Anyone who follows the Transformers Collectors Club has heard about the "Shattered Glass" phenomenon by now. Essentially it's a "mirror universe" situation where the good guys are bad guys and vice versa. Based loosely off of the "Mirror, Mirror" episode of Star Trek, it is a very interesting storyline idea, and seems to have worked somewhat effectively for Transformers.
The question is, does it work the same way (or could it work the same way) for G.I. Joe?
Brian Savage posed that very question during the Collectors Club round table at the 2014 G.I. Joe Convention, and to my great surprise, the majority of people in attendance raised their hands in favor of a Shattered Glass element to the G.I. Joe Collectors Club toy offerings. So where is this coming from? For folks who haven't been reading the G.I. Joe Collectors Club newsletter, in the very fun Adventure Team comic by Todd Pisani and Rod Whigham (yes, that Rod Whigham) has shown the Adventurers passing through the Bermuda triangle, and into a parallel universe where Cobra is the leading governmental entity, and has recruited some G.I. Joe operatives to serve under them (most notably Flint, Lady Jaye, and Wild Bill). So the question comes up, does this formula work for the toys?
My opinion? No, no it doesn't. At least not right now.
The Collectors Club has been finding a very successful formula recently for their exclusives and convention offerings. They have been able to walk that line between paying homage to the vintage elements, pulling from other mythologies (Extreme, Action Force, and Adventure Team) and adding some neat new things to create a great synergy between all of those. This year's Convention set was a primary example. We got some cool ECO Force vintage figures, new style Outback and Clutch figures, and a cool zombie storyline all woven together to create some really fun toys. What happens when Shattered Glass gets injected into that?
Pete Sinclair with the Collectors Club was quick to say that Transformers fans were negative about Shattered Glass at first, but seem to have come around...but Transformers also has a myriad of other mainstream toy lines to collect. If Transformers fans don't like Shattered Glass, they can always just buy retail (or third party for that matter). If G.I. Joe fans don't like Shattered Glass, and the Club is devoting significant resources to Shattered Glass, those G.I. Joe fans are simply out of luck.
I realize that Hasbro and the Collectors Club have done a number of updates and hundreds of new toys under the G.I. Joe banner over the past several years, but they are still just scratching the surface. There are still many more different paths the brand could take. I just don't believe, at this point, that Shattered Glass is among them.
What are your thoughts? If you feel strongly one way or another, I strongly suggest you contact the Collectors Club. Get them on Twitter, on Facebook, or on their forums at GIJoeClub.com. Share your concerns (if you have them). The vote at the Convention seemed pretty clear to my eyes that the Club was preparing to move forward on this. If you have strong feelings, please express them. The Club needs to know one way or the other.