2009 G.I. Joe Con: The Hasbro Panel (Updated w/Images)

by Jay Cochran
August 14, 2009
Card sends in this report from the Hasbro panel that took place at the G.I. Joe Convention going on in Kansas City this weekend.

Introductions: the new G.I.Joe brand managers, Steve Bono.

Rise of Cobra had a world wide opening of 98mm at the box office which was the second highest opening ever in the month of August for a non-sequel.

2010 releases:

2010 The Pursuit of Cobra, Jungle ,Urban, Desert, Arctic Search For Cobras Ultimate Weapon is the theme.

Vehicles:

GI Joe Cycle Armor With Ashiko (cycle turns into armour)

Armored Panther with Outback

Cobra Ice Cutter (ice tank) repaint Snow Serpent officer

Hiss Attack Scout with Sand Viper

Cobra Fury Tank(repainted Rage) with Alley Viper

Snow cat with Whiteout

Sand Serpent(repaint Night Raven) with Star Viper

There will be an all-new Hiss Tank , new mold, moving treads, cockpit and a pop up gunners station, new guns, pops up and pivots.

New figures:

Ripcord Jungle Assault

Duke City Strike

Snake Eyes City Strike

Storm Shadow Arctic Threat

Desert Viper

Duke Arctic Threat

Snow Job Arctic Threat

Destro Arctic Threat

Elite Ice Viper

Storm Shadow Jungle Assault

Zartan Desert Battle comes with Falcon(Falcon has a removable hood)

Ripcord Desert Battle

Snake Eyes Arctic threat comes with a new Timber

Duke Jungle Assault

Cobra Commander Jungle Assault

Jungle Viper (jungle assault cobra sniper)

Recondo Jungle Assault

scarlet city strike

Firefly City Strike

Heavy Duty Desert Battle

Mail Away:

Cobra Commander Carded Figure.

No plans for a Terror Drome at this time.

Check back shortly for images from the panel and the Hasbro booth.
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Comments...

Last 10 comments - ( Read All Posts )
Kyver - 2009-08-21 @ 9:33 pm
I hate to break it to you... DTC wouldn't sell... They already tried it once. Different product construction, same product.

-Kevin

I hate to break it to you, but the DTC stuff that wouldn't sell was stuff no one was really interested in. You're comparing a line that no one really cared about or remembers to the 25th line which was the hottest Joe line in over 20 years.

Saying it won't work now because the other line didn't work a handful of years back isn't exactly fact.

An actual fact is that unless the RoC line does well within the next half year, and continue to remain on the pegs it will be inferior to the 25th line. If the RoC line gets 2 years under it's belt, then and only then after that achievement will it be considered ace high and your opinion on DTC stuff and what would/wouldn't sell hold any water.

Kyver - 2009-08-21 @ 9:24 pm
I think Hasbro should have the alternative lines (resolute, 25th ARAH) sold DTC and keep their ROC and POC (which is basically the same universe it seems) via mass retail. Then they'll find out the real interest of each line....

if retailers don't want many lines I think this would be a good way to please fans while also pleasing retailers. We, as collectors, could definitely keep those DTC lines alive since there's a strong demand for keeping the 25th line alive and also to give Resolute more attention...

just my two cents.. #US1#

Bingo. We have a winner!

Here's a little secret. Now expect someone to refute this and never expect Hasbro to say this, but:

They know the 25th/Resolute stuff would sell better with just collectors and just online than the RoC line at mass retail with kids.

I mean if they really don't think that's true, put them online and prove it. Make a small amount of them to be on the safe side, but you know they are going to sell because people are talking about them on the internet on all of the Joe forums and even here at TNI. And yes, that is just collectors, but collectors were the only buying base of the 25th line and if there was enough to support the line for two years a couple more final exclusive online battle packs are dust in the wind.

Hasbro just isn't going to admit it. And really you can't blame them.

