G.I. Joe Spy Troops Exclusives - Operation:Anaconda Convention Set (page 2)

So far, so good...the Convention set has really impressed me so far, especially with the Black Dragon team, which I believe was one of the main focuses of the Operation: Anaconda set. But the convention set is only as cool as the extras that come with it...so what about the rest of the stuff?

Might as well start with the best first. This is the Air-Viper, the "Parachute Drop" figure for the 2003 convention. Each year the convention set comes with a figure that's destined to be dropped from the roof strapped to nothing but a thin mylar parachute. Last year the Paratrooper Dusty figure got some recognition, but nothing like this figure is destined to receive. As a COBRA Trooper, this figure is already bound to get some serious collector interest, but using the very cool Vapor mold from the 90's and painting him in an incredibly cool blue and black color scheme practically guarantees that this figure will be a cool one. And a cool one it is.

I own three Vapor figures and am a huge fan of that mold. The colors were a little strange back then, but still very neat, but this figure pretty much blows that color scheme away. You can't go wrong with blue and black (with a hint of red thrown in) and this figure really shines with that paint scheme. He meshes with the rest of the convention exclusives with perfection, but still retains his own personality. As a fan of the 90's molds, which I am, this figure really, REALLY makes an impact with me, I only wish they were more accessible.

Next we check out the convention exclusive vehicle(s)...those items that you can only get by going to the con itself. These are always kept mysteries until the day of the con, although rumors abound beforehand, no one had a clue what the vehicle would be before we actually arrived at the Hyatt Regency in San Francisco. I like surprises, and I guess I was surprised for sure, although not really thrilled.

The Hammerhead is a very cool vehicle, and part of what makes it so cool is all of the different smaller vehicles that come with it and branch off of it. But I'm sorry to say those vehicles alone really don't do a whole lot to me ...especially when they're submarines. I honestly find very little use for subs, and I don't think this sub will be any different, but the colors are striking and it does mesh with the rest of the set well. At the end I would have much preferred a more functional vehicle, yet the looks of this one are okay, and the storyline that goes along with it is kind of neat.

But I'll tell you right now, this Con vehicle has NOTHING on the next one...the one that really stole the show this year!

The minute I saw this baby in the glass case by the waiting area I was quite, quite excited! The HISS II has long been one of my favorite mainstays of the COBRA army, yet the only one I had was a beat up old classic version missing one tread and most of its other parts. To say I was excited to see this one is an understatement of monumental proportions. What a great, GREAT vehicle. Not only did they dig out the terrific mold for this age old COBRA tank, but the color scheme is just amazing. They decided to stay with the classic blue/red color scheme of the rest of the set and it suits this tank a "T". COBRA Commander, the Black Dragons and Air Viper all look perfect with this vehicle, yet it still maintains a certain coolness outside of the set and can be used outside of Operation: Anaconda. The design, functionality, and size of this tank are downright perfect and I'm not sure Hasbro can ever top this vehicle. It's almost unfortunate because I can't see how the GI Joe Collector's Club can possibly top the coolness of this year's vehicle next year.

I have a feeling that since this mold exists, that Hasbro is almost certain to release it to a wide audience, which I really hope they do because this vehicle is purely too cool to be limited to 400-500 pieces to convention members. Thankfully, Brian Savage of the Collectors' Club has realized the potential sales of these exclusives and plans to adjust quantities in the future to try and please everyone.

But we're not done yet. Another neat little surprise was a two-pack of figures that no one knew was coming. This Firefly two pack pretty much took everyone by surprise, not only in the fact that they were actually there, but in how interesting the paint schemes and storylines were.

The first figure I really took a look at was this one...the Night Infiltration Firefly. To be honest upon first quick glimpse, I just thought the other Firefly was a Wreckage figure, but upon closer inspection I realized how different they were.

But anyway...this night infiltration paint scheme is very simple, but pretty cool. I have become pretty tired of the Firefly mold, but this figure really adds some nice flair to it with a very straight forward black and silver paint scheme. The only place that the silver really doesn't work is in the boots, but everywhere else it looks pretty interesting. I'm not really sure where the Collectors' Club was going with this particular repaint, but the figure does look really neat and realistic or not, I like the color scheme and it will look pretty neat on display. He comes with the standard assortment of Firefly accessories, the machine gun, backpack and phone, and all together it is an interesting figure.

But not quite as interesting as the next one...

This Firefly was dubbed the Woodland Camouflage Firefly, in a uniform he uses to infiltrate COBRA Island and try to find the traitor in COBRA's midst. The color scheme is at first very reminiscent of Wreckage from the Toys R Us exclusive Tiger Force, but upon closer inspection, there is a lot more to this Firefly and it really works together pretty nicely. His uniform is either a very, VERY dark green or black and is trimmed with yellow and light green tiger stripe camouflage. He has tan trim throughout, and it all looks very cool along with the other colors. The main difference right off the bat between this figure and Wreckage is the dark mask and gloves, and the much more elaborate camouflage paint.

He's got a great COBRA sigil on his left shoulder, the paint all comes together very, very nicely (even as tired as I am of this mold) and his accessories are pretty near perfect.

Like the HISS II, this figure will be a tougher one to locate for a reasonable price as there were very few of these sets produced and they're already going for $75+ on eBay. I think folks are more caught up with the collectibility of the figures than the actual look (they may be neat, but are NOT worth the $75!!) but still, for those of us who are figure completists, I guess the cash is a necessary evil.

That pretty much covers my thoughts on all of the items that came with this year's convention exclusive Operation: Anaconda set. Actually, I think the toys that you receive as part of the con are but a tiny part of the whole convention experience...it was a lot of fun, and I encourage anyone to go and enjoy the company of other fans, and yes...go to pick up the toys as well. Scroll down a little further to check out a couple of more pictures of these figures, and then go onto page three to see even more pictures. Enjoy!




Now let's move on to page three to check out even more pictures of the rest of the convention set.

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