Every year, the GI Joe Collector’s Club offers a special edition deluxe box set of figures at Joe Con, and this year’s set has now been fully revealed. The theme this year pits a new wave of Tiger Force GI Joes– Stalker, Lifeline, Dial Tone, Recondo, Big Brawler and Wreckage– against a new squad of Iron Grenadiers, including Undertow divers, Iron Anvil troops, Metalhead and General Mayhem.
You can see a mock up image of the whole assortment below:
It’s no big secret that I’ve had mixed feelings about the GI Joe Club for a while. I really dug last year’s Eco Force versus Zombies theme, but I still haven’t managed to muster up the incentive– or dollars– one of these sets commands.
As for this year? It’s cool, but I feel I can certainly live without it. In my opinion, the whole set leaves me kind of conflicted– for each great idea, there’s a strange one to offset it. The Joe side is what it is. Most of these figures are paying tribute to various international or exclusive Tiger Force characters, which is a nice nod to the greater Joe universe, but it certainly doesn’t make a straight up Firefly repaint like Wreckage a “must own” figure, as far as I’m concerned.
The lineup for the Grenadiers had me much more excited. I mean, Metalhead and Undertow both more than deserve upgrades to the Modern Era, so they must be the two most exciting ones, right? Yea, not really. The Undertow troopers are kinda cool, and the reused parts here do a good job of replicating the design of the vintage figure… but they’re given a completely new deco instead of the classic colors. I’d bet this decision was to save the vintage deco version for a fourth Figure Subscription Service, but it means while these alternately colored versions can fit in well with the rest of this lineup, their lack of source material feels kind of disappointing.
Speaking of disappointing, Metalhead looks amazingly bad. From the emaciated Retaliation Joe Trooper body to the off-model Snake Eyes webgear, nothing about this figure does justice to the character… except for the great new headsculpt by Boss Fight Studio. But as cool as it is… would this head along be worth the $100+ this figure will likely command on the secondary market?
It’s not all bad, though. I have no attachment to the Club original character General Mayhem, but he looks pretty cool, and I love the new jacket overlay he will feature. And kudos to the Club for changing things up and giving us a female Undertow officer. I’m glad to get at least a little gender diversity in this box set, and that was a really smart way to make it happen.
Maybe if I was making the trek to Springfield, Illinois, I’d be more amped up by this set, but as it stands, I just can’t imagine myself dropping the kind of money the Club charges for these. I’m sure there’s some stuff in this year’s set that will make Joe die-hards very happy, but as far as I’m concerned it’s more for them and none for me.
What DOES have me more bummed I’m missing Joe Con this year is the setting. Springfield shares its name with the fake town that serves as the base of operations for Cobra, and the Joe Club is definitely having some fun with that. They’ve released a few videos showing how there’s something a little strange going on in Springfield. Check out the first two clips below:
You can get more details on the exclusive set, as well as Joe Con by visiting the official website HERE.