So, Joe fans got the words they were fearing via online retailers yesterday as reports emerged from all over the ‘net that G.I. Joe: Retaliation orders from Wave 2 and forward would not be fulfilled this year. According to reports from online retailers, the same product will be made available in early 2013.
Now before everyone rushes in and says “Oh, cool, now they can push out some more 30th Anniversary stuff! Oh, cool, now they can fix all the crappy articulation!”
Ummmm… no. I would not expect anything like that. Any toys, even ones where tooling already exists, takes far too long to produce to just be “thrown out there” within the next few months. There is way more planning, coordination, and production required than we probably think. They can’t just toss one of those Kwinn test shots in a magic machine and suddenly have 20,000 available to ship to retailers.
Same goes for articulation. “Fixing” articulation would require significant retooling, and would essentially be creating the line again from scratch. Hasbro has already invested too much money in the current figures, and already has way too short a time frame in order to make any wholesale changes to the figures as they stand.
On the good side, JoeCon is just four short weeks away, so hopefully we can all get our questions answered there. And there will be a LOT of questions, I’m sure.
This actually happened last night, but I was a bit wiped after my all day work travels, and frankly a little browbeat over the rampant assaulting of the Collectors’ Club. But it’s news, so here goes!
The G.I. Joe Collectors’ Club has officially announced that all attendee and non-attendee 3 3/4″ Oktober Guard Convention Packages are sold out. This has, of course, caused somewhat of a frenzy from collectors who are disappointed that they didn’t get a chance to get their hands on these sets. While that disappointment is certainly justified, I will say that it can be difficult to judge numbers and just because everyone thinks a set is a sure fire home run, that doesn’t necessarily guarantee a quick sell out. It’s easy to play armchair Toy Collector Quarterback with someone else’s checkbook, but it can be something totally different to take a risk, ramp up production, and increase the possibility of taking a bath on the sets.
I know it’s popular to say that Pre-Orders are the way to go, but I think there are simply too many moving pieces and the Club is too small an operation to be able to handle that responsibly.
Of course, if you really want to attend the Convention, you can still order the 12″ Adventure Team Heavy Weapons set, which actually looks pretty awesome as well, and that will get you admittance to the Convention and allow you to do everything you want to do.
Congratulations to you folks who got them, a bummer for folks who missed out, and I’m looking forward to seeing what else is in the works down in New Orleans!
For all the latest information on the G.I. Joe Convention, keep your browser pointed to GIJoeCon.com!
I started these reviews with the bad guys yesterday, and today I finish off my reviews of the already infamous Dollar Store Joes with a look at the G.I. Joe side of the house. Like the Cobra figures, these guys use a ton of existing parts, not a huge array of paint apps, but a whole ton of creativity.
We’ve heard it from a number of different sources, and the story is starting to become more and more clear, and now industry insider Nikke Finke has spoken up on Deadline.com about the delay for G.I. Joe: Retaliation.
Yes, according to Ms. Finke, the reasons behind the G.I. Joe: Retaliation delay were much more than simply a conversion to 3D or “bad screenings”. Sure, those played a part, but there were also other elements at work, too. According to Paramount insiders, the screening response wasn’t so much that the film was bad, it was more centered around the fact that Roadblock and Duke didn’t really establish a great friendship and that Duke died way too early in the film. There were also responses to the screening that asked why there was a lack of 3D in the first place.
Combining this with earlier talk that both John Carter of Mars and Battleship tanked domestically, Paramount became skittish of the surrounding competition, and elected to vacate to safer territory. The interesting note to all of this is not just that both John Carter and Battleship did much better internationally (which they both did), but that the big draw internationally was the 3D in both films.
“This was a case of letting a schedule to fill a summer slot dictate the film not being in 3D even though we knew that would be the most commercial version of the film. Then in the spring there were 2 big events. First John Carter lost $200M despite the best efforts of the Pixar brain trust. But the 3D film managed to gross over $200M overseas, nearly tripling its U.S. take.
“Also Channing Tatum had a breakout spring, starring in The Vow and 21 Jump Street. In our first screening of the film the reaction from audiences was good but with 2 big concerns: 1) They didn’t like the fact that Channing and The Rock really didn’t have any time to develop a friendship before Channing died, and 2) Why wasn’t it going to be in 3D? We went back and shot another week with Channing to develop more of his story with The Rock, which made the film play much better. But we didn’t have the time to be in 3D.
“Then a week ago Battleship basically had the same performance as John Carter – $60M-$70M U.S. and just over $200M international. That was just a wake-up call that said to us we need to offer the best version of the film irrespective of summer market share to ensure the best possible performance. And not being in 3D will cost us a ton of business internationally.”
I think it’s fair to say, now that we’ve heard from a number of industry sources that this is probably the prevailing wisdom behind the news. It’s not nearly the “doom and gloom” that many people fear in regards to the film’s quality, it was mostly a combination of different things that led us to this. Where we go from here is the important next step.
I will say, I haven’t seen this many industry folks talk about the G.I. Joe film franchise in the past, perhaps all of this visible conversation is good for the film in the long run? Maybe it will spark interest from some people and put it more on the “Hollywood Radar”. Along with Deadline.com, the Hollywood Reporter is also chiming in with their own analysis, that puts a bit of a more sinister focus on it, but is still talking about the film. Time will tell.
Yes, yes, I know…the temporary body of G.I. Joe: Retaliation isn’t even cold yet, and already we’re looking ahead. Or at least I’m looking ahead.
I will admit right off the bat that I quite often roll my eyes at fans who declare basic military movies to be the “perfect G.I. Joe film”. To me, G.I. Joe is about so much more than simple military action. There is so much more to it than Squad A infiltrates building and kills evil terrorists. There is a certain spirit, and a certain je ne sais quoi that it seems many people can’t grasp (especially based on what we’re seeing and hearing from Hollywood).
So it’s pretty rare that I’ll see a film or TV show that is wholly unrelated to G.I. Joe and think that it would be perfectly suited to represent the brand that I’ve known and loved for 30 years.
Below I have embedded an Official Ghost Recon: Alpha “mini movie” that is apparently an official production of UbiSoft. No, there are no G.I. Joe characters within, but in my opinion, this is as close to a perfect “G.I. Joe” film sequence as I have ever seen. Make the uniforms a bit more distinct and representative of certain characters…dress the evil terrorists in trademark Cobra blue, and inject a bit more character into each player…and this IS G.I. Joe.
The perfect blend of military action and future-tech. Heavy on the firepower, heavy on the drama, but not overtly in your face violent. It’s not often that I see an unrelated video and immediately think it would fit G.I. Joe, but this is one of those times. I won’t spoil it for you, but there is even something that shows up 3/4 of the way through the film that almost seems like a too perfect Cobra weapon. This has to be seen to be believed, but it’s not family friendly, so wait for the kids to hit the sack. Big thanks to John Uy for bringing this to my attention.
Hey, Paramount, you watching this? This is how it’s done.*
For more information on this and how this film leads into Ghost Recon: Future Soldier, check out this feature on G4.
*This is not to insinuate that G.I. Joe: Retaliation isn’t also “how it’s done”…haven’t seen it yet, so I can’t judge, but this 23 minute film blew my socks off. 😉