Meeting of the Minds

Meeting of the Minds

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Figures and Vehicles for Starting a Modern GI Joe Collection



Once again, the boys of GI Joburg are back with another list that I’m going to horn in on.  Last time they covered vintage Joe and Cobra figures and vehicles, now they have each taken upon themselves to create a list of modern Joes.  By modern, I take it they are talking about anything from the 25th Anniversary and since, which covers the aforementioned 25th, Rise of Cobra, Pursuit of Cobra, 30th Anniversary, Retaliation, 50th, and various releases from the Club and Convention exclusives. 
To that end, here is my own list of the top ten modern figures for both Cobra and GI Joe, along with the top five vehicles for each side:

Cobra figures:


  1. Baroness v14 – Despite the fact that this figure places form way above function with hair and skirt that restricts movement, this is I feel the definitive look of a modern Baroness with leather, leather, more leather, and weapons all in jet black.  The actress that played the Baroness in Rise of Cobra from where this toy is based on was rumored to be irate at how it looked, and I can see why.  This figure encapsulates a certain ruthless look that Sienna Miller just does not possess. 
  2. Zartan v20 – I picked this “desert mystic” version because not only is it a fine figure, it sets up a narrative that allows Zartan to escape the drollery of the ARAH mercenary leader with imbecile henchmen into a more meaningful role in modern cobra as a practitioner of the arcane arts and an occult priest.  (looks like this is a favorite of our Joburger hosts as well)
  3. Storm Shadow v39 “Ultiimate”.  This figure offers the best of several worlds.  It has the short-sleeved look of the ARAH Storm Shadow, a ton of weapons, and a spare head for the face of Lee Byung-hun, the actor who played him during Rise of Cobra, and Retaliation who was one of the few high points of those films.
  4. Shock Trooper v1 – You could probably also call this one the “Population Control Viper”.  Like most POC figures, this one has tons of accessories, including a unique riot shield.  This figure also has a very realistic and menacing authoritarian bearing.  If the government ever comes to get you, they’ll probably look a lot like this.  This is an arm builder, so multiples are preferred.
  5. Cobra Commander v39 – Released both carded and in the Resolute Battle set, this one strikes me as fitting the Resolute Ethos: Cobra Commander was only acting the fool, but no more! To me this is the most serious looking rendition of the Commander yet, and he has a very regal looking sword with scabbard
  6.  Firefly v28 – a lot of the modern Firefly figures are very similar, with a couple odd balls thrown in.  I’m going with what I consider the best of the grey balaclava versions which was included in the 2018 “Sneak Attack” three-pack.
  7. Cobra Trooper – a new and well done blue shirt minion for Cobra agents to command.  These things come with a lot of accessories
  8. Cobra Snow Serpent (25th) – These are a very good snow figure, I hesitated
  9.   Cobra Viper v 28 – A more “geared up” minion
  10. Cobra Invasion Trooper – Underestimated, IMO. 

GI Joe:

