Wednesday, July 1, 2015

The Future of the FSS

My thoughts at least...
Somebody posted these composite images of various GI Joe figures on various GI Joe Facebook pages and just slammed most of them. 
"I don't like any of these guys."
Well, why did you waste the time to make up the images and then post about your displeasure? Troll...
I liked the pictures enough that I thought that I would consider the potential of each character in terms of future GI Joe Club FSS releases. Some have already been done by the Club or recently by Hasbro.

I thought I would list each figure from each image and give a few thoughts about each. (top to bottom, right to left)

Row 1:
Frag Viper - recent Club Convention exclusive figure, don't think they'll make general release
Alley Viper - recent Hasbro releases during PoC and Retaliation
Annihilator - recent Club Convention exclusive figure, don't think they'll make general release (I'd love to get a few!)
Backblast - great character, would love to see an update
Countdown - cool character, probably doubtful with astronaut gear
Darklon - recent Club Convention exclusive figure, don't think they'll make general release
Dee-Jay - least favorite BF2000 figure, but if the Club ever did a Convention set with an update to BF2000, they'd have to bring him back
Deep Six - awesome figure, but doubtful that the Club or Hasbro would revisit this version
Row 2:
Dogfight - I like this guy, I'll take an update
Downtown - same situation, I'll take an update
Gnawgahyde - recent BBTS exclusive as "Gnaw"
HEAT Viper - recent Hasbro 50th figure, decent
Hot Seat - doubtful from either the Club or Hasbro
Long Range - doubtful from either the Club or Hasbro
Aero Viper - maybe? Pilot figures are probably pretty easy
Track Viper - maybe from the Club? Just make the helmet look like a human head could actually fit in it!
Payload - awesome original sculpt, something close to it will probably never be seen again
Row 3:
Recoil - yes please!
Rock&Roll - yes please! With the mini guns!
Scoop - yes please! I like the character
Snake Eyes - this version has been done by Hasbro
Stalker - yes to the arctic ranger!
TARGAT - would be great as an FSS figure, don't know if the Club could repro the back pack
Wild Boar - blah, don't care
Windchill - yes please! With the quality of the Club's Frostbite please!
Night Viper - recent Hasbro Retaliation/50th release

Row 1:
Claymore - Club Convention exclusive
The Fridge - doubtful, don't care
Mercer - recent BBTS exclusive (exceptional!)
Red Dog - recent BBTS exclusive
Taurus - the Bull... recent BBTS exclusive
Golobulus - with Pythona as the Club membership figure next year... a Convention set in the works?
Nemesis Enforcer - been done by Hasbro, maybe the Club could re-release and update paint apps?
Royal Guard - maybe the Club will tackle this one? I'd hate it because I would want several!
Row 2: BattleForce 2000 2100!
Avalanche - Club revisit? Convention Set? That would be cool!
Blaster - Club revisit? Convention Set? That would be cool!
Blocker - Club revisit? Convention Set? That would be cool!
Dodger - Club revisit? Convention Set? That would be cool!
Knockdown - Club revisit? Convention Set? That would be cool!
Maverick - Club revisit? Convention Set? That would be cool!
Super Trooper - Yes! Club Membership figure? Sure! Do it!
Skystriker - recent Club Convention figure
Row 3: Sky Patrol
Airborne - Club revisit? Convention Set? That would be cool!
Airwave - Club revisit? Convention Set? That would be cool!
Altitude - Club revisit? Convention Set? That would be cool!
Drop Zone - Club revisit? Convention Set? That would be cool!
Sky Dive - Club revisit? Convention Set? That would be cool!
Static Line - Club revisit? Convention Set? That would be cool!
Steel Brigade - Hasbro PoC & 50th release, great figure!
Steel Brigade Commander - recent Club Convention figure

Row 1: The Original Crew! 
Breaker - Hasbro release
Cobra Trooper - awesome 30th/PoC upgrade. Please, someone reuse the mold!
Flash - modern update needed
Grunt - modern update needed
Grand Slam - modern update needed
Row 2:
Hawk - revisited by Hasbro as the General
Steeler - current Hasbro 50th figure
Rock&Roll - I'd rather have a version 2 update
Scarlett - modern update - reuse the Resolute body mold!
Snake Eyes - version 54 is the best, that is all
Row 3:
Short Fuze - modern update needed
Stalker - recent Club Convention figure, head being used as Jammer for FSS 4.0, keep this character active!
Clutch - modern update needed, keep this character active!
Zap - modern update needed
Cobra Officer - similar to Cobra Trooper upgrade, same basic body, keep it alive!

