It’s been a while, but there’s more Joe than ever.

I know it has been a while since I last posted something, but that doesn’t mean that my collecting days have come to a halt. It’s hard sometimes to find the time to sit down and write a post down. I often start a quick note to remember I have to write a post about something, but then I don’t have the pictures that go along with it or it slips my mind. Still, I always keep an eye out for G.I. Joe and although the collection hasn’t been expanded much, here are some new things that have entered the EJ collection.

A TPB filled with Saturday Morning Adventures.

First up is the TPB of the Saturday Morning Adventures comic books. I already had the floppies, but this was a bargain a while ago on Amazon and so I pre-ordered it. Occasionally my LCBS can’t order the comics and this leaves a gap in my collection (I’m still looking for IDW ARAH #259 – #265 that weren’t sold over here during the pandemic). By getting the TPB, I can at least make sure that I can read the entire story.

R/C V.A.M.P.

Next up, is the Jada Toys R/C V.A.M.P. Mk-II. This one has been on my radar for a while, but I never seemed to be able to find it here in Europe. At the end of October, I was browsing the U.S. Amazon site for anything Joe, and I noticed the price was dropped to around $20 for this one. With shipping and taxes, it was still below $50 and so I snatched it up. I haven’t tried it out yet, it’s just sitting in a box for now. I still can’t wrap my head around the fact that they keep on using an image of the A.W.E. Striker on their boxes, even when it’s a V.A.M.P., but still, a very nice addition to my collection.

Golden 15

Now, we’re getting back to the Classified line, first up is the #15, Profit Director Destro (great brainstorm on that name by Hasbro)!

Who’s your Director?

This one has taken a while to get here from the U.S. I had it on pre-order a long time ago via a colleague that lives in the U.S. She finally got to travel again to our HQ in Belgium and she was able to bring this one with her. The golden gun, the leopard cape, it’s a look. Definitely a look.

For the Nite is dark and dangerous.

A second figure she was able to bring over, is the Fortnite x G.I. Joe Snake Eyes figure. I have to say, I only briefly tried to play Fortnite a while ago and I’ve never had much fun playing FPS games, so I passed on playing more. I did however read the Batman Fortnite comics and they featured Snake Eyes in an issue. So when this one was announced, I didn’t really think too hard and got my pre-order in.

Zero Point? No, lots of points!

This figure is a really nice version of Snake Eyes. You have to ignore the idiot weapons that he came with (see below), but the figure itself and his katana are gorgeous. This may be the best version of Snake Eyes in the Classified line if you ask me.

These will probably stay in the box indefinitely.

And finally, I also got a small present from my colleague when she came over… Tis the season after all 🙂

Ho-Ho-Ho

I’ll probably put up another post this year, but in case I can’t make it, Happy Holidays to you and your family.

Happy Collecting and YoJoe!

This week’s lucky numbers are …

Of the top of my head, or better yet, straight from the lovely people over at In Demand Toys via the postman into my collection. Number 33, 34, 35, 36, 38, 39, 41 & 42

Lucky numbers – I messed up the order – I know, but this way, it’s 3 red ones, 2 blue ones and again 3 red ones. Symmetry trumps numerical ordering…

Waiting for the numerous pre-orders can be long and hard (at least that what she said), but it also means that sometimes, you get a big box of goodies all at once. This week, my mailman dropped of a box of 8 figures. Let’s get into it.

We start of this big delivery with number 33, my second B.A.T. I recently got the first one in, so I won’t go into much detail here. Click the link above to read the post on this one.

We continue with the #34, the Alley Viper.

Alley Viper

This one is again a 6 inch update of the classic 3.75” figure. The bright orange with blue accents is really popping and resembling of the original figure. The High-Vis orange is not very subtle, then again as urban assault troopers, they do stand out in the crowd. They come fully prepped with several weapons and of course the iconic Cobra Shield.

This is a perfect example of the hommage the creators of the Classified Series try to accomplish with this figures. The Alley Vipers have been a fan favorite army builder and I truly believe that this figure will also find it’s way to collectors in multiple amounts rather than just the one. I know I have ordered another one 🙂

As the art shows, you can’t just have one Alley Viper…

Next up is number 35, Storm Shadow, the second version in the Classified series, but resembling the original Storm Shadow figure from 1984.

