I know I’m in the minority here, but I LOVED G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra. It was a big dumb action movie, but it was a FUN one. It was great to see live-action versions of Joe characters on the big screen, even if some of the likenesses and character selection left something to be desired. But hey, it was better than those commercials from the 90’s. The idea of a sequel was pretty up in the air, but it seems that it did well enough to warrant one. I just wanted to see how the end would get resolved!
Hasbro’s putting a lot of effort into G.I. Joe this time around, seemingly more than the first movie. Things are going to be different here, and I’m okay with that, for the most part. There’s going to be some reused tooling to cut costs, but unfortunately some figures will also be losing articulation. Hasbro stated this was done to cut costs, and it’ll be given “as needed”, meaning figures that need a lot of joints like the ninjas will get them, but others like Cobra Commander and the generic Cobra soldiers won’t have as many.
Where the articulation thing really seems to hurt the most is for the vehicle drivers. Remember those awful Iron Man and Captain America figures that came with the vehicles in those toylines? Yep, that’s happening here. For the past ten years, who drove what vehicle has been becoming less and less significant, and it’s finally hit rock bottom here. Really, I’d rather have no driver than these things. Still, judging by the price points, it seems as though vehicles are going to be a bit bigger than they’ve been previously, which I guess is a good tradeoff.
But of course, the best thing here is the celebrity likeness figures. Of course, we’ve got several figures of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson as Roadblock, RZA as Blind Master, and the most important of them all, Bruce Willis as G.I. Joe Colton. What an awesome casting choice. I like what I’ve been seeing of all three, though Roadblock’s second figure wins out in every way. Blind Master looks like fun, but I don’t know how much use I’ll be getting out of him. Joe Colton is the obvious winner, even with all the reused tooling. He’s Bruce Willis in a white t-shirt and camo pants. Do you need anything else?
The rest of the cast looks good. The Ninjas use the god-tier Storm Shadow mold I couldn’t find, so these will be a decent substitute. Cobra Commander’s new design will unquestionably be my new default. It also looks like Lady Jaye will be using Renegades Scarlett’s mold, meaning she gets those great ankle rockers! The mass release on Jinx is okay, but she doesn’t hold a candle to the SDCC versions…
And of course, Cobra Troopers. We’ll be getting the standard troop from the movie, and some 30th Anniversary stuff including a neat Alley Viper, a Night Viper, and an absolutely DELICIOUS Crimson Guard. The only one that looks awful is the “cyber ninja”. Why are they even bothering with this? Wraith wasn’t a very good figure, and it looks like he reuses most of the parts from the Rise of Cobra troopers.
While I may hate the packaging for the new toys, I can dig what we’ve seen so far. There are problems, yes, but none that break the entire toy line for me. The new figures are extremely nice, even with less articulation. I know Hasbro will be getting a good chunk of my money here… definitely more than the Transformers Prime toys. When the movie hits, head over to FPNYC to get yours!