There have been many rumors and tales told about what “could have been” for the past year’s 50th Anniversary line from Toys “R” Us, many of them involving vehicle sets that were canceled due to the retailer’s request for a more scaled back exclusive line.
YoJoe hits us with some tangible proof that many of these items were in the production chain when canceled. An anonymous YoJoe supporter has uncovered what looks to be an early sample of a Rock n Roll figure with many similarities to the concept case version from a few years back.
Using parts from G.I. Joe: Pursuit of COBRA and G.I. Joe: Retaliation, the figure looks very cool and I love the camouflage pattern on the legs. He’s got a new head and a pretty cool aesthetic, all told.
With the Collectors Club slates to release their own version of Rock n Roll v2 as a membership figure for 2018 it will be interesting to see how similar or different it is to this one. Check out the YoJoe forums for the full details, I’ve mirrored a couple of images below, but you’ll find many more over there.
A few days ago, a few auctions from notorious overseas test shot specialist viperkingdom revealed some before unseen test shot figures of what might have been for unreleased figure/vehicle sets from the 50th Anniversary line last year.
This is all rumor at the moment, but some of these designs match up with some revealed unused artwork that certainly match the 50th Anniversary style.
Thanks to HISSTank for the intel, and check out the auctions here and the images mirrored below.
Good friend of GeneralsJoes and noted author James Kavanaugh, Jr. has nearly completed work on the third volume of his impressive Rank & File guide to G.I. Joe modern era figures! JoeCon is nearly upon us, and so will the latest Rank & File and you’re guaranteed to find something to love here. Check out the press release and full details below.
The adventure continues to evolve in Rank & File — A Guide to Third-Generation 4” G.I. Joe Action Figures!
After a brief hiatus in 2006 that allowed G.I. Joe to flourish in other areas, G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero went in a new stylistic direction that is still predominately used today! Not only did fans get to revisit some of their most cherished icons within the G.I. Joe mythos, they were also introduced to new characters that are now known and loved.
The Rank & File guide volume 3 displays every G.I. Joe action figure produced between the Celebrating 30 Years of A Real American Hero / Renegades, Retaliation,50, and Basic G.I. Joe Asst. series, complete with every accessory and variation produced. Not only are the accessories shown, they were carefully cataloged in an upcoming volume that will guarantee the proper shade of accessory goes to the appropriate action figure. To top it off, every vehicle and playset released in the 4″ era is documented and every easily removable piece is shown individually photographed —ensuring collector completion.
This full color, forty-eight page resource manual beautifully illustrates the four series’ 148 action figures, twenty-two vehicles and every accessory, including all known variations. Not only is every accessory present and accounted for, they have each been assigned a unique number and identified throughout the resource guide. Each action figure was carefully examined between its initial run and any further re-releases to ensure accurate samples are clearly and concisely presented, perfect for the collector who is identifying individual action figures or sorting through unorganized lots.
Whether you are a seasoned or rejuvenated collector, enthusiast, or toy vendor, the Rank & File series is the decisive compilation for G.I. Joe action figures, vehicles, and playsets produced from 2007 to today. Let the Rank & File guides serve as a reference for completion or a scrapbook to the next big turning point of G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero.
The MSRP for The Rank & File guide Volume 3 is $20 and available at www.rahcguide.com. Buyer will pay all additional shipping and handling costs. If you have purchased the R.A.H.C. guides before, the process will be very similar. This guide was self-published and produced in quantities reflecting previous sales so do not hesitate in ordering if owning a guide is a priority.
Okay, I admit straight up. This is going to be a tough review to write. I was desperately hoping that Whisper might end up winning the fan vote, and I fully admit I was pretty upset that she didn’t get the nod.
That’s not meant to be any slight against the other three excellent candidates, but I’d be lying if I said this review wasn’t being written through at least some gritted teeth. As it stands, the Stiletto figure came out pretty good, and manages to capture the elements of Bill Nedrow’s character relatively nicely.
