G.I. Joe Classified Series (1:12)

nacho

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At that point Joe was starting with the odd choices that later became pink Guns. That ran out what kids were still secretly collecting.

Always Hated good guy SS, I had the figure but the action feature made him useless as a ninja.

Did like the Iron Grenaders as they were as close to realistic as we were getting.
You're thinking of v3 Ninja Force SS in '92... v2 in '88 didn't have any action features. It just had a goofy noggin, long neck, and weird bamboo shin covers. Very practical. The only thing I liked about the figure was the exposed tattoo, acknowledging the comic lore (as the clan symbol never appeared in the cartoon). I bought it because "OMG new Storm Shadow!", but he didn't get much use before I stopped collecting altogether.

I didn't mind good guy SS as a character, but I assumed he could just remove the patch and didn't need a whole new outfit with weird blocks on it.

When I think of SE and SS working together, it's this:

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NOT THIS:

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I was never fussed about his bow and arrow, despite it being a major plot point for years, because the figures couldn't do a proper hold, so it just looked dumb. All my SS figures just used swords.
 
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ThunderDan19

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Leaked:
Both look solid.

Also leaked apparently:
Looks like Sarge bought a pair of gloves to box Big Boa, or maybe he’s just planning to throw those dumbbells at him 🙄.
 
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nacho

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Yeah, I'm debating about whether I want a Stinger at home or just one in the studio. I don't really have room, but...

That Sarge could not be a harder pass. What a colossal waste. I can't think of a character or deco from the 80s that I like less... No doubt it'll be an all-time Pulse shelf-warmer.

The Pulse "power days" are on... and I picked up a Tripwire and a set of Valks for the studio. Mostly I'm disappointed that the Steel Brigade wasn't included. I've been watching the inventory numbers on that set for months, and it's been languishing. I just knew they'd be clearancing those, but I refuse to pay retail... unless stock gets really low, and then I'll cave.
 
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nacho

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Holy crap, SSv2 just went from probable buy to "F--- no". That's the ugliest ass figure I've ever seen. Thunder Thighs and gangster eye-slits. This figure hasn't even officially been announced yet, and it's already on the short list for a redo.
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This Alpine head sculpt is a dead ringer for Rodney Harrison (former NFL linebacker for the Chargers, Patriots, & NBC analyst).

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It's not a bad sculpt, but it's not Alpine to me. I'll probably still get one, but it'll take some getting used to.

The IG BAT also just got onto the "F-No" list.

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And the IG figure himself looks nothing like the original, making me think I should just wait for a retro. Looks like one of the Monster Hunter figures BBTS is selling... cool, but not hitting the mark.

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WTF Mattel!!!!!! Yo Joe June just got a lot cheaper.
 
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ThunderDan19

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I can’t say I love either of them, but it looks like only Alpine and SS for me so far. Definitely passing on the IG, despite his dressing up for the occasion (?) and on the IG BAT despite all that fancy gold plating. They really are getting as much use from the BAT molds as humanly possible. So far no surprises, but I guess it’s not even June 4 yet…
 
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nacho

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Well, it was an interesting event. Several things we thought we'd see didn't show up (60th stuff, WM 2-pack, etc).

I guess I'm resigned to be content with the retro Stalker announcement giving me an O13 fix. It's not a new character, but it's a much improved deco. Plus it gives us a lighter base with which to use for Zap and Steeler without painting if we wish. I'm not sold on his camo beret (that was never a thing in any media, not sure where they yanked that idea from), but I have like 10 of the original figure, so I'm sure there are solid green berets galore in my parts bin.

Retro CoCo and Trooper look exactly as I imagined, and they'll be on my PO list next week.

The Stinger still looks good, and the Marauders stuff still looks like trash.

Today I ordered Alpine and a couple of IGs. I'm not thrilled the IGs aren't very ARAH, but they still look cool. I couldn't even fomo myself into ordering a gold BAT or Leg-Day SS. They would just fill up space in my bins. This wave isn't due until 12/1, so it seems we're not getting much the rest of the year, W2 in Aug and these in Dec. A bit of a letdown, but at least our wallets won't take a beating like last year.

Sounds like all the big announcements, including the haslab (hint: tons of power) will have to wait until the run-up to SDCC in late July.

