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So as folks probably noticed (at least I hope some folks noticed…  :shifty: ) I was noticably absent today during a fairly busy news day.  But just because I was absent doesn’t mean I was out of the Joe loop…in fact, I probably had my busiest “G.I. Joe” day in a long time.  For folks who don’t know, I live pretty much out in the boondocks.  Not much in the way of local stores to speak of.  There’s a single Wal-Mart that hasn’t carried G.I. Joe figures since 2003, and pretty much nothing else, so when I had the opportunity today to travel to civilization to attend a training seminar, I said “sure”, especially since it would afford me the opportunity to check out some REAL retail locations and get an idea what’s out there.

First place I actually stopped was a 7-11, where I started the day with a Liquid Artillary Slurpee and a cup of Go Joe Cappuchino.  Yes, I am THAT much of a geek.  From there I swung by a Toys “R” Us and was thrilled to see that they were in the midst of setting up their G.I. Joe showcase in the front of the store!

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Very bad ass.  The cardboard displays are 3D and I just love seeing such a huge presence for the Rise of COBRA.  Of course, the store itself didn’t have much…I did take advantage of the 2 for $9.98 sale and grabbed a pair of Neo-Vipers.

I won’t bore you with the details of the entire trip, but I had a chance to get a decent sampling of a few Wal-Marts, Targets, and Toys “R” Us’, and came away feeling like there was a pretty hefty push for The Rise of COBRA.  Each of the four Targets I hit had at least two endcaps (one had FOUR) filled with Joe product.  I hit three TRU’s, one had the showcase going up, the other two had four feet of devoted space at the front of the store.  Wal-Mart was the most disappointing.  I stopped by two of those, and only one had any RoC stuff, all the C1W1 assortment.

Anyone who is having trouble finding COBRA Commanders or Reactive Armor Scarletts obviously isn’t shopping in Southern NH, because that assortment was everywhere.  I must have seen three dozen COBRA Commanders in my travels (and all of them had holes in the chest, but no hoses included), not to mention at least a dozen Scarletts, and Paris Pursuit figures all over the place (no gray Timbers in sight).  In fact, all of the first two waves were in abundance, though alas there were no Wave 3 gems to be found.  I came away with a little squad of Neo-Vipers (mostly because I didn’t want to pay full price for them) and that’s about it, but it was great seeing all this stuff on shelf.  A country boy from the boonies like me doesn’t see it very often.