Folks, I’ve had GI JOE on the brain lately and for a number of seemingly unrelated reasons. At first it was mostly feeling bad about never getting around to the Features that I planned for the 50th Anniversary, most notably looking at my other two 25th Anniversary 5-packs as well as my finally complete set of the 25th Anniversary Dreadnoks. Then the topic of this year’s JoeCon came up on the last episode of 2 Drunk Geeks and Ryan and I was pretty vocal about how sad and pathetic I thought the showing of product was. It was at the end of the show, and the Jameson had me in a proper state by then, but listening to it made me feel like I was being pretty harsh toward a loving fan base who were clearly just happy to be getting anything. Part of it was the booze talking, but part of it was just inner rage.
When almost every single toy line from the 80’s has had (or attempted) a comeback these days, it angers me to no end that the Targets and Walmarts can’t set aside 4ft of space for GI JOE and that Hasbro can’t make this happen. It’s all the more irritating considering how great the modern figures have become. Hell, even with two totally shitty movies to work with, Hasbro still managed to turn up some amazing figures. I doubt I’d ever sit through GI JOE: The Rise of Cobra more than once, but I sure have a lot of the figures, and most of them are excellent. Hell, I even ponied up for the massive PITT playset. OK, it was on clearance, but I still bought it and love it. It was the last truly huge vehicle the line would see and now fans have to be excited about yet another remold of the bloody AWE Striker. It’s a sad state of affairs for the property. And when I still see The Corps figures are still hanging on the pegs at my local Target, that just rubs salt in the wound.
And yeah, I’m sort of part of that fan base. Because I’m not willing to join fan clubs or hunt down many store exclusives, the brand has more or less died out for me. But GI JOE was such a huge thing to me growing up, both the original 12-inch figures that were handed down to me by my uncle and later the 3 3/4″ stuff that replaced Star Wars as the focus of my toy world. I still have a ton of GI JOE stuff and while the figures are all neatly bagged with their accessories and easily accessible in Toy Closet Alpha, and I proudly hang a Skystriker on my wall, the rest of the vehicles are relegated to half a dozen Rubbermaid Totes and stowed far out in Toy Closet Zulu. I don’t have the space to display them so it becomes an “out of sight, out of mind” situation.
But the other thing that brought GI JOE back to the forefront of my alcohol addled brain lately is that I’ve actually bought some Joes for the first time in a while. A few days back I picked up two of the Exclusive 50th Anniversary Two-Packs, one of which I’ll be looking at tomorrow. I’ve also recently replaced a handful of my Sigma 6 figures, which were lost to me in a flood several years back and which I’ll probably start featuring here sometime in a week or two. Yeah, I know most JOE fans see S6 as an abomination, but I loved these figures simply because they were such fun toys. So, as the title says, GI JOE will be returning to FFZ. It’s going to be one of my side projects over the Summer to get the brand represented here with some regularity again and help bolster those three dozen or so Joe Features that appear in my Index of Reviews.
Tomorrow, I’ll be back with a look at the 50th Anniversary Arctic Ambush set. Yeah, I know it’s the weekend, but I’m trying to make up for some of the downtime last week. YO JOE!