Tuesday, July 24, 2018

GI Joe Renegades Safe House

just a bit of a tease... unless you've seen all of these pictures on Facebook or Instagram. More to come later.
The GI Joe Renegades Team takes a break at a Complex Safe House!

Monday, July 23, 2018

FSS 7.0: Treadmark & Ice Viper Officer

Whoo Hoo! FSS 7.0 has been shipping! As of this blog post, the first two shipments have been made and have arrived safely. Here's a quick look at the first two.
Treadmark? Not Skidmark? Did they lose the use of the name or just not want to go with Skidmark again. Honestly, I totally missed the joke about Skidmark's name back when he first came out. Skidmark, you know, like when a car quickly accelerates and leaves rubber on the road. 

Ooohhh... yeah, the brown stain... oh yeah.... duh!

Decent build by the Club, simple and effective. The use of the Renegades Cobra Trooper head as Skid Treadmark is easy and understandable. I know people get tired of those legs with holster and knife sheath being used over and over again, but Treadmark really could have used them this time. He comes with a pistol and knife and nowhere to put them.

The Cobra Arctic Transport Officer turned out pretty amazing. I like the cold weather themed figures, but haven't really gone overboard in troop building any of them.
Visually, the figure looks amazing. His file card gives him a "real name" so technically, he's not a troop builder. Yeah, right. I'm keeping him anyway.
Solid build, but a few flaws. The helmet and goggles are a bit loose and the elbow joints seem to be a bit floppy. Not a huge deal to me, as this figure will primarily be on display all of the time.

Two more quick reviews on the way soon! 
Next up: Dusty and Drednok Kaos!

Saturday, July 21, 2018

JoeCon 2018: The Complex

Have you ever heard of Raginspoon? I'm not sure who Raginspoon is or how many people make up Raginspoon, but I do know that they are making an amazing new product. I had only previously known of Raginspoon through their custom head sculpts for 1/18th figures. They've also done some different types of gear for 1/18th figures.

But the Complex is brand new pure wonderfulness! Raginspoon has created modular kits that can be combined to create a larger environment. Each of the wall or door panels are reversible and work easily together. These first two pictures are from their JoeCon setup. 

I bought seven sets... three door panels and four wall/floor sections.

These wall pieces are similar to what I've done with my 3D designs and printing, but on a much larger scale. 
Everything works together. There are so many different ways that the sets can be arranged.
Is this an interior door or exterior? Who cares? It's up to you!

It's a shame that GI Joe isn't active in the retail environment right now, because these work so well with 1/18th figures.
I've actually dreamed of something kinda' similar to this concept. My dreams involved a GI Joe figure being packed with components that could be combined with other components to make a larger environment. Sort of like this stuff. Not really, but maybe just a little. 

Sadly, whenever I have dreams involving new or weird GI Joe products in whatever weird dream store that I'm in, I can never make it to a cash register...

Definitely more pictures to come with my use of the Complex sets. 
Oh yeah, I'm going to need more sets...

JoeCon 2018: Marauder Exclusive Figures

Have I sung the praises of Marauder Inc lately? They do some amazing work and are leading the way in new 1/18th military figures. There's so much going on with these guys, it's tough to keep up!

Of course, they had a booth at JoeCon and of course, they had some amazing JoeCon deals. I really could have gone a bit nuts with them, but I limited myself to just two figures.

Each of these figures came with an amazing load of gear that can be used to customize your own figures. I had to work on them one day, put them away, and go back to them before I decided on my final build. Due to the small sizes of the pieces, you've got to super glue the bits together, so you've got to be sure of your designs.

So here's a few pictures of my two JoeCon exclusive Marauder figures.

Go buy some of your own!!!

