Saturday, June 24, 2017

JoeCon 2017 Dealers Room

Just a quick post about the Dealer Room at JoeCon 2017. I wish I had taken a few shots of the overall look of the room, but it was similar enough to what I've seen at Joelanta in the past, and I just didn't get any pics.

A few highlights: Dan Klingensmith, Jr. was there with his series of GI Joe books that featured a lot of behind the scenes information about the creation of the line. Awesome books and I should invest in them in the future.

Carson Mataxis was there with his Art of GI Joe books, along with his awesome posters. I picked up his poster of the Defiant Complex box art - full sized! It's beautiful! I definitely need to get it framed. I also grabbed the poster of the cross sell catalog from the year that the Defiant was released. another awesome poster! Check out Carson's work at http://www.3djoes.com/. 

Raginspoon was there with custom head sculpts and gear. Very nice stuff!

Boss Flight Studios was there with some of their figures. Or was it a seller of Boss Fight stuff? Not sure. Beautiful stuff, but I'm more into military figures. Plus, if you attack me on Facebook for my beliefs, I respond with my wallet.

Marauder Gun Runners was there with some stellar deals on some exclusively priced figures. So much win! Awesome guys as well! Marauder has always had some exceptional customer service and they rock. I've got an upcoming post in the days ahead just about Marauder.

There were dozens of other booths, but I can't think of them all at this time. Great deals nearly everywhere!

Two plastic tubs full of USS Flagg parts. So sad... Maybe some good bits for dioramas?
A battered Defiant Complex that looked just a little worse than mine did before I started breaking it down for parts. Poignant reminder of the glory of such an incredible set.
Tubs of o-ring figures! Loose and ready for customs! While there were several vendors who had complete figures for sale, it was also a bit entertaining to see these tubs. The figures were built well and are still holding up after all these years. Once the dealer room opened up to the public on Saturday, it was cool to see dads and sons dig through and buy fist fulls of GI Joe figures.
So this is the basis of the Club figure, Corrosion! Nice to see this guy mint on the card! The club did a good job on recreating Corrosa.
Hey, look! A $900 USS Flagg in the box! Very nice! Sort of tempting, but I've never really been tempted enough to pursue adding this to my collection. Figures are much easier to store than a 7' aircraft carrier!
Hey, look! It's Andre Bynoe and his lovely wife Jane! Andre was onsite, promoting his DioWarriors site and store. I've known Andre for several years online through joedios.com, diowarriors.com, and Facebook. We've also chatted on and off over the years about 3-D printing. Much of his product that he has are 3-D printed. He's really investing a lot into another realm of props for dioramas with his 3-D work. Very cool stuff!
All designed and printed by Andre! He's got plans to have this available in kit form in the future. Sign me up!
Steam punk mech that is mostly 3-D printed. Very cool!
Prototypes for Andre's alien figure line. Very cool and very creepy! I'm looking forward to see this line develop.
Amazing detail work from Andre! And it's 3-D printed! How cool is that?
Marauder Gun Runners... Oh, Marauder... I bought five of their figure sets at the show... Later in the day, on Saturday, I just had to stay away from them. They were my biggest temptation at the show.

Were you there? What did you pick up at from the dealer room?

Friday, June 23, 2017

JoeCon 2017 - Package Pick-Up

My first ever JoeCon!

Here's the basic rundown of how the beginning of JoeCon week proceeded. My wife and I left the north side of Atlanta at around 9:00 am on that Tuesday before and headed south. A brief stop at her sister's house to chat for a few minutes and grab the keys to her condo at Ormond Beach.

Part of the trip down to Florida would involve stopping and shopping along the way. Our daughter is getting married in October and my wife has been looking for a dress for the wedding. We stopped at the Dillard's in Macon and then hit two more in Jacksonville. A trip straight through would have been around 7.5 hours. We pulled into the condo at around 10:30 that night! Not a big deal to me (happy wife, happy life).

We spent Wednesday doing some more shopping in the Daytona Beach area. For those keeping score, she found a dress! Thursday rolls around and it's just a day hanging out at the condo, waiting to hit the road to Orlando. We had loaded a bunch of my wife's sewing and quilting supplies in the car and had set up a nice little sewing/quilting area with a nice view of the ocean.  My time at JoeCon would also serve as a mini quilting retreat for her.

I think I headed out toward Orlando at around 3:00 pm and arrived at around 4:45pm. I knew I had long drives ahead of me, each way and each day of JoeCon. I figured that the free condo, a tank of gas, and a little bit of a hassle with the drive from Ormond Beach to Orlando twice a day were worth not having to pay hotel prices in Orlando.

