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This is a very random bunch of thoughts based from my collecting of GIJOE: A real American hero figures and vehicles. Contained here are memories, experiences, recent thoughts, completely random thoughts, and other random things on top of that. While one company has made, and makes, our shared interests, we all add into that interest with our own creativity. You, the reader, will find many, many, excellent sites among the links to see what other GIJoe fans are doing, hit them up! For GIJOE stuff that is more random in topic, you'll find it here.

9.30.2017

Return to Cobra-La?

I am not a big Cobra-La fan.   Back in the day when the old cartoon was in re-runs it seemed like the multi-part G.I.Joe: the movie kept repeating when I wanted to see just about any other episode. 

One of those things I wouldn't mind seeing is something along the lines of a return to Cobra-La.   I would like to see something original here and something that could tie-in an old "explanation" for the existence of Cobra-La that I had.   In this made-up background for Cobra-La, I had Cobra-La originating from an early, large, and secret Cobra project that few in Cobra's organization would even remember.   Almost like that almost typical "something went wrong" plot and it was all shut down and buried....., but little did they know what survived...    (cue creepy music and camera movement along dark abandoned hallways.....)

So longer story short, Cobra-La would be discovered as a creation by those survivors and the history of it made up by the time of G.I.Joe: the movie.   In my case of an imaginary what-if, Cobra Commander may have been telling the truth in that it is all lies.

The surviving Cobra-La hierarchy, such as Golobulus and Nemesis Enforcer, very much human looking, may have continued genetically-manipulated...everything... and even on themselves for survival needs, but the mental distortion of this might have created a made-up billions-of-years history.    Perhaps the Royal Guards were formerly humans who needed more to believe in than just being some kind of plant-based beings?

Perhaps the spores were originally an early Cobra idea, but abandoned due to being hard to control?



The end of the movie saw the destruction of Cobra-La under that ice dome.   That was sort of that, except for getting Cobra Commander from snake back to human.

The 1991 Impel card set made mention of the destruction of Cobra-La on the Honor Roll cards.
These cards consider the deaths of characters from the Marvel comic, too.  

The mention of those lost under the Cobra-La ice dome just leaves too much open ended and could be a return point.   After all, Firefly was dead, in the comic and on the card set, but ultimately did return.    Dr. Mindbender, too.


So what would a return of Cobra-La or return to Cobra-La look like?   

Would Cobra seek to retrieve something that was under the ice dome, perhaps in deeper levels not seen in G.I.Joe: the movie?   Perhaps Serpentor survived and more focused and deadly things have now evolved and are starting to creep out of the ice dome?

Maybe a good time for the Mega Marines to be dropped into that remote location by a Star Brigade shuttle?

What do you think?



6.17.2017

Wish I was there!

It looks like a lot of fun at the G.I.Joe convention.  I only made the one; 12 years ago already!   Wow!

I just had to make a note to express a message of appreciation and thankfulness to the many people attending who are sharing and reporting on the experience of the 2017 Convention!

Wish I was there!

3.18.2017

Bulletproof










Bulletproof is back.   He's been back here for a couple months but still hasn't gotten my classic proper G.I.Joe imagination world of a collection introduction yet.   Even though my toys aren't getting and haven't gotten that  real "back in the day play" intensity for a long time, something that I liked to do at a point in life (that seems so long ago) was to have a sort of introduction battle for any new incoming toy.    Before that new figure got tossed into one of my evolving cardboard storage boxes or plastic drawer set ups, I would have a little welcome battle and would usually do that while setting up a little simple background-less diorama on whatever shelf was there.   Back when 35mm point and shoot film was the option, I might have taken a picture but more than likely not.    I stopped doing this when I was buying a little more in the mid-to-late 2000's and as I think about it more I spent more time sorting and digging through a lot of stuff, not even really setting anything out.   

I am going to try and start doing this again so I don't just feel like I'm buying stuff just to buy stuff.   Maybe I can bring back a little of that pointless made up fun from back in the day.


So way back then, until that "welcome to the storage box with the rest of the collection" battle I would keep that new figure set up on a shelf separate.   Bulletproof has been in that holding pattern for the last couple months.   Waiting to join my 28-member team as the replacement for one of them.

This is my second Bulletproof figure now.  The first one was sold away maybe in late 2011 but maybe as late as a final big sell in 2012.   Bulletproof was a part of one of my top favored made up sub-teams in my collection and was always always in the running for my final collection team picks.  And I didn't really have Bulletproof that long to begin with being added only a couple years before.

Some of the reason on why Bulletproof was cut was due to the file card giving him a high rank of O-4.   That was in the highest 10 ranks given to other figures in my collection.   Excluding pilots and astronauts, Bulletproof is not much farther below Hawk, Keel Haul, and Flagg (Battle Corps).  Sure Fire and Col. Courage are also in this area.     I wanted a well-rounded out rank and file and with only 28 G.I.Joes the officer level felt like it has to be very light compared to the rest.

