Monday, March 9, 2015

FSS 3.0 - Muskrat & Slice

Time for some more quick reviews. Mine aren't the best in the world, but I thought I'd my opinions anyway. Again, like last time, two better reviews can be found on General's Joes and JoeBattlelines

The next two up for review are Slice and Muskrat.

If you don't know the history, Slice & Dice were a pair of Cobra Ninjas from the Ninja Force line back in 1992. I liked them both well enough back then and their newest incarnations are pretty decent as well. Dice was part of FSS 1.0 and looked decent enough, but I wasn't on board for FSS 1.0, so Slice is partner-less for now. I think I've got an idea for a custom Dice. 

The Club pretty much hit a home run in my opinion with Slice. There really wasn't much that they needed to do besides using a new head sculpt. Boss Fight Studios provided an excellent update that still remains very true to the original version.

There's really nothing new with the design of this new version and the original and I'm fine with that. There was a later version of Slice that was just hideous. I'm pleased that the Club stuck with the original design.

Slice comes well equipped with assorted edged weapons. There's two hooked swords which are a bit odd to me. He also comes equipped with climbing claws and a set of four swords that can connect with each other into two longer double bladed weapons. They are a bit loose in the backpack and easily slide out.


I've become more accepting of the ninjas in my collection. The original Ninja Force got weirder and weirder. I suppose that it is still a bit weird to have some ninjas clashing with modern soldiers, but that's always been the fun part of GI Joe.
Muskrat is an odd choice to pair with Slice - a ninja and a swamp specialist? Whatever. No big deal. Muskrat's original version was decent enough and usually found good rotation in my various displays. Even tagged as a "swamp fighter," he still has enough of a military look that he'd work well with most everyone else.
His boonie hat is well made, but doesn't stay on very well. I figure a little spot of rubber cement would help Muskrat to keep his hat on.
Great job on the head sculpt. I don't know the origin, but the head is well done. The body is a combination of various other bodies - I think maybe the Jungle Assault POC Duke for the torso and arms, while the legs have been used by Cobra Troopers, Snake Eyes, and numerous other figures. It's a good mix of parts. There's a decent amount of gear that comes with Muskrat including his wake board. Is that what that is? A mini surf board?
I'm not too sure how appropriate the wake board is for a swamp fighter. I don't recall ever seeing a situation where ride-able waves in a swamp. I suppose he could get pulled along, surfing behind a Killer Whale or a Devilfish?

I'm pleased with these two figures from the Club. I really don't get when other Collectors just slam on the Club because the figures aren't perfect or are too expensive based on how they were made or what gear they did or didn't come with. Somewhere, some collector's childhood has been raped because the Club didn't quite get it right with a particular figure.

Geeze... Lighten up. Nobody forced you to buy them, and damn, GI Joe isn't out there in the wilds right now. If you don't like them, don't buy them, and shut the hell up.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

FSS 3.0 - Repeater & Psyche-Out

Oh wow. How timely. Reviews of the first two figures from the GI Joe Club's FSS 3.0. Sorry, folks, I'm a lazy ass and it has taken some time for me to finally get to this point; but I'm finally here.

If you want better, more in-depth reviews, I highly recommend General's Joes or JoeBattlelines. Justin and Fred are both quite a bit quicker on the reviews than I am.

What the hell. Here's my two cents.

First up is Repeater and Psyche-Out.


I really liked the original version of Repeater way back in 1988.There was a certain uniqueness about Repeater and his stedi-cam machine gun mount. He had a unique, somewhat odd head sculpt and a really cool weapon system. 

This version from the Club is the second version. The first was the same figure from a Convention set, but in Night Force colors. Don't get me started on the Night Force figures that I had carded and returned back to TRU way back whenever. Dammit.

While I'm generally a really minor voice in the Collector Community, I've got to say that I'm pretty pleased with everything that the Club has done. Okay, sure, last year's Iceberg was pretty rough, but damn, they are using the tools that Hasbro has made available to them. I don't make my own figures and the guys behind the Club are doing pretty damn good work.


The original version of Repeater was pretty much the same size as everyone else. Not so much with this guy. The Club used the body from the Rock/Roadblock and Leatherneck figures. That means that Repeater is a tall mo' fo'. 

I've heard, that based on other figures, that this body style would be a normal human male about 7' 4" tall. Really? Does that mean all Joe figures are exactly 6' tall? I don't know. Whatever.

Anyway, through the use of tho\is body mold, the Club has introduced another huge human being into the Joe roster. That means Retaliation Roadblock, Leatherneck and Repeater are all huge, tall men. So what. Who cares? Not me. So GI Joe recruited some big, highly qualified dudes to be a part of the team. What ever.

Oh yeah. Rock/Roadblock vs. traditional Roadblock (example Resolute Roadblock). Which one is really Roadblock? Future blog post.

Do I like the damn figure? The Club hit a home run with Repeater. I'm not upset that I missed the Convention set. (never had any con set) I like this guy. So what if he's a huge human being. What ever. They're toys!! Who gives a shit?


Repeater comes with an M-249 SAW and a kick-ass backpack. Not much, but I'm still okay with the Club's efforts.

Next up is Psyche-Out. An odd figure way back in 1987. I liked him back then and I like him now. The Club used the Duke body from the Pursuit of Cobra series. My biggest issue with this figure is that his head seems a bit large. I don't give a shit, because my head seems to be a bit large. The diversity of humans. Roll with it.


I don't much like the gear. It works well enough, but it's just some weird bits. I'm going to do some personal research into real sonic crowd control weapons. That's what I want my Psyche-Out to be in charge of - those weapons that make you shit your pants when they are brought against you. 