Otherwise, why pass on such an easy profit. They have the parts to make the rest of the big names in the classics line. It would need some heads, some filecards and some paint. They could sell the boogers at $50 dollars a set and they would still sell even after online retailers upped the price for their own profit.

And the profit Hasbro would make for these would go to the new line of product. In the meantime everyone is happy and more people are eager to support the new stuff which means even more profit.

Hasbro sees it as a dead end road with Joe as it is, even with updating it only as far as Resolute. They want long term results but they have convinced themselves to acheive that it needs a dramatic overhaul and a little help from other established universes like Star Wars, Star Gate, Gundam, Mech and MGS.

And they can't accomplish that if they make anymore classics and they outsell the new product.

Hasbro and some people among the internet forums would tell you that's not true. But that is exactly why they have no desire to make anymore classics or Resolute Joes.

Even their own designers didn't want to make anymore classics stuff. I do wonder if the Hasbro team that's in charge of Joe actually care about what they do or if it's just a job to them and they want to be transferred to the Star Wars or Marvel team. Most things that fall into the comic/cartoon/figure category generally tend to involve superheros and sci-fi things. But the people who liked Joe in the 80's liked it because it wasn't in that category. And that's why there are many people who don't care for the new direction it's taking.

You can only make so many classics. And where it stands I see no more than 15-20 at most. It does need direction and a future. That direction and future was Resolute. It kept the military theme there, yet gave it a needed update. It didn't borrow from any other universe, it was well accepted by the collector community and we liked it, so why assume kids wouldn't if we liked that kind of thing when we were kids?

They are losing their roots and in the long run it will cost them. Kids will realize if they want MGS solid, there's MGS. If they want Star Wars, there's Star Wars. If they want heroes and acclerator suits, there's Iron Man and Batman.

And that talk about 2 lines earlier. I am not a MOC collector. If I saw a 25th looking Dial Tone or Techno Viper on a RoC cardback that would be good enough for me.

Fine, don't make 2 lines. Just give us some more classics.

Can't wait to see how I get ripped apart for this.

Kyver - 2009-08-21 @ 6:25 pm
I liked resolute but I aint gonna obsess over every resolute figure. I think the roadblock figure looks awful! and I hated sgt stalkers design

I liked Roadblock. Wasn't too crazy about Sgt Stalkers design myself. I really liked Flint and Spirit.

Kyver - 2009-08-21 @ 6:25 pm
As I've said to others, this theory doesn't really hold water given the way Hasbro treats all their boys' toy lines. Hasbro always ends up dipping back into the "classic" well eventually. Always. There hasn't been an exception yet.

We shall see. In the meantime my friend, I'm not holding my breath on it and I'm moving on to other things.

Remember also that Hasbro's design team has been heard to say that they hated designing the classics and wanted away from it.

Just so it's out there, I don't want a complete line of classics. I know some do and I wish them the best, but when I say I want classics I just want maybe two or three more. (But would buy others.)

(Dial Tone, Cover Girl, Lowlight)

I'm not the only one asking for these and since most of them could and would be cobbled together from existing parts, it's not asking too much for Hasbro to pop these in a battle pack and sell them online with other fan favorites that others are asking for (Airtight, Lifeline, Footloose, Jinx, Zarana, Techno Viper, Capt Grid Iron and Sci-Fi) to show the older collectors who were the only buying base of Joe for the last 2 years that they do in fact listen and do in fact care. And that they appreciate their business and their money is needed and welcomed for Hasbro to profit and Joe to grow.

What is that eleven figures total?

We got fourteen in just two battle-packs. It wouldn't be that hard nor expensive considering the retail price they would sell at and the demand for them. Even 90% of those who like the new line would buy those packs with those characters in them.

Do you realize the difference this would make with just two battle packs --14 figures (I'm assuming 14 because that's what the last set was, 7 Joes, 7 Cobras and I've only named 11, so add Law and Order, Repeater, Muskrat, Zandar or Budo I don't know) that Hasbro would make with the classics fans/collectors? I'd go so far as to wager that there would be no more people wanting more classics.

