Thursday, August 30, 2012

Another Year, Another G.I. JOE Wish List

DarklonNearly a year after I last made one, Hasbro and the G.I. JOE Collectors' Club have chipped away at another G.I. JOE wish list.

2) Jinx - SDCC exclusive x2, Retaliation, and G.I. JOE Collectors' Club Figure Subscription Service

5) Darklon - JOECon 2012 exclusive

6) Big Boa - G.I. JOE Collectors' Club Figure Subscription Service

8) Blind Master - Retaliation

And that's to say nothing of the Oktober Guard, Voltar, Dice, Cover Girl, and Sgt. Major, all courtesy of the Club. We collectors can never get enough, though, so that means it's time for an updated list of plastic hopes and dreams for 2013 and beyond. There are still so many characters I would enjoy adding to my collection, so where to begin?

Characters With Modern Figures Who Need Updates

Let's start with all three characters who were produced with one of the first 25th Anniversary heads, Gung-Ho, Cutter, and Leatherneck. Gung-Ho is a pretty important character who needs an upgrade in the worst way, something modern that moves him past the open vest look. While Leatherneck wasn't quite as bad, Gung-Ho's hat was completely wrong for Cutter. Even an existing head with a newly tooled hat would suffice for the W.H.A.L.E. pilot. Major Bludd and a classic-styled Lady Jaye are perfect for the Pursuit of Cobra treatment. And even though I didn't realize just how badly he needs a new figure before New Orleans this year, the concept Zartan figure has to happen.

ARAH Characters With No Modern Figure

Everyone will have their own favorites, but I'll pick and choose by year. My top candidates from 1988 are Budo, Hardball, Muskrat, Spearhead and Max, Blizzard, and Lightfoot. Remember that hat I wanted for Cutter? It would work perfectly for Hardball, too. T.A.R.G.A.T., Frag-Viper, H.E.A.T. Viper, Recoil, and Dee-Jay would be my picks from 1989. With a roster of Laser-Viper, S.A.W.-Viper, Undertow, Pathfinder, Rampart, Bullhorn, Stretcher, Metal-Head, Freefall, and Salvo, 1990 provided even more characters I'd scurry to toy aisles to buy. There's only one 1991 figure I'd care to see a fresh take on, and that's Big Ben, but give me Ninja Force T'Jbang, Nunchuk, and Dojo from 1992 all day. That was also the year General Flagg saw his first release in the toy line. Sorry, '93, but you just didn't hold any appeal. '94 saw the first release of a Joe Colton figure, though. As much as I'm looking forward to the Retaliation Bruce Willis figure, a comic-style Colton would be grand.

ARAH Vehicle Drivers

I'll start by saying Vapor was among my favorite ARAH figures, and he was also the pilot of one of my favorite vehicles, the Cobra Hurricane V.T.O.L. It and another 1990 release were probably the last two vehicles I got before the 25th Anniversary line debuted. The other was the Dictator, which included the very cool Overlord character. I loved that this guy's story involved ambitions to take over Cobra for himself, so consider me a fan who'd really like to see a modern version. A few others who would get my vote are Backstop, W.O.R.M.S., Ferret, Ghostrider, Wild Boar, and Track Viper.

Later Releases With No Modern Figure

Dr. Link Talbot is a veterinarian, and having one of those on the team when you're taking animals into combat just seems like a no-brainer, doesn't it? I don't know why Link got shafted on being assigned a code name, but we can make it up to him with a new figure. Speaking of those in need of medical care, can Cobra get someone to treat their wounded? A modern Scalpel is overdue at this point. Bombstrike is another who should see an update, especially with one of her brothers making his way into the FSS. While we're at it, let's toss in some Plague Troopers, a faction that's too cool to omit from the modern style. And while Sparks was released in the 2007 con set, O-ring figures just don't count.

Marvel-Era Characters With No Figures

Are we still begging Hasbro for Billy in 2012? Yes, we are. We still don't have a Soft Master to hang with our Hard Master, either. I can't make much of a convincing case for Candy, sometimes known as Bongo the Bear, but it would be great to get a figure of her father, Professor Appel. For my money, General Austin and General Hollingsworth both deserve to be immortalized in plastic, but Magda, the White Clown, and Orlovsky are a tough sell.

DDP-Era Characters With No Figures

Topped by Firewall, Daemon, Mayday, Heart-Wrencher, Mistress Armada, and Alexander McCullen, I could write an entire blog post about all the great toys that could be pulled from the pages of DDP books. Hell, I could fill at least a couple paragraphs with pleas for a DDP-style Spirit. I'll stop here, though, and get on with it.

Narrowing that down to my top ten wants, here's what I have:

1) Billy

2) Zartan from Hasbro's concept case at JOECon 2012

3) modern, urban combat Stalker with no beret or dreadlocks

4) female Cobra Troopers, Vipers, Crimson Guards, or Iron Grenadiers

5) Soft Master

6) General Flagg

7) General Philip Rey

8) Firewall

9) Scalpel

10) Dr. Link Talbot

It's not easy to leave Vapor, Overlord, or Heart-Wrencher off this new list. In addition to the concept Zartan, though, the other three I've added just seem more essential to the mythos. Firewall played an important role in the DDP books, Cobra Troopers are walking cannon fodder, and Timber, Junkyard, and Order will at least need to get their shots.