Dial Tone’s reveal gave us our first clue that perhaps the Collectors Club wasn’t going to just be diving back into the 80s to give us our Tiger Force inspiration…and it made me hopeful that this set might be a bit more interesting than I originally thought.
As I mentioned with Wreckage, Tiger Force was reconceived in 2003 as a Toys “R” Us multi pack, pulling inspiration from classic domestic Tiger Force as well as the much more exciting blue and orange International deco. Dial Tone was included in that multi-pack and was the beneficiary of some awesome updated colors. Going whole hog into the great blue and orange UK Tiger Force color scheme, Dial Tone was one of the most appealing figures in that Toys “R” Us set, and while the Collectors Club certainly seemed to be using that figure for inspiration, they stuck with the yellow and black, and unfortunately missed the boat considerably, at least in my opinion.
The convention Dial Tone retains none of the striking flair of the Toys “R” Us set, borrowing its sense of style, but none of its color, much to its detriment.
Dial Tone here uses the same torso (with permanently affixed Buzzer webgear minus the skull buckle) and arms as the annual exclusive from several years ago. He does have some bulked up legs that add some mass to the figure, but essentially bears a striking resemblance to the same annual exclusive we got in mailboxes back then. I’m not a big fan of the torso and webgear choice, but I actually don’t mind the Airborne arms, they remain probably some of the best arms produced in the 25th Anniversary era, and the thicker legs keep the figure looking at least relatively modern.
However, Dial Tone struggles mightily when it comes to color scheme. The Collectors Club used the Toys “R” Us version as a template, but swapped the colors to more resemble the vintage style, and the brown is significantly duller than the blue original, and the yellow simply is not as striking or appealing as the orange was in 2003. I understand the Club’s desire to make the figure blend in more with the vintage aesthetic, but in this case I think Dial Tone suffers for this decision and the end result is a boring mish-mash of color and design elements.
Combine this with the kneepads, which are trying to go for tiger stripe but end up just going zig-zag, and the figure just doesn’t do it for me. The Club managed to take a colorful and pleasant 2003 figure and turn it into a somewhat bland and generic 2015 Convention exclusive.
Dial Tone has his familiar communication backpack, this time in black, as well as his machine gun. Adding to that, he now comes with the familiar metal briefcase with folding computer screen and removable submachine gun that the Club has used quite frequently in recent years. This time around the case is done in a nice olive drab green, matching the Tiger Force aesthetics.
I understand what the Collectors Club was trying to do, and I’m glad they looked for inspiration in other places than just the 80s rendition of Tiger Force. Unfortunately, Dial Tone’s design just didn’t translate well here, either in a conversion to modern parts, or with the deco changes. The result is a figure that just doesn’t look good, and ends up really standing out in a crowd.
What was once an obscure character has now had three Collectors Club releases in the past few years, and this may be the least inspiring of the bunch. Using the Toys “R” Us 6 Pack as a template, but with none of the European color flair, Dial Tone lands with a bit of a thud. The older parts look out of place, and his paint applications are a bit non-sensical, especially the kneepads which just did not translate the tiger stripes all that well.
Being on the road for most of the day, I didn’t really get a chance to talk about the two big news stories that the Collectors’ Club dropped today in regards to the upcoming G.I. Joe convention at the end of the month.
Big story #1 – Voice actress Morgan Lofting, better known as The Baroness will be appearing in Orlando as a guest of the Collectors’ Club! Very cool. By far one of the most distinctive voices in the original Sunbow cartoon, this is a great coup by the GIJCC and she should make for some very interesting discussion.
Big story #2 – Rare toy alert! Apparently the Collectors’ Club incentive figure for 2011 will give fans an even bigger incentive to attend the Convention. A very limited run of 600 Dial Tone figures will be available at JoeCon MINT ON CARD. Normally sold in a sealed baggie as part of the Club’s promotion, some select figures will be carded and for sale at JoeCon. Attendees will also have the chance to get these signed by Dial Tone’s voice actor Hank Garrett.
Two very cool bits of news. If you want to read the full press releases, click the “Read the Rest of this Entry” link below.