The new head sculpt is decent, but would have benefited from better paint apps, especially on the scar and potentially missing left pupil. The figure build is essentially Rise of COBRA Agent Helix with Lady Jaye arms, and as much as I love the parts for that figure (I consider her one of the highlights of the excellent Rise of COBRA toy era) the color placement on Stiletto is odd to say the least. Purple and black on the torso with oddly green colored pants and a blue scarf makes for an eclectic and eye-opening array of colors that seem almost arbitrarily chosen.
While I fully admit to being somewhat disgruntled at Whisper’s shunting to relative obscurity, I’m generally a fan of new characters, and Stiletto works in that regard, although her filecard is in pretty direct contrast to the actual character in the fiction. That leads to some challenges, as she is clearly a COBRA agent in the books, but is written as purely a G.I. Joe member according to the filecard. It’s an interesting dichotomy which will make for some intriguing storytelling opportunities.
As an expert in edged weapons, Stiletto comes with two swords and knives aplenty, as one might expect. She also has a submachine gun and a Drugonov sniper rifle. I’d argue out of the 2 packs she is the best equipped figure and has the most sensible assortment of weapons out of the whole crew.
Stiletto is an intriguing new character and I’m happy for Bill that she managed to get included in the 2016 assortment, and I’m still totally not holding a grudge about Whisper. All that being said, this figure is a decent build with some strange color choices and a nice assortment of useful accessories.
YouTube Video Review
G.I. Joe 2016 Stiletto
Another new COBRA character is something to be celebrated and Stiletto certainly has an intriguing look and feel. While I love the Agent Helix build, and am happy with the majority of the figure, the restrictive arms and the mish-mash colors leave me a little cold, not to mention the lack of quality paint apps on her face.
1 – New character!
2 – Nice new head sculpt
3 – Good accessory compliment
1 – Lack of paint apps on the scarred face
2 – Pretty bizarre color choices throughout the uniform
3 – Whisper FTW 😛
After the run that Heavy Duty had in the early 2000’s, it’s tough to picture a time when fans might actually be looking forward to a new version of this 90’s character. Essentially a Roadblock replacement when the trademarks were lost during the new sculpt era (and into Sigma 6), Heavy Duty was often the target of derision from collectors who much preferred the more popular Roadblock.
Now here we stand in 2016 after getting a healthy helping of Roadblock from G.I. Joe: Retaliation and now people seem happy and satisfied with a new Heavy Duty. In truth, there’s a lot to be satisfied by.
Heavy Duty here is by and large the Retaliation Roadblock from the neck down, with what looks to be a new head sculpt. The result is a large, imposing looking figure as the classic was meant to be, though this version’s baseball cap is replaced by a bandana. His shirt is off-white, like the vintage version was, and the green pants offset it nicely. I will say without some kind of vest or web gear the figure looks a little plain, but still is pretty cool. Once you put the Resolute Roadblock web gear on him, it’s a huge improvement and the figure all told is surprisingly effective. Certainly it’s basically a Roadblock repaint, but this particular Roadblock is a fantastic figure with great sculpting and impressive articulation, so it’s pretty tough to complain about that formula.
Heavy Duty is a nice compliment to other figures in this first 2 pack assortment, and I think Hasbro did a decent job with it.
Heavy Duty is littered with accessories to the point where he seems to have more weapons than he has places to store them. This seems to be an ongoing issue with these modern figures as Hasbro kind of treats them like “accessory packs” simply dumping a pile of gear in there that aren’t necessarily meaningful. Heavy Duty comes with two separate oversized machine guns along with the M249, pistol, and knife. He also has the great Resolute Roadblock vest, too.
In spite of the prevalence of Heavy Duty back in the early 2000’s, I was excited to hear about his inclusion here, and the end result is really nice. It’s got some vintage twists, but some new elements, and the figure is surprisingly one of the highlights of this year’s series.
YouTube Video Review
G.I. Joe 2016 Heavy Duty
Although Heavy Duty was a roster stalwart for many years, it’s been a while since he’s made an appearance. This 2016 version makes up for lost time and ends up being a pretty terrific new version of a classic character that believe it or not, feels overdue in spite of his rampant appearances in the early 2000’s.
1 – Effective modern parts choices
2 – Good new head sculpt
3 – Fun accessories
1 – Almost too many accessories, some of them redundant