Row 1:
Mutt & Junkyard - Hasbro from 2008, could use a modern update
Cover Girl - Club figure from FSS 1.0
Gung Ho - 50th update by Hasbro - on the way!
Lowlight - nothing better than the PoC update by Hasbro
Row 2:
Wetsuit - this version kinda done by Hasbro in '08, the Club did a land uniform version in 2011 as a Convention exclusive
Flint - recent 50th update
Beach Head - recent 50th update
Leatherneck - recent 50th update

I guess I don't have many suggestions for future FSS releases. Eventually, the Club is going to run out of ideas. Will Hasbro allow them to do more new characters? Could they turn to some Adventure team type figures with new "vintage" style head sculpts? Mike Power in 4" scale? That would be cool!

Just an exercise in imagination. How about your thoughts?

Oreobuilder's Blog: GI Joe Resurgence II

The crew over at Oreobuilder's Blog is made up of some amazing customizers. I first became aware of the blog when they did a proper 50th Anniversary salute to GI Joe. They've begun a project called GI Joe: Resurgence II, continuing their story line from resurgence in which new characters, with a few older characters, were introduced. July will feature daily updates on Resurgence II. I'm going to just list each day's entry with a direct link on this ridiculous blog so that a few more people can see the wonder of Oreobuilder's Blog.

I can't guarantee that I'll be able to keep up with new updates every single day, but I'll try. With vacation and back to work at the end of the month, I'll probably fall behind, but I will get the list caught up eventually. I'm guessing you'll almost be grateful that these are customs and not real figures, because you would be BROKE after buying all of them!

Day 01: Strongarm and Landmine & Sniffer
Day 02: Kobura Kai
Day 03:
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Day 06:
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Tuesday, June 30, 2015

GI Joe Club Dr. Mindbender Review

I figure it's about time that I get caught up on my lame reviews. This year's "free" membership exclusive figure is a new version of Dr. Mindbender. His look comes from his appearance during the cold weather/BET sequence of the GI Joe animated movie. 
While the overall look of the figure is great, I'm still not terribly excited by the figure. I'm just not really digging the poofy purple coat. I know it looks pretty close to the design of character, but it still doesn't work for me. I wonder what Dr. Mindbender's favorite color is? I'm pretty sure this is the Renegades Cobra Commander body with the added poofy elements. 

The accessories are decent enough, nothing overly impressive, but they work. I'm going to have to print a sticker for the good Doctor's laptop.
The head sculpt is the real winner for this figure. Another Boss Fight creation that just captures the character. 
 While the paint apps are a bit off on the mustache, it's not anywhere near being 50th Anniversary Leatherneck bad.
Here's my current Mindbender in my collection. I was able to randomly pick up a white lab coat Dr. Lewis from the Rise of Cobra collection and nearly immediately was able to make a deal for the Dr. Mindbender figure from the Defense of Cobra Island set. That's a damn fine head sculpt and has served me well.
But now, I think I have my new Dr. Mindbender. The head sits a little high on the neck, but it will work. My only issue that I have is that the Rex body is just so much smaller than the more modern bodies. I'm working through my various bits and pieces to see if there is an alternative body. The criteria being that I have to be able to use the white lab coat. I'm not much into doing huge body part switches, so I'll have to figure something out.
Yeah, this is a pretty good look for Dr. Mindbender. I've got to make sure that I keep the lab coat. None of this bare chested, purple pants nonsense.
For now, the purple party dress body will go into the parts bin and I'll stick with the lab coat version.

What are your thoughts on the new Dr. Mindbender?

The Leader

Sometimes you just stumble across a figure that you just can't leave in the store. Once in a while, I'll swing by the local 5 Below and see if they have anything of interest back in the toy section. The GI Joe figures are long gone, but sometimes oddball treasures can be found.
I came across this figure of the Leader from the Avengers line. I've never seen the figure anywhere else, so for $5.00, why not? Somehow, I've got to be able to integrate him into my bizarre twisted world. Based on the look of the figure straight out of the package, he definitely has an alien vibe about him. I don't integrate too many super heroes into my GI Joe toy world, so he can possibly fit in as maybe some sort of alien?

The articulation of the body isn't too bad. There's pivoting knee and hip joints, rotating shoulders and elbows, and the ball and socket neck. No waist movement or any hand or feet movement.
Just look at that head sculpt! So awesome! (crappy picture aside)
Or maybe he's just Dr. Mindbender after a bad day in the lab? The socket in the head is a bit larger than the standard neck post for Joe figures, so there will need to be something added to tighten the head onto a neck.

I'm thinking his future lies as a Cobra scientist gone bad. What are your thoughts?