EDIT: I wanted to strangle the big guy in the video who was SOOOO excited about Sarge's duffle, and kept calling it the "itty ditty bag". I hate sarge, and even I know the line is "Itty bitty ditty bag". At first I thought he just got tongue tied, but he said it no less than a dozen times.
 

ThunderDan19

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Glad you got enough to satisfy your itch, but you are definitely starting to sound less completist and more discriminating than before. I suppose that’s mainly due to where we are in the run, fairly deep with lots of lesser repaints. While it was a pretty large offering, nothing from today changes my plans either, and I’m a little sad that I’ve got no excitement for the new reveals. Hopefully some better stuff is in the works.
 

nacho

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I was never a completionist, it just seemed that way... Long before Classified was ever announced, I proclaimed that I would buy anything they made in 6" scale from '82-'87... and as far as I know, I've stuck to that.

Everything I've skipped has been from years after that or "new" stuff like.... Crimson Everyone! Even today, SSv2 is from post '87, and IG BATs never existed before this week. I skipped Vypra, Nunchuck, most of the Marauder/Tiger/Python/Crimson repaints (unless I needed them for parts), and a bunch of new stuff like the HISS strike team, Shadow Tracker, etc. I just don't need the things with no nostalgia pull.

It's pretty clear where my interest dives off.
 
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ThunderDan19

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Got it! Looking back, they really have done a pretty good job providing almost all the heyday figs - though maybe not always everyone’s preferred version. There are a couple that I’m surprised haven’t yet been included yet (Rip Cord, Blowtorch, Footloose, Leatherneck) and plenty of head scratchers that have been included from the post shark-jump era, but overall, they’ve covered the vast majority of the popular ones. You do have to wonder if they are running out of choices now though and are stretching it out with all the retros and subteams.

Is that better than just easily finishing out the OG13? I dunno, but I think somebody at H’bro thinks TF/NF/MM repaints will do better for them. Maybe they’ll offer the missing OGs as part of the retros? You’d have to think those would be no brainers. If I was in charge, they would have led the retros. But I also think that sub-line is most subject to peg warming and thus cancellation, for the reasons we have discussed before. I feel like finishing off the founders is down their priority list and may not happen, despite the fact that they’ve already made a lot of the necessary parts and weapons.
 

nacho

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I agree it doesn't feel like a priority, although it feels like it would be just printing money. What's going to sell better, Short-Fuze on retro card or Footloose in blue/brown/barf colors (assuming we get the normal footloose first)? In my head, that's a 10:1 sales ratio for repaint vs repaint, but what do I know.

But like I said, the retro Stalker gives us a better deco of that guy while simultaneously giving us parts in the right color plastic for Zap and most of Steeler. It's not a lot, but I'll take it for now.
 
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nacho

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In terms of what's left... they still have most of '86 to do, which is surprising given that they've got such a hard-on for Sarge, you'd think they'd do the Joes around him. Sci-Fi, Leatherneck, Wet-Suit, Lifeline, Iceberg, Mainframe... and I guess we just got a render for Dialtone.

Oh, what the hell, I'm just going to dive in... (just for clarification, I included Duke and CoCo as carded figures since they were immediately carded after being mail-ins, while figs like Starduster and Fridge are counted under Mail-In Only).

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They've done 87% of the carded figures from '82-'85, while only 28% of drivers from the first four years.

Drivers in general have really gotten the shaft, presumably because they either don't make sense without the vehicle or the vehicle may come along eventually... but were certainly slow in the early days of the line.

The late 80's basically have gotten no love except for the TF/PP/NF repaints. If they start hammering those carded figs, you'll see my take-rate do a nosedive.

They only seem to like the sub-teams for their repaint potential, as the '87 and '90 sub-teams that are not repaints have no love at all except for the announced Nemesis Enforcer. No other Cobra La, no BF2k, no Sky Patrol.
 

ThunderDan19

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You’d have to think they are holding back any drivers of vehicles they may be considering for production. Seems like Cover Girl was a fluke, possibly since they “need more girls,” though they appear to underperform, if Ollie’s and Walmart pegs are a fair measure. I can’t imagine a Wolverine is out of the question. I doubt anything smaller than maybe the WHALE is completely ruled out, at least for a future Haslab. But I don’t know of too many drivers that are in high demand sans vehicle.

