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!

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