Some of the reasons I was leaning to keep Bulletproof was more for that "other" source of recruitment for the G.I.Joe team.  Beyond just the armed services, Bulletproof is indicated to be a Federal Marshall and experience with the D.E.A. and was leader of the new D.E.F..  But that "other" source of recruitment was filled with Shockwave's Detroit S.W.A.T. background (as well as an "enlisted" rank on the file card) and I found aspects of other figures I wanted to include in my 28-member collection to rule out having two somewhat more similar figure character backgrounds .





As much as I really dug my security force and could have just kept that group of figures, I wanted to steer clear of having any one "sub team" or theme stand out or have matching uniforms.   Like, 21 figures would look unique, but seven having Tiger Force shirts would make them stand out more, rather than blend into a small highly trained special mission force.    D.E.F. figures are each fairly distinct, however,  and as much as I really like this "sub team" I wanted D.E.F. Cutter to represent the Coast Guard.   So, in some sense, it was a case of a D.E.F. figure vs. D.E.F. affiliated figure inclusion that swayed my decision to axe Bulletproof in my final collection trimming picks.

Another very strong aspect of the character/ figure of Bulletproof is his "vehicle specialty," the AH-74 Desert Apache.  Sure, any G.I.Joe *could* fly the Skystriker, but I wanted some basis or some real tidbit of information that would make something seem more real in my collection.   Another helicopter pilot in my collection is always a useful thing, especially if the figure has an excellent overall uniform that doesn't keep them looking like a pilot   (version 1 Ace, for example.)

So all-in-all, Bulletproof was always in that spot to keep as I was cutting all that stuff years ago, but ultimately cut.

But I think I might have made a mistake of keeping a character/ figure of strong familiarity where I think I might challenge my getting older imagination.  Bulletproof is still, in this A Real American Hero toy,  combined with Marvel comic appearances, a solid-based blank slate.   Not just a blank slate character, but one with a strong origin (more or less) that really wants that user-imagination to add more on top of.   So, that's part of why Bulletproof is back, to challenge imagination and even maybe lead my pretend team in this real modern world;  not just represent an '80's-'90's cross-section against  Cobra, but make this team very real modern.



And the figure is just plain interesting to me, always has been, like all of 4 D.E.F. figures.

Consider that in '92, there was more playful coloring, but the D.E.F. labeled figures did not have it.  In '92 and later, figure sizes were getting a little more beefy looking, but here Bulletproof doesn't seem far removed from a GI.Joe style that is almost 10 years older.  (this short fuze, with the exception of a custom testing Scrap-iron, may be the only swivel-head figure left in my possession)   Not pictured, but even the rifle and backpack that Bulletproof comes with could easily fit in style with the more delicately detailed '84 and '85 accessories than with the larger 1990 accessories for instance.






Certain details that listed out the accessories with fun names are gone.



That Member of the Patnership for a Drug-Free America is interesting, there may be toys doing stuff like this now, but what are they?




This mark-down to $.90 I just dig, no sticker, just someone wanting it out.   Do you think $.90 cents was the "break-even" point for whatever store sold this?   











Another side note for my reason for wanting this carded was to see what battle stand cavity the D.E.F. figure might have originally come with.    Some likely consider a battle stand just a battle stand.   I couldn't find the answer online, but years ago I sorted out my battle stands with cavity numbers.   Not that it was any matter but I was wondering if on the trivial side of things when I got a loose figure with a battle stand that was "complete" if the battle stand was THE battle stand that was originally included.
This is what was in this package, no cavity number. 










Helmet variations. I like removable helmets and I think this was from a Street Fighter Guile figure.





Bulletproofs teammate Shockwave's helmet.   (should I switch my teams Shockwave '88 for the '92 D.E.F.?)





Last of the greenshirt helmets that didn't make it into a sell-off box.


1.21.2017

Headhunters

I should have wrote more things down.   I kept rather good track and information on my G.I.Joe collection at times over the years and I even made a few notebook pages of a summary of all the older lists and things I had of my collection back around 2011-2012.    

I thought this week would be a good time to put in a line in my collection notes on some new additions and then realized I didn't write in a couple of additions on a couple figures.   Big deal?  Not really, but it does kind of bug me not knowing where I got something from.    I may have something in the small stack of notes that might give me a clue to jolt my memory but that is a project for later right now.

Being the new additions are Evil Headhunters I took a look back at how long it took for me to get to this point (which will still look like a small collection to many, and it is, likely not an impressive thing to most).

Way, way, back in the day, when the entire D.E.F. lineup was on retail pegs and we had relocated to a bigger city that had these, these figures were in a deluxe price range for me.   I can't recall exact prices, but I sort of remember for only one or two dollars more being able to buy a small vehicle; the Fang II and Piranha being examples.    I found better value in the vehicles than spending almost twice the price on a figure to basically get a light-up spring-fire launcher.   Sky Patrol, Sonic Fighters, and Eco-Warriors appealed to me in the same way.  More "deluxe" accessories that I didn't want to pay more for.    Unless they were gifts or the Eco-Warriors which were discounted when Children's Palace was closing (and that's all they had left), many of the larger carded figures I never got.

