want to collect the action figures (in assorted sizes), but also the – admittedly sometimes little weirder – stuff that has G.I. Joe branding.

I guess I also should take some time to look at the 2020 numbers. I don’t make any money from the blog, if you would like to support me in keeping the site online, check out the Supporter page. In short, 2020 has been the best year for the blog until now. There have been 65% more visitors and I averaged about 2 posts per month. I would have thought to have more time to write posts, with working at home, but I have been fortunate to keep my job as well as the workload it comes with. I guess for 2021, I’ll keep trying to find as much time as I can to write (I still have a novel idea in mind that I need to put to paper). The plan is to pick up the Impel Trading Card review and continue posting new additions to my collecting as well as some random posts about just about anything Joe related. Thank you for coming to the blog and taking time to read my thoughts and opinions. If you like, follow me on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram. Or just send an email to bjorn@europeanjoes.com if you have comments, suggestions, or remarks.

I’m hoping 2021 will bring us all a lot more Joes and joy. I hope everybody is safe and healthy, including your friends and families. We won’t let this virus beat us. We are all in this together and we need to take care of each other and the planet we live on.

Happy Collecting and YoJoe!