It is very odd that ‘86 is underrepresented, considering it is arguably peak Joe, at least as it relates to popularity of the line. Is it that Lenny doesn’t favor that wave for some reason? Is it that some from that wave simply don’t translate well with the direction technology has taken since then (Mainframe, Dial-Tone)? Maybe it’s the overpowering bright colors (Lifeline, Sci-Fi, Wet-Suit)? Who knows.

I’m actually a little baffled that they’ve held back on some of the more military-esque figures still to be produced for the main line, like Footloose, Leatherneck, Ripcord and even Repeater and Hit & Run. You’d think those would be easy inclusions, trying to bank on more casual collectors (Army Infantry, Marines, Paratroopers, etc.) that might just want a (possibly modernized to be relatively accurate) military style displayable figure, but might shy away from the more brightly colored major characters. Have they been holding off for fear that they might take away from the 60ths? Again, part of the master plan or just coincidence? 🤷‍♂️

And we are definitely in the same boat with post shark-jump characters. If I’m discriminating now, there’s no way I’m spending hard-earned dollars on figures that I have no nostalgia for, particularly as the line steered to weird. Anybody post ‘88 would have to be exceptionally cool for me to even consider. And save for a choice few, I have no interest in subgroup repaints - except where the repaint version tones down wild original decos (like NF Crazylegs, though I don’t expect I’ll ever have him).
 

nacho

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I'm not 100% surprised '86 is under-represented, but you know my feelings on '86 with both Joe and TF. It was the year of the 1:1 replacements, pitching out most everything that came before.

I don't have the numbers to speak to actual toy sales, but there is no question that Joe peaked for me in '85. Flint, LJ, Shipwreck, v2 SE... those are all top-10 all-time Joe characters for a ton of fans. '86 has how many that high profile? They're all on the cobra side... BAT and maybe Mindbender and Serpentor, but I'm not sure they crack the top-10. Even the Joe B-list Joes from '85 are better than anyone in '86. Dusty, Quick-Kick, Footloose... of course, Bazooka and Barbecue are huge black marks for '85, but you can't win 'em all :LOL:

I get that drivers w/o vehicles often don't make sense, but I know they are never making a Haslab Skystriker. It wouldn't fit in my truckbed. But I still REALLY want an Ace figure. IDK, maybe they're planning smaller jets and want to keep him in reserve or planning a Conquest and want to include both him and Slipstream so they can sell twice as many jets. That might get me to buy two.

I assume Ripcord is inbound in the next 18 months. They've already tooled him for the NF version with the Dragonfly, so there is no chance we don't get a retro version in green before long. But your point is well-taken that they do seem to be dodging a lot of the more straight-up military guys (including my beloved O13). Hit-n-Run is one that I see requested a lot. While he was too late to be a player in the toon or comic, he's beloved for some reason. The figure was good, had fun accessories, had a good code name, and appealed to new fans and old-school "Joe should be green" fans. I'll be stunned if he doesn't appear on the roadmap sooner than later. And that's a post-'87 figure I'd gladly purchase.

I wouldn't say the girls underperform... merely that LJ and Baroness were poor choices for the retro releases, especially since they barely differed from their recent previous releases. There was simply no incentive to buy them other than the card. It works on me, but not most people. Covergirl and Helix didn't underperform. Retro Scarlett seems to be doing fine. It was just LJ and Baroness clogging pegs for so damn long that we forget that their value proposition was way off. Whoever chose those for retro while the first releases were still available needs to be demoted to the mail room. Zarana is a different case... in that I think that wave was grossly overproduced compared to most waves. Dusty isn't that unpopular either, but they can't give him away (and I've bought 13?). We'll see how Jinx does soon.
 
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ThunderDan19

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Yeah, maybe Lenny is of the same vein of resenting the 86 as the replacement wave. Strange that they would go with Serpentor and Mindbender though, and even rumored Cobra-La, but purposely skip over the year that (certainly partially thanks to the momentum and remaining stock of the 85s) represented the high water mark of the line. Anyway, I’m sure they’ll finally get around to them.

As for Ace, he should absolutely be made. But do they go with the white astronaut suit or make him more like a traditional fighter pilot with helmet and mask? And what do they make for him to fly? However they do it, I’m sure it’ll be post 60th pilot, if he gets done at all. That’s an easy one for them to kick down the road.