Imagine Cobra Vipers being hit by a GI Joe Sonic Weapon and they lose control of their bowels, shitting their pants. Oops.


The head sculpt kicks ass, by the way. Did Boss Fight Studios do this head sculpt, as well as Repeater? I think they did. They kick ass.
A bit of a drawback is that Psyche-Out's head is pretty damn big. Again, I have a big head, so who gives a shit.

So for these first two figures, I'm pleased with what the Club has given us. Are they perfect? No. Are they still pretty damn good? Yes. Is Hasbro doing anything right now? Nope.

Keep kicking ass, GI Joe Club. First two = I'm happy!

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

All this stuff

Between laziness, procrastination, and writer's block, the ol' blog has been stagnant for too long. I just haven't been "feeling it" these days. I've had some ideas, but just not much interest. 
I've finally got a few ideas for quite a few posts, so let's see if I can get rolling.

I never met Gary "Goggles" Head (aka Gyre-Viper), but I do know of his impact on GI Joe Collectors over the past few years. I can't really say much about who he is, besides the few times I've heard him on a few podcasts and his posts on the GI Joe Discussion Facebook page.

Gary passed away just a short time ago at the far too young age of around 35-36. He died of a damn heart attack. Like I said, I don't really know him, but his passing kinda' hurt. Here was a prominent voice in the world of GI Joe and now he's gone. What the hell... I can only offer prayers to his family and to all of the friends he made throughout the GI Joe community. 

This stark collision of collecting toys and the cold hard reality of death is just tough to grasp and wrestle with. All of us, with our collections of varying sizes, aren't getting out of this alive. One post in the Discussion post after Gary passed, was related to the disposition of collections. The writer was asking if anyone has made any plans for their collections after they are gone, or hell, even in the event of a damn heart attack or even a car accident. Tomorrow isn't guaranteed. I've thought about this a lot lately, especially as I'm beginning my journey into my 6th decade. 

I'm 52 years old. Fifty-two. Over half a century old. And I still buy action figures. 

I don't have a gun collection or a bass boat or a sports car or a mistress. I have my plastic crack addiction. And I don't think that it's such a bad thing to have. 

Have I spent a lot of money on toys over my life? Yeah, I don't really want to think about how much money...

Do I enjoy them? Hell yeah... I like them; they make me happy and keep my childhood imagination alive. I've got a Will made, but what about my toys? What's the wife and kids to do with all my stuff if something happens to me? I don't want it all to go at yard sale prices. I'd like as nice of a return on my collection as possible. I think it's time to make a "disposition" manual for my collection, maybe just some explanations and thoughts as to how the stuff should be sold off.

I just sold two 40 year old worn out comic books for $127.00. I know there's more money in my ton o' crap.



But what if I'm around for a while? My dad is 81 years old and in pretty dang good shape. Maybe I've got another 30+ years ahead of me. Still, what about all this crap? GI Joe seems to be on a slow, steady decline into cultural decay. The heroism and honor inherent in the sacrifices and services of the soldier seem important to some, but I'm afraid that those ideals are nearly socially unacceptable. In a world of social parasites, personal honor and sacrifice are in decline.
Enough of that depressing shit.

My mother-in-law lives with us; she's almost 91 years old. Ninety-one! Almost 91 trips around the sun. That's frikkin' awesome! Her health is decent enough; her lungs are her biggest issue right now. She's still pretty sharp mentally. Sure, she forgets short-term stuff often, but she's 91! She's earned it!

She still sews a good bit as long as her strength holds out and then she's got to rest for a while. There are fewer days ahead for her, but she's still semi-active and loving life. Some days, she's weak and just sits and watches TV and naps and that's okay too.

She still impresses the hell out of me; she's still going strong at 91! 

So let me cast my imagination forward another 30-40 years from now. Hopefully, the madness of the world will have settled down and the impending World War III will be averted before we all perish at the hands of madmen and tyrants. 

Maybe one day, I'll be sitting in my hover-recliner, watching the latest holographic news broadcast, and I'll have a few of my old action figures there beside me, helping me to keep my child-like sense of wonder and fun alive.

I'm okay with that thought.
What are your plans? Where do you see yourself 30-40 years from now?

#GIJoeForLife

Monday, January 26, 2015

Aging Plastic Soldiers

Just how old is a Snake Eyes anyway? 

According to the original mythos, many of the original GI Joe figures from the 80's series were Viet Nam war veterans. The average age of a Vietnam vet is 64.

I don't mean to disrespect men in their 60's but I'm sure Snake Eyes and his fellow GI Joe team members are not quite as active as they used to be. Hell, I'm 52 and I ain't even close to being as physically fit as I once was. 

Sure, they're toys. I get it. It's still interesting to consider the characters and their "ages". Is the Snake Eyes from "Retaliation" the same Snake Eyes from "The Mass Device"? Of course not. No way.

The key to bringing GI Joe into the 21st century is to basically lift the mythos of the 80's and drop it into the modern era. But what does that do to the original story? Could there be different Dukes? Could Duke be more of a code name than a specific person? Maybe, but I would imagine that there would only be one Snake Eyes. 

The ultimate success of GI Joe is to know when to let go of the past. This applies to all of the various incarnations of GI Joe. Including the original 12" GI Joe. 

I'll say it again. 2014 was the 50th anniversary of the Brand, not just one aspect of its history. Of course, Hasbro screwed it up. GI Joe deserved more.

My intention here on this ridiculous blog is to do my own personal reboot of the GI Joe versus Cobra conflict into the 21st century to take advantage of the kick-ass modern era figures. So does that mean my favorite vehicle from the 80's, the Defiant Complex, is wiped from history? Uhh... maybe? We'll see.