That was a tough stretch. Between the events in Boston and West, Texas, blogging about plastic military men didn't seem too terribly relevant. Now that things are returning to normal and we've all taken our leave from CNN for a while, we can get back to some Joe Talk.
Anyway, if anyone ever wants to get a hold of me concerning Joe Talk but doesn't want to do it publicly, please feel free to contact me via private message or Twitter (@mikeirizarry1). I'm always looking for post ideas and would rather stick to topics that you'd like to read about.
For my third entry, I thought I'd touch on the GI Joe Collectors Club's selections for the second Figure Subscription Service (FSS). For those of you who've been out of the loop, the characters that'll be included in that service were revealed at the 2013 Joecon a few weeks ago. Despite a generally warm reception, there's been some backlash in some forums that I don't entirely understand.
Every single FSS selection can't be groundbreaking. There are budgets to be kept and price-points to get under; for every figure like Big Boa, which is mostly new tooling, there have to be one that's mostly reused parts, like Tan Grunt, that'll be mostly re-used parts. For the record, I think the Club did a great job of character selection as well as keeping its mostly-repaint characters relevant and/or interesting in the first FSS. I was on the fence about Sure Fire and Nano-BAT, but they were pretty solid figures once I got them in hand. TNT remains a bit of a head-scratcher to this day, but I can at least appreciate that he's a faithfully-reproduced foreign exclusive, if a ... yes, a hideous one.
Keeping with my tradition of making lists, here's a quick rundown of my first impressions. These are, of course, subject to change, considering images haven't even been released for most of them.
- Skullbuster - if you stopped and thought about it, Skullbuster was a bit of a no-brainer; he's so easy to do conceptually that you knew he'd be covered at some point. The question he raises for me is, why so some Viper sects have specific commanders (like Skully here for the Range Vipers and Letal for the Frag-Vipers), while others don't? Or is this another avenue for the Club to possibly toss out some new characters using old tooling?
- Dragonsky - the Oktober Guard flamethrower was revealed at the 2012 Convention as a teaser and I remain totally on-board here. I wanted Oktober Guard figures for my entire childhood. I snapped up the comic pack ones, was lucky enough to go to the 2012 Convention to get that set and am psyched up for this figure.
- Lt. Falcon (Night Force) - Supposedly this figure will be a different construction than both the 25th Anniversary and Marauders versions of Falcon. I really like Falcon, and am looking forward to complementing my 2013 Con Set with this one.
- Big Bear - more Oktober Guard? Yes, please!
- Admiral Keel-Haul - you should've heard the cheer from the old-schooler ARAH fans when Keel-Haul was announced. I collected Joes from 1982 until 1987 or so as a kid, so anytime a character from that era shows up, I'm pretty happy. I hope that they stay away from those 25th Anniversary General Hawk arms for him, though.
- Ar Puro (Tiger Force Airtight) - I'll be honest, this wasn't a terribly exciting announcement. In fairness, the 30th Anniversary Airtight was a pretty incredible figure, so even if it's just a straight-up Tiger Force-themed repaint, it'll still be pretty cool.
- Marujo (Tiger Force Shipwreck) - I'm hoping that the Club is leading us towards a Tiger Force-themed set for next year's Convention. I can't say I'd buy either Airtight or Shipwreck on their own, but they'd work okay as companion pieces for a collector's set. Oh, well. I said it myself earlier... pennies have to get pinched somewhere, and they can't all be as useful as Tan Grunt.
- Bombardier - as a geek for Action Force, a fan of Flash, and a friend of Dave Tree (who discovered the identity of this unproduced Action Force figure a few years back), Bombardier is one of the main reasons I'll be cobbling together my pennies for FSS2. No lie. As I said on this week's WOJM recording, the Club needs to make this perfect by giving him the file name "David Tree." Write them a letter and tell them you agree, please. Be nice.
- Cesspool - I'm not a big fan of the character, but Cesspool is clearly this edition's Big Boa; he'll receive a lot of attention as far as new parts and new casting goes. I'm interested to see how Cesspool turns out - cautiously optimistic, even, considering that the Club has a pretty good track record with product. Right now, though... eh.
- Desert Scorpion - I was at the Convention panel where this list was revealed (I swear), but I have no idea what version of this character this figure is going to be based on. Somebody else who was there, help me out a little here. Regardless, Desert Scorpion isn't driving me towards this set.
- Tollbooth - I'm in that minority of proud Tollbooth fans, to the point that he may be my favorite 2013 announcement behind Bombardier. It'll also be nice to have a "regular" version (WOJM RUNNING GAG ALERT!) after getting the Tiger Force one as the 13th entry for FSS1. (No, not really.) I'm 100% on aboard with a Tollbooth figure.
- Widescope - I hope that like Sure Fire, the Club adds a little something to this "meh" character that makes him fun and interesting. Besides Lamont the dog, anyway. How messed up is it that I'm more excited for the animal companion than I am the human character here?
I've rattled on long enough for one post. What say you, John Q. Public?