Tommy – not the Green Power Ranger!

I feel like I keep on repeating myself here, but Hasbro has really found the sweet spot between updating the figures and keeping them familiar enough for the adult collectors to keep on buying them. One could argue that the first Classified version closely resembles the 1993 Ninja Force 3.75” version of the figure, but it doesn’t get any more iconic than this all white ninja look for Stormy.

We’ve arrived at #36, 2 figures if you count the animal companions as separate figures, we have Spirit and Freedom.

Spirit Iron-Knife

I’ve always made a point of pointing out how great the artwork is on these classified boxes. This time though, I’m not a big fan. It’s far from ugly, but it just doesn’t work for me like the other figure’s art has done. As ever, art is very personal and I’m sure others will like this style a lot, but I’m not feeling it. It’s like the Tom Scioli TF vs G.I. Joe comic books, some people love the artstyle, I had to force myself to read them all. It’s Joe, so I did have to have them and I read them.

That’s the Spirit!

As with the Storm Shadow figure, this one closely resembles the original 3.75″ figure of Spirit that was released in 1984. This time around, Freedom gets a huge update and becomes an actual toy with moveable legs and wings, rather than a simple plastic animal accessory.

I’ve been looking for Freedom, I’ve been looking so long.

Up next, it’s #39, another Joe and I might add a European Joe, it’s Tiger Force Stuart “Outback” Selkirk.

Outback

Although the original 3.75″ figure was released in 1987 (with the bright ginger hair), we got the 1990 Tiger Force repainted version with the white hair exclusively in Europe. It took me quite some time before I realized that the regular figure even existed. I only knew the TF version, later on, in the comic books, I saw Outback in his white ‘Survival’ t-shirt and with the red hair.

One mean looking tiger… and man!

In case the bright orange t-shirt didn’t give it away, the package also clearly shows the Tiger Force logo.

Tiger Force!

The artwork here is again of the highest quality. With the move to full cardboard packaging later this year/next year, I truly hope that they push the artwork more to the foreground. If I have any complaints about the artwork, it would be that they limit it to a small corner of the front of the box (and some details on the side, but there it gets a blue/red haze).

You don’t want to mess with this guy…

From the Outback into the Wild, we have arrived at the #38 figure (yes, I just discussed #39, read the text under the first picture to know why). It’s Croc Master and Fiona. Again, 2 figures really – not including the itsy-bitsy baby crocs.

Fiona and Croc Master (from left to right).

If I was to channel my internal Hector Ramirez, I’d be asking: Who was Fiona? What did she do to make an extremely nice G.I. Joe toy designer name a crocodile after here? An ex-wife? Mother-in-law? Annoying boss?

That belt is trying to hypnotize me.

The figure itself is again a very well executed hommage to the original 3.75″ figure. If you can believe it, there have been 5 versions in the 3.75″ line of Croc Master (and only 1 of Scoop – come on Hasbro, give me a Classified Scoop – I know, there was a G.I. Joe Collectors’ Club Figure Subscription Service volume 5 figure as well of Scoop, but I’m not counting that one)

Little green croc
Little white croc

This brings us to #41, the Python Patrol B.A.T. Again a beloved sub-line that gets some new TLC from the Classified Crew.

Python Patrol B.A.T.

I don’t know if we ever had the Python Patrol figures and vehicles on the shelves here in Belgium. I never had any of them as a kid, that I know. As much as I love the regular B.A.T. figure in the Classified run, I have to say that this color scheme is absolutely lovely on that figure. The grey, the dark red, the bright yellow. I all just fits so well together.

Nicely detailed chestplate

Number 42 on the list and the final figure from this motherload of shipments, is another Python Patrol figure, the Python Patrol Viper.

It says Cobra Viper… which is true, but it should have said Python Patrol Viper!

Being a repaint of the #27 figure, it does fit in the Python Patrol theme, but the color scheme is not as nice as with the B.A.T. figure. Hasbro wouldn’t be Hasbro if they didn’t think about the numbers and so re-using an army builder figure in a different color scheme/sub-unit has worked in the past, and will probably forever be a money-making strategy.

No scarf!

