I’m very much in the camp of “If you have Vipers, why would you need Cobra Troopers?” and vice versa. It just makes things confusing when you have two sets of grunts to do the exact same purpose. Plus, back during the Direct to Consumer days, I bought five of the “Viper Pit” set to work as my Cobra backbone. It more than made up for how hard the G.I. Joe 25th Anniversary Troopers were to find, and actually kept me from army building anything so extensively since. It didn’t help that the 25th Anniversary Viper was a hideous mess, with its hands that could hold its gun and nothing else. Thankfully, the 30th Anniversary Viper improves on that design, and every other iteration of the Viper, in spades.
Like the Cobra Trooper, I wasn’t too thrilled when I initially heard about an updated Viper like this. However, a picture is worth a thousand words, and upon seeing the final product I was won over. While I really wanted a new design for the Viper, this took the original uniform and made it into one HELL of a figure. Also like the Cobra Trooper, the Viper uses most of the tooling from the Shock Trooper. Might as well, too, since it looks like I’m never going to find one of those… Continue reading →
Back after a week off during which I dressed up as a pirate, drew silly comics, and tackled a fire in my cave. Some careless animal tried to toast pine cones in my toaster while I was gone and, predictably, they got jammed in the slot. It was probably that jerk, the bullfinch.
Marvel’s Ultimate Spider-Man dream-team of Bendisand Bagley have their own independent out (contractually from Marvel) called Brilliant #1 that is worth the glance. It focuses on college age super genius’s playing god…think “The Social Network” meets “ALPHAS.”
I’m not one of those collectors who focuses on old stuff versus new stuff. Far from it, I much prefer to get modernized versions of classic toys/characters, but in general I just go for stuff that’s, well, good. For example, I’m a much bigger fan of the classic 80’s Zoids because I love the whole “mechanical bones” look they have going on, but I’ll always take a Classics-style Transformer over its G1 counterpart. But there are some toys that are just timeless; that no matter what the era, they will always be great toys. And that certainly holds true for the classic G.I. Joe vehicles.
Last year I had a chance to get a complete original Skystriker for $40 at a flea market, and in retrospect, I’m glad I didn’t have the money, because who could’ve seen this coming? Most of us wrote the Skystriker off as dead once we found out that the Indian company Funskool broke the original mold when they had it (an unfortunately common occurance). Naturally, fans were elated to see the vehicle again. I could finally get one of the coolest airplane toys for an affordable price! Continue reading →
The nineties comic book boom (and subsequent crash) was based on two factors that are still cavorting through the forest of comics today. One is the Unicorn of variant covers, the other is the lion of investor speculation. See how nimbly they prance!
The resale of comic books was viewed as a big business, and the launch of Image comics meant that savvy comic book buyers could get in on the ground floor of a gold mine by purchasing every #1 Image had to publish. Soon, Image and other companies started to publish massive amounts of variant covers to rake in the cash from this wave of speculation.
Since then things have changed…but the Unicorn still dances. Now variant covers are the big marketing tool of the least expected: Marvel and DC. The big two release a theme of variant covers almost weekly to promote upcoming events, movie tie-ins and to spotlight characters.
When Tron was in the theaters Marvel had a wave of TRON themed covers. When they felt like promoting Wolvie a bit more they did variant covers to every single title they had with the chuggin’ canuk on the cover. Do yourself a favor and google “JLApe” if you were too young to remember the time when every DC title had a monkey variant cover. Continue reading →
Don’t you hate it when Hasbro saves the awesome stuff for last?
I never really had this problem up until a few years ago, with the G.I. Joe movie figures. The last wave—the one with City Strike Snake-Eyes and Duke, Jungle Ripcord, etc was IMPOSSIBLE for me to find here (I never even SAW the Desert Viper at regular stores). Some of the figures from the last wave of Revenge of the Fallen never showed up here, either. It’s really just a case of stores being clogged up with so much older crap (LIKE MUDFLAP) that they don’t order new stuff. It sucks, but that’s unfortunately how it is. Remember folks—for each crappy figure you pick up, you bring the stores one step closer to putting out the awesome stuff!
One of my problems with the Thor toy line is that it strictly focuses on the Movie-verse stuff, at least for the time being. Hasbro spoiled me by giving Wolverine and Iron Man lines that focused on the comic-stuff as well, so it sucked to see that the mighty Thor not receive such treatment. Lucky for me and my nerd needs though, Hasbro’s gone all out on their Captain America: The First Avengers line, basically treating the property like G.I. Joe: The Marvel Universe edition. This makes a ton of sense, given Cap’s ties to the US Military and Government. The line launched with a wide variety of Captain America based figured, both movie and comic-based, plus a plethora of role-playing stuff for the kiddies. But until they make an affordable Chris-sized Cap shield, we’ll be focusing on the comic-line figures. But before we do so, let me just say that FPNYC has a GREAT selection of Captain America trades, hardcovers, and back issues, so if you want to get caught up on my favorite member of the Avengers trinity before the movie drops next month, you can with ease. Just start with the EdBrubaker stuff, it’s pretty amazing. Continue reading →
After my disappointment with Thunderhead, I decided to seek out another Human Alliance Basic for my Dark of the Moon collection. I wanted one that had an actual weapon mode, one that could enhance my other Dark of the Moon figures. I needed a Decepticon, since I always seem to end up with more Autobots than Decepticons (even though I always like having the bad guys outnumber the good guys, regardless of toy-line). After seeing some pictures, it seemed like the only Decepticon in the HA Basic line thus far was the perfect choice: Icepick. Continue reading →
Did you go see THOR this weekend? Want to start reading the comic? Marvel and Forbidden Planet have you covered, bunky! Here it is: Journey Into Mystery #623! No, Thor’s comic book isn’t called Thor; that would make too much sense. No, Thor isn’t on the cover to his comic book this week…one cover has Loki and the other cover features Wolverine of the X-men for some reason.
