Ok, don’t take the title of this post to literally. I’m still an amateur, but loving what I do. Our friends over at The Full Force Podcast pointed me to the new Ultra PRO collaboration with Hasbro and more particularly the official G.I.Joe and Cobra licensed products they will be releasing later this year. As a collector of all things G.I.Joe and trading cards, I naturally had to take a look at these and present them to you here. So let’s get into it.
First up are the sleeves. They are releasing 3 different versions, 1 Cobra themed and 2 Joe ones. Here’s the information from the Ultra PRO website.
Play at your next gaming session with confidence & style using these official G.I. Joe Deck Protector sleeves. Made with archival-safe, polypropylene, non-PVC film, Ultra PRO’s Deck Protector sleeves keep your valuable gaming and trading cards safe by providing a protective film layer around your card, keeping it from surface scratches and other wear & tear typically caused by game play. These sleeves are sized to fit standard cards with dimensions measuring 2.5″ x 3.5″. Made with Ultra PRO’s proprietary ChromaFusion technology, these sleeves offer improved seal strength, highly detailed artwork while minimizing delamination.
Official G.I. Joe Deck Protector sleeves protects your valuable trading cards.
The first Joe Design features our beloved or hated (choose the blue or red pill) First Sergeant, Duke. The design is inspired by the 2008 figures that was released as part of the DVD Battles. Duke appeared in this set with the JUMP jet pack and the American flag. The look references the intro for G.I. Joe The Movie, where we see Duke in action.
The second Joe Design shows Snake-Eyes and Timber. With over 160 characters to choose from, it’s probably only a coincidence that they ended up with Snake-Eyes. Ok, enough with the sarcasm. Snakes is the most popular Joe out there and this art is nice altough Timber does look a bit strange.
And then we have the Cobra design. I have to say that this is my favorite design. Just plain and simple, the Cobra insignia in distressed red on a black backdrop. Simple, elegant and just so freaking awesome!
Next up are the boxes. These come in 2 designs.
Store and protect your favorite deck with this G.I. Joe PRO-100+ Deck Box, sized to fit 100 standard size (2.5″ x 3.5″) gaming cards double sleeved in Ultra PRO Deck Protector sleeves. Each box features detailed, full color artwork. This box is light, easy-to-carry and made with archival-safe, rigid polypropylene material. The self-locking lid design makes it easy to secure your deck, while thumb notch sections provide easy access to cards. Each box comes with one (1) deck divider with full color artwork.
These are, well, in your face full color designs. For me, it’s a bit too much. Don’t get me wrong, I like the art, but it’s just not for me. I personally store my cards in a Ultra PRO collector’s album (binder) with 9-pocket pages. I guess these boxes are more for people that actively play with their cards and need to transport a deck rather than keeping a collection on hand.
The final piece of the collection is a playmat. Strangely enough, they only have a Cobra design for this one. The mat is a standard size measuring approximately 24″ wide by 13.5″ tall.
This too, is for the players, not so much for the collectors, though I do think I’ll be getting me one of them. The design is – again – fairly simple, looking more like a beer label than an international terrorist organization.
To conclude, I’d like to point out that all these products will come onto the market later this year. I’ve asked Ultra PRO for some more information (or a press kit), but I haven’t heard back from them in over 2 weeks, so I decided not to wait any longer and just get the post out there with the pictures I could find on their website. Safe to say that this post is in no way sponsored by Ultra PRO. As for prices, on the site I could find that the sleeves will cost $ 9.99 for a pack of 100. The boxes should sell for $ 4.99 and the mat will set you back $23.99. Maybe your local dealer can get you better prices. I don’t believe they will be available here in Belgium, so I’ll be most likely getting them on eBay or from an online store.
All things considered I quite like this set of Trading Card essentials. I find it a bit a odd that they have 2 Joe designs for the sleeves and then only a Cobra Playmat. But that won’t spoil the fun. My money will go to the Cobra sleeves and maybe the Playmat. I’m not a fan of Duke and the Snake-Eyes sleeves don’t do it for me either. The boxes are superfluous if you ask me and the design is to much.
That’s it for now, a bit of a different post, but straight up my alley don’t you agree. See you again soon.
Happy Collecting and YoJoe!