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Obviously the fandom is pretty on edge these days, as evidenced by my monstrous comments section for my last post in regards to the whole Rise of Cobra/Pursuit of Cobra transition.  Well, leave it to my good buddies at the Terror Drome to add more potential fuel to the fire with their keen eye.
Recent images emerged of potential upcoming G.I. Joe and Cobra mech suits, using the tooling from the 2.5″ Sigma 6 Iron Hammer.  Something that went unnoticed with those images (by most folks except the aforementioned Terror Drome gents) was that the G.I. Joe figure had a different logo on his vest.  Now, keep in mind, most Pursuit of Cobra items we’ve seen so far have had the familiar Rise of Cobra movie Eagle and Shield logo, tying them tightly into that movie universe.  Well, things now seem to potentially be branching out a bit.  Click the “Read the Rest of this Entry” link below to check out the full details.
I’m actually going to take it a bit further as well, even if it might be a stretch:

As the guys at The Terror Drome so astutely pointed out, there is a nice, flashy, updated logo for the G.I. Joe Convention in 2010…and the three stripes and star seem eerily similar to that outlined Joe logo on the vest of the Mech pilot.  Well, not only that, but now take a look at the mysterious package art.  As noted by many folks, Hasbro has seemingly gone back to the familiar three-stripe format in the logo, which would match up with the stripes/star look in the other two images.  Not only that, but the chrome type finish is fairly consistent between all logo “looks”, and the blue coloring on the GIJCC logo is a pretty clear match for the general blue coloring of the card art in that third image.
What this looks like to me is a pretty clear indication that not only is the package art legitimate, but it’s also a sign that Hasbro is indeed branching out from the Rise of Cobra universe, is probably dropping the “Pursuit of Cobra” name and refinining their assortments into a more direct “G.I. Joe” line this fall.  Which also begs the question…  who is the driver of the Mech?  Is it Duke?  And if it is Duke, why does he not have Channing Tatum’s face?
Of course, as always this all comes back to…was Rise of Cobra a success or failure?  Now, I would hope that most folks who check out my site would realize that I am FAR from a Rise of Cobra “hater”.  In fact, quite the opposite.  From day one I’ve lavished countless praise upon the toyline, and slight frustration (sometimes not so slight) with the rest of the fandom for not embracing this cool new style.  I have zero doubts in my mind that the Rise of Cobra toyline outsold many G.I. Joe toylines of recent years.  But that’s inconsequential.  It all comes down to expectations.
If…say…  Iron Man was expected to sell 25,000 units, and it sold 24,000, it would be considered a monstrous success.  It nearly sold out, even with sales only around 24,000.  So, say the Rise of Cobra is on the horizon, and Hasbro sets expectations at 200,000.  Well, if the toys sold 75,000 units, it would have tripled the sales of Iron Man toys, yet would still have been considered a potential failure, because it didn’t meet expectations.
Certainly, I have little doubt that RoC outsold the 25th Anniversary line…  I’m absolutely certain of it.  But if they expected to sell 50,000 Anniversary figures and sold 40,000, that’s a good thing.  If RoC sold triple that at 150,000, but was expected to sell 300,000, well, it still outsold the Anniversary line, but it still missed expectations by 50%.
I’ve been in the toy collecting “business” for a long, long time.  I’d think by now I’d have a good understanding of collector response, sales trends, industry talk, etc…  and my feel is that the Rise of Cobra toyline sold well, but did not meet expectations.  When prices drop, it’s not a good thing.  Seeing Pits on sale for $48.00 is great for my own personal wallet, but only means bad things for the toy itself.  I stocked up on $5.00 figures over the past few months, but if sales had been meeting expectations, we’d still be dropping $8.00 or $9.00.  I’ve seen lots of folks expressing fear and hesitation about the future of the brand based on movie sales…I’m not quite so concerned.  Sure, the mainline looks to be halted for a little while, but I have little doubt that we will still see a fairly steady stream of Joe product throughout 2010, and if my gut instinct is right, there will be some neat surprises at Toy Fair that may open some eyes.  If not at Toy Fair, than certainly JoeCon in April.
I mean, just look at the past ten years…it’s blatantly obvious that Hasbro isn’t willing to let G.I. Joe fade away.  They have hammered the brand relentlessly, practically non-stop, since 1998 and don’t look to be easing up any time soon.  There may be some more face lifts, but who knows, maybe they’ll be for the better?  Maybe the vintage style fans and Resolute fans will have more to celebrate this year than they think?  Time will tell.