Look at it this way. Hasbro isn't going to make a whole lot more classics--if any. The profit they would make on a couple more battle packs would go to the current line and direction of the product. And there would be alot more people happy. (meaning more people inclined to buy something new because they got what they wanted from the classics line)

It's a shame and I really mean a shame and nothing snide about it, that Hasbro is not producing the Ghostbusters line. Because that's where my money is going to go now. And I'm not a collector of multiple toy lines, but when I find something I like I spend well on that line.

Thanks for your comments.

Dethgoblin - 2009-08-21 @ 6:03 pm

I liked resolute but I aint gonna obsess over every resolute figure. I think the roadblock figure looks awful! and I hated sgt stalkers design

Jmacq1 - 2009-08-21 @ 1:41 pm
Just wanted to add something else. This isn't to Jmacq1, just my general overall impressions.

I think it's pretty clear what's happening here. Hasbro is trying to build up the G I Joe brand and it "get it out there" and in doing so they are attempting to attract fans from all other universes/toy lines.

But this will only work if:

a-- It catches on

and

b-- It stays that way in the long run

If not, then not only has Hasbro failed to reach out to new fans, it also has turned it's back on the majority of the older fans. (That can be debated, but many do feel that way)

Hasbro isn't afraid to take risks, that's for sure.

I don't like any of the new stuff, but it doesn't mean I wish it ill. It just means Hasbro's lost my money.

It's okay though because Ghostbusters have sprung up at the right time! @propeller@

As I've said to others, this theory doesn't really hold water given the way Hasbro treats all their boys' toy lines. Hasbro always ends up dipping back into the "classic" well eventually. Always. There hasn't been an exception yet. Is it within their power to do that with G.I. Joe? Sure. Is it likely? No, not really. Hasbro isn't the pack of idiots that some people seem to think they are (I'm not including you specifically in this statement, Kyver, please don't take offense). They know there's a market for "classic" Joe product and they're not going to ignore that market forever. Heck, they're not even completely ignoring it now: The Snow-Cat, Fury/Rage, Whirlwind/Twin Cannon, SNAKE Armor, Wal-Mart two-packs, Mini-playsets and "Then and Now" packs show us that.

It isn't like Hasbro's trying to sweep the RAH era under the rug and pretend that it doesn't exist. It also isn't like Hasbro's doing anything differently with the Joe line (so far) than what they've done with other lines with movie tie-ins. Transformers canceled their successful Classics line in favor of movie product, and did it again when the sequel came out (as well as canceling their successful animated line along with it). Original Trilogy Star Wars stuff always has a market, but when a new prequel came out, it was ALL material for that prequel for at least a few months.

When Transformers came out in 2007 they produced Transformers movie-related material for a year and some change, and then they switched to the animated tie-in and...(you guessed it) another classics-inspired line. I just don't see why so many people are automatically assuming the worst when the pattern of how Hasbro does business doesn't support that conclusion.

Now I'm not saying we're ever going to get a full line of classic figures in classic packages again. That's probably doubtful. But I fully believe we'll eventually get "classic" Low-Light and Airtight and Footloose and Techno-Viper and Lifeline and many of the other figures that the classic fans are clamoring for, whether as exclusives of some kind or as part of the "main line" down the road. It's just a matter of patience (and yes, you're free to not support the line in the interim if you don't like it). Hasbro manages to successfully cater to multiple markets with both Transformers and Star Wars, and I'm quite certainly they'll figure out how to do it with Joe if the line remains reasonably successful. In the meantime, they'll try to cater to new fans and those old fans that have embraced the RoC products (and there are many), and maybe, just maybe when that "classic" product does start to show up again, those fans that have been brought in by RoC will see it and be interested enough to pick it up, as well, expanding the fandom of Classic ARAH Joe as well as its' more modern interpretation.