They did get cheap with the accessories though; the figure doesn’t come with a scarf. Pro tip for the Joe team: AIM for the exposed neck!

Wow, that was quite a list and an exquisite set of figures if you ask me. With the prices going up (not just USD vs EUR vs GBP), but also pretty much everything else getting increasingly expensive, I must face the reality and change my attitude from “I have to collect them all” to “This one is nice to have, that one I can skip”. There are still some pre-orders on the way, but going forward, I’m not counting on getting every figure that is released. Does that make me sad? Yes. Does it also mean I can keep my house warm and have food on the table? Yes, it does. Priorities must be set and as much as I love G.I. Joe – and if you’ve been following the blog for a while (it will be 10 years in December!!!), you know I really do love the brand – sometimes hard choices must be made.

If you’d like to support the blog, there is a gofundme online, mainly to cover the costs of running the website and the rest will go to the Classified H.I.S.S. tank fund, because if I have to stop collecting, I want to go out BIG! Feel free to share the link with friends and family. I know it’s challenging times for everyone, but every little bit helps.

Thanks for making it to the end of this long post. See you next time!

Happy Collecting and YoJoe!

It’s a small world after all…

Now that this happy little Disney tune will be in your brain for the rest of the day, you might think my work here is done. Keep on reading though, because something small has been added to my collection.

Not so long ago, I wrote a post on some small scale (one might even say tiny) Joe themed toys from Jada Toys. This week, I received a new addition for that subcollection.

Cc and the Stinger

As with the previous post, the main complaint I have is that this is the exact same figure that was released in the 6-pack and in the Series 1 boxset that contains 18 figures.

Cobra Commander

Other than that, it looks awesome. I’ve stopped complaining about them using the A.W.E. Striker as boxart for everything. I still don’t get it, but I just let it go (really going for all the Disney vibes here).

Stinger

The vehicle itself looks really good in this 1:32 scale. Lots of details and a true little version of the original toy. The bodywork is the same as that ot the V.A.M.P. they released with Duke, so a bit of an easy release if you ask me. Still, definitely worth it.

On the back, they are now showing not only the set with Duke and the V.A.M.P., this one but also still the H.I.S.S. tank with Destro. Where is this set? Has anyone seen this in real life? I need it! Okay, that Destro figure will be the same as the previous 2 releases, but that H.I.S.S. just looks stunning. Come on Jada Toys, what’s keeping you?

The back

That’s it for now, see you soon! Happy Collecting and YoJoe!

4 ninja’s and a First Sergeant

If they were walking into a bar, that would probably make one hell of a joke. Or a painful experience. Whatever the case may be, they didn’t wonder into some shady establishment, but arrived here in my collection.

First of, I received the 2003 figure set consisting of Duke, Storm Shadow and Snake Eyes. This set comes with the Spy Troops movie on DVD.

3 figures, 1 dvd.

Let’s start with Duke. This appears to be the v13 of the figure, but on YoJoe.com, it only shows him being released as a single carded figure or in a set with Cobra Commander. I know that YoJoe.com is currently not the most reliable source, but these figures are almost 20 years old (just let that sink in…), so I do think it should be on the site. Maybe this was an international released pack and that’s why it’s not picked up on the site? I don’t really know. Information on this pack is very limited to people selling it online and even then, the intel is limited. If you know more about this, let me know. As you can see below, the backside of the card is aimed for the international market, not showing any file cards, but lot’s of information in many different languages.

No filecards 😥

The same goes for Storm Shadow (clearly v11) and Snake Eyes (v17). They are listed as being part of a 2-pack, but not in this weird threesome pack.

Storm v11
Snake Eyes v17

The other weird thing about this pack is the Duke figure. He’s given the ninja treatment by not having an O-ring, but being fitted with an nunchuck swinging action feature. So looking at the accessories, Duke should come with a gun and communicator device, but also with the nunchucks. Storm Shadow then gets a sword and dagger and Snake Eyes is equipped with an uzi, sword and communicator device. In short, Duke doesn’t fit in here. Put in Scarlett or Zartan and you’d get a pack that actually makes sense. It’s like trying to make Roadblock into a ninja, nobody in their right mind would try that, right?