  1. Snake Eyes  v54 “Ultimate”, two heads to choose between his ninja and commando look, his classic explosive pack, twin katanas and his iconic Killij.  The only low points for this figure is that there’s no Timber and these legs are extremely overused. 
  2. Sgt Bazooka v3.  Reaching back to the early parts of the 25th Anniversary line that tends to be the point of demarcation for what most collectors call “modern”, a lot of figures don’t fare extremely well compared to those in the Pursuit of Cobra and 30the lines.  They lack the mature form and articulation much of the later modern stuff has.  Bazooka stands out because even within these limitations, they got him precisely right and he’s true to his ARAH form after modernization.  So what if he doesn’t have double articulated knees, he’s not a ninja or a ballerina.  He’s doesn’t come with many accessories, but he can easily carry what he has: a helmet with chinstrap (which I leave unstrapped most of the time), a pack full of rockets, and a bazooka to launch them
  3. Alpine v5.  Originally when this came out with the 25th Anniversary’s “Best of the 80s” DVD set, it was fairly expensive until its rerelease in 2015 with the “Rampage on the Rocks” 3-pack.  I personally don’t have one, but it can now be found under $20 and looks true to the ARAH Alpine, which to me is a necessity given Bazooka as the choice above.  Plus!  If you get the entire pack, it comes with a Shock Trooper, a Cobra figure recommended above
  4. Sgt Stalker v13.  With bound dreadlocks and a scowl Batman would envy, this is not your ARAH Stalker.  This figure may be from the 30th Anniversary line, but it carries over a lot of the Pursuit of Cobra dark militarism. 
  5. Capt Ace – Gone is the out of place Space suit of the original, this figure instead has a modern flight suit and high tech helmet.  It comes included with the 30th Anniversary Sky Striker, but is plentiful on the secondary markets. 
  6. Gung Ho v21 – The Ultimate modern ARAH version!
  7. Lifeline v7 – Fantastic figure with a strong red color and a lot of accessories.  One of the finest figures in the entire line.
  8. Scarlett v14 – Coming straight out of the Renegades cartoon, this one does not quite stylistically match up to the other figures that focus on either being a modernized update to an ARAH version or have a more real military theme.  Armed with a laser pistol, the typical crossbow and pastel clothing, I chose her simply because of all the other sixteen versions of Scarlett, she is the one that commits the fewest anatomical problems.  The Scarlett character has suffered through a lot of figure disasters, from the original who looked like someone’s homely grandmother to other versions who looked like Bazooka dressed in drag, to the decent 25th Scarlett who yet lacks the range of motion and facial detail most other of her 25th counterparts have.  Proportions, sculpture detail, and paint applications have just never came together quite so well as it has for Scarlett in the Renegades version.  This is simply the one where she looks most human.
  9. Steel Brigade v3 (a or b..mix and match!) – Who says GI Joe can’t have green-shirted soldiers to both fight and fill in operational gaps?  Certainly not I.  Two versions were released for the 30th Anniversary line in 2011 and the third was released in 2014.  Differences are a few accessories and different legs with features involving side packs and holsters.  I prefer version A, which lacks the sidearm holster. 
  10. Duke v46.  Given the youth on this figure’s face, this is probably Duke during his days as a PFC. Personally; I use this figure as another troop builder to complement the Steel Brigade assigned to tasks both combat and non-combat positions within GI Joe.  This figure was an Exclusive that was found at retail on at Dollar General discount stores for around $6 (POC and 30th were around $10-11).


Vehicles:
Cobra:
  1. HISS v5.  This is an advanced, up-armored and better equipped redesign of the classic Hiss.  It comes in four different subversions in Black, Brown, Red, and Blue (This one is equipped with a proper tank gun on the top).  Of these, I have only the blue and Red, and do recommend the Red as it is visually striking and comes with a very fine driver, the Crimson Horseman. \
  2. Steel Crusher APV – A nifty vehicle from the underrated Rise of Cobra line, it lacks space in the back for additional figures and storage, but has a missile launcher that pops out of that area as well as two missiles concealed in the doors.  It’s very “James Bomd”.
  3. Black Dragon VTOL – A Very underrated personal craft, the Black Dragon is a natural evolution of the Fang.  Larger and more capable, it was born out of the Renegades cartoon where it appeared as a troop transport.  Many fans looking forward to seeing a Cobra equivalent of the Tomahawk were perhaps put off
  4. Night Raft – This came in the 50th Anniversary’s “Danger at the Docks” set .  A remake of the old Night Landing raft, it includes a lot of accessories including a locker full of weapons.
  5. Cobra Flight Pod (25th) – I’ve always liked the bubble and since this is an improvement over the old one, I think it’s a good choice for a personal Cobra flight craft

Joe Vehicles:


  1. Ninja Combat Cruiser (Retaliation)– This mold has been released several time in the modern era under various colors and features.  This is an evolution to the Vamp
  2. Eaglehawk (30th)– This is a revamp of the Tomahawk with a few new features and some old ones phased out.  A very good craft to have for assault and troop transport
  3. Snarler Cycle {ROC)– Possibly the best motorcycle produced in the GI Joe line.  It has a sidecar but it’s not at all a mess like the old Silver Mirage was.
  4.  FOE Striker (50th) – The ultimate AWE version.
  5. Ghost HAWK (25th) – not the retaliation version as I think that thing is just chincy.  That could have been a great toy had most every corner not been cut.  What I am referring to here is the remake of the classic Skyhawk with the addition of clear plastic windows and side panels. 
Well, there you have it.  Those are my top toys for a basic modern GI Joe collection.  Feel free to comment below.