Lastly, I really do not understand how someone can look at figures like City Strike Beachhead, Jungle Assault Duke and Ripcord, Arctic Threat Snow Job and Duke, or even Recondo and say G.I. Joe is losing its' "military" aspects. There's very little particularly "sci-fi" about those figures. More pointedly, with pretty much all of the Joe figures except the "Jet Pack Ripcord" and the City-Strike Duke...there's nothing that's particularly less "military" than designs and concepts that have been around since the early 80's.

You're entitled to your opinion and I respect that you're willing to accept the line even if you won't support it with your cash. I just don't see this "lack of military" aspect that you seem to see. Many of the Joes look very much like modern military, and most of the Cobras aren't particularly more "sci-fi" than many Cobra Troopers have been all along.

Kyver - 2009-08-20 @ 4:38 pm

Just wanted to add something else. This isn't to Jmacq1, just my general overall impressions.

I think it's pretty clear what's happening here. Hasbro is trying to build up the G I Joe brand and it "get it out there" and in doing so they are attempting to attract fans from all other universes/toy lines.

But this will only work if:

a-- It catches on

and

b-- It stays that way in the long run

If not, then not only has Hasbro failed to reach out to new fans, it also has turned it's back on the majority of the older fans. (That can be debated, but many do feel that way)

Hasbro isn't afraid to take risks, that's for sure.

I don't like any of the new stuff, but it doesn't mean I wish it ill. It just means Hasbro's lost my money.

It's okay though because Ghostbusters have sprung up at the right time! @propeller@

Kyver - 2009-08-20 @ 4:24 pm
Y'know, a bunch of folks keep saying "It's Metal Gear Solid influencing the Joes!"

Why does no one stop to consider that G.I. Joe very much seems to have influenced Metal Gear Solid to begin with? If anything, it's a reciprocal circle. Colorful, gimmicky villains? Check. World-threatening superweapons? Check. Badass military operative(s) trying to stop them? Check. Ninjas? Check. Military mixed with sci-fi? Check. As I said elsewhere, you could scoop up the entire Metal Gear setting and drop it into a slightly more shadowy corner of the G.I. Joe universe and it'd pretty much fit seamlessly.

It just seems like Hasbro's in a no-win situation with some fans now. They can offer up heavily detailed, fairly "realistic" military-themed figures (Jungle Duke and Ripcord, Beachhead, Snow Job, Recondo to an extent) but in so doing get accused of piggybacking off of something else just because it did a slightly more mature version of what could easily have been a G.I. Joe story to begin with (basically the entire Metal Gear Solid universe).

I've always felt that what was unique to G.I. Joe was its' characters. Those are still there. Maybe in different outfits and sometimes with altered backstories, but they're still there. Nothing else in G.I. Joe is really unique to it. They weren't the first military-fantasy-sci-fi blend, and weren't the last. Just one of the best.

There is undoubtedly an anime influence to some of the things we've seen here (The transforming cycle and Jungle Viper most notably), but Resolute was heavily anime-influenced as well. Maybe to some of you the Jungle Viper doesn't look like something that could've easily shown up on-screen during Resolute, but it sure does to me.

I think the anime influence is there for a reason. I smell a cartoon in the works.

And yes, there are many similiarities between Joe and MGS. There's never been much of a resemblance in their toys until now. At least to me. Wraith, maybe. And I'm sure there's others who feel there are some more. But overall, no.

I have stopped to consider how Joe influenced MGS. I think alot of folks are saying MGS has influenced Joe because people really see that and feel that way. MGS solid might have copied Joe, but none of the toys looked like Joe. Now, after MGS is "there" 2010 Joe is looking like MGS. That's where people are getting that. Nothing against you, but I can't really buy the fact that Hasbro didn't at least have this in mind when they designed these. (Gundam, Mech, MGS)

MGS is nice. And these are some nice figures. Nothing I really dig here because I don't feel the need to collect anything that resembles MGS, Mech or Gundam. If I did, I would probably buy those to begin with. I come to Joe for Joe.