Ripcord is likely already planned, like you said, but they can’t release him until after the DF delivers, or risk pissing off the backers. Same way with Crazylegs.

Agreed on the LJ and Baroness. Baroness only made sense because it was a means to finally get the OG figure w/o the stupid bike. LJ was dumb, and I think both were overproduced in quantity, though they were essentially repaints, so H’bro probably felt it was worth the risk to get stock out there. As for the Dusty line, yeah, not sure why they made so many. Were they overly enthusiastic, then covid hit? You have to figure demand is demand though, and they would be consumed once they finally arrived.

Seems like you said, they simply went overboard on the numbers. Even the CGs didn’t get scooped up as quickly as I would have thought, being a troop builder, though crimson saturation has definitely been a thing. And, while Dusty is a popular character in general, besides desert SE :rolleyes: there hasn’t been any other desert anything. Not like the arctic, where at least SJ has SS’s and arctic BATs (oh yeah, and arctic SS :wtf:) to fight. Maybe it left Dusty as a bit of an orphan.

As for the tanks, you are spot on that those should be in the mix for Haslabs at least. Too bad those only come once a year. I’m afraid they may not get made before momentum wears off for the line. It seems like this line’s strength is also its weakness. Extra scale brings extra cool details, but also makes it very difficult to produce on of the major items the fueled the OG and 25th lines, vehicles. I know I can’t be the only one who can’t find a place for huge items, despite their cool factor. It will be very interesting to see what happens with the next Haslab though. That’s for sure.
 
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ThunderDan19

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So I finally took the opportunity to watch the Pulse Yo Joe June video. A couple new takeaways:

1. I like the guy that filled in way better than Whatshername, though apparently the retro line was "her idea." 😏 Also, they must have donut shops set up outside H'bro HQ or something. They all pudgy.

2. I didn't remember hearing about the Footloose name drop before. Nice! Also, I'm excited about the "modernized with nods to the original" approach they said they were taking with him. Now we just need Leatherneck to join the camo club.

3. Sounds like the "tons of power" Haslab will be a pretty big reveal at SDCC. That's such a cryptic clue though. It definitely works for the Rattler for firepower or for a Mobat/Mauler for horsepower and firepower. I have to bet on Rattler since it's Cobra's "turn" and it's popularity is pretty undeniable.

I gotta give them credit. Between all this and the other Joe media out/coming out soon, they've got a lot going on right now. And it's kinda cool.
 
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nacho

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Yeah, I didn't catch the Footloose name reveal until a couple days later too. Did they mumble?!

I actually like whatshername, Emily. She brings a quirky enthusiasm that no human should have that didn't grow up playing with these toys. She seems to have embraced the oddball nature of Joe while still understanding what sells. That, and her mannerisms kinda remind me of my sister. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

The tons of power clue could be stretched to fit damn-near anything. Horsepower, firepower, loadout... but big boy's Rattler shirt probably wasn't just for grins. It just makes me sad, as WW will be the only fig we get that will be must-have (gunners and ground crew, yawn), and I'll be forced to find a place to put this beast.

I'm looking forward to today's retro pre-orders. Stalker, CoCo, and Trooper.
 
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ThunderDan19

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DF looks pretty cool, although I still feel like the tail is about 10% too small. Ripcord and Crazy Legs look awesome! WB looks pretty cool too, just wish he would have come with a flight helmet like he did in the 25th. Maybe he can use one from the Action Pilot when that drops. Glenda, not so much. I predict seeing a lot of her on Mercari listed for way more than she's worth, and not selling. Good thing she has those throwing stars...

Oh Lenny, I love you, but "rebreather," "windscreen" and "ray gun?" :LOL: He really is just a big kid who forgets what stuff is called and just makes it up as he goes. He's definitely the right guy to head up the line though. He looks like he genuinely enjoys seeing these come together.

Overall, a pretty awesome set! Lots of goodies and some pretty cool artwork too. Definitely trying to make it worth the investment for the fans.
 

nacho

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He continually said the "ray gun" was inspired by Grand Slam... just like the itty bitty ditty bag line, that's the same kind of thing that makes me think he grew up in a later era. Anybody that grew up with the O13 knows that's Flash's gear, not Grand Slam's. And it's not even something you would casually misspeak. As much as I think he's good for the line, I'm not sure he really knows the difference between GS and Flash. No doubt he'd look it up when it was important, but no kid age 7-12 in 1982 would need reference.
 
