(March 3, 2004) ....and I'm back. - Maybe you did, but probably you didn't notice that I haven't posted in quite a while. Last year in July I guess it was, I had made a post and was in the idea of getting back to doing this page along with my others. I just couldn't get motivated to do it. More and more as Hasbro kept the releases of the new figures booming out, I got behind on my review page. From there I let this page slip. Before you know it I was so far behind that I just kind of gave up.

Flash forward to now, I still want to keep my G.I.Joe page going. I know there's people that read this commentary. Maybe it's for a laugh or just to share in the idea I type out. I don't know if what I have to say here has any relavence, but it's a good way to blow of steam or share in something I found funny. Whatever, you know, just what the commentary is for.

I've basically done nothing as far as webpage stuff goes. I've let it all go. Again I guess no motivation is the easiest way to explain it. I'll cover my current thoughts of Hasbro maybe tomorrow, but that's a big part of it. So until something happens I'm going to be back at it and I hope you keep reading and enjoy. - Joe

(March 3, 2004) My Review Page - My figure review page is seriously behind. I haven't updated it since I've updated this page. This brings me to the conclusion that I will be closing that page. http://figure-rating.50megs.com will stay up for a while as is, but I will not be updating it. I had fun when the figures were not coming out so often, but as they starting coming out far too fast I couldn't keep up. Also the rate of repaints was just getting crazy. I didn't know if I should include it on the page, make a subsection, or what. It got to be work anyway and that was not the idea. I didn't see a need in doing somehting that was no longer fun.

What I will be doing is just reviewing new releases, or rather making a comment about them here. I'll still probably do a break down of each figure somewhat and give an impression per each along with my one to ten cobra rate. It will just be easier to do here, less coding, and back to fun. Plus I won't feel the need to review EVERYTHING like I was starting to feel on the review page. Due to Hasbro's stupid way of doing things I've missed some figure packs as many of us have. So yeah that's another reason for not wanting to bother with a full blown review page. Its easier here to say I missed a pack than just sit and wait until I finally have all the packs on that page. I don't think there was many that actually used the page anyway. I don't know if anyone actually liked the page, but I hope you'll continue to check back here for comments. I never had any pictures posted there anyway and I was far from the first to hold any new figure before others already had them. - Joe

(March 4, 2004) Current State of G.I.Joe - What is Hasbro doing now you say? Well if you've been a G.I.Joe fan for long you'll probably be asking what HAVEN'T they done. Sure we've seen some great new releases and with Toy Fair that just happened, there was actually some new stuff shown that looked good. But for everything great Hasbro does they end up doing something dumb. I'm talking about the "wanna be Cobra La" called Venom vs Valor.

The very basic idea of this is ok. I could actually see ways it can work and be decent. However, Hasbro's insistance of thinking "goofy" equals mass kid appeal is the falure. I think the figure design and the offerings are doing decent. They're actually selling pretty well in my area. But then you have the 12" scorpion trooper collecting dust on the shelf because no kid seems to want it. No collector either actually. Then when the biggest mess up hits named Venomis Maximous, I'll be surprised if I see any kid want it. Well there may be a few but it won't be a decision based on a "military fantasy figure". No I think the kids into Mortal Kombat and things like that "might" want it. Then again those kids are older and are at the stage where "G.I.Joe" the name equals sissy. I mean come on, you remember that when you were younger I'm sure. It's because of these goofy crazy ideas that keep those older kids getting to a point of saying that. Most of you has to have seen kids in the stores. Do they seem to be saying "ohh cool" over G.I.Joe or BBI?

So that's what my rant is right now. Basically Hasbro is still chasing shadows and they can't understand they'll never catch whatever it is they think they are after. It's going to take some serious rethinking on their part to get where they should be. By then all these little companies may have stepped up and blown the "big guys" away though. It's kind of sad that a company can get too big to actually care until it's too late. Well if these companies do themselves in, maybe the license for the products we the fans have followed for so long, will go to a company that cares more about it. - Joe

(March 6, 2004) G.I.Joe Reborn - It's been a few months since I did a review of one of the comics, so this is a good start back at it! I want to talk a little about the G.I.Joe Reborn idea. It just came out this week and I finally sat down and read it. My initial thoughts were that it was far too fan fiction like. It's way too presumptuous. I didn't like that "dated in a box" approach. I mean the rewrite of many characters were too "now" and of current time where that if this book survives, it'll be dated more so than the regular title far too quick.