It really is a little mystery if you ask me. What won’t be a mystery for long is the math you’re doing in your head right now. The title talks about 4 ninja’s and we only have seen two. Who could the other 2 be… Well, let’s find out. They came in a mystery box…

Any guesses?

If you know, you’ll know the code on the box. For everyone still trying to guess, look at this next picture.

Indemandtoys.co.uk 👍👍👍

Yes, this package was ordered through In Demand Toys yet again. As with all my previous orders there, everything went smoothly and the package was delivered fast and undamaged on my doorstep. If you haven’t shopped with them, what are you waiting for? Seriously, they have everything from Star Wars to Power Rangers and from the TMNT to G.I.Joe. Check them out, buy something and tell them I sent you 😁

Now back to the actual delivery. The box contains the 2021 O-ring figures of Storm Shadow and Snake Eyes!

Nice looking art
Similar art on the back and a lot of languages.

Now, inside the box, for now we have Schrodinger’s ninjas. I haven’t opened the box yet. All my Joes are still in storage and I’m holding off on opening this set until I can display them properly. I won’t leave you hanging though, here’s a picture I found online.

Brothers on cards.

From what I’ve read online, the card backs are quite flimsy. Not the quality we remember from the original O-ring figures. The art is still the same. The plastic bubbles are also much deeper than the original ones, giving them a better display look. The file cards are on the back, but they are more of a multi-language name card rather than the classic file cards we all know and love. The figures are about the same size as the original ones, maybe just a teeny-tiny bit shorter, but I don’t have the exact measurements so I’m going by pictures I’ve seen online.

It’s great to see these vintage figures back. This year marks the 40th anniversary of the 3 3/4 inch Joes and it really is a nice tribute to the line by releasing these 2 figures (and the Cobra pack coming later this year). Did we need another set of Storm Shadow and Snake Eyes figures in the smaller scale? Probably not. I never had the original Snake Eyes figure, so this is most likely as close as I can get to the original figure without spending to much money. Also, the Classified versions of the figures do look great and closely resemble these figures. I have to say that I’m really surprised by the quality of the Classified line figures, the details on the figures and the box art. For both display value and playability, 6 inch is looking to be the new 3 3/4 inch. Bigger is better they say. I like them both and will continue to get both sizes of figures for my collection.

That’s all for now. I’ll be back soon with more updates to the collection, until then… Happy Collecting and YoJoe!

I think Sarge lost his keys

I wrote a while back (really long ago) about how I used to go play with a friend that also had some Joes and how we didn’t have any Cobra vehicles (I picked up some in the meantime) so we always played that the Vipers were stealing our Joe vehicles. This time though, I finally got one of my favorite vehicles in a Cobra vibe. A custom Warthog.

Ain’t she a beauty?

I found this custom on an online marketplace in France and snatched it up. The vehicle is a bit banged up, but that’s part of the charm. It has most original parts, but also has some new additions.

A bit banged up.

The Warthog has always had a special place in my heart and collection. Not only is it a great vehicle. It really does look like a menacing tank. But it’s also a troop carrier with place for some figures in the back and 3 upfront.

Cobra!

It’s also the last toy I remember getting from my grandmother. We were on a day trip to a little town just across the border in The Netherlands and there was a small toy store about halfway through the shopping street. They had a big window display with lots of toys, but the real magic was just to the right of the door when you entered. They had a whole wall of G.I. Joe. Now, before you get too excited, the wall was about 2m high and 2m long, so still relatively small, but to me it was the most G.I.Joe I could ever see together. We often went to that town, like 6 times a year and each time I was able to bring back at least one figure. This time though, my grandmother was feeling very generous and I got to go home with the Warthog. I still remember sitting next to her in the car ride home with the box in my lap. It truly is one 9f my happiest Joe memories. My grandmother died shortly after that and this probably caused an even bigger love for the Warthog.

Just look at that lovely face!

This custom version has a light at the front seat and more – though less impressive – rockets mounted on the back. This truly represents the feeling we had as kids when we were playing that Cobra stole this vehicle from the Joes. It reminds me of the simpler times. Ain’t that what collecting is about? Catching those old feelings of joy and happiness from your youth and cherishing it? For me, that plays a big part.

That’s it for now. Happy Collecting and YoJoe!

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