Monday, June 29, 2015

FSS 3.0 - A Final Look

I thought I'd take one last formal look before I move on to whatever else strikes my mood. Not much has lately. Or I'm just lazy. I'll go with the lazy aspect.

I'm going to try to rank the Club figures from FSS 3.0, but only the GI Joe figures. This year, GI Joe dominated the Club figures with a total of 9 of the 13 figures. Of the four Cobras, the three that I kept were ninja based and that would be an easy list to compile. From best to least favorite (of only the three), there's Slice (#1), Jinx Vypra (#2), and the Night Creeper Leader (#3). The Crimson Guard Immortal doesn't make the cut because mine ended up in the barren frozen wastelands of New Hampshire to the GeneralsJoes compound.

Now I just need to rank the nine GI Joe characters from the Club. This is going to be tough, because there were several figures that were really well executed. 

Here goes!

#9 - Alpine
Alpine just doesn't cut it for me. Unfortunately, he's at the bottom of the list. I think the oddest issue that I have with him is the skin tone. It's just oddly reddish. the face looks a little too Wayans-esque.He looks too much like the Ripcord figures from the Rise of Cobra line.
His gear is not that great either. The backpack doesn't look supported with any web gear and that rope coil keeps slipping off.
Sorry, Alpine, someone had to be at the bottom of the list.
#8 - Spearhead
Kind of a tough call putting Spearhead down at #8. A couple issues for me - the vest doesn't fit very well and the belt is just too loose on his hips.
Thankfully, the Club did tone down the original orange camo pattern.
Plus that bright orange cheeto bobcat just doesn't work.
On the plus side, the Club did an effective job of using the Cobra Shock Trooper body parts. Additionally, the head sculpt has been used for PoC Dusty and the Dollar General "Duke" figure. I think it works best here.

#7 - Muskrat
I'm not complaining about Muskrat's smaller stature because it sort of works for him. Everything seems to look right. His head is proportional to his body and he just looks pretty decent.
The only real drawback is that his boonie hat won't stay on. A little rubber cement will take care of that issue.

#6 - Psyche Out
Psyche Out's head is quite the contrary when compared to Muskrat. This guy has a pretty big head when compared to the body. Hell, I can't complain too much, I personally deal with that everyday.
Psyche Out goes ahead of Muskrat primarily based on the character. I don't think he's ever been a huge fan favorite, but I always liked the concept of the character. Plus the Duke body that the Club used just did an excellent job of recreating his original look.

#5 - Hit & Run
H&R jumps up higher in the list, primarily due to just the overall feel and look of the figure. Don't look too close at his stubble, that will drive you nuts. Not good, but it works fine for my blurry near vision.
While the Club went with the full green camo paint on the face and hands, it really didn't turn out too bad. The green turned out to be a much lighter wash over his skin and it looks pretty good. Odd hair paint job though. I'm not sure if he actually has sculpted hair or just a paint job.

These last four are tough...

#4 - Big Ben
A solid home run by the Club with Big Ben. they really recreated his original look, while still making him look modern and relevant. He's also got a great set of accessories included.
I don't really like the back pack though, but that's not a huge issue with the figure.

Time for the top three!

#3 - Bombstrike
So very close to cracking the top two, the Club did a damn fine job with Bombstrike. I'm actually quite glad that they didn't try to recreate her original white t-shirt look. The Retaliation Lady Jaye torso really added more of a military feel to the character.
Yeah, her head is a bit over-sized, but that happens in real life too!
The head sculpt is exceptional as well.

#2 - Frostbite
The }mystery" 13th figure takes the number 2 spot. Everything just works with Frostbite. The head sculpt is amazing, the web gear/collar looks great, and he's rocking two removable pistols!
The only drawback is the silly demolition pack, but that is a very minor issue.

#1 - Repeater
The big guy takes the top spot. Repeater didn't come with much gear, but he sure does compensate for just the mass of the figure.Using the Retaliation Roadblock body and a killer head sculpt, the Club produced an excellent upgrade to the original figure. Between Repeater, RET Roadblock, and 50th Leatherneck, the GI Joe team has some seriously big dudes manning the big weapons.
Sure, Repeater is a big guy, possibly nearing seven feet tall in scale, but which "standard" figure would be considered six feet tall within the modern era? I think there's enough variation in figure height where we don't have to consider these three big guys to be abnormally huge.
So that pretty much wraps up my thoughts on the Club's FSS 3.0 figures. Don't worry, loyal reader(s), they won't be disappearing forever. I really need to just get back to taking some diorama pictures of these characters in action and interacting with other figures.

I would be interested in knowing your thoughts on my rating of these figures. What would your ranking of these nine figures be? Let me know in the comments!