G.I.Joe Vs. Cobra Tid-Bits
Shown above are carded G.I. JOE vs. Cobra "rare" figure packs Frostbite Vs. Neo Viper repaint and Wet Suit Vs. Moray repaint. These are part of the WAVE 1.35 assortment which will most likely have not been ordered by major retailers. They will be available through the smaller internet JOE dealers. The other four repainted figures are in wide release now and availability should be decent. The lack of these two packs being available has to due with the push for the newer assortment waves of JOE figures -- therefore, these two would have been part of a general refresh case to be added in with existing figures (ie Mirage/Viper, Headman/Hawk, etc), but HASBRO and retailers are instead shifting focus on the newest figures.
Are man in the field Michael Elhardt spoke to Derryl DePriest of Hasbro today who gave us some news bits to pass along in regards to G.I.Joe.
- G.I. JOE vs. COBRA KIDS CLUB forms will be inserted with the WAVE 2 figures next month. The club is being run by the same company that handles PEEPS club (marshmallow easter candy!). There will be a figure -- basically a repainted "frankenstein" of existing parts from the first batch of figures -- WITHOUT the O-ring. Also as part of the membership, "kids" as the club is specifically aimed at will receive a G.I. Joe vs. Cobra T-shirt, hat, and a few other small promotional items, likely stickers and such. Later this year (perhaps early next year if things go slowly), there will be a collector package or figure available. At first, however, Hasbro wants to get kids interested and the push is squarely aimed at that audience right now.
- The comic-book / catalogs will start appearing with wave 2 as well, with stories written (and actually credited to after all this time) by veteren G.I. Joe comic writer Larry Hama.
- The new Cobra Commander and Snake Eyes figures are part of WAVE 3, but Hasbro didn't have them at the show. The specific reason they weren't shown was that Hasbro wanted to again focus only on the upcoming figures in WAVE 2 -- meaning nothing new for a while until that stuff hits.
- No big playsets for at least a year, probably two as the line needs to pick up momentum to be able to sustain big price points and items such as playsets (and larger vehicles). Anything that will be done will likely be smaller pieces like the current Assault Quad and FANG 3 copter.
- Python Patrol is official as the next Toys R Us exclusive boxed set and will in fact be a SIX figure set, one more than the upcoming TIGER FORCE 5 pack. Names are still being worked out for that TIGER FORCE set, as "Outback" is questionable as far as name rights go. Python Patrol set should be released in January, with the plan of a new 6-pack of older-styled bodies/molds as early as 90 days apart! Real world timing, I'm sure, would be longer. Derryl really wants to get as many older figures out there for the fans and collectors as possible, using the old "team" concepts such as python patrol, night force, tiger force, that sort of thing. He said they will never reissue figures in the same paint deco as the originals to avoid any backlash for killing the old figure's value.
- The BJ's 8-pack will be available as an exclusive for the initial release. Then it should be released to other online and JOE dealer outlets. Derryl's fear is that it'll hit ebay, sell for over $50 and Joe fans and collectors will be angry. He's trying to make it so that everyone who wants it can get it, but obviously, he's walking a fine line and store exclusives are always tricky. At 24.99 for eight figures (with accessories and filecards) plus an exclusive version of the 1st issue of the new comic-book from Image (with no ads!), it's an amazing deal!
As a side note since Hasbro really didn't have anything new on display in San Diego that wasn't already shown at this Summer's 2002 Legacy Of Valor and Wizard World conventions, we really don't have much in the way of new G.I.Joe pictures. However if you haven't already we highly recoomend you check out our coverage of those conventions by CLICKING HERE