Let's take this book over the regular title. This was suppose to give fans a good starting point where they didn't have to know back story. Knowing the back story, there was a few instances that it actually did add to knowing what was going on if you did know the regular back story. It wasn't that you HAD to know, but it helped. Then there was the character devlopment. I felt that the back history was in the writers head and ideas were forced just so that there would be a difference. In some cases the difference just wasn't that good. I don't know, the idea of making Snake Eyes the way they did, it just didn't seem to work. It was done in a way that seemed to thumb their nose at everything Snake Eyes is. There was far too much weirdness too. Like it was trying to be pushed toward a "super-hero" idea. That may very well be what the thought was, and if it is, it's not a good move. The plot is too convenient with the "reasons for being" that each character was given for wanting to go after Cobra. It wasn't "Modern Army enlisted to fight a new threat". It was individuals that fell into active rolls just so there'd be reason other than "it's their job".

Cobra Reborn was just a better book. The impression was that you are suppose to cheer for Cobra as you really get a feel for Cobra Commander to be a sympathetic character. This book was well written and you get a good feel for why Cobra Commander of this story telling is doing what he is doing. You get a common feel that you could join Cobra based on what Cobra Commander presents. Then there's the G.I.Joe Reborn. You just don't have that connection. You should be rooting for the good guy. I mean even if you are secretly rooting for Cobra, ultimatly nobody would feel too good about seeing Cobra Commander standing over the dead bodies of G.I.Joe in the regular series. This retelling, you'd just soon the whole lot of G.I.Joe go down and go down fast.

As for picking this up if you haven't already, that's going to be a personal choice. I'd say yes only based on being a G.I.Joe fan. Retellings or continuity is after all a G.I.Joe book. I've always been one that I'd get the kid books and anything to read when it came to this hobby. I'll keep reading the reborn series just to see where it goes, but I gotta say that I really don't think it'll be for everyone. Maybe that's just my hardwiring of being a fan of the original series, but my wife read it too after being excited from the Cobra Reborn. She had hopes that she was getting the same level of story, but she felt the same. It just wasn't there. It's a shame too cause you only get that one shot. Once that #1 goes out, there's no "do overs". Anyway, pick it up for yourself and let me know what you think! - Joe

(March 6, 2004) Finding G.I.Joe - Anybody gone crazy yet trying to get all the stuff coming out? It's not just the amount that's been coming, but also finding it. The Cobra troop builder pack for instance. We all know the crazy stuff that's gone on with people ordering from Amazon alone, but it's just as hard to get it in store. Then there's the new mechs. Some have also had trouble finding the Pieranha boat. It can vary from city to city too.

What I'm getting at is that this can tick a person off after a while. You really don't like spending so much on your hobby, but you also HAVE to have the newest items too. You just want to get it over with and buy the newest stuff and get it behind you with the hope that releases will slow down a little.

Also there's the problem of missing some releases. The Sgt. Airborne pack was not easy to get and I even don't have it. No store ever got it in. They were too busy over stocking the previous release and totally skipped that shipment locally. It happened in many places and left collectors without that pack. Others are putting off getting certain packs cause they are just collecting dust and the stores keep getting more and more. Then one day, just like that all of them are gone and the new wave is on the shelf. Like I said, it's getting crazy. I can't say who's the reckless one on getting these out to the public. I feel it's the stores, but the stores put the blame on the companies shipping (Hasbro). And stores are wondering why they're having to file chapter 11 and going through rough times.... - Joe

(March 11, 2004) Mattel - This will be long. First I'll get it out of the way that yeah Mattel has nothing to do with G.I.Joe you would think. Really though Mattel does. How you ask? Well they have just surpassed Hasbro as being one of the dumbest companies I can see. I also collect Masters of the Universe stuff. From about a quarter of the way into making the new line on they started making huge mistakes. These were mistakes that was being broadcast everywhere by fans, industry magazines, collector boards, and just about every other outlet. Along with pointing out these mistakes, there were in fact solutions that could have been looked into by Mattel. Now after having no product on the shelf for fans to buy, Mattel is pointing their finger at the fans placing blame saying it's because the line wasn't supported.

