The first package of 2023 has arrived and what a package it is. Number 53 doesn’t match the Love Bug this time around, but the one and only (if you’re not counting the Valaverse Action Force figure), Sgt. Slaughter.
The box art on this one is unique in the fact that we get multiple versions of The Sarge. Top left is his WWF pose, top right looks taken from the comic books, bottom right from the cartoons/movie, front and center almost looks like a picture and then bottom left is the actual figure ‘s upper body. Somewhere in there is also a detail of his fist clenching a Classified Figure that is holding his mini-figure that is also included.
Also on the side, the art is lifelike and looks the part. Being a windowless cardboard box again, we also get actual photo’s of the figure on the back of the box. Including the actual size of The Sarge, which is, truth be told, not as big as I would have guessed. Still, he’s probably very imposing in the flesh.
That’s all for now. See you back soon. Until then, Happy Collecting and YoJoe!
Karma, karma, karma, karma, karma Kamakura You come and go, you come and go Loving would be easy if your colors were like my dreams Red, gold, and green, red, gold, and green
Mostly green though. And some silver. This package just arrived today straight from that big river store in the US of A. It’s also my first figure that comes in the new all cardboard packaging.
I get the switch from the windowed boxes to these full cardboard ones, it’s less plastic and less cardboard and will probably be more cost effective as well as better for the environment. If it’s better for us as collectors? The jury’s still not out on that. I personally like it. The art has always been great on these Classified figures and this way the focus can be more on the art. What I don’t like is the fact that the size is different from the other Classified figures (I guess I could just open them all up to counter that). The small picture of the figure on the front bothers me. They have all this space to let the art pop from the page, it feels wrong to me to put a picture of the actual photo on the front, they can (and do) that on the back. I’m guessing it’s some legal obligation. All I can say is that it ruins the art. I know, with the window boxes you could also see the figure, and you’re right in pointing that out, but still, that is completely different. They should have fully embraced the new packaging and went for an full-on art attack with these boxes.
On the back of the box, we get a complete view of the figure, complete with a ruler to show the actual size of the figure. I genuinely think this is a good way to show off everything that’s included in the package. Keep it like this, don’t put a small picture on the front and take attention away from the art. Especially since the same image (but larger) is re-used on the back again.
On the back, they also reprinted the photo from the front, this time instead of the bust, the complete figure in an action pose. As I said before, this should be enough, I don’t need to see it on the front.
As a side-note, when will we be getting an official checklist for these figures, comparable to the little pictures we used to get on the back of the cards of the 3&3/4 figures? I know this is also probably not done in a way to keep the production costs as low as possible, but still. How cool would it be to have a small poster inside these boxes with an overview of the classified pictures on one side and then an action shot on the other side? Maybe we’ve been to spoiled with the European catalogs we got in the 80’s and 90’s, but still, I’d really would love to see that make a comeback.
That’s all for now. More new Classifieds coming soon I hope. Happy Collecting and YoJoe!
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
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.
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 🙂
Next up is number 35, Storm Shadow, the second version in the Classified series, but resembling the original Storm Shadow figure from 1984.
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.
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.
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.
Up next, it’s #39, another Joe and I might add a European Joe, it’s Tiger Force Stuart “Outback” Selkirk.
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.
In case the bright orange t-shirt didn’t give it away, the package also clearly shows the Tiger Force logo.
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).
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.
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?
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)
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.
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.
Number 42 on the list and the final figure from this motherload of shipments, is another Python Patrol figure, the 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.
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!
Not exactly a real license, but it does involve a Double O. I honestly gave up hope of ever getting my hands on this figure. I really had to pinch myself this morning when I unboxed the package the mailman just delivered. First impressions? Surprised at the size of the box. Second impressions? Blown away by the beauty of the art and the design of the box. To say that this is a masterpiece, is not doing it any justice. This is one piece of G.I. Joe history that will go down in the books as a Grail item.
Get ready for the most amazing boxset of the entire G.I. Joe Classified line, and it was the first! Let me present to you figure “00” Snake-Eyes (Deluxe).
Inside the beautiful cardboard sleeve is a much sturdier box with the same artwork. This time though, it’s embossed and glossy. In bright red Japanese it says Snake Eyes (according to Google translate – I can’t read Japanese). The picture doesn’t do it any justice, I need to work on my lighting.
Inside the box, you’re greeted by yet again this stunning artwork (they are immensely proud of it and rightly so!). This time around it’s a drawing in charcoal. And the simplicity of this black on the brownish paper just brings out the beauty even more.
Underneath the drawing, the actual figure and accessories are located. Set firmly in some foam to protect everything nicely and securely. To be honest, I’m a bit reluctant to take stuff out of the foam. This is really going to be one of the centerpieces of my collection.
The figure itself is a work or art too. Highly detailed, a sword with sheath, a backpack, an uzi, silencer, gun, knife, extra hand, grenades on his web gear. Remember, this is the first figure of the line. Talk about setting the bar high. I’ve always made a point of addressing just how good the artwork is on the boxes of the Classified figures. This one is no exception. Just look at the details on the image. The figure, the hand on the sword, Timber… It’s truly Art with capital A.
The art on the back of the first wave of figures has always been the same image, this time they also printed it in the same metallic silvery grey of the Snake Eyes artwork. It looks superb!
As I’m writing this, it’s Friday (TGIF!). I know what I’ll be doing for the rest of the weekend (and probably even longer). That is to just look at this piece of art and feel all warm inside.
It’s finally happened. The moment every Joe collector on this planet is dreaming of and unfortunately only few can say they actually lived it. Ladies and Gentlemen, fellow collectors and G.I. Joe enthousiasts. The U.S.S. Flagg has arrived in my collection.
Okay, you eagle-eyed people have seen it already. It’s not exactly the real Flagg. The box actually is a little smaller than expected 🙂
I found this box online while browsing the Etsy marketplace. I got it from the seller ManzoMinis. They not only have the U.S.S. Flagg, but also the HQ, Defiant, Terror Drome, … This time around, I only ordered the Flagg and HQ, but I will definitely be checking out some of the other boxes later. They are very high quality prints and nice glossy cardboard. They fit perfectly with the Classified line and just look awesome. Check them out for yourself and you too could be an admiral!
That’s it for now. Once I get around to displaying my Classified line figures, these boxes will look great as props. See you again soon and as always, Happy Collecting and YoJoe!