ARAH: The Second Coming

nacho

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Nice! Got mine yesterday, and I agree. I would still prefer the vintage little white stripe around the edge of the card, but overall they're nice. Neither the WM retro figs or the Classified retro figs have the white stripe either, so I guess that's how hasbro is rolling these days. Only niggle is that they could have used more solid backing boards, but these also are pretty much like the retro figs, a little flimsy but tolerable if you're gentle with them.

Got two sets so I can keep one MOC in case this line has legs. I know we're getting at least another pair of 2-packs along with the carded figures that come with the skystriker. Hopefully we're in for a true o-ring renaissance.
 

pcsguy88

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I absolutely love the new plastics for the figures though I can see why ARAH diehards would hate them. To me it’s a gift. O-ring figs I can really play with guilt free.
 

nacho

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A few thoughts...

- Opened a set last night, and I think the plastics are nice in and of themselves, but I was a bit disappointed with how soft the sculpt details are. I just assumed these figures got a resculpt, but it feels like they're using the same old molds that are super worn out or new molds made from an old figure. The accessories are clearly newly sculpted, as they're super crisp, but the figure details seem lost, like a 7th generation xerox copy.

- soft plastic on the lower arms... I can see why it's better in regard to preventing cracked elbows that many ARAH figures developed after 20 years, but I don't like the rubbery feel when putting the weapons in their hands. I never broke a single thumb of an original figure (except straight-arm zap b/c those original '82 plastics were shit and the space in his grip was 1/2 the size it needed to be for the bazooka handle). The only thing I ever broke as a kid were a couple of crotches (duke and... somebody else), out of probably 200 figures. But the new plastic... it flexes, so they have to make the hand-gaps a little smaller to keep the weapons from being floppy. But in turn, that makes them look funny, like you got one with extra thick paint on the hands or something. The hands almost look puffy or bloated compared to a vintage ARAH figure. Not a huge deal, but it jumped out as "off" in my mind.

- synthetic o-ring... seems no different than any other o-ring, but it'll be nice for the MOC collectors who won't see their figures collapse in the package 20 years from now. Thumbs up to hasbro for that.

- articulation... exactly what you'd expect. Except that it's been a loooooong time since I fiddled with a classic ARAH figure. I couldn't ever get it in the exact pose I wanted. I think I've been spoiled by the similarly-articulated Mega figures, except I got used to those guys having swivel wrists. ARAH suddenly seems staggeringly antiquated, even ignoring the classic sculpts. Not really a fault of the product, just proof that it's been a coon's-age since these came out originally. We're old.

- Every joint is snug (more snug than back in the 80's), except the elbows. They aren't loose, just not nearly as tight as everything else. Probably a function of the softer rubber-like plastic of the lower arms.

-extras... they come with a lot of gear, more than originally. SE even gets his V3 backpack, sword, and gun in addition to his normal '82 kit. SS gets two nunchucks this time around, and they still don't fit well into the backpack case. The stands are nice, understated flat black, fit securely in the foot without making you wonder if they'll be so tight you'll break them off when trying to remove them. Hasbro did a nice job with these stands. I wish all figure stands fit as nicely as these do with the figures.

Bottom line... are they worth $20 a pop? Depends. If you want some ARAH figures to mess with or keep MOC, these are cheaper and more durable than buying 40 year old toys. Are they going to be the star of your action figure display? Definitely not. I'll keep buying them b/c I'm a nostalgia wank, but I can see why a lot of people won't bother. They're nice for what they are, but ... you have to question how relevant they can be 40 years later as more than anything but a novelty/oddity. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
 
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ThunderDan19

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I'll be upfront and say that I haven't had any interest in the O-ring figs since the 25th came along. I think in general that line is superior to the retro and O-ring figs in everything from the quality of the figs to the quality of the packaging to the original pricing. There is zero chance I'll be collecting these.

That said, I'm glad to see them being released for those who love O-rings and the nostalgia of having a very close copy of the original figs we grew up with. Huzzah to Hasbro for offering a lot more options for Joe fans this year than they have in a long time!
 

nacho

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That's valid. If the line goes very far, I won't be a completist. I'll probably pick up *most* figures from the 82-87 era, but I won't feel a compulsion to do so. And I probably won't be picking up doubles of most, as I don't see myself wanting them for anything beyond a MOC display. Maybe doubles of a few favs to mess with, but not whole hog like I do for other lines.