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ThunderDan19

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Agreed. That is likely why completing the OG has gotten little effort. He probably never had most of those “plain old green guys” in his own collection, thus no nostalgia. And he seems to have a lot of influence on what/who gets made. Of course that would discount the “he resents the replacements” hypothesis. So who knows. Maybe there’s no real rhyme to the process, and it’s more just “flavor of the quarter.” 🤷🏻‍♂️
 

ThunderDan19

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Yeah, I remember them mentioning that in the video. He definitely stands out. I kinda feel like it makes the JCS and Retro lines work better as “separate but equal.” It seems like the latest round of retros have a little more of that cartoon brightness to them. Maybe a little inspiration from the Super 7s?
 
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nacho

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Yeah, I remember them mentioning that in the video. He definitely stands out. I kinda feel like it makes the JCS and Retro lines work better as “separate but equal.” It seems like the latest round of retros have a little more of that cartoon brightness to them. Maybe a little inspiration from the Super 7s?
Yeah, I can see that. Then again, the earlier blueshirts still had the video game stink on them, something even the mainline classifieds figs have gotten away from. But no doubt, the retros are a little more bright and saturated. I'll try not to mix these blue guys into the same squad as the older ones, but no chance I'm keeping the sublines totally separate. Duke, Scarlett, and Beachhead are definitely replacing the Operation Blackout versions across the board.

I can't get over how good Bill and Ripcord look. NF crazy legs is better than the regular red one, but he's still a bullet sponge in my world. Glenda is a zeroburger. Can't wait for a retro Ripcord in green camo... along with the Flash to go with the Glenda gear... and the eventual Grand Slam to share Flash's necessary vest tooling.
 
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A short but interesting opinion on what determines GI Joe canon. Unlike (mainstream) SW, GI Joe had at least 2 very different streams of canon. What or who decides what is actual canon?:


I wouldn't say this guy went super deep into the nuance, but I do think he does a good job bringing out the important elements of:

1. Where should GI Joe land on the Sci-Fi/Fantasy spectrum?

I'd say that I fall pretty close to the video on wanting Joe to land on the shallow side of sci-fi, but I go a step further to say that I want almost zero fantasy. If an element it is not grounded in current to near future tech, I have little use for it. No special powers, no magic, no stupid ancient snake civilizations. Way back, I chose Joe over SW due to its grounding in real world current and conceptual/future military, and I've never wavered from that perspective.

I was disappointed when the cartoon went away from "scary bullets" to lasers, standardizing pretty much everybody to Snow Jobs pretend laser rifle over doing the work to showcase all the different cool "real world" weapons the figs actually came with. I was also turned off when they delved into weird fantasy for some of the episodes. I get it. Those choices saved them all kinds of time drawing the characters and coming up with interesting stories to tell kids, but I felt like they had already taken too many shortcuts on the quality of animation compared to contemporaries like He-Man and Thundercats.

The comic did a much better job of capturing the gritty aspects of battle and "realism" of woundings and death, even occasionally to the good guys, in battle. And it excelled (at times) with the artwork. But it slipped progressively into magical resurrecting OP ninjas vs. sticking to its military roots.

So, while both absolutely have their moments, neither medium fully portrays the best tone throughout, slipping from military to sci-fi into fantasy in both cases. I became less tolerant of both of them as they got "weirder," culminating with the animated movie and "all ninjas all the time" pushing me away as I was "growing out of" (like that ever fully happened) GI Joe anyway.

2. Which medium defines the skill/power/personality each of the characters?

Obviously, it starts with the file cards - which I don't believe he mentions and which have been really dumbed down from the originals in every release since. Beyond that, I think we are forced in a lot of cases to, as he does bring out, choose which medium gives a character enough exposure and development to even make a judgement. The obvious information sources, as he talks about, are the cartoon and the comic.

In most cases, only one or the other gives the attention necessary to build the general personality and skill set of the character. Most of the time it seems that the comics go way into Hama's favorites at the expense of all the other characters. The cartoon spreads the wealth, but at times at the expense of depth and sometimes makes them too cliché or "cartoony" (I know, right?).