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Ideal Figures and Vehicles Necessary for a Vintage GI Joe Collection.


To honor the guys over at GI Joburg, and with respect to their March 24th Podcast # 112, I’d like to give my take on the top toys to start a vintage collection.  Keep in mind, of course, this is just my opinion and you are certainly entitled to yours.  I use the word ‘Necessary’ frivolously and I make no judgment on your personal picks and would appreciate any comments on your thoughts on this subject.

Here is the podcast: https://gijoburg.podbean.com/e/gi-joburg-episode-112/

you can also get it on Stitcher and through Apple.  

Full disclosure, I haven’t yet made it through that Joburg podcast episode.  I stopped it in order to give my thoughts before their conclusions could fully affect mine, though I did get part way through.  Furthermore, this subject is timely because I myself have recently started shifting my collecting habits from modern GI Joe/PTE towards obtaining vintage pieces.  I am going to parse through my extensive and incoherent modern collection to decide what does and doesn’t fit.  When I got into the hobby several years back, I pretty much bought everything I could get my hands on.   I now intend to sell of vehicles and figures that I don’t really like nor need in order to free space and capital for other acquisitions.  That said, I don’t have most of what I’m about to list given that I’m still in the beginning phase, so I’ll have to provide a link instead of my own images.  To that end, there is no one better than 3djoes for that purpose.

Now onto the topic:
[EDIT/UPDATE:]  The initial list was very pricey, so for the more costly figures and vehicles, I put in cheaper alternatives.  If you're just getting into Joe collecting, you may not be willing to shell out a lot of cash for some of these toys. 

The proposition presented by Gi Joburg was for each of them to come up with a list of ten GI Joe figures, ten Cobra figures, then five each of GI Joe and Cobra vehicles that they thought were most representative of a ‘proper’ collection of that size.  Nowhere were time periods or priorities defined other than it being part of the vintage line.  Like they did, I’ll start with Figures.

Cobra figures:


1) Cobra commander 1.5 http://www.3djoes.com/cobra-commander-v15.html

Of all the figures most necessary to this activity, I think the most crucial of them all is a Cobra Commander. He is the center of the trouble Cobra creates, making him the point of GI Joe.

I like the classic mirror faced appearance, though there seems to be one dissenter over at Joburg that the hooded version 2 was the more iconic of the two, citing that it seemed more fitting of a cult leader. For me, however, I go the other way. Here is something to try:



Close your eyes and think to yourself. *Cobra Commander*.



What image pops into your head? For me it is the chrome faced Cobra Commander, the field leader  attacking the Joes in battle, however ineptly. Plus, he has an indentation to store his pistol on his back, which is very cool. This is why I choose the original version one as the most iconic to me, and since I like a little more articulation and the straight armed version seems to be a little less expensive, I choose version 1.5.

(Budget Alternative: Battle Armor Cobra Commander v3 http://www.3djoes.com/cobra-commander-v3.html)

Not as classic, but a fine figure geared up for a fight! This one can be had very cheaply, in good condition as I see a lot of v1 examples with bad discoloring. 

2) Destro v1 http://www.3djoes.com/destro.html

What would Cobra Commander be without Destro both supporting him, insulting him, and then undermining him? The Weapons Supplier of Cobra is intrinsic to the internal power struggle within the forces of Cobra. Plus, the original “Chrome Dome” is very cool so I don’t see how he can be overlooked for this list.

(Budget Alternative: http://www.3djoes.com/destro-v2.html)
A little less Gothic Revival Pimp and a little more just plain Gothic.