Friday, July 20, 2018

JoeCon 2018: Slaughter's Renegades

There was another three pack at JoeCon 2018 that I could not pass up. Slaughter's Renegades! Great choice of characters by the Club! These appear to be almost the same builds as the Slaughter's Marauders BBTS set from several years ago. Minor changes.
Mercer... one of my favorite characters from the entire GI Joe figure line. I've always really liked his back story. So much interesting story potential. I believe there's an improvement on the lower arms on this version of Mercer. He's got the improved hands. Not real crazy about the black hair over the original brown, but not a huge deal.
Red Dog looks to be the same build as his previous modern version. The Marauder color scheme works out just fine with his build.
I think this might be a substantial new build for Taurus. Maybe, maybe not. I know he's got a new vest, which is much better that his original gear. Definitely an improvement for Taurus.

That's pretty much it for me in regards to the Club offerings at JoeCon. There was an exclusive Cobra Snake Armor done in the Python colors that I'm sure I could have flipped, but I never really liked the Snake armor that much in the first place.

Oh wait... the factory glued them together... whoops! And no corrections coming from the Club... whoops! Maybe I'm glad I passed on the armor anyway!

JoeCon 2018: Python Patrol

Next up is a look at the Cobra Forces from the Slaughter's Marauders JoeCon set. 
First up is the Python Para-Trooper. 
"No Children Were Harmed in the Acquisition of this Figure!" I purchased mine at the Club Store and didn't trample any kids to get mine.
The Club produced a three-pack of the the 25th Para-Viper in Python colors, but the price was enough to turn me off of it. I probably could have easily flipped them, but I didn't want the hassle. This is a decent build for the figure. Primarily parts from the 25th Para-Viper, but looks a bit more functional to me.

The Club also produced a three pack of the SAW Vipers in Python colors. They looked decent, but the big stupid guns and the high price tag allowed me to pass on them. 

On to the figures from the boxed set.
The Lampreys turned out nicely. The Python colors really look nice with the figure design. Fins? Why not? They look like that they could work as divers as well as drivers.
Next up are the Python HEAT Vipers. I really like the colors of these guys. The Python camo patterns and the gold colors really make these guys pop. I'm not real crazy about the modern update of the HEAT Viper. Decent, but they just didn't interest me enough to buy all of those extra Blowtorch figures. Still, this is a nice little set of the HEAT Vipers.
For the last of the trooper figures, we have the Laser Vipers. This is the same build as the Laser Vipers from the BF2000 set from last year. The prime difference is the inclusion of the more accurate backpacks, similar to the original design. The Club also had a three pack of these backpacks in silver for the Laser Vipers from last year. There's a missing paint app on these figures. The pupils were missed in painting. Plus one more error described below.

There was also a two-pack(?) of Python Rock Vipers. I'm not sure which other figures were two or three packs. Doesn't matter much to me, I didn't buy any of them. Never liked any version of the Rock Viper.
Well, this is certainly a crappy picture of Major Bludd. I'll have to go back and upload a new picture. Mixed feelings about Bludd. I really like the character and I think that the Club did a decent job with the build, based on what Hasbro has available for them to use. That's the problem. Hasbro did a 25th version, with a couple variations, and abandoned the character. He should have gotten a PoC/30th update. The Club, trying to call back to that original figure, went with the crappy robot/armored arm from that 25th figure. 

Nearly everything else works with this version of Bludd. The web gear looks great. The rest of the body is made up of newer parts, and there's even a new head sculpt. (crappy picture aside...)

And here's the other paint error. The factory forgot to paint his mustache. Bludd has to have his mustache! The Club is in the process of making things right. They will be getting new Bludd and Laser Viper heads to all of the attendees who have these sets sometime in the near future.

Sucks a bit for those resellers who tried to sell off their sets at the show. 
Aww... too bad...

I kinda' like the Cobra forces a little better than the Joe team from the boxed set. I've always liked the Python Patrol theme anyway. Very slick paint design!

