Although SDCC itself has been somewhat limited in recent years due to the COVID pandemic, it seems like an even longer time since ComicCon held any news of interest for G.I. Joe fans. Well, as the HasLab HISS Tank has dominated the news cycle and G.I. Joe: Classified continues to take the collecting world by storm, I suppose we should have known that would change in 2022.
But even if some of us suspected there’d be nuggets of news from San Diego, I’m not sure any of us were prepared for the sheer number of reveals of figures both in the design pipeline and nearing completion. The initial star of the show was, without a doubt, the HasLab HISS Tank, with a painted model front and center in the Hasbro G.I. Joe booth, drawing ooh’s and aah’s from several attendees.
As always, I have to give huge props to my buddy Chris at The Full Force who was right on top of every single nugget of news all weekend long. If you’re not following him on Facebook or YouTube, you’re missing out.
Most of the images you’ll see here come courtesy of HISSTank.com/ToyArk/TFW2005 who was there in force and took some of the best pictures of the show!
Emily and Lenny explained during the Hasbro panel that while the HISS Tank is not going to come with any blast effects, there will be blast effects elsewhere in the line and they will be 100% compatible with the tank.
As it stands, the HISSTank has well exceeded it’s funding goal and has moved past every stretch goal as well, surging toward a strong finish.
Along with a demo of the HISS Tank, Hasbro also announced two exciting pre-orders in the first days of SDCC. Dr. Mindbender and Sgt. Slaughter! While Sarge was available as a “fan channel” exclusive, meaning you could buy him online anywhere, Mindbender was a combined Hasbro Pulse/SDCC exclusive. Each morning, a limited allotment went up for pre-order. If you were at the show, you could grab a QR Code and use it to purchase the figure while a small amount of them were available for direct pre-order.
Dr. Mindbender (HISSTank.com)
While this was all really exciting news, the fun stuff would happen on July 23rd, during the G.I. Joe panel. Anyone who has watched any of the Hasbro Pulse online events knows both Emily and Lenny, and as we’ve all come to expect, they brought some real energy to the gathering and revealed some fantastic stuff.
First, they started with a pair of “name only” reveals — Low Light and a COBRA Tele-Viper and Flight Pod. One would imagine that Low Light would be a close approximation of the ’86 version and will likely come with a sniper rifle. It would be really cool if, like the Pursuit of COBRA version, there was a case to go with it and the rifle could be disassembled to fit inside. I suppose time will tell.
After the name only reveals, Hasbro dropped the news about two more additions to their “Retro” series of Classified figures — Crimson Guard and Snake Eyes!
The Crimson Guard appears to have a brighter base red color and a more metallic looking face mask, and considering he’s an army builder, I think his addition really makes sense. As for Snake Eyes — well, he has a totally newly tooled head sculpt and a much more v1 accurate body design, so man– that one will also be very tough to turn away from!! Considering the current rumor is that Hasbro may finish the Retro line after these last two figures they went out on a high note!
Next, and perhaps the star of the show– Hasbro revealed the worst kept secret in G.I. Joe: Classified… the COBRA Emperor – SERPENTOR.
Thanks to some easter eggs on Mindbender’s art and some offhand comments from the design team during a few of the Pulse events, most fans knew this guy was coming– but it was a whole different thing seeing him in the “flesh” (or plastic, as the case may be). They revealed him during the panel, then had a test shot version of the figure (with his Air Chariot!) out on display.
It should be noted that Serpentor comes with two various hoods to mix and match for your favorite look.
Typically, during the Pulse online events, they’ll give us “pipeline” updates which reveals certain characters that are in the design stages, but not quite ready to show. Well, during the panel, they revealed a first look at digital sculpts for several of these figures, including Shipwreck, Torpedo, Rock n Roll and Copperhead! It should be noted these are very early images, but a fantastic look at some of the digital sculpts.
Of course, this wasn’t all of the G.I. Joe related news — there was Super 7’s excellent COBRA recruitment center and their pop-up store as well as the reveal of some great looking glow in the dark figures and the Marvel G.I. Joe #44 themed COBRA B.A.T. exclusive. Not to mention their display of G.I. Joe Ultimates wave 1, which is due to ship soon. SO MUCH G.I. Joe to soak in– it’s just incredible. As if all of this wasn’t enough — Mezco also revealed their upcoming Roadblock from their G.I. Joe licensed 1:12 line!
I have to say, it was almost overwhelming to see all of the news breaking loose over the weekend. I think we’d all assumed that a 6″ G.I. Joe line would do pretty well with collectors, but to see the absolute fever which has gripped G.I. Joe: Classified– it’s so fantastic to see.
The highlight of the weekend for me was probably the announcement of Low Light, even though we haven’t seen anything yet, just because he’s one of my all time favorite characters and I think is one of those figures that is ripe for a 6″ aesthetic overhaul. Even if Hasbro leans heavy on vintage (as we all know they will) there is still potential for some amazing things out of Low Light.
I really loved the Torpedo reveal as well — though seeing all the gear he comes with, I have no doubt he’ll be a “deluxe” figure at a higher price point, but likely worth every penny. He seems to be a great blend of vintage and modern, especially with the land-based SMG he comes packaged with. Rock n Roll is another fantastic addition, though I’ll admit, I was hoping he might come with a more current heavy machine gun instead of the old school M60. Though I’m certainly not a weapons aficionado, maybe that is a more current weapon that just resembles the old school classic. Someone educate me!
As for Serpentor — man he looks INSANE. I think I prefer the alternate hood to the vintage version, but the cape texture, the sculpted scales on the uniform and the sheer size of that air chariot– I cannot WAIT to get my hands on this one– though I haven’t quite figured out how and where I’ll display him. Between the air chariot, the HISS Tank and the upcoming Flight Pod(s)– my shelves are gonna be in trouble.
All in all, it was a great weekend. Huge thanks to the “boots on the ground” folks who kept those images coming– big thanks to Chris at The Full Force for the constant stream of updates. And of course, Emily, Lenny and the whole Hasbro crew for bringing some great stuff to share with a wider audience in San Diego. Feels like we’re in the middle of a wild ride, and take it from me — you don’t want to take this for granted!! Enjoy it! Soak it in! Things are good in G.I. Joe land.