3) Baroness v1. http://www.3djoes.com/baroness.html

Destro’s beau is ruthless, surreptitious, duplicitous, and provocative. Just like it’s hard to not include Destro as a foil to the Cobra Commander, it doesn’t seem right to deny Destro his perverse relationship with the Baroness.

(Budget Alternative: Major Bludd v1 http://www.3djoes.com/major-bludd.html)
Not the best figure, as I mention below, but he gets a lot of screen time in ARAH.

4) Storm Shadow v1. http://www.3djoes.com/storm-shadow.html

Hasbro’s original ninja may not be as absolutely necessary as the Cobra Commander, Destro, or the Baroness, but as Cobra’s most popular character, I think he still rates as a must. It is hard to find him in a condition that is not all yellowed. I’ve seen a few repros made by Black Major that may be a good option if costs are prohibitive



5) Cobra "The Enemy" v1 (x2) . http://www.3djoes.com/v15-figures.html

Cobra has a strong presence of faceless soldiers waiting to do Cobra’s bidding. So I think it is certainly appropriate to have a few of these hanging around in your collection. They can fill virtually any role in a moment’s notice from jet pilot to sentry guard. Since we are dealing with a limit of only ten figures in this case, I’ll limit it to two Cobra Soldiers. I’d personally like at least four. This choice was between the Cobra blue shirts and the Vipers which fill essentially the same role, and I just preferred the look of the troopers a little more.


6) Eels v2 (x2) http://www.3djoes.com/eels.html

Continuing to build on the Cobra contingent of faceless warrior and granting Cobra the ability to bring the fight under water, I think two of these is a great addition.





7) Firefly v1 http://www.3djoes.com/firefly.html

For a terrorist group, it makes sense to have a dedicated terrorist and saboteur.


8) Dr Mindbender v1. http://www.3djoes.com/dr-mindbender.html

I’m rather surprised I came to this conclusion myself. He was never a favorite of mine, but when I tried to round out Cobra with only ten figures, his inclusion as the last figure was logical given all the weird stuff Cobra was into during the ARAH run. It was down to a choice between him and Major Bludd, and it came down to the question of whether Cobra needed another solider or did it need a creator of large plot devices.



[ADDENDUM]

By the conclusion of this segment on the podcast, it looks like rules as it applied to troops was that only one slot was necessary, even for multiples. Going by those more liberal rules I am afforded two more picks, in which case I’m going to add as my 9th and 10th figures:




9) Tomax and Xamot http://www.3djoes.com/tomax--xamot.html

Okay, maybe it’s cheating to include two figures here, but probably more than any characters you just cannot have one without the other. These odd, psychically linked twins were featured often and their flamboyant acrobatic ways and staggered sentences do grow on you after awhile. I suppose you can justify this two for one by the fact that as a pair, they cost far less than a lot of single figures on this list.

10) Televiper http://www.3djoes.com/tele-vipers.html

This last selection is important for what it leaves out, which I’ll discuss below. Keeping with a collection focusing on having a number of generic types to fulfill roles, the Tele viper does well to fill this collection out. As a sort of utility operator that sits in front of consoles, they specialize in indirect combat, computers, and field communications.



Notable Omissions:
One of the harder things about a Cobra Collection with a limited number of choices is that it is difficult to flesh out all the competing interests and factions within the organization.  You can take ten random Joes even with a bare minimum of leadership and they’ll function well as a group.  The wrong ten Cobra members will at certain times and situations have a lot of trouble doing so with infighting, disagreements, and surreptitiously working against one another.  To that end, here are my notable Cobra figure omissions.