I'd say both media have their benefits and flaws for sure, and I think he is ultimately right about each of us having to build the canon of each character ourselves (our "Joeverse" as used to be thrown around constantly over on 'stank) aided by the impressions left by the comic and cartoon, and possibly even later forms of media in rare cases. So in the end, I don't believe there is one conclusive Joe canon.
 

nacho

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I pretty much agreed with everything he said. He did briefly mention the file cards towards the end when he basically said canon was a mish-mash of everything we imagined in our heads as kids... and yeah, the file cards did play a large role in forming my thoughts about Joe, for one simple fact... it was all I had for years. I didn't start reading the comic (or even know of its existence) for the first few years, and we didn't have cable, so I never saw the original 5-part cartoon until it became the lead-in to the Weather Dom and S1, about a year after the MASS Device saga debuted.

I remember going to my mom's friend's house a lot (they had a pool years before we got one), and her son, a year older than me, was also into Joe. I was spoiled (in a good way, never in an ungrateful fashion) and had about 75% of the line, but he was the only kid I knew that had every damn figure and toy they made. It was fascinating to look in his closet (but I couldn't touch... which was fine... no one touched my Joes either), but I remember he had a TV in his room (!) and the Joe miniseries was playing on cable... my head almost exploded. What. Is. This?!?!?!

But eventually I consumed all the media, and it all became canon. Did the MASS Device exist and the Weather Dominator? Sure. But so did the Brainwave Scanner, the Silent Castle, and Cobra Island. And like the guy said, personalities were cobbled together with all the data we had, some just from file cards, some more prominent in the comic, some getting more spotlight in the cartoon. When it came to Joe, I was an omnivore. And because it's all pretend, if I don't like something or there is a contradiction, I simply pretend that part didn't happen *cough* Cobra La *cough*.

Even SW nerds can't tell you what is canon anymore after the EU got tossed in the trash, then big chunks of it came back, but not really... but hasbro is still producing figures for stories that didn't happen... ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

So I don't feel bad that Joe canon is a bit complicated. Hell, no one even mentioned the UK Action Force Joe origins, which most of our british brethren consider legit lore, where Baron Ironblood becomes Cobra Commander after the Red Shadows are defeated for good. As we know, that's all bullshit, but it helps them sleep at night. They can't colonize A Real American Hero!

I did learn something from that video though. When he was talking about characterization, I knew Shipwreck was loosely based on a Nicholson accent, but I had no clue there was an actual movie where Jack plays a smarmy sailor that Shipwreck was practically lifted from. A dramedy with relatively high marks. Never heard of "The Last Detail", but I'm going to acquire it and give it a look.

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ThunderDan19

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Same on the Nicholson/Shipwreck thing. I never found the cartoon voice that close to Ol' Jack, but I had heard that he was the inspiration. I never liked the character that much, so I never dug in to it really.

I think everybody had that friend/relative that more of the expensive Joes than we did. For me it was my cousin, who was the baby of his family and had a big sister that was already working. He ended up getting the Flagg from her the same Christmas I got my best pile o' loot.

I think I was in about the same 75% neighborhood as you were that year (at least on the stuff I wanted), so I definitely wasn't hurting. I got to play with him and the Flagg during that trip (they were 4+ hours from us), combining our forces of new Conquests and Tomahawks to have a pretty good time. That was a really great Christmas!

My cousin was generally a pretty cool kid and I enjoyed playing with the Flagg with him, live and in person, something I had never expected to do. He didn't flaunt it and I really didn't miss anything by not having it. It wasn't quite as cool as it looked in the commercials, and had a few drawbacks. I was very happy to not have to assemble it. Plus, I had gotten all the cool stuff I asked for that year, and I knew full well the Flagg was out of reach for my family.

The real tragedy is that he shared a room with his older brother, who had zero respect for the ginormous playset. So it didn't hold up well and I never saw it in playable condition again after that one time. He also got the MCC before the next time I was out to visit the following summer. That one was really cool and we got to play with that only that one visit as well. He moved away and I never saw it again, but that was one I would have loved to have had, had it come along a little earlier and been affordable.