Listen, I know it’s weird, esoteric, and confusing. Welcome to comic book collecting! While we’re at it, let’s look at some other great books out this week:
DC has a plethora of fine titles, but might I make some recommendations? In the Bat books we have Batgirl #21 where the young batlass struggles with the price of side-kicks and hangers-on in the form of shotgun-toting vigilante the Grey Ghost. Seeing as how Batgirl is a sidekick/hanger-on herself, this should be interesting! Continue reading →
No matter what the environment, Cobra’s got a specialized trooper just for that purpose. Whether it be the city, the desert, the arctic, or the jungle, chances are, the Joes are going to find more than just a bunch of blue-suited Cobra rookies. These are the guys they really need to watch out for.
If I didn’t know any better, at first glance, I would’ve pegged the Jungle Viper for an updated Night Viper figure! This suits me just fine, because I was never able to build up a huge platoon of those guys. It’s good to see Hasbro giving us updates of the lesser-seen troops for the late years of the line; even with a new name, we can all tell what it’s supposed to be.
The Jungle Viper doesn’t need to go over-the-top with his camouflage-just simple green and black. It’s simple and effective. I feel any sort of camouflage color scheme would just clutter the design and distract from the great detail this figure. I would have liked to see more of the smaller details painted, but I can understand why they chose not to do that.
A lot of the green parts are covered with a very subtle black wash. It really makes the parts seem more “three-dimensional”. Hasbro’s been getting very good at this lately. Continue reading →
It used to be easy: the “Big Two” in comic books referred to the two biggest guns in the world of super hero publishing, Marvel and DC. Then the Nineties happened and everybody had to amend the playing field to make room for “The Big Three,” meaning Marvel, DC and the new upstart Image. My favorite publisher is unabashedly Dark Horse, and they often have a strong presence in the marketplace, as well.
Everybody who knows comic books knows these companies. There are a handful of smaller publishers who continue to share a good portion of the spoils while still remaining obscure or seemingly outdated. Let’s take a look at a few of these fellows in “The Small Five.”
See, parents will always buy Archie comics for their kids, especially daughters. These titles are selling because they fill a niche no one else wants to touch: dependable all ages, all gendered comics, a.k.a. cheap family entertainment.
In the world of competitive commerce there are “Good Bosses,” “Great Bosses,” and “Terrible Bosses.” THEN AGAIN, in the world of toys there are Megatron, Cobra Commander and Skeletor.
For those of you tuning in expecting a “Who would win in a fight” article I have disappointment both swift and harsh. Megatron. Those of you with slightly more on the ball, however, might have figured out where I’m going with this.
Who is the best boss, Megatron, Cobra Commander or Skeletor?
I love C.O.B.R.A. as an organization. It has dedication, passion, a clear business plan and a very lax dress code. Cobra Commander as a CEO on the other hand leaves much to be desired.
The Old Hooded Honcho’ is NOT what you call an idea man. We have all had this guy as a boss. “Hey you,” he hisses. “Yessss you! I need you to go down to SSSSsssssstaplesssssss and buy all the paper clipssssssss. Buy them out entirely!” “How does this help our business, sir?” you might reasonably ask. “ARE YOU QUESsssTIONING MY ORDERSSsssSSSS?!” He’ll reply, typically avoiding your question.
Never mind that you have plenty of paper clips and that this plan makes no sense whatsoever, He’s also NOT going to give you any petty cash for this. “SSsssshow ssssome initiative!” He’ll sputter! Continue reading →
Good ole’ Free Comic Book Day has come and gone. What do we have to fill up the void in our hearts that it has left behind? How about this upcoming Wednesday, a day so amazing in its selection of incredible new releases I just had to declare it: NOT-Free Comic-Book-DAY!
In the sequential pages of his mainstream titles Hellboy has yet to make a trip south of the border. The copy for Hellboy in Mexico promises vampiros, Luchadores, tequila and all manner of wacky hijinx! Looks like we’re in for some Amazing Screw-On Head style weirdness from Mignola, which is to say Mignola at his best! Continue reading →
If nothing else, we should at least get a well-written G.I. Joe something, because I’m pretty sure we won’t find anything well-written in the movie. Max Brooks, Mel Brooks’s son, will write a G.I. Joe mini series coming from IDW.
“Both Chris Ryall (IDW Editor-in-chief) and I read ‘World War Z’ and we knew we had to try to get Max to write something for us. What we didn’t know is that Max is a huge ‘G.I. Joe’ fan and had expressed interest in writhing ‘G.I. Joe’ to (‘COBRA’ writer) Christos Gage,” said Andy Schmidt, IDW’s ‘G.I. Joe’ editor. “Synchronicity ensued and ‘G.I. Joe’ has never looked or read so well! We’re very pleased to add Max’s vision to the ‘G.I. Joe’ canon.”
Brooks would go on to say this is a dream project for him and that he would go on to write “Different Strokes 2.5.” I think the former SNL writer is pulling someone’s leg, but quite honestly, “World War Z” was probably the best genre novel in the last couple of years. Not an hour ago, did I convince a friend to pick it up in the underground basement that is the Barnes and Noble of 86th street. The 60 Minutes style of interviewing that takes up the book is a smart approach at the satirical science fiction novel. Especially the “interviews” with the military commanders that fought the Zombie War the book that the book orally dictates. I found them to be quite well written, I can imagine that will follow-through with this miniseries, and get me reading a G.I. Joe book for the first time.