New specs (again)

Some of you that have been following the blog may remember these from a while back, but I’ve actually bought a second set op Knockaround G.I.Joe sunglasses.

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And here they are! Can you spot the difference between these and the ones from 2018?

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Now, the glasses themselves are the same, but the baggie they come with is new, this time around, featuring Snake-Eyes on the one side and Storm Shadow on the other.

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The bags feature the original card art of the figures, and I must say, it looks good.

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Now, it wouldn’t be a post about some exclusive Joe related item from the US without some issues with the postal services. This time though, I can’t really blame them. I bought the glasses with a discount code from Knockaround, so instead of paying $30 for them, I only had to pay $24. This is important, because our postal services don’t charge extra fees and duties on packages that have a total value (item + shipping costs) lower than €22 and it so happens that $24 was €21.16. So I thought I was good. I waited quite a while (with Covid and all, that was to be expected), and after about 2 months, I get a mailman ringing and asking for €35.80 ($40.60) to release the package. I was somewhat pissed and wanted to refuse the package, but then I would probably never have that bad-ass baggie, so I paid. I immediately launched in inquiry, both with the post office and Knockaround. As it turned out, Knockaround had put the original value of $30 on the custom papers, so the post office went with that. You could argue that they’re not to blame then. Well sort of, because they claim that part of the fee they ask to get the package through customs is that they open the packages and inspect the products. My package wasn’t opened and inside there was the invoice clearly stating the correct amount of $24. Long story short, Knockaround apologized for the mistake and gave me a refund on the glasses (massive Kudos to the Customer Service team!) and the postal services are asking for €85 administrative fees to correct the customs amount (so not their fees!). This would mean I’d have to pay another €85 to get €13.80 back from the customs amount. Talk about Kafka to the extreme.

It looks like the next few days will be sunny, so I’ll be taking out my sunglasses and enjoying some of the vitamin D.

See you next time!

Happy Collecting and YoJoe!

Is it too late to have some cheer?

A while back I found out that the boys from G.I. Joburg have created a Christmas sweater in G.I.Joe/Cobra theme. As a collector of not only the toys and comics, but also everything remotely connected to Joe, I had to check it out.

It took some time to get my order in. I still don’t really know what was going wrong, but a (very) long story short, with the help of Paul and the people over at Teespring, I was able to place an order. Then the waiting could begin… After all the delay, I didn’t expect to get the sweater in time for this Christmas. It arrived here just after New Year, so I guess I can still wear it, no?

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What would an internationally bought item post be without a good rant about the Belgian Postal Services? Not one of me. That’s right. So here we go (again – sorry for the people who have heard this before… over and over again). I was at work when the postman came by, so he put a notice in the mailbox stating that I could go and pick up my package in a Post Office nearby. And I should bring $40 if I wanted to take it home with me. Now, I’ve said this before, I don’t mind paying taxes, it’s the way capitalism works after all, but they charge me $25 for the ‘service’ of getting the package cleared through customs.  I’m not saying they don’t do something, but they can’t tell me exactly what they do. They just say they perform ‘formalities’. I pay the bill they shove down my throat without having another option whatsoever. A little bit of explanation as to what I’m paying for would be welcome.

Well, enough about that. I’m sure that you’ve heard it all before or maybe even had the unpleasant experience yourself. Feel free to read back some of the previous blog posts, I’m sure you’ll come across a rant about shipping costs sooner or later. Seriously though, shipping is killing the international market for collectors, especially when prices are also going up. Another example for you, I’ve been looking into getting the IDW Michael Golden’s G.I. Joe Yearbook: Artist’s Edition Portfolio Variant. I’ve found it on the official IDW webpage for $40, which is okay I guess, but the shipping would be a whopping $113.79. That would make a total of over $150 and then again I’d have to pay $25 formalities and another $44 on taxes. Insane if you ask me.

As I’m writing this, news has leaked about the upcoming 6″ line. I’m hopeful we’ll be getting something over here in Europe as well. I’m not completely sold on the scale, I guess growing up with up with the 3.75″ figures, they’d always be my first choice. I’m not saying I wouldn’t buy any in 6″. I just want to see it first before I start burning through my wallet (again).

That’s it for now. Check out the G.I.Joburg shop on Teespring for more great designs and I’ll see you next time when we will be getting back on track with the Impel Trading Cards (we’re at #87).

Happy Collecting and YoJoe!

A blast from the past!

Going under again! It doesn´t feel like it´s been just over a year, but let´s go back to January 2017, when we discussed #27 Deep Six. Today we have arrived at #64, and yes, it´s Deep Six again.

Now this is actually the first figure of Deep Six I remember. In fact, it was the second version of Deep Six, a total of 8 figures have been released of Deep Six.

I’m not going to rehash all that I said last year, instead, I’d like to take this opportunity to talk a bit about the re-releasing of figures over the years. I can understand why Hasbro would do this, it brings in a lot of cash and the molds were available. And if it’s done creatively, I guess I can agree with it. Question is, do we really need 16 different versions of Scarlett, 68 (I kid you not) versions of Snake Eyes or 19 versions of Shipwreck? The Joe universe has a ton of great characters we never saw a figure of or just 1 version was released. I really think that even with the available parts, a lot more different figures could have been released.

I mean take a character like Scoop (ok, he only came on board in the DIC cartoons and wasn’t that popular, but he is one of my favorite figures). Only one figure was released back in 1989. This year an updated version was released through the FSS 5.0, but frankly, that’s too rich for my taste. Don’t get me wrong, the figure does look great and I would definitely want to add some of those figures to my collection, but purchasing them is a big cost already ($31.25 per figure). If I add the shipping costs and import duties per shipment, the price for one figure totals at about $60 for me. As much as I like – no love – G.I. Joe, I just can’t pay that kind of money for it. Sorry for yet another rant about this, but seriously, international collectors are really … well, screwed for lack of a better word.

Back to the point I was trying to make. We could have gotten so many figures we didn’t. Professor Apple, Candy (or Bozo), the White Clown, Magda, … I’m sure you all know some great characters that were never made. Some of these have been created by customizers, but those are not available for most fans.

Reading through this post, you may get the impression I’m disappointed with the figures we did get. Rest assured, I’m not. Most of the figures that were released, even the n-th release of Duke, Cobra Commander or Snake Eyes are small pieces of art. If I had the money, I’d start a museum for my Joes. Setting them up in display cases like the shots from the catalogs, how cool would that be. The problem would be, what could we sell in the museum shop? Not a lot of stuff is coming out (let’s hope the movie reboot is a huge success and sales are rocketing), so what’s left? There are a lot of fans of the franchise who create great content. Think of Robert Carson Mataxis’ great 3DJOES or Christopher Hemsworth’s GIJOE365. Both these guys have taken their love for G.I.Joe to the next level and beyond and have created new content for the fans. Thanks to these guys, the community grows and continues to live on. So a very big thank you to them! I hope that in a small way, my blog can also add to the community and inspire more of the fans to speak out and restore G.I. Joe back to its glory. (I don’t have shares in Hasbro in case you were wondering, just a fan that doesn’t want to see his idols slip into the big black hole of nothingness…)

Time to wrap it up for this time around. Next time we’ll take a look at another one of my favorite figures that also got a mere 2 figures released (the second one being a straight repaint, 50 shades darker 🙂 ) Thread carefully and see you again next time.

Happy Collecting and YoJoe!