Speaking of high ticket Joe items, I finally got my Omnibus ordered, thanks to my kids! Happy Father's Day to me! Can't wait for that glorious nostalgia buzz.
 

nacho

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The comic omnibus set kickstarter that's going on or the big artwork slipcase? One is great, and the other will be. For father's day, I got to buy my kids a car... :unsure: Drove to Cincinatti on monday to pick it up. They have no clue how good they have it.

I never had the FLAGG, but I made my own slightly smaller version. Use a 5ft piece of masonite (dad helped me cut the correct carrier shape of the deck) painted grey with stripes and such, sitting on a yuuuge very sturdy triple-walled cardboard box, with a bridge made of shoeboxes, extra cardboard, and mounted guns and radar dishes stolen from other playsets and such. Looking back, it wasn't all that, but the jets could still take off and land, still had multiple floors inside. Like you said, it wasn't as fun as it looked on the box, and it certainly wasn't practical. However, I probably got 80% of the fun I'd have gotten out of the real thing. And mine could be disassembled in two seconds and stashed under the bed. :)

There was nothing I couldn't make with cardboard and duct tape as a kid! In my head, every cardboard box was an evil lair, hidden HQ, or battlescape. Every single one would have at least one trapdoor too.

I was never a big Shipwreck fan growing up (what, a slacker on Joe? Never!), but rewatching the entire series a couple of years back, I came to appreciate the cartoon version a lot more as an adult. But I really want to watch this movie now, see exactly how much the cartoon stole for the character.

Talking about making stuff as a kid, were there any household items or home decor that you loved to use with your action figures? Houseplants were always a place for a good jungle battle. My favorite was a big small-leafed ficus plant that I claimed after a relative died and people were taking all the plants and flowers home. It was perfect... if I could remember to water it.

My mom had this tall sterling silver 2-piece candle holder with a flat base and a 12-14" cover/sleeve with an open top that slid over the candle... and it had probably 80-100 vertical bars running top-to-bottom. This thing was always a jail cell or trap. The base even had a big pointy spike coming out of it, presumably to steady your candle, and that thing impaled so many figures that fell in or got pushed... or it was electrified and Joe had to mission-impossible dangle down into the cylinder to retrieve the secret plans or whatever. God bless my mother, it was probably an antique, valuable, or both, and she'd let me play with it, probably bent some of the bars. Can't be helped when you're protecting the world. :)

The rolltop desk was always a mountain lair or dormant volcano base (plus you could close the top and count that as cleaning your room). I loved making my surroundings into a big playset.
 
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ThunderDan19

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It's the 3DJoes artwork one. I'd been putting off getting it with other bills and expenses popping up all year. So, when my wife was looking for something for her and the kids to get me, I thought immediately of that and let them gather the money so I could order it. I always thought GI Joe had the best package art of any toy line and now I shall have all of it!!!

As for household battle implements, I really didn't use them often. I'm sure there were boxes that became base buildings and chairs and desks that became mountain cliffs, but I can't really think of anything recurring. I know at some point I probably tried to recreate some of the Pitt/HQ spaces with boxes, but those never lasted long.

Most of the time, inside or out, I would simply set up a firebase (walled, trenched or both) and have the opposing side attack. Other times I would have a patrol (vehicle if I had a lot of time/space or foot if either were limited) be attacked or ambushed. It was usually themed for water, arctic, mountain or desert, with (relatively) appropriate troops, plus regular favorites involved.

It usually wasn't until my cousin and I got together at my grandparents' that we'd break out the full scale army vs. army type battles. Those were pretty epic, but required a lot of set up and tear down. And there was always the question of whether we played as opposing sides or just enacted the whole thing together.

Good times!
 
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nacho

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My dad built our house (contractor) and we moved in late '84. My room was a little larger than average, so I had a lot of floor space and good deep-pile carpet that you could bury joe feet in, and they'd remain standing (very key). While smaller battles did occur, every couple of months I'd get the urge for an epic all hands on deck, clear the shelves battle with every figure I owned. I remember several so big there was practically nowhere for me to exist, and I'd have to carefully hop across the battlefield to find a suitable point in which to assist the story.

The good news was that my mother was fully supportive, so long as I left her a tiny path to the closet to retrieve and deliver laundry. There was none of this nonsense about cleaning your room daily or weekly. She'd let the battles rage ad infinitum until it was clear that it was either over or chaos had won.
 