I never cared for BF 2000, Space Marines or Mega Marines, or any of the wacky stuff. I liked the military aspect of it all. And now, it's turning away from that again, I've lost interest again.

I like Sci-Fi. I like Star Wars, Star Trek and BSG. But I like things that seem to me to belong in that universe to stay there and Joe keep its look. I don't like mixing them.

And that's where I think the problem is. Nevermind that Hasbro doesn't want to listen to the collectors who were the entire buying base of Joe related product 2007-2009, but they are using it as a vessel combining many other universes and rolling it all into one. They are losing many of it's roots and in the long run, I don't think that's a wise decision.

People have always went to G I Joe because it was military. Sure, the cartoon was wacky here and there, and there was Battle Force 2000. For the most part, the toys and the comic were military themed. When it went out in space with crazy themes, it lost steam. Hasbro has forgotten that or they think it will be different this time. Maybe it will.

Hasbro doesn't have to be in a no-win situation with the older collector branch. They could make some more classics. Most of them would be cobbled from existing parts and could be as customizers have shown so they aren't going to have to go all out to make some. Maybe some heads. Sell them online is what people say. Put them in multiple packs. 5, 7 or 10.

Thanks for your comments and understand I'm not trying to debate with you or argue my opinions with yours. Just my feelings.

Jmacq1 - 2009-08-20 @ 2:40 pm

Y'know, a bunch of folks keep saying "It's Metal Gear Solid influencing the Joes!"

Why does no one stop to consider that G.I. Joe very much seems to have influenced Metal Gear Solid to begin with? If anything, it's a reciprocal circle. Colorful, gimmicky villains? Check. World-threatening superweapons? Check. Badass military operative(s) trying to stop them? Check. Ninjas? Check. Military mixed with sci-fi? Check. As I said elsewhere, you could scoop up the entire Metal Gear setting and drop it into a slightly more shadowy corner of the G.I. Joe universe and it'd pretty much fit seamlessly.

It just seems like Hasbro's in a no-win situation with some fans now. They can offer up heavily detailed, fairly "realistic" military-themed figures (Jungle Duke and Ripcord, Beachhead, Snow Job, Recondo to an extent) but in so doing get accused of piggybacking off of something else just because it did a slightly more mature version of what could easily have been a G.I. Joe story to begin with (basically the entire Metal Gear Solid universe).

I've always felt that what was unique to G.I. Joe was its' characters. Those are still there. Maybe in different outfits and sometimes with altered backstories, but they're still there. Nothing else in G.I. Joe is really unique to it. They weren't the first military-fantasy-sci-fi blend, and weren't the last. Just one of the best.

There is undoubtedly an anime influence to some of the things we've seen here (The transforming cycle and Jungle Viper most notably), but Resolute was heavily anime-influenced as well. Maybe to some of you the Jungle Viper doesn't look like something that could've easily shown up on-screen during Resolute, but it sure does to me.

Kyver - 2009-08-20 @ 1:46 pm
Here's another question/litmus test for some of you on not liking the "newer" designs for old characters (Recondo, Snow Job, Firefly, Jungle Viper, etc...): If these characters in those designs had walked across the screen for 2 seconds in Resolute, or were coming out on 25th/Resolute cardbacks, would you be all over them?

I can only speak for myself. The answer is no. And none of those characters you mentioned with their current designs would have "walked across the screen for 2 seconds in Resolute" nor would they come out on 25th/Resolute cardbacks. Because they aren't 25th, nor are they Resolute. They are a mixture of Gundam, Metal Gear Solid and Mech.

I know you like to "debate" with everyone on all the forums you participate on, but I'm not attempting to do that with you. You asked a question and I gave my answer.

The new stuff looks nice. And it's come a long way since 5-pack Baroness 2 years ago. But for me personally, if I want any of those things that Joe is attempting to mirror, I'll buy those. It's losing what is unique to it, and I'm not so sure that can be a good thing for the long haul.

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