As I was driving down to New Jersey this weekend, my phone started buzzing, indicating some serious social media activity going on. Obviously waiting until I was in a safe place to stop, I checked out what all the hub bub was about and discovered that indeed, big G.I. Joe news had broken on the weekend, and it was a weekend that I wasn’t going to be near a computer.
So along with the last two figures of FSS 2.0 (two excellent figures, which have been unfortunately overshadowed by the drama surrounding figure #13) lucky recipients also got their hands on the mysterious “thirteenth figure”. And like every other G.I. Joe fan on the Internet, I will push aside Dragonsky and Big Bear, and focus my crosshairs on #13. However, I will do so after the jump so as not to reveal any spoilers.
So, along with two more members of the intrepid Oktober Guard, the G.I. Joe Collectors Club shipped the final figure, and fans seemed dismissive at best, and downright heated at worst.
The thirteenth figure is an original 13 version of Grand Slam.
I’ve been getting several personal messages about the revelation, asking for my thoughts, and to be honest, I’m pretty bummed out. I can see all sides of the argument. Yes, the 13th figure is technically the “freebie” so one might expect a little less pizazz to go along with it. However, on the flip side, in my view, the 13th figure is also supposed to be an incentive to subscribe. I would imagine that without significant full subscriptions from Joe fans, the future of the entire FSS could be in doubt. If folks can continue to cherry pick a few figures they like and don’t feel compelled to subscribe, then one might imagine the impact of the FSS as a whole is lessened.
But, as I said, I can see both sides.
My own reason why I’m bummed? I dunno, I just don’t think the choice is very exciting.
We’ve had like three different versions of Grand Slam since 2007, and yes, I know none of them were of the red pad variety, but we still had Flash, who was pretty close. Heck, we just got Bombardier last month, and construction-wise he’s the same exact figure that we got in #13. I know I’m in the minority when I say that I crave new and exciting elements in the G.I. Joe mythology, but frankly, a Grand Slam figure is neither new nor exciting. I know there has been demand for this figure’s release from some vocal elements of the fan base, but I would think that even most of them would agree that the 13th “mystery figure” was not necessarily the best place for it. I know this isn’t really what the 13th figure was built for, but in my mind, it would represent at least an element of a “grand finale” for that particular FSS series as a whole, and in my opinion, Blackout offered some of that. Grand Slam simply doesn’t.
I’m not going to skewer the Club over this one, but I will be honest and say I was disappointed, and I can only hope that perhaps FSS 3.0 will build on this and offer some more cool new items to look forward to.