Once I got to the Disney Dolphin Resort and made my way down into the bowels of the convention area, the first, most obvious sight of JoeCon appeared before me - the lines. Initially, there was just one line, but that was quickly divided into the Golden Ticket holders and then us regular attendees. My thoughts on the Golden Ticket concept in a later post.

I was checking Facebook for the reveals of the JoeCon exclusives and I finally made my way up to the banners that showcased all of the Force of Battle 2000 related exclusives.

I've always seen these types of banners online when JoeCon attendees began revealing all of the assorted goodies at the show. I must confess to a bit of a giddy feeling seeing these banners first hand. At this point, I also picked up the order form for the exclusives. The plan was to wait in one line for the Con set and then wait in another line for the Con exclusives. There's usually complaints from various folks, but I really didn't care. Generally part of the Con experience, plus you get a chance to meet other Joe collectors while waiting.

I'll break down my thoughts on each of the exclusive items from the Club.

  

In the left picture are the Marauder snowmobiles. While they looked cool enough, the price tag was a bit higher than I would have liked and I passed on them. The right picture is of the Sky Serpent and the Vector/Conquest. I was never really impressed enough with the Sky Serpent mold when it came out as a vehicle tied to GI Joe Renegades. I passed on it then and passed on it this time. Sure, there's an exclusive pilot figure with it, but I skipped it. The Vector jet is beautiful. The crisp clean white plastic along with the other colors were quite reminiscent of the original BF2000 Vector. Very pretty and very tempting! But not $132.00 tempting! I passed.
 
 
   

Next up are the figure sets and another pass by me. The "Ultimate Enemies" was pretty cool. Yes, we've got Dee-Jay! The Club did a fine job of recreating Dee-Jay in modern form. But who the hell is Corrosion? Apparently, Corrosa was a South American character that was a straight repaint of the Dee-Jay mold. Fair enough, I suppose. Yes, please! I bought the limit of two sets. Below that picture are the BAT Rocket Packs. I never really liked this original Cobra jet pack, so it was pretty easy for me to skip this set.

The next picture is of the Laser Viper three-pack. Limit one per attendee! Dang it, I would have bought another set! The Club wasn't able to reproduce the original Laser Viper back pack weapon and went with Sci-Fi's rifle and back pack. Works for me!

Of course, the last picture is of the Force of battle 2000 15 figure set. Much more on the set to follow!

Just having the set in my hand made me smile like a silly kid! So cool! 

Much more of my JoeCon 2017 review and thoughts to come in the coming days. Stay tuned!

Special thanks to Gray Childs for passing out liquid refreshments while everyone was waiting in line! So cool to meet other new folks at the show!

Were you there? Did we meet? Leave me a comment!

Monday, June 12, 2017

JoeCon 2017!

Heading to JoeCon 2017 tomorrow! I'll be onsite on Thursday. My Facebook page for the blog will be the first place for pictures. I'll be Tweeting as well. More in depth coverage will be after I return!


Stay Tuned!

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

FSS 5.0 Raptor, Steel Raven and

You already know who the mysterious 13th figure is, right?

The final shipment for FSS 5.0 has arrived! This last shipment really was a good solid hit by the Club. Let's take a quick look at the three figures.
  
Raptor is up first and the Club kicked some serious ass with this figure. They took a goofy o-ring character and turned him into a goofy modern figure. Well, maybe not as goofy as that original figure, but c'mon, he's wearing a bird costume! The formula that the Club used was very similar to what customizers have done in the past. Mostly the PoC desert Zartan figure with the "wings" from the Jungle Viper. The feet/lower legs seem to be from a Destro figure from one of the 25th two-pack sets. Everything just works great together!
Raptor looks so cool now, I think he needs an upgrade to his character. He looks almost menacing right now.
But can he fly with these "wings"? Maybe, just take that 20 minutes into the future mindset and, sure, he can fly! Minor issues: unfortunate that the Club didn't include the top piece for the wings, so that leaves the open connecting ball at the top of the back pack. I suppose the back pack could be flipped, but it doesn't really look that great when it gets flipped. The wings rest too low against his back. I'm not really thrilled with the pistol and the way it just gets shoved into his belt. Knives would be better; easy fix.
Why not add the claw gloves from the RoC Doctor figure? Works for me! Gives Raptor a little more sense of "menace".
Next up is Steel Raven, a character from the GI Joe: Extreme sad moment in GI Joe history. Despite the dismal failure of GI Joe: Extreme, the Club did a good job with Steel Raven. She would go well alongside Iron Klaw, the leader of SKAR. The Club released him in FSS 1.0 and I wasn't on board then. Not that big of a deal to me, I don't really see the need for the forces of SKAR in my mental GI Joe world. She's just another agent of Cobra. Perhaps with the brown and black hues of her uniform, she can be an ally of Major Bludd?
The Club used one of the RoC Baroness bodies for Steel Raven and it works out great. Not very "playable", but these are generally considered to be adult collectibles. There was some initial concern about the hat, but it fits nice and snugly on her head.
I'm not too crazy about the pistols that she came with; they are the same pistols that came with Helix and I really didn't like them then either.
Speaking of Helix... Oh look, it's GI Jane! A bold move by the Club and I'm glad that the Helix head sculpt got some new use. Sort of... It's such a unique head sculpt having only been used for Helix and a female Dialtone from a RoC set. Not bad, but not great either.
The head sculpt works well enough, but not really thrilled with the choice. The larger issue is the lab coat. It was designed for a larger torso and doesn't fit very well on Jane. She looks better without it.
Once I saw the reuse of the Helix head sculpt, story ideas started swirling in my head. Jane is a scientist and Helix is a bit of a mystery as to her origin. Could Helix be a genetically enhanced clone of GI Jane? Would Jane abandon personal ethics to create an ultimate soldier? Perhaps... Interesting idea.

