Random thoughts ahead.
Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow. This is a great two-pack that actually makes sense. These two have always been in conflict with each other, so why not? Hasbro pulled out two of the best versions of these iconic characters. The awesome PoC Snake Eyes (v54) and the Renegades Storm Shadow.
While this is awesome, it would be one of my least desirable sets. I've got loads of this version of Snake Eyes and I've got this Storm Shadow as well. I can think of two reasons to get this two-pack; one to just keep unopened just because it's cool to have these two together and another just for the custom potential. This Snake Eyes, with a simple head swap, becomes a great GI Joe covert ops team member. I've got the "ultimate" Storm Shadow from late in the Retaliation line and he really is the best Stormy. With another "white" ninja, could they be two ninjas working directly with Storm Shadow?
A two-pack of zombie vipers! Hell yeah! I've currently got six zombies and wouldn't mind having a few more. Maybe two more sets?
Next up is Duke and a new Cobra character, Tombstone. The Duke build is interesting and looks like it has potential. I think I would switch out the vest for the more muted green vest from a Steel Brigade figure and switch out the head for a Renegades Duke (my favorite Duke head sculpt).
Tombstone is interesting. An unmasked Cobra operative and non-white.That's very bold of Hasbro to go with a black enemy soldier. That's been a rare occurrence in the history of GI Joe. I'm looking forward to this set.
Next up is basically a brand new set of figures; Heavy Duty and Stiletto. While Heavy Duty is not a new character and not really a new figure, I'm glad to see him get a modern update. Last seen, embarrassingly, during the Rise of Cobra line, this version is more in line with the character from the new sculpt era. Hasbro is using the larger "Rock" body for him and he looks pretty cool!
Stiletto is a fan-chosen figure from the GI Joe Kindle Worlds series of fan fiction. I don't recall her full story right now, but I believe she's a Cobra agent. Hasbro finally resurrected the Helix body and is using it for Stiletto; at least the torso. The arms and legs are from other female figures. Of course, she has a brand new head sculpt. Another great two-pack from Hasbro.
This last two-pack is a troop builder that includes an Iron Grenadier and a Cobra Viper. Excellent set, but do I really want it? I never really got into troop building Destro's soldiers. I do have quite o few of the IG heavy gunners that came with the Steel Brigade figure, but none of these particular versions of the Iron Grenadier soldiers. I do like them, even though Hasbro is using the more dated 25th anniversary figure. I just don't know if I'll actively pursue this two-pack, primarily because of the Viper.
"But, Tom, you frikkin' love the Viper!" True, very true, but I've got 14 of them! Seriously, how many more do I need? EVERY OTHER ONE I SEE! No, not really, 14 is more than enough. I've even got one still minty fresh on the card because the Viper is so awesome! I may just pass on this set.
Next up is one of the three-packs. This set looks like it includes a covert ops team, since they are all dressed in black gear. The first two, Falcon and Outback, look great and would be welcome additions to my collection. Outback seems a little off though. Hasbro is using the 25th anniversary head sculpt on a modern body. That combination makes his head look a little too small.
Another female character from Hasbro? And she's black? What? This is Shooter, the 14th original GI Joe character. Way, way back in the the very first issue of the Marvel GI Joe comic, there was a picture of a computer screen with the original 13 team members listed as well as one more character, Shooter. No picture of Shooter was shown at the time and the name came out as a nod to then Marvel editor Jim Shooter.
Many years later, Larry Hama revisits that origin story of GI Joe and fleshes out the Shooter character. She was an operative that was dropped in alongside, but unknown to, the original team in their mission to rescue Dr. Burkhart. It seemed like she was KIA at the end of the issue, but that doesn't matter that much in terms of making a figure of the character. I definitely want this set!
The last three-pack is another troop builder set and it is a winner! A SAW Viper, a Cobra Officer, and a BAT. The SAW Viper is great, and while similar to the Club version from last year's convention set, it is different enough to keep the Club version unique.
The Cobra Officer is... female? What is going on at Hasbro? So many awesome changes with these figures! A female Cobra officer! How very cool! I'm ready for her to be a part of my collection and have her kick some Blueshirt trooper butt! Plus the Club is working with Hasbro on this set and is making their own three-pack of all female Cobra soldiers, each with a mask and different hair color. Excellent collaboration!
The third figure in this set is another BAT using the same exact mold from the 25th version. Who cares? That mold works so well and has held its own against any of the modern era of GI Joe figures. I can always use more BATs. I'll take at least three of these sets please!
That's the lineup for the new figures due at Toys R Us this November. Crap, I'll be up in Pickens County well before then. I'm going to need to find the nearest Toys R Us!