Monday, February 13, 2017

GI Joe Con 2017, Here I Come!

The last official GI Joe Convention that I went to was back in 2006 when the GI Joe Collectors Club brought the convention to Atlanta. I went for the day and maybe only picked up a few things from the dealer's room. We were in the process of getting ourselves out of some serious financial crap, so there wasn't a whole lot of extra disposable income.

Eleven years later, life has changed quite a bit. My wife and I are much wiser financially than we were in the past. Plus we're a few years older, so it's time to live a little and enjoy life. Plus that whole heart surgery thing from last summer kind of puts things in perspective. (yeah, I brought it up... again... suck it up, that story ain't going anywhere)

The fact that this year's convention is in Orlando helps a great deal. It's just one state away! An added bonus will be the use of a relative's condo in Ormond Beach, just north of Daytona. Okay, sure, I'm going to have to drive quite a bit, but at least I'm not paying Disney hotel prices.

This year's convention set is not without controversy. The Club chose to go with Battle Force 2000 vs Cobra BATs. To me, BF2000 was always going to be a tough set to somewhat duplicate in the modern form. The original BF2000 figures from 1987 were all unique figures that used all brand new construction. This was going to be a tough challenge.

Personally, I've always thought that the whole BF2000 concept, figures and vehicles, was a great idea, but it just seemed like it was rushed by Hasbro. Stuff just didn't quite fit together. Even the figures were just... odd. But they were still so cool to me. 

Larry Hama did a great job introducing them in the comic. He used the team several times before their untimely death. What was the reason behind wiping out nearly the whole team? Perhaps I'll ask him at the Convention.

The figures from the Convention set have all been revealed,much to the ire of many GI Joe fans. Personally, I think the set looks great. I'm sort of a Club apologist, so I like the work they've done. The key, when looking at these figures, is to understand that you probably have no idea about how the Club goes about deciding on figure construction. The essential element is that they have to work with what Hasbro has available. I'm hoping that Hasbro is putting forth at least some effort to help out the Club with tooling resources, but it's hard to say, especially with GI Joe's current sad status in the toy aisles of the retail world.

As far as the six core members of BF2000, I think the Club did a decent job of replicating the overall look of the original figures. Sure, there are issues, but what exactly did the Club have to work with? Seriously, how much extra money would have been needed to tool up Blaster's face mask and Blocker's visor? And who really cares? Not me. Later releases of Blocker didn't even include the visor. 

As far as the Cobra side of the set, "fans" have been in a frenzy. There's basically two figures for the Cobra side, one BAT leader and eight BAT soldiers. Eight of the same exact figure. Maybe not a good choice, but then again, I don't know the reason why this choice was made. Perhaps, just perhaps, since the 2017 Convention wasn't supposed to happen after the 2016 Convention until Hasbro made a change, maybe the concepts weren't worked out fully for the set? Maybe BF2000 was in the design stage and the original Cobra opponents weren't? Maybe since the BAT mold was recently used by Hasbro, maybe they were available and could be cranked out quickly enough to get the sets ready? I don't know, I'm just speculating.

So here's the figures from the 2017 Convention set. I'm excited that I'm going to be there and am looking forward to this set and whatever exclusives are available at the show.

Avalanche & the BAT leader

Blaster & Blocker

Dodger & Knockdown

Maverick & BAT soldier 

Share your thoughts in the comments! Are you going? If so, see you there!

1 comment:

Y. T. said...

The BATs are kind of a bummer. Hope to see you there!