Two years in a row that I’ve been unable to attend JoeCon and I’m starting to question what my life has become… even though I missed hanging out with some of my best friends in the world down in Orlando, Florida, the immortal James Kavanaugh, Jr. has stepped up in a huge way and assisted me with product so I could still get this review done and out to folks. I can’t thank him enough for his help and support, and to show him some love, check out his G.I. Joe guides at RAHCGuide.com.
So… BattleForce:2000. I’ll be honest, even in the vintage era the BattleForce:2000 concept never really grabbed me. In general I love the idea of the near future soldier, and it was some of those elements that really drew me into the 1990’s era of G.I. Joe, but the execution of BattleForce:2000 back in 1987 didn’t really appeal to me. I loved Dodger and Blocker was a fun figure, but many of the rest were just too far out there from a design perspective and ended up feeling a little chunky and not as fun.
That being said, you can’t argue with their importance in G.I. Joe lore, and they represent a chunk of characters from 1987 – 89 that fans have been asking for.
The Collectors Club brings us BattleForce:2000 but also works in some new renditions of the COBRA Battle Android Troopers to flesh out the set, an idea that was met with mixed reviews (myself included). Hasbro has been relatively relentless releasing B.A.T.’s ever since their first retail release in 2008, it’s difficult to see a need for yet another edition of the COBRA android, even with a head more resembling the v2 version from 1991. Not just the idea of the B.A.T. itself, but the huge amount of troopers in the box set generated some questions and concerns among the community, especially when you think about the cost of the set and the perceived collectible value of the figures within.
So with a concept that I’m not wild with against a squad of COBRA’s that don’t bring a whole lot of new things to the table…what would my reaction be once I got these in hand?
Let’s say I didn’t really have high hopes, but let’s dig into the set itself and see how it all shaped out.
Whew. Is everyone as sick of reading these as I am of writing them??
With today’s update, I am officially finished with my written reviews for the 2016 G.I. Joe Convention Set. While more videos may still be to come, my reviews today of the Sky Sweeper, Skystriker, COBRA Hydra, and JUMP Jet Packs constitutes my last gasp at the written word for Sky Patrol and the G.I. Joe Collectors Club.
Check out these last reviews at the G.I. Joe Collectors Club Review Page or the link below.
Today I dip my toes into the pool outside of the standard Convention boxed set and cover the attendee exclusive figure-based items! This includes Cloudburst, Skymate, Air Raid, Free Fall, and the Heli-Vipers!
Ah, G.I. Joe and COBRA, they really loved their acronyms. It seemed like every other vehicle in the A Real American Hero line sported a cool name made up of other words. Well in that way the COBRA A.D.D.E.R.S. fit right in. The Aerial Deployment Daredevil Elite Recon Squadron is made up of some great characters and 90s troops, including my personal favorites – the Air Commandos.
Today I’m reviewing all five members of the COBRA A.D.D.E.R. team from the boxed set. You can check out the review at the G.I. Joe Collectors Club Review Page, or the link below. I also have done a video review which you can see embedded below.
Doing these Con Set reviews is always a bit of a mixed blessing. I generally love the convention sets, but at the same time I’m still trying to do nearly 20 reviews simultaneously which is exhausting. I’ve lost track of how many hours I spend each year putting these together, but that’s why they pay me the big bucks, right?
Wait… I don’t get paid for this crap?
Ah, well. Good thing I enjoy it, eh? So, the 2016 “Project: Downfall” Convention Set hit my hands a couple of weeks ago, and I’ve been spending nearly all of my free time behind a camera, behind Photoshop, or behind Microsoft Word writing up the reviews! Today I am starting the week of right, with SIX, count ’em SIX of the reviews hitting today alone! The entirety of Sky Patrol is being reviewed today with the rest of the set sprinkling out throughout the week.
It’s with quite a few mixed feelings that I tackle the 2016 G.I. Joe Convention set this year, mainly because this year was one of the few years that I haven’t been able to make the show, and believe it or not, quite a bit of my joy and embracing of a particular year’s convention set is a direct result of feeding off my peers and sharing thoughts and opinions with them throughout the weekend. You might think that a more segregated, impartial look after the fact represents a more accurate review, but I’m not sure. In many ways, collecting and fandom is about how the target of your fandom brings people together and creates bonds (at least it should be, anyway) and that, in my opinion, must be a factor of any review of collector oriented product.
However, even though I did lack that person-to-person contact this year that I’ve had in years past, I’ve had a few weeks to share opinions with many of my friends and peers, and by and large this Convention set appears to be very well received. I agree with this opinion, for the most part.
Standing back and looking at the set as a whole, it’s amazing to see just how many of my own personal high points are hit all at once. I’m a big fan of Sky Patrol, using them as a liaison of sorts to my offshoot “Renegades” team in my dio-stories. Along with that, I’ve always loved the crazy 90s greatness of the Air Commandos, and we have plenty of that mixed in here, too. As if that wasn’t enough, by far, two of my favorite foreign character variants are also included here in the form of Black Vulture and Flying Scorpion, two very intriguing combinations that were only available as exclusives in Brazil before now.
As I go through all of the figures in the set (and yes, vehicles, too) I’ve been quite pleased at the more modern selection of parts and the intricacies of much of the deco. There are some decisions that I’m not a huge fan of (no removable helmets on the new heads? Booooo), but as a whole this set seems to pay homage to the classics, while also bringing plenty of new stuff to the table, which is about all you can hope for as a modern collector.
Not everything is a home run, of course, but there’s a lot to enjoy here, and putting this complex, elaborate review together has been a lot of work, but also a lot of fun, as it is every year. I hope you enjoy it.