I haven’t really been a fan of recent 12″ Hasbro figures, but the Rise of Cobra ones are actually drawing me in, if only a little bit. I’ve seen Snake Eyes, Storm Shadow, Duke, Cobra Commander, and Ripcord, and they all have some sort of limited appeal which I cannot really describe. They still have the silly, scrawny body types, sculpted uniforms, and general goofiness, but for whatever reason, I still think they’re kind of neat. Not nearly neat enough to drop $16 on ’em, of course.
Regardless, for those folks who are into them, apparently the latest wave has started hitting retail according jroosa030 on HissTank. He just scored the Destro and General Hawk, and I’ve mirrored images below. I think both of these figures look pretty neat and fit into the RoC aesthetic remarkably well. I dig ’em.
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I rarely give my personal perspective or opinion on Rise of Cobra’s retail presence, simply because I really have little to no experience in it. My local stores consist of a run down Wal-Mart that rarely (if ever) stocks Joe stuff, and a K-Mart that time forgot that is in the same boat. As such, I buy most of my stuff online, and really have no personal basis for an opinion of how the RoC line is moving at retail or what the real retail presence is.
Well, yesterday I had a chance to get on the road, and I went down to Southern New Hampshire and scoped out a number of Targets and Toys “R” Us’, and wow…I was pretty floored. I had an idea that the peg situation in my town was pretty pathetic, but I had no idea just how much Rise of Cobra product is on store shelves and on the pegs! It was really eye opening.
My main goal was to find the Target “Rescue Mission” 4-Pack and the Toys “R” Us Attack on The Pit 5-Pack, and I saw them in droves. Every single Target and Toys “R” Us I hit had the exclusives I was looking for, and then some. Out of the 4 Targets I hit, none of them had any wave 2 mini-vehicle sets, however, which was a bummer. I loved seeing the lower $5.99 price point (which was present at all four Targets) but there was little product to get excited about. Pegs were full of the familiar Waves 1 and 2 items, with a scattering of Wave 3, but none of the really high profile or highly desirable stuff. No Elite-Vipers, Pit Commandos, Doctors, or Crimson Neo-Vipers. A few Hawks, Flash’s and Helix’s, but that was about it.
I swung through three total Toys “R” Us stores, and was absolutely elated at the amount of product seen there. It’s obvious that TRU is a firm believer in the G.I. Joe brand, and they had hit the market fast and furious. Each TRU had a nice bunch of the Attack on the Pit sets, 2 of the TRU’s had Wave 2 of the Bravo vehicles, and 1 of them had the Senior Ranking Officer 3-Packs. I was a bit bummed that none of them had Bench Press, though. I think I hit ’em a bit too early. 🙁
By far the highlight of the trip was the Toys “R” Us in Nashua, NH. Wow. Impressive doesn’t begin to cover it. I know we’ve all seen those old school images of an entire aisle devoted to G.I. Joe…well, Nashua’s just about got that matched. Check out the pics below taken on my crappy camera phone:
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I know to most of you folks out there this might not be a big deal, but to a backwoods guy like me who doesn’t get to “The City” very often, I absolutely loved seeing all this product in one place. Toys “R” Us is obviously really gearing up for the holiday season, and I can only hope Rise of Cobra proves worth their investment. Each TRU I hit did have a nice allotment of Waves 1, 2, & 3, though the later wave army builders were already picked over.
I was pleasently surprised at the amount of devoted shelf space G.I. Joe has these days. Speaking as a Joe fan since ’82, it’s been a long, looooong time since I saw this much product at retail. I know the common reaction is “it’s not selling! Deth of teh line!!!” and honestly, that might be the case. But when Christmas goes into full swing and the toy aisles get ransacked, there are going to be a TON of Joe items to pick through, which is a great thing for the brand, and will hopefully draw in a new generation of fans.
On another note, expect my reviews of the Target and TRU multi-packs next week… :shifty:
G.I.Joe Review Episode 027 (35:20) – The guys review G.I. Joe #51.
You can direct download Episode 027 at: http://media.libsyn.com/media/gijoereview/GIJoeReview027.mp3
G.I. Joe: Review on iTunes, but if you’re not, their rss feed is here.
Email address is: GIJoeReview@gmail.com
You will be able to find the archives at: http://gijoereview.libsyn.com/
Discuss this episode at http://gijoereview.army4one.com
Also, feel free to vote and leave some comments for them on PodCast Alley.
I’ve sort of ranted and raved on these pages before about Mattel’s putrid looking Avatar toyline…it retails for 2 bucks more than G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, yet the figures lack most of the detail and all of the charm of the G.I. Joe toys. Where Hasbro’s offerings manage to cram a ton of sculpt and tooling detail into the 3 3/4″ scale as well as a ton of accessories, the Avatar items look more like emotionless slabs of 4 inch plastic with very few accessories and zero spirit. Pure licensed “blech”.
But one bright spot appeared to be the vehicles, especially the absolutely kick ass looking dual-engine attack craft that resembled the Sigma 6 Dragonhawk. Alas, various posters on HissTank, and in other places have revealed that not even that vehicle saves the line, as it ends up being too small to really work well for the Rise of Cobra figures (or vintage figures for that matter).
But, apparently that’s not the case for the Mech suit! Nas, a frequent GeneralsJoes commenter has his own blog site, and he took some neat pictures of the Avatar mech suit, and it looks to work quite nicely with the Rise of Cobra figures! Joe fans who have been clamoring for an Aliens-style power loader, or even just a kick ass Mech assault suit need look no further. So far, this seems to be the biggest bright spot for the Avatar toys, let’s hope the movie itself is better…
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Well, between an all day road trip yesterday and several Autumn-related activities with the family today, I’ve got some catching up to do with some recent news stories and G.I. Joe related events! Click the “Read the rest of this entry” link below for some great embedded videos!