1)      Zartan – a great character and a good figure, his weakness is his dependence and involvement with the Drednoughts, a cadre of ruthless but petty thugs that I was never a big fan of.  I liked some of the figures, but they just left something wanting given the fact that the rest of the organization of Cobra consisted of more professional soldiers.  Including Zartan meant I would be obligated to include Ripper, Buzzer, and Torch.  Too far down the path away from Cobra’s real strength with too many slots, in my opinion. 
2)      Major Bludd – The odd man out on I think all the lists on the podcast, as well as mine.  Bludd’s problem is that he’s just a default field leader for when Cobra needs somebody to go somewhere to do some fighting.  He never had much in the way of synergy with other operatives in the ARAH cartoons I am familiar with.  It doesn’t help that his figure is not that interesting, having only a crummy wrist rocket launcher.  Hasbro managed to make an Aussie with an eyepatch and a robot arm boring.  Maybe if they had given him a proper gun and made his arm interchangeable with B.A.T accessories, he may have been a stronger pick...However, due to his importance and inexpensive cost, I named him to the budget alternative list. 
3)      Snow Serpent.  I really wish I had room for these, but with ten slots you just can’t cover everything.

G.I. Joe Figures



1) Duke v1 http://www.3djoes.com/duke1.html

First thing to do is choosing a field commander and for most it’s a three way race between Hawk, Duke, and Flint. I had a Hawk figure when I was young, one of the few figures I did have (actually, I still have him), but to me Duke was the leader I identified with as a child and so he’s my choice. Yes, he’s a somewhat controversial figure and yes, he was a self-righteous ass (and a bit of a Mary Sue) but he was the guy that made everyone shut up between moments of being a super soldier. There was just a swagger about him in ARAH.



One thing worth noting: there is sort of a venn-styled decision to make between Flint and Duke. Duke often costarred in story arcs with Scarlett, and Flint did so with Lady Jaye. It occurs to me that it was infrequent that there was much more than just passing association between these two couples in the cartoon. Maybe I’m remembering wrong, though

(Budget Alternative v2 Hawk http://www.3djoes.com/hawk-v2.html
Does Duke annoy you? The Joes commander, General Hawk is a great figure and a little less expensive


2) Snake Eyes v2 http://www.3djoes.com/snake-eyes-v2.html

This was a hard choice between version 2 and 1.5. In the end, I bucked my own early ARAH inclinations and opted for ninja commando Snake Eyes, with timber, instead of the original Commando Snake Eyes. It’s a nicer figure as well.
 
(Budget Alternative v1 Flint http://www.3djoes.com/flint.html
The first two versions of Snake Eyes are highly coveted by collectors and therefore, expensive. 

3) Scarlett v 1.5 http://www.3djoes.com/scarlett.html

With Duke and Snake Eyes in, Scarlett completes the love triangle. OK, I’m going to buck with ARAH tradition and put SE and Scarlett together as an item, as it was in the comics. I think it was just a nicer story, and all. Regrettably, this is one of the worst sculpts of the line and Hasbro has always struggled to make something that manages to do her justice, but I have always liked Scarlett as a character, and she is GI Joe’s “First Lady”, so she’s in. This figure is just homely, though.

(Budget Alternative v1 Lady Jaye http://www.3djoes.com/lady-jaye.html
While I'd maintain that Scarlet is a better character, Lady Jaye is a far better figure and the natural counterpart of Flint.  

4) Shipwreck v1 - http://www.3djoes.com/shipwreck.html

GI Joe’s saucy sailor and source of snarky statements (from both him and Poly) add a certain amount of color to the team.

5) Alpine v1 http://www.3djoes.com/alpine.html

6) Bazooka v1 http://www.3djoes.com/bazooka.html

Certainly this is GI Joe’s odd couple. You have a stereotype-breaking African American yodeling mountaineer in Alpine and his very stereotypical dumb jock who can occasionally manage three word sentences. They have a rare sort of chemistry in the cartoons

7) Doc v1 http://www.3djoes.com/doc.html

He’s not anything more than a very reluctant combatant, but it’s nice to have a real doctor in the house.

8) Barbecue http://www.3djoes.com/barbecue.html

I don’t know why, I remember that he got a lot of play during ARAH and a lot of decent lines. You’d figure that a guy who fights fires with an axe would be out of his element a lot, but Barbecue always found a way to be useful.  Plus that orange suit just rocks!

