While I admit to not being all that excited about the unreleased concept art Blowtorch and Python Patrol Croc Master, I’m glad to see that many collectors who desired those two figures are being satisfied.
Do a pair of new paint deco’s make up for any shortcomings from 25th Anniversary era figure builds? Check out my 50th Anniversary Review Page or click the links below to see for yourself!
When I reviewed Spirit from the Classic Clash 2-Pack I made reference to the fact that while I wasn’t in love with the 25th Anniversary version of the figure, the accessories almost made up for it. I kind of feel the same way about Blowtorch, though his accessories aren’t quite as cool.
Blowtorch is one of those frustrating figures to me. He has a great sculpt with some good colors and very nice accessories, but has a few limiting factors to me, most of which are his elbow joints. When this figure was first made a number of years ago they hadn’t quite perfected the bulky cloth sculpt while maintaining great articulation. As a result, Blowtorch’s thick padded uniform ends up restricting his elbow movement far too much for my liking. I have some room for forgiveness for a lot of aesthetic choices like that, however when a guy whose specialty is essentially his flamethrower weapon can’t even hold said weapon, that’s a bit of a turn off. Because of the elbows he cannot even hold the flamethrower two-handed, so I have a hard time finding some love for the figure.
However, there are some things to love about this version of Blowtorch.
I know most folks reading this are aware of the homage to Gary Head with the Sightline figure, and that’s a terrific aspect of this series of 50th Anniversary releases. What some folks may not know, though, is that Gary’s relationship with legendary sculptor Bill Merklein revealed some early concept art for Blowtorch, including a piece showing him in this green and gray color scheme. There was a lot of fandom clamor for a version of Blowtorch in that color scheme, so in a way, I consider this figure also an homage to Gary, and I’m glad it’s out there for that reason. Not only that, but as much as the color scheme for Blowtorch does make sense from a flamethrower perspective, seeing the figure in a darker color shade is enjoyable as well. Add that in with the whole throwback to the canceled Pursuit of Cobra figures, and there are some things to appreciate here.
From head to toe this is just a repaint of the 25th Anniversary Blowtorch…that fact alone is a bit off putting when you consider that the original 25th Anniversary Blowtorch was never that much of an in demand figure, and for some reason we got the figure re-released in the Pursuit of Cobra (almost exactly the same) and then re-released again last year in the 50th Anniversary line. Now we have him for a fourth time, although at least this figure has a drastically different paint scheme. As I said, I understand the temptation to do this figure, I just hope we can now consider Blowtorch retired for a long while.
The G.I. Joe flamethrower comes with his typical accessories, including the helmet, oxygen mask, flamethrower, backpack, oxygen tank, assault rifle, and two mines. They’re all repurposed accessories from the Pursuit of Cobra/50th Anniversary versions, and while it’s nice to get some of the gear in slightly different colors, there isn’t much really new and exciting here.
It’s difficult for me to rationalize the decision to release yet another version of a somewhat mediocre 25th Anniversary figure, but with the fandom demand for the canceled Pursuit of Cobra repaints, I can see why Hasbro would want to lean that direction. That being said, from a personal perspective I don’t have a lot of love for another Blowtorch repaint, even as an homage to a canceled vintage version.
50th Anniversary Blowtorch
Paying homage to the unreleased Pursuit of COBRA figure is a great idea in concept and a nice way to appeal to the collector crowd, but I have a hard time finding satisfaction in the third release of this already somewhat sub-par figure in a few year span.
1 – Great paint scheme as an homage to the original Bill Merklein concept art
2 – Nice love letter to collectors for going to the unreleased well
1 – 25th Anniversary sculpting restricts elbow motion
2 – Downward pointing hands add to the arm issues and don’t even allow a realistic pose with his signature weapon
3 – Fourth time getting this figure is not the charm
Like they did with Quarrel last week, the G.I. Joe Collectors’ Club has revealed some past history for TNT, who started his career as an Argentinian Blowtorch repaint. While I’m not really a fan of the 25th Anniversary Blowtorch figure at all, the color scheme for this figure is just bright enough to make me smile and think back to the glory days of the 90’s.
You can check out the Club’s article on TNT right here, and keep in mind there are only SIX DAYS left to sign up for the Figure Subscription Service. The below email comes courtesy of the G.I. Joe Collectors Club as well:
Hello all you G.I. Joe Fans!
