Another year, another Convention. There have been ups and downs for these shows over the past six years that I’ve attended the G.I. Joe Collectors’ Club conventions, but it’s always a great time regardless of what’s going on at retail with the G.I. Joe brand. Needless to say, right now, there is a LOT going on at retail with the Joe brand. Some might say too much while for others there is no such thing. No matter what your personal opinion is, Hasbro and the G.I. Joe Collectors’ Club continue to work together to put on a great weekend of seminars, events, new product showings, and just general fun.
But I’m sure you folks want to get to the nitty gritty, so here is the weekend in a nutshell.
Thursday (Day One): I arrived in Dallas in the afternoon, did a little time wasting and then took my place in line, waiting for the exciting Convention Exclusives to be revealed. Soon enough, they were.
- The B.A.T. Mech w/ Hotwire is the first time this CLAW Mech has been released for sale. Based on the Valor Vs. Venom Pulverizer tooling, this one has a new arm, lots of new paint apps, and was originally planned for release with Robot Rebellion, but never made it out of the starting gate. Hotwire was a pleasant surprise, using the vintage Real American Hero tooling. He used Blanka’s head from the Street Fighter Two line, Hardball’s torso, and everything else was the 1990 Laser Viper. I was surprised at how well it all worked together, but it does work. He definitely looks the part of the “mad scientist” and the vintage parts work fairly well.
- The S.W.A.T. “RTV” with Bullhorn was another neat surprise. I’ve always been a big Bullhorn fan, and taking the 1990 Hammer jeep and repainting it for S.W.A.T. use makes perfect sense. There is no machine gun on the roof turret, but I don’t find myself missing it too much, everything still works. Bullhorn himself is made up of the ’90 Bullhorn head and torso, and the ’92 Shockwave arms, waist, and legs. A nice combination, all told.
- The S.W.A.T. 3-Pack with Shockwave, Longarm, and Low Light was the last actual theme-based exclusive we got to see, and it was another great offering. Dark green and black uniforms suited these urban operatives very well. Shockwave uses his familiar ’88 head, torso, and arms, and the ’86 Low Light waist and legs. Low Light is a straight repaint of the original, as is Longarm. The accessories are all serviceable, though Longarm’s are definitely the best, utilizing a bomb disposal robot from the unreleased Sigma 6 Short Fuze figure, a definite nice touch.
- The parachute figure was a Sky B.A.T., essentially a repainted DTC B.A.T. figure from 2005. The bright blue color matches it well to the Sigma 6 iteration of the character and is a nice homage for those few of us Sigma 6 fans.
Of course along with these items we received the normal boxed sets for the standard 15-figure Convention exclusives, and I am a big fan of how these turned out. Very, very cool figures all told. The included comic was also a nice unifying touch that kind of brought the various exclusives together and made them all work well in one cohesive story. Instead of the standard small vehicle attendee exclusive that we normally receive, we got another Headhunter, in this case, a Headhunter “driver”, which uses the same Headhunter tooling as the included Guardian, but with his gray and black colors swapped. A very nice figure. There is some discussion going around about potential other vehicles that were to be included in the set (most notably the Rage), and I think you can feel pretty comfortable that the Rage was the original planned vehicle. They probably deco’d up a driver for it, but with production issues the Rage didn’t make the final cut, but they still wanted to get the driver out there, which is cool with me, as it’s a terrific rendition of the character.
We rounded off Thursday hanging out with fellow G.I. Joe fans and prepared ourselves for the exciting upcoming weekend!
On to Day Two
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