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I rarely give my personal perspective or opinion on Rise of Cobra’s retail presence, simply because I really have little to no experience in it.  My local stores consist of a run down Wal-Mart that rarely (if ever) stocks Joe stuff, and a K-Mart that time forgot that is in the same boat.  As such, I buy most of my stuff online, and really have no personal basis for an opinion of how the RoC line is moving at retail or what the real retail presence is.

Well, yesterday I had a chance to get on the road, and I went down to Southern New Hampshire and scoped out a number of Targets and Toys “R” Us’, and wow…I was pretty floored.  I had an idea that the peg situation in my town was pretty pathetic, but I had no idea just how much Rise of Cobra product is on store shelves and on the pegs!  It was really eye opening.

My main goal was to find the Target “Rescue Mission” 4-Pack and the Toys “R” Us Attack on The Pit 5-Pack, and I saw them in droves.  Every single Target and Toys “R” Us I hit had the exclusives I was looking for, and then some.  Out of the 4 Targets I hit, none of them had any wave 2 mini-vehicle sets, however, which was a bummer.  I loved seeing the lower $5.99 price point (which was present at all four Targets) but there was little product to get excited about.  Pegs were full of the familiar Waves 1 and 2 items, with a scattering of Wave 3, but none of the really high profile or highly desirable stuff.  No Elite-Vipers, Pit Commandos, Doctors, or Crimson Neo-Vipers.  A few Hawks, Flash’s and Helix’s, but that was about it.

I swung through three total Toys “R” Us stores, and was absolutely elated at the amount of product seen there.  It’s obvious that TRU is a firm believer in the G.I. Joe brand, and they had hit the market fast and furious.  Each TRU had a nice bunch of the Attack on the Pit sets, 2 of the TRU’s had Wave 2 of the Bravo vehicles, and 1 of them had the Senior Ranking Officer 3-Packs.  I was a bit bummed that none of them had Bench Press, though.  I think I hit ’em a bit too early.  🙁

By far the highlight of the trip was the Toys “R” Us in Nashua, NH.  Wow.  Impressive doesn’t begin to cover it.  I know we’ve all seen those old school images of an entire aisle devoted to G.I. Joe…well, Nashua’s just about got that matched.  Check out the pics below taken on my crappy camera phone:

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I know to most of you folks out there this might not be a big deal, but to a backwoods guy like me who doesn’t get to “The City” very often, I absolutely loved seeing all this product in one place.  Toys “R” Us is obviously really gearing up for the holiday season, and I can only hope Rise of Cobra proves worth their investment.  Each TRU I hit did have a nice allotment of Waves 1, 2, & 3, though the later wave army builders were already picked over.

I was pleasently surprised at the amount of devoted shelf space G.I. Joe has these days.  Speaking as a Joe fan since ’82, it’s been a long, looooong time since I saw this much product at retail.  I know the common reaction is “it’s not selling!  Deth of teh line!!!” and honestly, that might be the case.  But when Christmas goes into full swing and the toy aisles get ransacked, there are going to be a TON of Joe items to pick through, which is a great thing for the brand, and will hopefully draw in a new generation of fans.

On another note, expect my reviews of the Target and TRU multi-packs next week…  :shifty: