Monday, March 10, 2014

ハズブロのG.I.ジョー50周年記念: Hasbro's G.I.Joe 50th Anniversary

With word of Hasbro offering a small assortment of G.I.Joe toys via Toys R Us this year for the 50th Anniversary of the original 12 inch toy line, it got me thinking. Why not a 12 inch figure? Why not a "Then and Now" pack of a 12 inch and 4" toy. best reason I could think of, no takers. Joe toys as a marketable brand is fallen so far from where it was king in the 80's toy business. To see that anything was going to be hitting the retail field at all in 2014 is really amazing. But as a fan with pretty strong views of the hobby, I can't help but wish things were just a bit better.

Let me make a few comments...

G.I.Joe 50th Anniversary VS 2-packs:

Of the 5 packs presented, I am most bothered by just 3 of them. The Cobra soldiers wasn't shown, so it could be anything at this point. The Snow Job and winter B.A.T. set is changed enough to suit most. I for one would have just given the Snow Job a different head, or colored his beard black and called him Frostbite to at least not make it another Snow Job. As for the other 3sets, here's what I feel could make them much stronger:

Blowtorch vs. Heat Viper:
POC prototype green suit Blowtorch. That's really all that needs to be said. But, I will say that it's just such a poor choice to do yet another version of the red and yellow suit when fans have been bugging Hasbro for like 2 years almost about the green one. Please ditch the red/yellow and make the green one!

Lady Jaye vs. Baroness:
Another black suit Baroness. Yawn. While a crimson red one isn't a crazy new idea, it would offer a newer choice. Or, homage both the 15 ARAH anniversary line and the fact it was a Toys R Us exclusive with a blue suited version. Baroness always looks good in blue.

Low-Light vs. Night Viper:
With this pack, I figure there's two options since I doubt they will change out the already released color style Low-Light. Although I'd love a nod to the Dino Hunters set. On the other side, Night Viper has been a bane to Joe collectors for most of 2013. Trying to grab them at early hours on Hasbro Toy Shop, or hunting (of all places) drugs stores to scoop them up at inflated prices. And speaking of inflated prices, scalpers have had a field day with them on ebay. Let's not forget that the Night Viper was asked about constantly by fans, and Hasbro always assured he'd come out. When he was listed in such a late wave of a movie tie-in line, fans felt he could get cancelled. Luckily Night Viper made it to production, but by it's release time Target and Walmart had already dropped the line. The Night Viper was already being one of the coolest Cobra troops of all time, it only made sense that people would want several. Now if I'm a business, and one door to offer these has basically closed, and I see I can now get a product in insanely high demand back out, would I change that product to something else?

What I don't understand is the change to a red Night Viper. Don't get me wrong, I still think this set will sell well. I just think it could shave been much better. Just keep the original green Night Viper. It's the version anybody who hasn't been able to get one at retail wants. Or, my other thought was make this a 3 pack. Include the Low-Light, a green Night Viper and a red Night Viper leader or commander. But the red Night Viper with an unchanged Low-Light just doesn't do it for me.

G.I.Joe 50th Anniversary 3-packs:

This was an easy change to think up. Both 3 packs were kinda weak, so just eliminate the weak links and make 1 really strong 3 pack. The 2 Cobra troops in the Beach Head set were lacking and uncreative, 86 'em. The Hawk figure doesn't even fit in with the ARAH styled Destro and Leatherneck, cut him. Take Beach Head, Leatherneck and the new Destro and you have one badass 3 pack. Add my previous suggestion of a Low-Light and Night Viper duo, and you now have 2 great 3 packs.

As for the vehicle packs, both are pretty decent on their own and in the styles chosen. I may have dropped the Snake Eyeys and put in an Alpine of some other fan demanded figure. I can't kid myself though, as everybody knows a Snake Eyes was gonna be part of this set in some way. All in all, as long as the msrp stays on target with what was announced, these should be a success. But things change, and while I'd love to see the above changes happen in character selection, it's likely more changes could be made in terms of higher costs and/or cancellation.

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