That wraps up the figures for FSS 5.0! I think I'll write another recap post of all of the FSS 5.0 figures in a few days. FSS 5.0 turned out to be a pretty strong set of figures, with few "issues" (at least to me).

Who was your favorite FSS 5.0 figure? Let me know in the comments!

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

FSS 6.0 Reveals

Well, all the reveals are done for FSS 6.0. Now it's time to seriously consider if I want to jump in with this set. I don't get too critical of the offerings of the Club and I think there are a lot of decent builds in FSS 6.0. Plus there are quite a few characters that I just want to add to my modern collection. Time to start liquidating older stuff to probably pay off these guys!
  1. Ghostrider - When the X-19 Phantom stealth fighter came out back in 1988, I was hooked!. Loved the design of the jet and the pilot. I think that the Club has done an excellent update to XXXXXXXXXX. Clever... sort of... to go with a secret code name instead of the potential copyright violation of Marvel's idiotic character. For me, he's Ghostrider. Flaming Skull can suck it.
  2. Windmill - based on Funskool/India? Okay, give him the helicopter pack, but those colors... Please, no... Oh dear god, they did... I'm not sure what to say about this guy. Just too much brightness! The build looks decent, but those colors. The build is decent to me, and the colors aren't too bad. I could get used to him.
  3. Rampart - Looks pretty good! Looks like the Club used Blocker's head and the RET GI Joe trooper torso. One of the stronger reveals in my opinion.

  4. W.O.R.M.S. Officer -Oh boy... That oversized "jacket" piece. It just isn't working. The biggest flaw is that the lip of the "jacket" under the left arm has flipped up in front of the arm. Doesn't look good. The arms and legs look too small; 25th figure foundation? Not a strong figure based on this.
  5. Vorona -Decent build, great paint apps, looks like a winner!
  6. Guillotine - I don't know a whole lot about the character; I do recall the "Plague" from the comics, so this is a pretty cool direction for the Club. It's always nice to have named, specific characters for the Cobra side.
     
  7. Sub-Zero - Not too sure about this build. I was never really impressed with the original figure.
  8. Night Stalker Officer - Fire torpedoes! New color for the Club's female officer set? Looks cool! Keeper!
  9. Hardtop - He looks great! As suspected, Tollbooth's head gets a reuse. The overall build looks great. Where's Payload? Doubt he'll ever happen, not much stock to draw from that would make a convincing astronaut.
  10. Cross-Hair - Decent base construction, but that web gear is just too bulky for modern figures and the belt is too loose. I think quite a few collectors have tried using the original gear with the same results. **Update - The Club released a new mock-up for Crosshair with a tighter fitting vest. They also removed the goggles. Much better! Well done, Club!
  11. Captain Skip - I don't know who he is, but he's a decent build. I like him!
  12. Dojo - People complain about a crazy looking update to a crazy looking original. Not a bad build, looks pretty good. Much speculation that the head sculpt is ripe for a Headman reuse. Go for it!
  13. Clues from the Club!
    1. This figure features a NEW head sculpt!
    2. Previously Missing-in-Action from a sub-team!
    3. Highly requested GI Joe team member! 
The weakest figures in this set, in my opinion, are Dojo, Sub-Zero, and WORMS. The WORMS figure is a potential troop builder, possibly would go up for sale. 

As of this exact moment in time, I think I'm going to be on-board for FSS 6.0. It may limit my spending at the Convention in a couple weeks, but that's the Club's fault, not mine.