The mailman rang just once

I was quick to open the door, knowing what he was bringing for me. I was expecting my Classified Flint and Lady Jaye pre-orders and Duke, Cobra Commander and Lady Jaye from the Retro Line.

Let’s start with the Classified figures of Flint and Lady Jaye. I really like how Lady Jaye turned out. You’ve probably seen enough pictures of the figure by now, so I’m just going to post some shots of the artwork (did I mention how amazing the art from the Classified Series is?).

Flint – front art
Flint – side art
Lady Jaye – front art
Lady Jaye – side art

Moving on to the retro line figures, I’ll start with Lady Jaye. I’m not a huge fan of the art, I can’t quite put my finger on it, but something is off there. The head sculpt though is looking really good.

Lady Jaye – card art
Lady Jaye – figure

Moving on to Cobra Commander. Not much to say here, he’s donned in his old school battle helmet and Cobra Blue uniform. Always has been a very good look and it is done really well here again.

Cobra Commander – card art
Cobra Commander – figure

One honorable mention should go to the Commander’s gun. It really does look like his original gun. Nice touch!

Cobra Commander – gun

And then finally, we have the Joes’ Top Sergeant, Duke. The card art is cool, the figure is something nightmares are made off.

Duke – card art
Duke – catching flies with his mouth

That’s all for now, but I’ll be back very soon with another update. Stay tuned.

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!

All rise and bow for your leader! 

I know you can’t rise and bow at the same time, but you really should to pay respects to the greatest charismatic leader of all time. True story. Ladies and gentlemen, the Impel Trading Card #32 features the astute leader Donald Trump… Seriously, we don’t know Cobra Commander’s real name, so it could be true.

Continuing on the Trump resemblance, he too had a brother that died through alcohol addiction (Fred – Crimson Guardsmen series link!). He too is a bit strange and not connected to the real world. He too wants power and respect but is genuinely incapable as a leader. I could go on, but I don’t want to give him any more credit than he deserves. He isn’t half the bad guy genius CC is 🙂

Cobra Commander has been in the comics since Issue #1 way back in 1982 where he kidnapped Dr. Adele Burkhart. Since then, every single one of his schemes has been thwarted by the Joes – or his own underachieving minions. Later on in the Marvel run, we learn small tit-bits about the Commander’s past, but we never get the full story. Who is the man behind the mask? What was his life like before Dan was killed in the car crash that connected CC with Snake Eyes?

There is no doubt that he is a bad guy. He’s psychopathic, murderous, plain evil. But still, on some level, I can sympathize with him. He was living the American Dream but lost everything without being able to control the events that lead up to his breakdown. He blamed the government, the Big Money, the Corporations. Not to go all psychologist on you, but for some people, blaming others is easier than admitting to their own flaws and failures(or those of their loved ones). And when sh*t things happen you can’t control, who’s there to blame? Maybe history is repeating itself. Maybe Cobra is being (re-)founded as you are reading this.

In any case, let me get back on track here with the Cobra Commander figures that have been released over the years. Can you believe that 54 iterations of the man exist? My all-time favorite still is the first version in Cobra blue and with the battle helmet. He is still awol from my collection, though I have several later versions with the battle helmet.

My very first one was the 1984 v2 mail-in version. We had the Belgian fan club over here and they also organized the mail-ins. I’ll have to dig through some of my old papers that are still at my parents’ house, but I’m pretty sure I still have my membership card. I didn’t really like the hooded version. He seemed to skinny to be a good leader (now with CC that’s debatable of course). Next, I have the v4, with the reddish semi see-through helmet visor. Great looking figure with bright colors worthy of the glorious leader CC is. I liked that you could almost see who was behind the mask. I remember having the 12″ version of the Commander as well. He came with a removable hood and underneath was a bad-ass looking head sculpt, but also with half of his face still hidden behind bandana tied over his mouth and nose… I guess we will never see the real face of the Commander. Unless this is really it…

Next, I have the v4, with the reddish semi see-through helmet visor. Great looking figure with bright colors worthy of the glorious leader CC is. I liked that you could almost see who was behind the mask. I remember having the 12″ version of the Commander as well. He came with a removable hood and underneath was a bad-ass looking head sculpt, but also with half of his face still hidden behind bandana tied over his mouth and nose… I guess we will never see the real face of the Commander.

In the Sunbow cartoons, you can clearly see that CC is human, but there is one episode in which he is eating without the mask and Destro walks in on him and is repulsed by what he sees. There is no explanation given, but maybe they blended Snake Eyes’ deformities with CC or was this already setting us up for Cobra-La? Who knows.

Let me get this out of my system right now. As a movie, I like G.I.Joe the movie. As to the story and the whole Cobra-La thing, no thank you. I mean, the stories Larry Hama wrote as background for Cobra Commander and the Joes, are good. No not good, great, better than great, they are Literature people. That’s right, with capital L. Why would you want to change that and give us something like Cobra-La instead? Same goes for the live-action movies of late. They are not bad action films (I’ll let you decide if that means they’re good), but they are NOT G.I.Joe. I don’t think it would have been that hard to translate the whole Hamaverse into a more current setting. Iraq or Afghanistan instead of Vietnam, a megalomaniac entrepreneur instead of a used car salesman (oh, there’s the D again). And lasers, definitely lasers 🙂

Now back to G.I.Joe (tune).

The DIC cartoons take place after the story of the movie and we get CC back as (sort of) a human after the Baroness frees him from the life of being Serpentor’s pet. He then creates the Python Patrol (how many snake references can there still be made?) and takes Cobra back from Serpentor who gets turned into an iguana (is this G.I. Joe or Dora the Explorer?). Anyway, Cobra later joins forces with the Joes in battling against Headman and play a football match somehow… Who wrote these things anyway? Probably someone from Headman’s followers.

In the Renegades series, CC is an evil businessman (sounds familiar?) and Cobra is somewhat legit. Naturally, the man behind the unmasked man is a masked and disfigured madman, so Cobra Industries is just the bad guys we love to see. As with the movies, I don’t see this series as canon within the Hamaverse, but as far as stories go, I like it a lot.

Well, that’s it for now. I’m glad I finally found the time to finish this, I have had this as a draft for weeks. Over a thousand words, sorry if I dragged it on too long, but it’s CC, he likes being talked about.

Next time, we’ll take a look at the … hold on, I’m getting a call. I’ll get back to you.

Happy collecting and YoJoe!