But the reality is, I don't see this going beyond 18 months and 15-20 figures (just like the previous WM retro line). The anniversary hype will die down, and the Joe managers will move on to something new and shiny, like the 20th Anniv of Sigma 6 or some other reimagining/reinterpretation/modernization.

How many retro reissue transformers did they put out? 15-20? And even then, instead of sticking to classic figures that fans know and love, they couldn't help but put out late-stage headmasters that no one was calling for. Then the line died. Hasbro and/or their retail partners have the attention span of a labradoodle, so we just have to accept that what we get, whether we like it or not, will be short-lived.
 

ThunderDan19

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That sounds about right. I wonder how production/delivery delays and shortages have/will affect(ed) things. If profits aren't high, I wonder if things will be reduced/shortened even more.
 

nacho

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Maybe. I have to imagine that these are pretty high-margin items, since they don't have to pay license fees, no artwork fees, and especially if they're using any of the old tooling. Also, I think being a pulse exclusive line it could last longer than any WM line since hasbro isn't depending on retailer support for the o-rings like it did the "retro" figures. Assuming demand holds, it's hard to imagine anything easier and more lucrative-per-unit than reissuing existing items from an in-house property via your own online channel.

Production delays are just that, but I don't think it really reduces demand unless everything appears at once and stretches the people living check-to-check (who probably shouldn't be buying toys).

As long as people buy them, they'll keep it going for a while... but the whole endeavor is just a couple of poor figure choices away from cancellation. As soon as the novelty wears off and they put out a couple of duds, the price-point will be the death of it, IMO. It's just too high for a casual purchase.
 

pcsguy88

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Once I get Duke and a few Cobra troopers, I’ll be good to go once the Skystriker arrives. Really do not need much, but I’ll certainly buy 2pks if they feed them to us in a quarterly fashion.

I totally agree on the hands especially with SE’s right being molded at a tilt. You have to position him arm all wonky to get the Uzi to point level, but I still prefer the soft arms.

These things are far inferior modern Joes (which are a joke compared to JoyToy), but boy does that nostalgia hit carry a weight nothing modern ever could. Like with Transformers, less is sometimes better for actual play, not display.
 
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ThunderDan19

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Maybe. I have to imagine that these are pretty high-margin items, since they don't have to pay license fees, no artwork fees, and especially if they're using any of the old tooling. Also, I think being a pulse exclusive line it could last longer than any WM line since hasbro isn't depending on retailer support for the o-rings like it did the "retro" figures. Assuming demand holds, it's hard to imagine anything easier and more lucrative-per-unit than reissuing existing items from an in-house property via your own online channel.

Production delays are just that, but I don't think it really reduces demand unless everything appears at once and stretches the people living check-to-check (who probably shouldn't be buying toys).

As long as people buy them, they'll keep it going for a while... but the whole endeavor is just a couple of poor figure choices away from cancellation. As soon as the novelty wears off and they put out a couple of duds, the price-point will be the death of it, IMO. It's just too high for a casual purchase.

Good points. I didn't realize these were Pulse exclusive. That's actually better in even more ways since most of the hardcore collectors who are ready to spend that much per fig probably already shop there, and they won't be at all dependent upon flaky WM or anybody else to stock the shelves with them. I think the collectors there will be more tolerant of the occasional dud figure as well, and you won't have the obvious 10+ Stalkers and Troopers clogging up Wallyworld shelves.

I certainly wish them the best!
 

nacho

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Once I get Duke and a few Cobra troopers, I’ll be good to go once the Skystriker arrives. Really do not need much, but I’ll certainly buy 2pks if they feed them to us in a quarterly fashion.

I totally agree on the hands especially with SE’s right being molded at a tilt. You have to position him arm all wonky to get the Uzi to point level, but I still prefer the soft arms.

These things are far inferior modern Joes (which are a joke compared to JoyToy), but boy does that nostalgia hit carry a weight nothing modern ever could. Like with Transformers, less is sometimes better for actual play, not display.
Yeah, SE's right hand was the worst of the bunch b/c it's tough to get the gun to point in a reasonable direction. I might even dare to take an exact-o to it if I can determine exactly what I could trim to make the gun sit level.
 