And it’s a good one! For whatever reason, over the years, the G.I. Joe Collectors’ Club hasn’t sought to invite any of the Sunbow voice actors. Or perhaps they have, they just haven’t landed any. Well, this year they did, and it’s quite an appropriate one!
Hank Garrett will be landing in Orlando to attend the G.I. Joe Convention! He’s starred in scores of films and television series, but we all know him as… Dial Tone! Quite the appropriate choice, considering the free membership figure and his inclusion in the Special Missions Brazil boxed set.
Keep your eyes peeled for more on GIJoeCon.com, and to get on-the-spot updates like this one, follow the G.I. Joe Con on Twitter.
Who would have thunk it? A Special Missions Brazil redux coming with Wet Suit… and there isn’t a hint of silver or blue to be seen. In fact, there isn’t a hint of dive gear to be seen. Only head-to-toe land-based Navy SEAL awesomeness. DAMN.
If one figure ever made an entire convention set worth it, it just might be this one. Realistic camouflage, a retooled head, a great boonie cap, and using the awesome Pursuit of Cobra Beachhead tactical vest? Sold. With those flippers that hook on the back? No doubt with both knives this time? Double sold.
Fantastic looking figure.
Dial Tone is a bit of a departure, but not a bad one by any stretch. It’s a fairly generic black, brown, and green deco that boasts to be a “Traditional Special Forces” outfit. It looks good, if somewhat understated compared to the camouflaged outrageousness of Wet Suit. Of course we knew Dial Tone would be a bit different, simply because the traditional figure is being released as the 2011 promotional incentive…but this is very cool.
Wet Suit certainly takes the cake, though. Check out all of the updates at GIJoeCon.com, and the mirrored images below.
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Fort Worth, TX – October 26th, 2010 – Fun Publications, Inc, licensee for the Hasbro G.I. Joe Collectors’ Club, is pleased to announce new additions to its Fall 2010 Membership drive.
Customizers from across the G.I. Joe fandom can participate in the 2010 G.I. Joe custom contest, available to all club members. Details for the contest can be found at www.GIJoeclub.com
Next up, members have the opportunity to check out the offerings from the Transformers Collectors’ Club while receiving an EXCLUSIVE Dial-Tone art print by G.I. Joe Cover and Dossier artist Dan Khanna. That item can be found here
Lastly, speaking of Dial-Tone, he finally makes his official near finalized debut as there is now an actual production sample available to be viewed. Utilizing the 25th Anniversary sculpt, the 2011 3 ¾ inch membership incentive figure Dial-Tone features a stand, classic file card and accessories, including: 9mm parabellum submachine gun, pistol and an updated version of the original 1986 style radio communications backpack with positional microphone arm!
For more information on the G.I.Joe Collectors’ Club and all of its offerings, please visit www.GIJoeClub.com.
Hasbro, Inc. (NYSE:HAS) is a worldwide leader in children’s and family leisure time products and services with a rich portfolio of brands and entertainment properties that provides some of the highest quality and most recognizable play and recreational experiences in the world. As a brand-driven, consumer-focused global company, Hasbro brings to market a range of toys, games and licensed products, from traditional to high-tech and digital, under such powerful brand names as TRANSFORMERS, PLAYSKOOL, TONKA, MILTON BRADLEY, PARKER BROTHERS, G.I. JOE and WIZARDS OF THE COAST. Come see how we inspire play through our brands at http://www.hasbro.com. (C) 2009 Hasbro, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
About FUN PUBLICATIONS, INC.
For over 15 years, Fun Publications, Inc. has been a Hasbro licensee offering fans and collectors of pop culture memorabilia news, exclusive product and family events through different print offerings, websites, collector clubs and brand specific conventions such as GIJoeCon and BotCon. Located in Fort Worth Texas, Fun Publications reaches a large audience, serving the United States and many other countries such as Japan, Great Britain, Brazil, Australia and Canada. For more information visit www.TransformersClub.com, www.GIJoeClub.com, www.GIJoeCon.com, and www.BotCon.com.
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