ThunderDan19

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Nice! You gotta love when parents understand that important events are happening that may change the course of history, so they can't be disturbed for inconsequential things like vacuuming and "clean rooms." :LOL:

Most of the time my battles, at least anything of significance, happened on the living room floor, so had to be assembled and disassembled outside of busy times at home or outside of when company was over, unless they were kids that were participating. Best times were when both parents were out. That's when the best sound effects could be utilized at any volume.

I did have plenty of one v. one "hand to hand" fights that took place wherever I happened to be, home, church, school, etc. since most of it was literally happening in my hands on whatever surface was handy. Similar with smaller (and occasionally larger) flying vehicles. They zoomed around wherever I was.
 

nacho

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What's funny is, I remembered that when I built my house and made the door to the kids' closets next to the bedroom doors so my wife wouldn't have to traverse the room for laundry purposes. Keep the battles undisturbed. And of course, my kids rarely had such events. The boy had some big enough lego Ninjago/NexoKnights setups, but they paled in size and scope to the great Cobra Wars of the 80s. But I actually thought of those kinds of design cues building the house and no one appreciated it in the least. Maybe the eventual grandkids...
 

ThunderDan19

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Lol, I know, right? Two of my daughters were the only ones with even a passing interest in GI Joe. My oldest daughter mainly enjoyed the lore of the the comics and would set up her favorites of my 25th, at attention on their stands on her shelves, mainly for display. My youngest liked to display JoeCS, along with a couple SW and TF figs, also on shelves. My son only really played with Legos and they'd all join in on that, but even that faded when Minecraft came along, as well as other video games.

Nobody regularly got down and played with the figs and vehicles, at least when I was around. I guess they did some, but I rarely saw it. Granted, it took a while for me to pass my 25th collection down, as they had never shown much interest, and I knew it would result in damage and loss of parts if I did it too young. By the time they got them, video games and devices had already started to grab their attention.

Then we moved, the kids got older, and the boxes of Joes and vehicles mainly ended up in the attic, with other old collections, before finally being sold earlier this year. I don't see anyone wanting my JCS figs when that wraps up, so they'll probably end up on permanent display in my home office or in the attic when I retire.

I don't really have much hope that the next generation will take to Joe either, certainly not getting on the floor and playing with them with their hands. I feel like by then all the whiz bang stuff will be even more prominent, assuming we are still a society by then. Holographic figures?
 
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nacho

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Probably, but I think future generations might actually appreciate the tactile fun of *gasp* using their imaginations to create a world and story for their figures to act out rather than have it all force-fed via VR or something. Our kids kinda got caught in the crossover. I feel bad for them. I so desperately wanted them to have the same fun I did.

Thinking about it, my son did have a few floor setups with all of the Indiana Jones figures I collected during the crystal skull revival, but that was only once or twice. I bought doubles of everything, including the lost waves that never hit retail and the SDCC 6-pack that has some critical characters. Good lord, those are all worth a lot now!

But he never got into Joe, which is a shame, as I was primed to load him up. I had a full set of ARAH figures and most vehicles through '87 with his name on them... and I still have the parts in storage for a mostly complete Terror Drome and FLAGG that never got pulled out or assembled. THEN, I had a full set of 25th/RoC/PoC/50th stuff with his name on it too, pretty much every figure and vehicle. It would have been Joe nirvana. I tried to hook him with the cartoon... nope. I tried to hook him with the comic when he could read... I begged him to read the first few issues.... nope (the TPB looked too thick, like reading a book for school... wanted no part of it). And yet I tried to not be too pushy, because no kid wants to play with the thing their dad is constantly harping on. I didn't want to play Lone Ranger or Hopalong Cassidy when I was a kid, so I get it. But it's still a shame. We'd have bonded over it and had a lot of fun.

Next time around, with the future grandkids, I'm going to try by having some setups on tables or in the floor when they come visit. Don't mention it, just wait for their curiosity to get the best of them. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
 
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ThunderDan19

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Yeah, I will likewise likely have JCS figs and different scale planes, helos and other military vehicles set up in my home office (much like I do now) until the day I croak. If they have any inkling of interest, it'll likely come from that. I definitely see your point on them wanting something tangible to grasp by that time, as pretty much everything will likely be electronic by then.
 

ThunderDan19

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:sick: They made him so easy to pass on. Those Marauders and Sarge too… :poop:
 
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