ThunderDan19

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I really think if they had priced them better - even sub $10 would have helped psychologically - they would have pegwarmed a lot less. I think that they would have gotten quite a few more of the casual collectors that way. I also think they could have made way better mold/figure choices on many of the figs. Many looked cheaply made, some didn't even try to match the artwork and some were just ugly. I think they would have been better suited to just go full OG13, then keep releasing them in order of the originals if the popularity was good enough. Imagine the nostalgia boost of that!

Would it have been enough? I still wouldn't have bought them because, to me they were a rehash of the 25th line that had (IMO) done it better and cheaper (in most cases) 12 years prior. But maybe others would have.
 

nacho

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Except that Stalker mold was by far the best generic soldier buck they'd ever made. It made 25th stuff look like it was made by Kenner. I'm crushed that the line ended before we got a Short Fuze, Hawk, Steeler, Zap, Breaker, etc out of that design. I bought extras of stalker and grunt, and I'll end up cobbling together a couple of other classic guys, but even the head/necks are a different design, so you can't use the same old heads. I hope that they go back to releasing more of them when the o-ring resurgence plays itself out.
 

nacho

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Out of the blue ARAH trivia, coming at ya!

Was randomly looking at some O13 customs using the newest modern WM retro Stalker/Grunt buck, and I stumbled across this article detailing that the class of '82, which got swivel arms in late '82/83, was due in '84 to get updated heads on some figures to make them slightly more distinct than the ubiquitous use of the grunt and flash heads. Really interesting, as I'd never heard this.

More Images of Rare 1984 G.I.Joe Zap, Short Fuze and Breaker with Alternate Heads – SURVEILLANCE PORT

Not sure why it never happened, but I always wondered why the Zap figure never had a 'stache and Breaker in the comics never had a beard.... or that Short-Fuze and Zap were supposed to have bangs? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ But it would have been cool for them to be a bit more unique.

1651857864844.png
 

NSA

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Dang, I'm not a premium member.. bad toy nerd. That looks cool!

I ordered a few of the 'retro' figure but they weren't the old style.. the cardbacks sucked though.

How did they managed to go downhill over the years?
 

nacho

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Cost cutting.

It's interesting that they went back to the ARAH wheels (and presumably chassis) for the Stinger, as I just assumed it would be a 25th version with an o-ring figure. I never dreamed they still have the old tooling, and no way they're going to remake it for an online exclusive line.
 

nacho

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Yeah, the old one was just a little too small for modern 4" figures, so the 25th version was a completely new tooling. But this seems to be the classic version.

EDIT: I just noticed that even the packaging dept didn't get the memo, as they used the 25th toy to recreate the classic artwork. You can tell by the tires. WTF Mattel!
 

NSA

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You should go up there and give them a what-for!

Since it's not coming till November who knows what toy we'll actually get. The pictures could just be a mockup based off what they had on-hand. Maybe they don't even know they're different?
 

ThunderDan19

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Lol, the more I see of the live streams and see the girl on there (who comes off as a complete diversity hire, with admittedly next to zero Joe knowledge), the more I understand some of the :wtf:items from the back half or ARAH to the 25th to the present.
 

zodiacflash

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Not really a fan of the Stinger, though I admit it is a cool vehicle. The roof and doors sure do look good on a green Vamp, too. Nice to have original tooling to look like the 84 release, except the 84 didn't have much grey. Just so many versions of it over the years, though (including a 25th), so the only appeal I see here is the O-ring driver. I feel like for a small retro vehicle release they could have gone with something else... Wolverine with a new Cover Girl. That would be sold out in two minutes. But Hasbro does weird things. Take the new Cobra Fang for example. The 25th version was the same as the original except the slightly different main gun and the control stick was upgraded to look like an actual control stick, not a grey toothpick. But look at the retro release now. It's like Hasbro subcontracted production to Chap Mei.
 
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nacho

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I like it for the box.. I doubt I'll ever even open it. Sad me.
That's why you buy two, a keeper and an opener!

That's what I did, and I can't even explain why. I have loose vintage ones, a MIB vintage one, and several 25th ones. I need a new stinger like a hole in the head, but that stupid box calls to me, even with the incorrect recreated artwork.