YO JOE! 25 years later
by jeremy sung & bill murphy
Wave 01: Flint , Snake Eyes ver 02, Storm Shadow ver 02, Cobra Commander ver 02, Cobra Officer :
SPY MAGICIAN: Yay! Here’s where the line picks up IMO!
FRESH MONKEY: This is surprising because these are all sculpts from the box sets.
SPY MAGICIAN: Yup! Just minor tweaks and you have new characters!
FRESH MONKEY: Very true, it’s amazing what you can do if you just plan out the line ahead of time.
FRESH MONKEY: He’s duke with a new head and web gear.
SPY MAGICIAN: A great rendition of one of my top 5 Joes despite he’s just a redo of Duke! The head sculpt is much more detailed and the paint app seems less thick
FRESH MONKEY: But it looks like Flint to me, my only beef is that in the prototype photos he had gloves and this one does not. And it would have made this figure almost perfect.
SPY MAGICIAN: Yes, purists will insist on the gloves… And had Hasbro made the wrist cut at the glove line they could have done it!
FRESH MONKEY: Guess I’ll have to customize him myself.
SPY MAGICIAN: Heck yeah!
Snake Eyes ver 02:
FRESH MONKEY: Again nice update on a reuse figure.
SPY MAGICIAN: Probably the best vintage figure they made and like you say, a great update.
FRESH MONKEY: New head, new accessories, and TIMBER the wolf.
SPY MAGICIAN: Really clever to plan ahead to use the same Snake Eyes body for both versions.
FRESH MONKEY: Also FYI Timber is showing up in grey and black. I have no idea why.
SPY MAGICIAN: Yeah, I picked up a black Timber.
FRESH MONKEY: Good for you.
SPY MAGICIAN: You know, to support the line.
SPY MAGICIAN: Not because I’m obsessed.
FRESH MONKEY: …
SPY MAGICIAN: Really.
FRESH MONKEY: Right, support the line…anything you say.
SPY MAGICIAN: My only complaint on Snake Eyes v2 is that he has no scabbard or even a loop on his belt for his sword. You just sort of stick it under the belt. A bit ghetto that.
FRESH MONKEY: Yeah, this is true.
SPY MAGICIAN: But I think of the Joes Snake Eyes v2 and Flint are easily my favorites in the line so far.
FRESH MONKEY: And Storm Shadow…speaking of him.
Storm Shadow ver 02:
SPY MAGICIAN: Again, no real complaints.
FRESH MONKEY: Again it’s amazing to me how Hasbro can get the same general sculpt to look so different with just paint and weapons. And they included the ninja tattoo…that’s fun.
Cobra Commander ver 02:
FRESH MONKEY: I really don’t have much more to say here, my thoughts are the same as version 01.
SPY MAGICIAN: Yup!
FRESH MONKEY: They did a good job with the hood.
SPY MAGICIAN: If all "variant" figures were as good as these, variant wouldn’t be a dirty word.
FRESH MONKEY: And he looks different enough paint-wise from the 1st one, although I wish he would have been painted black. But I’m sure we’ll get a version in black down the road.
SPY MAGICIAN: Yup! And a red one…
SPY MAGICIAN: But hopefully we get more different characters before we enter crazy repaint hell!
FRESH MONKEY: I hope so.
FRESH MONKEY: It would have been nice to just have given this figure swappable heads. So I can save me some $$$$.
SPY MAGICIAN: Yeah, heck I’d even like a crazy multi-eyed snake mutant head! LOL!
FRESH MONKEY: Oh yeah, as dumb as that was it’d be sweet .
SPY MAGICIAN: Heck, do a 2 pack with blind Roadblock and a snake with teeny man-arms!
FRESH MONKEY: HAHAHahahahha!!!
SPY MAGICIAN: Now THAT would be a fun exclusive!
FRESH MONKEY: Don’t say that, Hasbro might be listening and you’ll get that before you get your Dusty figure.
SPY MAGICIAN: (Dusty, Dusty, Dusty!)
