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Thanks to the guys over at The Terror Drome for digging up a few more images of upcoming Pursuit of Cobra figures…and gotta kind of shake my head a bit at the general lack of information or explanations coming from Pawtucket on the entirety of this whole toyline and brand.

First the good…  check out images of Arctic Threat Duke, Whiteout, and Arctic Threat Destro below:

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But come on now.  We were told at JoeCon this past year (only a few months ago, mind you) that we should brace ourselves for the awesomeness of Pursuit of Cobra, coming in 2010.  We were shown a ton of absolutely incredible product, certain to only further blow our minds.  Now we stand, a mere two weeks from 2010, and absolutely nothing.  Jack.  No information whatsoever on a toyline that was promising to reinvigorate and reignite the G.I. Joe brand in a new fantasy/military style that was really wowing  the majority of the fandom.

What does it mean?  I think it’s obvious by the rampant price drops that the Rise of Cobra toys did not move like Hasbro and the retailers were hoping.  But did this really put Hasbro in an all out “panic mode”?  In a recent Q & A, the Joe brand team reveals that Pursuit of Cobra is now planned for fall of 2010.  What the–?

I’ve seen several folks over on HissTank hypothesizing that while the Pursuit of Cobra toys will hit in fall of 2010, some of them will be rebranded and released earlier.  Sorry, I just don’t see it.  Yeah, we’ve seen a smattering of test shots for Desert Ripcord and Zartan, Arctic Duke, and Jungle Storm Shadow, but absolutely no packaged samples or evidence to prove they’re hitting earlier exists.  And really, you only have to follow the release trends to uncover what’s going on here.  There are two times of the year that new brands are launched.  Either the beginning of the year, or the “fall”.  And as we all know from experience, the beginning of the year generally means December of the previous year.  Well, obviously there is absolutely no reason to think any Pursuit of Cobra looking product is hitting during the holiday season, especially as we approach the final week.  Strangely enough, there are still plenty of exclusive products that appear to be slated for release, so perhaps we’ll have something to cling to in the first quarter.

To me, all evidence is pointing to the fact that the main G.I. Joe line is officially on a “break” (no I will not use the “H” word) and will hit next fall, refined and redefined.  The real question is, what does that mean?  Any assortment changes?  Any figure changes?  Any *gasp* cancellations?  Unfortunately the way Hasbro Public Relations is working at the moment, we won’t know a damn thing until Toy Fair, which is kind of too bad.  If a major restructuring like this is taking place, I would think it would be in Hasbro’s best interest to release the information officially to halt speculations and to set expectations to where they should be.  Instead we have different corners of the fandom saying different things and nobody knowing what’s really going on.

So I guess what I’m saying is, don’t hold your breath.  Don’t wait in hushed anticipation for the blockbuster announcement that the first wave of Rise of Cobra will be rebranded and released early in 2010.  We’re all in a holding pattern at this point, waiting for Toy Fair, and I think Toy Fair will provide some answers, perhaps ones that we don’t want to hear.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m certain Pursuit of Cobra will be released, but I think we need to listen to what Hasbro tells us in the Q & A, and maintain our expectations for fall of 2010 (which, in all fairness, is usually July – August).  Not only that, but please don’t be surprised to see some changes along the way.

At this point Toy Fair is 6 weeks away, let’s prepare to get some real answers then.  But something tells me we won’t get the real “goods” until much later in the year next year.