The Figure Subscription Service ends at midnight on September 4th central time. DON’T MISS OUT! Go to the club site for the official link.
Please note that if you are checking your FSS order, you do this at the FSS site NOT the club store. The two systems are independent even though they are able to use your same login and passwords.
NOTE ABOUT SINGLE FIGURES: There will not be a large quantity of single figures ordered for the club store so if you are interested in most of the figures offered, we recommend that you subscribe and sell the items you are not interested in to others. This will ensure that you receive the figures that you really want.
If you log in to check your order(s) (click My Account at the bottom after you log in), and you are not seeing your invoice or emails, please drop us an email using the link at the bottom of the My Account page and we will have your file reconstructed. Your invoices are in the system but there are a few accounts that are not displaying correctly. After the subscription period ends, we will only send out emails to the FSS subscribers concerning shipping/billing updates and all of those emails will appear in your My Account.
Thanks for your patience and support of this new system.
1. You must be a member of the G.I. Joe Collectors’ Club to take advantage of the Figure Subscription Service.
2. This is a build to order system. We will build as many as you order, so we cannot run out. YOU CAN ORDER AS MANY AS YOU WANT, there is no limit.
3. What you do need to be concerned about is the closing date of the subscription service, which ENDS on September 4th at midnight.
4. You can either pay In Full or by Installment. There will be 3 installments. When you subscribe and choose pay by Installment, you will be billed for the first two months’ shipments. Then sometime during the second month, you will be billed for the 3rd and 4th months’ shipments and sometime during the 4th month you will be billed for the final 2 months’ shipments.
5. Your free surprise 13th figure will come with your final shipment during the 6th month.
6. The figures will be shipped in random order. All members receive the same figures each month. The figure pairings will not be preannounced. So if you don’t mind, when you get your shipment each month, PLEASE do not go online and tell what you received. We want each shipment to be a surprise for as many members as possible.
7. The cost is $294 if Paid In Full (plus shipping) or three Installments of $98 (plus shipping). Please note that there is a $3 online processing fee for each billing. We take Visa, Discover or MasterCard. Unfortunately we cannot accept Money Orders or Checks for this offer.
8. If you pick a shipping service that does not include insurance or if you don’t pick the insurance, we do not have any responsibility for replacement of lost or damaged or misdirected orders.
9. If you move or need to change your credit card during the program, you can log into your account at the FSS and change it there. This will change all of your future FSS billings and shipments. We will also be sending you reminders to check your address and cc before each billing/shipment goes out. We are not responsible for shipments that are lost due to incorrect shipping information on file.
10. We are waiting on the final schedule from China so we don’t know exactly when the first figures will ship. We hope it will be by Christmas. We will announce this as soon as we get the final schedule.
11. Some of the figures (single figures) MAY be available in the Club Store after the subscriber’s figures ship. These will be at a price of $32 per figure. There is no guarantee of availability of any of the figures in the club store. If you want to ensure getting these limited edition figures, you need to subscribe to the service. The single figures will be very limited.
Well, it looks like things have changed a little bit since Toy Fair, and mostly for the better. Site sponsors Big Bad Toy Store and Past Generation Toys have posted some new press images for the upcoming 3rd wave of 2011 Pursuit of Cobra figures, and there is a very interesting alteration:
no images were found
While most of the subtle coloring differences are mostly a result of Photoshop, one look at Cobra Commander tells us that his legs are being reused from the previous version instead of the classic Cobra Commander look. I think it’s a big improvement. It will be interesting to see what the final result looks like.
Thanks to The Terror Drome for the info.
Over the past week we’ve received some conflicting information about upcoming releases from G.I. Joe: The Pursuit of Cobra, but it would appear that things have somewhat ironed out. Several online retailers including Big Bad Toy Store, Entertainment Earth, and Small Joes have received information from Hasbro that seems to finally confirm what waves 3 and 4 for 2011 will consist of. This is how it shakes out: 2011 Wave 3 (AKA “Wave 5”)
Cobra – The Enemy
2011 Wave 4 (AKA “Wave 6”)
Snake Eyes Temple Guardian
To pre-order, make sure to visit Small Joes, Big Bad Toy Store (wave 3 and wave 4), or Entertainment Earth (wave “5” and wave “6”). Now, just to get some pictures! Keep your eyes peeled to GeneralsJoes.com next weekend as I visit New York City and attend the 2011 Toy Fair!