On the idea of support, I'll tell you what took place for those that do not know. From the moment the new figures were shown at San Diego Comic Con in 2001, people that have been wishing for the return of this product line were in awe. Sure there were those that wanted an exact remake as with anytime this happens, but as usual the majority vote was in favor. These finally hit the shelf sometime after the convention and they were selling like crazy. You couldn't find them too easy. Then Mattel started being stupid. Instead of replenishing what was selling well and hold back on what wasn't doing as well, they shipped out tons of the figures that sat on the shelf. Yes as with any line there were certain figures that just didn't hold popularity. Some fans got these just to have them in their collection, but most were waiting for the other stuff announced. Waiting and waiting, and then waiting some more to only find a single figure of say Ram Man or Teela, or any of the other popular characters. It continued like this over and over as few fans found what they were looking for. Many started giving up. All through this however, if you attended a convention, you'd see tons of the very figure you are looking for at prices well over $20. Naturally fans got mad and wondered how it is that a secondary marketer can get just about any of the figures they wanted to sell, but the stores only had a He-Man or Skeletor figure to choose from. Then there was the Keldor convention exclusive. Do a search on that one and see what he sells for. Yep secondary marketers got what they wanted, but fans were stuck again. Now the line is on hold and Mattel says it's because of the fans.

Ok at this point I'm thinking you can see how this relates to Hasbro. Hasbro hasn't actually done quite that bad, but they have done this in some ways before. Why I am writing this, is the hope that it spells things out of how NOT to do things. I don't know if Hasbro sees my page or reads it. I know they have people that check out various things on the net and do look at what fans have to say. The problem is, while they were still working to get out of bankruptcy, they were pretty open to the fans. They actually were listening and there was some nice stuff happening. Now they are saying they can not be in direct contact with the fans and have been showing signs of dumb moves. This new Cobra La like story, the neon slowly coming back, the action features that just are not popular no matter what kid they want to impress, and a few other things mixed in. I have the hope that they will not totally go back to how they were. With that, I'll close by saying Mattel has laid out a path for any company to see how NOT to handle a product line. These companies should be able to see that. In this day and time it's more about sink or swim. I don't know what's on the minds of these big companies though. - Joe

(March 11, 2004) Fans - On the note of Mattel, something else struck me while looking at all the news. Fans can be crazy. The Masters of the Universe fans are an odd lot. They have every right to be mad and every right to complain, but yet there are fans actually wanting the rest of the fans to "be happy" to sum it up. These fans are making posts asking to say something nice about Mattel, or just be happy that the product came out, and even that fans should thank Mattel. It's insane really. When fans put forth a lot of time, money, and energy only to be blamed by Mattel, there is no reason that every fan shouldn't be reaming Mattel out. There's nothing for them to be glad about as far as how the license was handled.

Also there are fans making a push to get others to pay a membership fee to belong to he-man.org. It's like there are people wanting to get it membership fee only because by doing this they know the boards would be locked out for others to see. As if these fans are there trying to kill the Master of the Universe license. Now everyone knows about yojoe.com and visits there often. When did they ask for money to be able to access the site? When did they charge for being a member of their fan list? Never! And neither has many other sites for various lines out there. No fan site should unless they were offering some sort of special service or something. Sure these sites can be expensive, and nothing says you can't put a donation button up, but it should be more about the love for the hobby you are in, not the ultimate dollar you can get. There's other solutions and anyone that is at the point of thinking they should charge to be on their page should think of something better. Also it should be pointed out that the owner of the He-Man site isn't saying this, it is fans. Fans that I guess need someone to establish as a "leader of the pack" so they have someone to follow.