9) Gung Ho v1 http://www.3djoes.com/gung-ho.html

GI Joe’s resident Marine and shirtless tough guy.

10) Roadblock v1 http://www.3djoes.com/roadblock.html

GI Joe’s heavy machine gunner, cook, and king of rhyme, it looks like a good figure that can carry all of its accessories.



Cobra Vehicles:

1) Hiss Tank v1 http://www.3djoes.com/cobra-hiss.html

This is what I believe is the most iconic Cobra vehicle. High on firepower and mobility, short on protection, it can carry four Cobra figures.  There are other versions that offer more features, but none offer the clean lines and proportions of the original. 

2) Cobra Rattler http://www.3djoes.com/cobra-rattler.html

Plus: tons of bombs and accessories, novel place for a second figure. Minus, the turrets firing arcs are limited and the landing struts are ridiculously prone to breakage. I chose this over the Night Raven

(Budget Alternative: Cobra Liquidator http://www.yojoe.com/vehicles/92/liquidator/)
Sometimes not that cheap, but certainly less expensive than the Rattler, yet as a weapon it couldn't hardly be more different.  It's a smaller, less well sculpted jet that is rigged with 4 air-to-air missiles rather than the complete arsenal the Rattler possesses and looks more like a short range fighter than a multi-role jet.

3) Cobra Claw http://www.3djoes.com/cobra-claw.html

This was a race between two other vehicles that could be classified as “personal flight aircraft”: The Fang and the Trouble Bubble. In the end, this one won out because it was the smallest, quickest, and stealthiest.

4) Cobra Moray Hydrofoil http://www.3djoes.com/cobra-hydrofoil-moray.html

This is the absolutely the most awesome Cobra sea vehicle.  Compared to some of the others, it just blows them out of the water (pun).

(Budget Alternative: Cobra Water Moccasin) http://www.3djoes.com/cobra-water-moccasin.html
If the Moray is out of your reach, The Moccasin covers a lot of the same ground (albeit in the water).  It seats two figures and has a foot peg on each side for a total of four. 

5) Cobra BUGG http://www.3djoes.com/cobra-bugg.html

Cobra is known for its oddball designs, and there aren’t much odder than this. To both compliment the Moray Hydrofoil and compete in the underwater realm with the GI Joe Sharc, this Cobra fan favorite is I think, the most proper addition for this last vehicle slot for Cobra.



GI Joe Vehicles

1) Sky Striker http://www.3djoes.com/skystriker-xp-14f.html

The first noticeable thing you see in the A Real American Heroes cartoons is the Sky Striker streaking through the skies, which nicely sets the tone for its status as King of all GI Joe toys. It may not be the biggest, most coveted or feature rich, but it scores highly in all categories.

2) WHALE http://www.3djoes.com/killer-whale.html

Another fan favorite with a lot of capabilities, it is featured on rivers, the shore, and the open sea. It is by reputation a bit fragile, but has tons of play value with all of its features.

3) Sharc http://www.3djoes.com/sharc.html

The standard bearer of versatility and uncompromising implausibility in a line full of odd and implausible things, it is very cool for the very reasons it is unrealistic. A fast, small aircraft that is even more formidable below the water’s surface, this gets a lot of important work in the series.

4) VAMP http://www.3djoes.com/vamp.html

This is your basic Joe transportation and mission vehicle. If you’re in the mood, you can always splurge for the Sears Exclusive that came with a HAL http://www.3djoes.com/vamp--hal.html, or with the Mark II and its better protection and missile capability. http://www.3djoes.com/vamp-mark-ii.html . But for the purposes of this list, I’m going to keep it simple and go with the basic green vehicle with a turret mounted guns.

5) RAM Motorcycle. http://www.3djoes.com/ram.html

With a kickstand and real rubber tires, this serves as an answer to the need for a small, personal vehicle for one Joe to use.