FRESH MONKEY: Again nice update, new web gear and paint and you got a new figure.
SPY MAGICIAN: Yup. My only complaint is that they should have put the officer in the box set and single-carded the Cobra for maximum army building madness.
SPY MAGICIAN: Not that I do that.
SPY MAGICIAN: Just sayin’.
FRESH MONKEY: Ahhh good point. Never thought of that
SPY MAGICIAN: It’s for the children.
FRESH MONKEY: Yeah, you know for kids.
SPY MAGICIAN: (30+ year old kids living in Mom’s basement… but still kids!)
Poseability & Playability:
FRESH MONKEY: These are really great toys. I think most folks forget that these things are suppose to be played with. My big fear was that the over articulation was gonna make the figures break apart all the time but they are much more stable than the 3 3/4 Marvel Showdown figures.
SPY MAGICIAN: I agree these are great… mostly. Here’s where I’ll probably turn into Evil Spy Magician, or at least Grumpy Spy Magician!
FRESH MONKEY: okay you go
SPY MAGICIAN: Yes, in terms of construction and durability they get a hearty thumbs up. Compared to say, Takara Microman, they are sturdy and very poseable without being over-articulated. My only gripes:
Elbows. Numerous figures have very poor range of motion on the elbows. Duke, Flint and the Cobra and Cobra Officer spring to mind. A bit more forethought in how to sculpt the socket in the bicep would fix this. Though to be fair I think this is something that will improve as the line progresses.
FRESH MONKEY: Yeah again I agree, but I’m willing to look past it, as this is the 1st release. If Hasbro "grows" from here I’ll be happy.
SPY MAGICIAN: Hips: Similar complaint. The hip sockets could be better sculpted to allow for better movement to allow better interaction with vehicles.
FRESH MONKEY: Let’s hope they make new mistakes as they move forward.
SPY MAGICIAN: Indeed! The only other articulation complaint I have is where they chose to put the wrist cut joint.
FRESH MONKEY: YES!!!!
SPY MAGICIAN: It’s mid forearm for no apparent reason! And a bit weak!
FRESH MONKEY: And it really detracts from a great sculpt. BAD HASBRO BAD!!!!
SPY MAGICIAN: Yeah, definitely something that can and should be easily fixed moving forward!
FRESH MONKEY: They need to put the mid-forearm in a more logical place. Like where the glove line meets the wrist or where the shirt line meets the skin.
SPY MAGICIAN: Exactly.
FRESH MONKEY: Don’t just cut it somewhere for the sake of doing it. It should make sense.
SPY MAGICIAN: Much like they do with most Star Wars figures, put it somewhere logical.
SPY MAGICIAN: Well, toys are much more expensive than they used to be…
FRESH MONKEY: This is true, but $5.00 – $6.00 a figure is a pretty good by here
SPY MAGICIAN: Yeah, I have to say you get pretty darn good bang for your buck with the GI Joe Anniversary Line.
FRESH MONKEY: Oh Yeah .
SPY MAGICIAN: The days of action figures under $10 are fast slipping by…
FRESH MONKEY: Yep, it’s refreshing to see this. Outside of Star Wars and Pirates we don’t have much in the 3 3/4 market.
SPY MAGICIAN: The other thing I love about this line is what you get for your $$$.
FRESH MONKEY: You do get the most for your $$$$: character selection, articulation, accessories.
SPY MAGICIAN: The budget seems to go into making the toy better. The packaging is beautiful but not overdone to the point is overshadows the toy by vibrating or begin furry… Not that anyone would do something that silly, would they…?
FRESH MONKEY: No never…. oh wait, well they might at least give themselves an internal packaging award for it.
SPY MAGICIAN: Heck yeah. Definitely internal-award worthy.
FRESH MONKEY: Hee hee.
SPY MAGICIAN: And the "gimmick" in the box sets, playing the Joe theme song is great.That’s a gimmick I happily paid for! I’ll probably wear the battery out, as I can’t stop playing it!