Thursday, July 19, 2018

JoeCon 2018: Slaughter's Marauders

So the big complaint about the last JoeCon 3 3/4" set was "where's Sgt. Slaughter?" For the simpletons out there, there is such a thing as licensed characters. Hasbro had the license to use Sgt Slaughter, but no longer does. The Club decided to go with the theme of Slaughter's Marauders for the last set for whatever reason.

Personally, I never liked any of the Slaughter's Marauders figures when they first appeared in their original o-ring versions. Nearly all of the sub-teams were easy repaints primarily designed to sell more product. Hasbro excelled at doing that. Of the main ones that I can think of, Tiger Force, Night Force, Slaughter's Marauders, and Python Patrol, Slaughter's Marauders seemed to be the laziest in terms of the repaint designs.

Whatever. I don't know why the Club chose the Marauder theme, but I was intrigued enough to get on board for this last set. Hell, this was the last JoeCon, in Chattanooga (90 minutes away), and I certainly wasn't going to turn my nose up at it. Could there have been a better last JoeCon set? Probably, but who cares now?

So enough of the armchair quarterback play calling and on to some simple reviews of the characters.

First up is Hardball. (Wait! He never was on the Marauder team!! - Piss off) Not a bad build, decent use of parts. Marauder color pattern looks decent enough. Sure, it's Renegade Ripcord's head, but who really cares? Good job on this one.
Next we have Spirit with a new head sculpt. I'm not real crazy about the head sculpt, but I am kinda glad that the Club avoided using the 50th/PoC/Billy Spirit head sculpt. That's a great head sculpt, but it's been a bit over used. Not a bad figure, but not one of the best.
Mutt and Junkyard. Straight reuse of the entire 25th Anniversary mold. Ugh. Honestly, not a bad figure, but I wish that the Club could have come up with a different build for the body, maybe using more of the modern era parts, beyond the 25th figures.
Next we have Footloose. Looks like a straight reuse of the build that they did for their membership figure from several years ago. Honestly, I wasn't really crazy about that figure either. The head sculpt kicks ass. Looks very Magnum PI "ish". Decent figure.
Finally we have Sgt Slaughter.... no, wait, this is Sgt Smasher, the new drill instructor for the Joe Team. Decent build. They Club used the Heavy Duty/Bazooka body and I'm pleased with that choice. I'm glad that they didn't go back to the Rock/Roadblock big huge body for this guy. That's a great body, but it's getting to be a bit overused. I like the character and the build, but again, it's Slaughter's Marauders, my least favorite GI Joe sub-team.

Overall, the set is really not that great. Honestly, I like the BF2000 set from last year a little better. Bu then again, I've only got these last two sets from the last two JoeCons, so I'm quite grateful that I have both of them and that I was able to be at both shows.

Still, I'd give a hearty THANK YOU to all of the staff at the official GI Joe Club and their Hasbro supporters for all of their hard work over the past 20 plus years. Well done!

Friday, July 13, 2018

Where are the new posts?

Why does this blog suck so bad? Why can't I update and add new posts on a regular basis?

Easy answer... I'm lazy. Creating blog posts take extra work. There are photos to edit, content to write... it takes a little extra effort to create blog posts.

Social media, like Facebook and Instagram, are relatively quick and easy. Very little thought involved. Some could argue that that is the problem with social media. Nearly everyone posts quickly, with little or no thought behind their content or the potential repercussions of what they post.

Blah, blah, blah... ultimately, I just don't invest the time into this blog that is needed. Plus blogs seem to be evolving. They still have some merit, but they are becoming less relevant. Videos seem to be the next step in blog/vlog evolution. Don't know if I'll move to that step or not.

I do have quite a bit of content to post. There's quite a few posts regarding JoeCon 2018. Plus FSS 7.0 started shipping. Warriors of the Animal Kingdom figures. A few new toys here and there.

I'm out of town this week, mainly traveling with my wife on a couple business trips. I'll have some down time at hotels that I could put to good use.

Hopefully, there will be new posts in the days ahead.