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Okay, some folks will probably think this sounds a bit disingenuous, since I’ve been sort of talking down the convention set this year with the switch to an Anniversary style, but more importantly the apparent lack of new concepts.  However, just because I’m a bit disappointed in the convention offering doesn’t mean I’m down on the Convention as a whole.  There is much more to the Convention experience than simply the toys being sold there…  and yes, even though I’m not wild about the 25th format change, I still think it’s a whole lot of fun to hypothosize what we might be getting for our attende exclusives.  Here’s what we know so far:

  • 25th Anniversary format
  • “Worldwide Domination” is the theme, so chances are, they will be internationally conceived
  • According to the latest GIJCC newsletter, they “Start in South America”

Now at the risk of acting like I know what the Club is doing, I assure you, I most certainly do not.  No matter what it seems like I guess, the Club always has some Aces up their sleeve (and I hope this year is no different).  For that reason, rather than try to guess what I think they’re going to do, I’m going to go with a mixture of what I would do, plus what I think they might do, based on past history and what we know so far.

  • Parachute FigureManleh.  A pretty easy Stalker kitbash painted in blue sky camouflage with caucasian features, it would be a straight-forward figure to produce, would involve a South American theme, and he came with a parachute back then, too!
  • Small Vehicle #1 – S.N.A.K.E. Armor w/ COBRA De Aco.  I’m not even sure if the S.N.A.K.E. tooling still exists or if Hasbro has access to it, but I just think as a small vehicle, it would be a pretty cool choice, and I think the De Aco is a no brainer.  He would also be an easy kitbash and repaint, and is a figure that everyone is very familiar with.
  • Small Vehicle #2SAS Hawk with Blades.  We could get a nice Blades repaint from Tripwire and we know there’s the 25th tooling for the FANG as well.
  • Medium VehicleSAS Panther with Hunter.  In my mind, a SAS/Action Force themed repaint of the 25th Anniversary VAMP would almost redeem this entire set.  I LOVE the paint scheme in black and yellow, and I think the Collectors’ Club could do some sick stuff with it.  Now, Hunter never came with the Panther back in the day, he drove the Wolverine, but as a vehicle driver, I could see them working him into this spot.  He could also come with the Wolverine, but I’m not sure on the status of that tooling, if it’s even around any more.  I think a lot of that stuff that went to South America (as the Wolverine did for Marauder vehicle parts) ended up in the ether.

I don’t know, does any of this make any sense?  I didn’t go with any figure multi-packs, but I could see maybe De Aco coming with another South American figure.  For the Action Force stuff, I went with the SAS theme, and I figured we know there’s 25th Anniversary tooling for both the FANG and the VAMP, so that all kind of makes sense in a unified way.  I considered putting Quarrel in here, but something just feels a bit off about that…rumor has it she was slated as a Hasbro “Arctic Scarlett”, so there’s still a possibility that they’re doing something with that particular color scheme, so I’m not sure she’ll be in the Con set, though I could be way off.  Putting her with the very cool Z-Force RAM would be a very nice touch with the 25th Anniversary tooling, too.  Hell, when it comes to Action Force, I really like both the SAS black and yellow as well as the Z-Force dark green, black, and red color schemes, so I wouldn’t complain about any of it.

If the Club really wanted to impress me, they’d use 25th Anniversary tooling, but stay away from direct repaints of Anniversary figures and would do some part mixing and matching to make up some new designs to use for these foreign characters.  I’d love to see the COBRA Paratrooper’s head used for Hunter, or some other unusual parts chosen.

Whatever ends up happening, I do think the Club will pull some nice rabbits out of their hat, even if the main set itself has proven to be somewhat underwhelming.  I am happy that they are at least using the “fixed” Viper figure with B.A.T. legs Barbecue legs :shifty: , it makes a nice tribute to the original Crimson Strike Team, and gives us some cool Vipers that aren’t all contorted in bizarre positions.

At any rate, now that Botcon is already fading into the background, it’ll be nice to see JoeCon start to get some attention going forward.  I think the Club could use some good spin and good press leading up to the event in August.