Well, there you have it: my list of items more or less necessary to a basic collection true to the period of GI Joe I was most influenced by: the Original ARAH series. This list was a mix of promoting my favorites as well as striking a balance between each side with figures that were known to interact frequently. I think the biggest flaw in this list is that a lot of the figures themselves run between $40 - $80 or more, and there are several vehicles where the asking price is above $150 complete. This almost defeats the purpose as I’m sure that anyone trying to get into collecting will want to get their feet wet with things far less costly. So I may end up revisiting this under the same rules trying for forge a budget solution.

Anyway, thanks for looking.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

G.I. Joburg: the best thing happening in GI Joe right now.

Looking at the statistics for GI Joe Intel Ops entering this new year!, our total lifetime hits are coming up on a total of 30,000.  Not bad I'd say, for a four year old blog with a total of eighteen published articles.  Even though I'm sure most of you are either bots or redirects from some quasi-related (at best) Internet search, thanks for the eyeballs all the same, even if they are just the glances of spiders and bots.

Unfortunately for us in the fandom, we are entering the deep, miserable, sweltering desert of our own discontent.  No new product for years now has hit retail shelves, with none on the horizon.  We have promises of a film that will presumably be both supported by a toy line and include a much-needed reboot as part of the launch of a new cinematic "Hasbroverse".  However, plans may change as they often do, yet that apparently hasn't stopped Hasbro from finding reason to discontinue the license of the GI Joe Collector's club from producing the handful of exclusive figures a year, mostly pulling material from the obscure parts of Joe lore that would never cross paths with what Hasbro is likely to do with the property.

-By the way, I'm calling it now: the film will be delayed, cancelled or GI Joe will be a very small part of it, making way for more marketable things.  In the end there would have been no valid reason for Hasbro to discontinue its relationship with the GIJCC, and many of the fans who currently disparage the Club will eventually mourn its loss.  While in the grand scope of things this will hardly be a case of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory given these figures appeal mostly to a dwindling number of gen X'ers, I still don't see how there is absolutely any reason why the Club has to become attrition in Hasbro's attempt to revitalize the brand, even if the new film becomes a resounding success.


So that is the bad news. The good  news is that there are those who are trying to keep interest and enjoyment in GI Joe alive, and right now there is no one so committed and successful in this than the guys over at GI Joburg.

Based out of South Africa, of all curious places; Steve, Rob, and Paul are the local talent assisted by an American known as 'Kujo'.  They don't put out tons of content and commit themselves to an irregular schedule, but what they do put out is highly original and fun to watch.  Steve is the face of the channel.  He puts his cheery and goofy enthusiasm to great effect conducting reviews of the various odds and ends of Joedom.  This in fact seems to be their specialty: the less loved and appreciated toys that came out later in the line. The guys of GI Joeburg are apparently part of the late ARAH and post-ARAH wave of fans who grew up during the age of neon.

As for their "reviews", they are very unconventional.  Rather than have a static boilerplate complete with typical product shots and a grade at the end, they take the toy out into the wild and play the heck out of it, all the while musing about its good points, bad points, and where the character or vehicle fits into it all in the grand scheme of things, all in a reasonably well produced Youtube video.  It is very thought provoking and has taught me a lot about how to do reviews (IE: If you are doing reviews joylessly, then you are doing them wrong).

Please go to their channel and watch this and you'll see what I mean.



I'm pretty certain this thing rot hopelessly on shelves, but Joburg managed to launch this up the desirability scale.  Steve, Rob, Paul, and Mr. Kujo are, like, the ultimate peg-warmer salesmen.  This video, I might add, is very timely for us in the northern hemisphere.  We are shown pools and ocean beaches on a warm, sunny summer day in Africa, while we have to look on jealously here in the bitter cold (its been hovering around 0°F to -18°C here in the upper Midwest these last few days).

Anyway, enjoy their channel for an experience in very nostalgia rich content and escape from a dreary winter.


ALSO:


GI Joburg has made a goal of coming to what may be the last Joeconn in Chattanooga, Tennessee later in 2018.  I'm sure if they get there they'll find a way to entertain us with their unique style of programming.  They have a GO-FUND-ME page located here if you would care to donate.

GI JOBURG GO FUNDME
 

yo joburg!