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New NECA 3 3/4″ Gears of War figures look the part

I’ve seen this image passed around quite a bit today, and with the latest Big Bad Toy Store newsletter, there are now some pre-orders to go along with it.  NECA has long established their place in action figure lore, but mostly in the larger scale figures for licensed properties like Predator, Terminator, Robocop, and Prometheus (among many others).  To the best of my knowledge, this is the first time they’ve experimented with the 3 3/4″ scale (or perhaps these are closer to 4″?).

The results are pretty impressive from an appearance point of view.  Anyone who has played (or even seen) the video game Gears of War will acknowledge there is a very distinct artistic style to the characters and the game, and NECA has done an exceptional job capturing that style.  Large, bulky figures with all of the right gear and accessories, these Gears of War toys could almost pass for 6″ at first blush, but apparently they fall closer to G.I. Joe sized.

While I’m not necessarily a huge Gears of War enthusiast, I have certainly played the games quite a bit, and I am very pleasantly surprised by the quality and articulation of what I see here, though the apparent lack of a swivel bicep is a bit disconcerting.  I’ll be paying close attention to this line as it gets closer to release.  Early indications are pretty damn good.

Check out the pre-order links below as well as the mirrored product image.

Troops of Doom hits landmark 500 comics!

Troops of Doom has been chugging along for a while now, and has just reached a huge milestone!  A whopping 500 installments of the Troops of Doom comic has just gone online, and to celebrate, there are numerous contests going on.

The official note just came in:

“Troops of Doom hits 500 comics

Troops of Doom comic hits 500 episodes today. Stop by for multiple “Become a Troop of Doom” contests where readers can have a character named after them and have a recurring role in the comic.

Troops of Doom is an action figure webcomic featuring GI Joe battling Star Wars for Lego technology. Launched in February 2008 and updated as often as possible Monday to Friday. Check it out for a laugh.

For folks who feel like there is a 4″ sized void in their heart this year, Troops of Doom will help fill it.  Check it out!


G.I. Joe commercial goes Bollywood!

Well, not totally, but I think most of us are aware of Funskool and their license with Hasbro for the use of their G.I. Joe characters and tooling.  Some how, somewhere, someone stumbled upon a Youtube  video of an advertisement for Funskool G.I. Joe product that aired in India…and it’s awesome.

A strange combination of Sunbow animation, Funskool products, and even some products that have never been seen under the Funskool banner, this is a pretty neat look at a licensed product from outside the country.

If you’re a relatively new G.I. Joe collector you may not appreciate the impact Funskool had on the hobby from an online perspective.  Back in the day, when G.I. Joe figures were not nearly as prevalent, Corey Stinson and a few other folks took some initiative and was able to get Funskool product in the U.S. for a great price.  American collectors could get Hydro-Vipers, Crimson Guard Immortals, Night Vipers, Toxo-Vipers, and many other figures that closely resembled the domestic product at a fraction of the price.  You did take a chance with the quality of the toys themselves, as many Funskool items had paint slop and wonky joints…but many of us were willing to trade that chance for a relatively inexpensive way to build our armies.

Aside from some of the more common figures, Funskool has become a real focus of some high end collectors as well, with some of the rarer figures fetching some big dollar offers.  It’s really a fascinating piece of G.I. Joe history, and for folks who have nothing to shop for these days, it might serve you well to look at some of these hidden gems in G.I. Joe history:

Check out this great Funskool commercial below!  Thanks to the various folks who pointed it out to me, including Phil from

Discussion point – What existing G.I. Joe figures need to be re-released?

Things get interesting when the retail shelves are bare, especially at Christmas time.  It seems almost criminal to have a holiday season with nary a single G.I. Joe item to be found on shelves…but such is the unfortunate dichotomy that comes with a Hollywood marriage.  The brand can live or die with the fate of the film, and for 2012 at least, G.I. Joe is a non-factor.

Hopefully with 2013 and the coming of G.I. Joe: Retaliation that will change.  In fact, online stores are already offering pre-orders for the first two waves of G.I. Joe: Retaliation product, currently slated to hit in February.  But with all of this G.I. Joe “down time” I got to thinking.

Over the past few years we’ve seen a LOT of great G.I. Joe toys come and go, and sometimes they either went too quickly, or they were somewhat difficult to get a hand on due to exclusivity.

Purely for the sake of discussion, and for the sake of gathering information, I took further advantage of the Survey Monkey tool and created a quick survey.  Looking back through the Pursuit of Cobra, 30th Anniversary, and the 7-Packs, which figures were the best figures that you had the hardest time finding?  What figures did you love the looks of, but were disappointed that you couldn’t get your hands on?

The best example I can think of from my own perspective is a figure like Shadow Tracker, who I think is very cool, and was also very hard to find.  The same could be said of Renegades Storm Shadow.  However, figures like Zombie-Viper or Jungle-Viper were good figures, but not as hard to find.  Of course your mileage may vary…that’s kinda the point of the survey.  😉

Essentially what I’m asking is if you could get access to some recently released figures again in single card form, which figures would you prefer?  Check out the Survey Monkey survey below and share your thoughts! If you need any refreshers on which figures were in which waves, more than just the list below, check out the GeneralsJoes review sections: