Just a quick note today to wish you all a very Merry Christmas.
Also, today marks the 10th anniversary of the blog. Ten years ago I started this blog to talk about my collection and the struggles to find ‘new’ toys to add to the collection. In those 10 years, we got 2 movies, Haslab products, the Retro line, the Classified Series, Jada toys miniatures, Super 7 figures and many more. It really is a good time to be a collector. Don’t get me wrong, there are still struggles (Why doesn’t Hasbro ship to Belgium for one?), but at least we’re getting new stuff!
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.
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.
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.
Now, we’re getting back to the Classified line, first up is the #15, Profit Director Destro (great brainstorm on that name by Hasbro)!
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.
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.
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.
And finally, I also got a small present from my colleague when she came over… Tis the season after all 🙂
I’ll probably put up another post this year, but in case I can’t make it, Happy Holidays to you and your family.
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!
Just a quick update this time around on another pre-order that finally made it’s way to Belgium. It’s the Valaverse Action Force Sgt. Slaughter, delivered by the good people over at BBTS.
During #YoJoeJune, Hasbro announced that they will be making an official new G.I. Joe Classified Sgt. Slaughter figure, but while we wait for that one to get made, we already have a 6″ figure of the Sarge in the Action Force series.
The figure comes with removable hat and sunglasses, four pair of hands, a stand, a knife, and a big ass revolver. The revolver and knife can be placed in holsters on either leg.
That’s it for now. Keep your chin up and see you soon!
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!
Happy Collecting and YoJoe!