Again, what does this have to do with G.I.Joe? I've mentioned before about how crazy fans can be with G.I.Joe. I've pointed out how there are some out there that are more so trying to capture their youth more than actually care to collect G.I.Joe anymore. Currently the fans I consider weird have just grouped together on various places on the net away from the main crowds. They've been pretty well sticking to themselves. I don't know if Mattel just has everyone going all chaotic with Masters of the Universe, but I just wonder how things would go with G.I.Joe if Hasbro were to totally snuffle out the last life of the line. How many fans out there would rather see people jump for joy and post all flower thoughts rather than be pissed off and ready to breath fire? To a degree this happened with the O Ring controversy, as there were fans saying to other fans that there was too many complaining about nothing. The dumbest one was posts about G.I.Joe being Hasbro's product and they should be able to do what they want with it. Well excuse me, but when I lay money down for something I feel I should have some sort of say when it looks stupid. To just "not buy it" as others said, eventually there would be so many NOT buying that the whole line is dead. Then those wanting all flowers and perfume posts to be all they read wouldn't even have a line to buy that they were a fan of. If you are unhappy with how something is and it's something you are paying money for, you have every right to voice an opinion.

I've let this get too long also, so I'll wrap it up. I just wanted to say something about what I saw because it was kind of disturbing. It's almost sick to think that there are fans who seem to not care at all for what it is they are buying, and a long as that product name is slapped on something they'll buy it because it makes them remember their childhood. It' all nice and everything to have fond memories of when you were a kid, but to buy something thinking you can get that back, that just needs to stop really. A psychiatrist would be better for putting money on than funding a company to say fans suck, but by the way, buy my product! - Joe

(March 14, 2004) Value Zone Figure Pack - Friday I was able to find the Value Zone pack that has the Tiger Storm Copter with Wild Bill, Recondo, and a Sand Viper. These are all repaints. In the pack you also get a comic written by Larry Hama. I was going to include a picture but these should be all over the place if not now, soon.

The Tiger Storm is the same copter as the Missle Storm Copter. It's just repainted in a desert camo pattern. Wild Bill is redone with a sort of tan/brown color. If you like the vehicle, it would be worth owning this one. Wild Bill with the pilot helmet can be used as just about anybody too. As for Recondo, he's still the same figure as he was, and that being to me not Recondo. He's repainted in black. I suppose he's meant to be Night Force Recondo. He got me thinking how he'd look good if you slapped on a Cobra logo on his hat and made a red scarf for his face, he'd be a great Cobra troop. Even a head from the troop pack would look good here. The Sand Viper is done in maroon and black. This is the best figure of the pack. You can't go wrong with an extra Cobra troop of some kind anyway and this one just looks great. As for the comic, it's pretty well written. it's more Larry Hama than the little mini comics have been. It makes you wonder just how much Larry Hama is in the SpyTroops movie too. It's titles "Dawn of the V-Troops" and starts up the Venom vs Valor storyline. It does make the new DNA enhanced troops sound ok. It's not so bad. It still doesn't work as well as Hasbro seems to think. To keep this spoiler free I'll just say that you should pick this up if you haven't, even just for the comic.

It's a great deal for $9.99. If you have the extra cash, you can't go wrong getting this. Repaint Recondo for an extra Cobra troop and glue Wild Bills helmet on his head and you have 3 great workable figures. I really don't know what can be done with the Tiger Storm, but I guess you can hack it up for parts. - Joe

(March 17, 2004) New Page - This isn't much, but it was something I thought would be fun. Presenting the CROSSWORD/WORDSEARCH PAGE! This is for fun. I figured why not, a G.I.Joe related activity page that's easy to do and can be fun for visitors. You can print these out and give them to your kids if you have any, or just have them on paper for yourself so you don't have to stare at the screen.

Well that's about it for now. I hope you like the addition. I wanted something to take the place of the Rating page since I won't be updating that. I will be doing something with the front page soon to tie all the pages together better. Right now it's sort of all over the place. - Joe

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