FRESH MONKEY: Yeah, I know were weren’t gonna go into packaging in our reviews cause we open all our stuff, but they really did a bang up job here.
SPY MAGICIAN: Yup, credit where credit is due, packaging doesn’t get better than that!
FRESH MONKEY: I was about to pitch my Cobra box and I was like “It looks so pretty, I must keep it”.
Hits & Misses:
FRESH MONKEY: Hits first.
SPY MAGICIAN: Okay.
FRESH MONKEY: Great characters, good value, best bang for the buck in this market
SPY MAGICIAN: Fun, Playable toys. HUGE nostalgia appeal.
FRESH MONKEY: Yes!
FRESH MONKEY: Misses.
FRESH MONKEY: More logical articulation
SPY MAGICIAN: Some difficulty in holding accessories.
FRESH MONKEY: Very true.
FRESH MONKEY: If you want some inexpensive great toys that appeal to the kid inside you, this is the line for you. Unless of course you hate GI Joe, then it’s really not for you and you’re probably not reading this review anyway.
SPY MAGICIAN: This is a great toyline. Not perfect, but off to the right start and on it’s way to becoming THE definitive 3 3/4" Joe line. And if you don’t like GI Joe you’re probably some pinko leftist commie.
FRESH MONKEY: YO JOE!!!!
(Sorry, I had to throw that in somewhere in this review)
Quick Custom Fixes:
SPY MAGICIAN: Well, I rarely find a new toy that doesn’t go under the knife for some "improvements" and the 25th Anniversary Joes are no exception. Good figures, but a few key flaws that can be fixed with a bit of work.
Here’s what I found needed fixin’:
Trigger Fingers: A trick that often helps with Joes or Star Wars figures that have guns with trigger guards. Just make a small cut with a sharp hobby knife to separate the trigger finger so it’ll fit the trigger guard on the gun. (In some cases you might need to enlarge a trigger guard).
Gung-Ho: His vest restricts the movement of his shoulders, but this is easily fixed by removing the vest and widening the arm holes but trimming away some of the material on the front of the arm holds.
Elbows: The main problem with the Anniversary Joes is that quite a few have badly restricted range of motion on the elbows. Duke, Flint , Gung-Ho, Roadblock and Cobra/Cobra Officer spring to mind. This prevents them from properly holding and using accessories, in particular a two handed grip on rifles and such.
The fix is simple in concept but can be tricky in execution if you want to maintain a good look.
Basically, you need to cut away material from the bicep socket. To do this, first remove the elbow joint by heating the arms (I recommend a heat gun, but hot water will work as well.)
Once the elbow is out, you can freely access the bicep socket. Now the temptation is to cut directly across and just let the elbow completely free. Problem is this makes the arm rather ugly. What you want to do is cut away a crescent of material on the front and inside edge of the bicep socket. Do small test cuts and replace the joint and pose until you are satisfied. Once you feel you’ve got the motion you need, simple sand the areas you cut with a fine sandpaper (800 -1000 grit) to smooth the cuts retain the look of the sculpt.
I’ve included comparison pics of this fix as done on Duke, Flint and Gung-Ho.
As always, customizing can be dangerous! Make sure you have proper eye protection and exercise caution when using sharp tools!
Good Luck and Yo Joe!
Where are they hitting?
These are hitting all over the place. From Target to Walmart to Toys R Us. Also you can still order these at the majority of online shops.
Well that about sums it up. If you want to see a more in depth review of these figures go here ( http://www.generalsjoes.com/anniversary_review.htm ) to Generals Joes. They did a really nice job looking at each one of the figures mentioned above.
Well we hope you all liked it. If we’re lucky Julius will let us do more of these soon. Please let us know if you like this type of review, or shoot us an email and let us know if you hated it as well, ‘cause we want to make it better the next time.
Spy Magician & the Fresh Monkey
And now we have a sneak peek at the next waves of GI JOE 25th Anniversary figures.