It wasn't until August 20th, 1995 that I got my first Headhunter anything.    I wrote that date down at that time as I had a small notebook that I jotted down things like this.   My first Headhunter anything was a Headhunter Stormtrooper flea market find.   It came with this rifle:



Ultimately I sold that Headhunter Stormtrooper and a second Stormtrooper (purchased via ebay sometime before April 2010) to a store sometime in 2010-2012.   I thought these would be harder to get more of and around these years I was able to get the 2008 G.I.Joe Convention set.   It was kind of a numbers thing, too, where an instant squad of six Stormtroopers outnumbered the other two and in order to simplify any army, the original two Stormtroopers were ruled out.   Looking back at this decision now, I wish I had gone the other direction.

Another  Headhunter-based figure was a 1993 Gristle that came from the 2005 G.I.Joe convention.
At some point I traded online for a Headman figure.  I still have that one, but pictured below, I bought a much nicer Headman from an online store.   I also bought one of these Headhunters pictured below in January of 2009 from that same store.
The other two Headhunters I can't recall where I got them.   One likely a trade from maybe sometime maybe '07-'08, .... really not sure.





The 2008 Headhunter Convention set for me was really a great announcement.  At this point in real life I was not really buying much of anything, toys were not a priority, but this set I sent for purchase maybe before all the reveals were made.   I was one of the first 100 purchases or whatever it was and got a pin.  

It wasn't long before I was just not all that happy with the convention Headhunter set.   I would have been super happy with this set being released in classic colors.  The "arsenic" coloring didn't hold the value that the classic Headhunter colors had for me.    The Convention Headhunter Stormtroopers had Rock Viper legs, too.   For a pricey figure they felt a little like those comic pack franken-figures to me.  In hand they looked fine but these were two distinct molds that just didn't feel like a good combined match to me.   I loved that RPK-style rifle that they came with but to ebay they went when I was trimming down on the collection:
 
 SOLD!


 The Headhunter B.A.T.s were awesome.   Without the Headhunter Convention logo, I would have kept these and would have liked more.   Sad part is I can't remember if and where I traded or sold them now.   You're thinking because of a logo you didn't want them?!   It was much more due to simplifying everything, too.  All B.A.T.s went out the door when I slimmed my collection down.   Cobra cut back to the basics.   For the logo, I really wished the club didn't slap a Cobra logo on everything.   In my mind I want the Headhunters to be their own faction.  

With only two Headhunter "Guards" in the convention set and the large logo plastered on their once fairly refined looking jacket, combined with me favoring the classic original Headhunter figures coloring heavily,  these two figures were sold to a store in August of 2011.   So, think about it, I had two or three classic Headhunters and two "Guards," I wish I had pictures but they really clashed.   Not the rigid disicplined paramilitary army look I had in my mind for my future Headhunter army.

Gristle was actually a harder choice for me.   Original or Convention?   The head on the original was my preferred of the two, but the yellow on the '93 Gristle clashed more with the uniformed look of the 1992 Headhunter.   So I went with the more muted Convention Gristle as the keeper.   Sadly, there is a crack on the inside of one of the thumbs, I hope it doesn't grow.   I thought a more modern, softer plastic would have had a better durability.  Likely just this copy.


 

Of course,  I had the GvC Headman figure, which was my first Headman figure, so technically kind of my second Headhunter figure(s)....     This Headman did get some display time.   As I think about it now, I am considering making a G.I.Joe roster change at the HQ, to do so, the reasoning and method behind doing so might lie in the relationship outlined on this Headman's file card.   And if I do so, it would fit my overall collections premise of including overall A.R.A.H. years in representation.

I never thought I would have used something from the GvC years as a basis for imagination.

 
With a purchase of more Headhunters in January 2017, after what, 20 some years it is starting to take shape.    Even with a small collection I'm hanging on for the long haul, what's the hurry, right?



 Characterization.

The file cards are where I base almost every bit of imagination on a figure/ character from.  From there it is the Marvel comic.  The cartoons in any form are fun, but usually not a strong source of inspiration for me.

The Headhunters to me are their own group.   A fairly fresh group that in many ways appear to have zero ties to Cobra.  That's something I find appealing.  Another threatening faction to break up the G.I.Joe vs. Cobra angle.  Sure, Destro broke off, but.... sadly I think 1984 pulled him back in the early 2000's.

With few vehicles in my collection, transportation for these guys is something I would like to figure out.   What do you think would make a good transport for these guys?





The short double-barrel shotgun and a character in black with bit of shoulder armor.   Who comes to mind?  

Right?









---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Headman at JMM's comics homepage.

Joe-a-day Headhunters 1992
 
G.I. Joe vs. Cobra - Headman

1.15.2017

A night near the entry port...


"Alright!   After all these years it is happening!   This is it, let's get in there and make sure our assets are secure!!"




 "Looks perfect!   Couldn't have worked out better!"





"After all his successful work out there I was hoping to tell him that thread of intel he passed us was wrong.   This is a whole other level of trouble...."


Headhunters in Marvel.











 

 










                                   (Ike and Mike join Cutter and Bulletproof to save Mutt but....)







1.09.2017

Cobra Rifle Range and first new thing this year


 Not sure when or how I got the Rifle Range here.  Likely I used store credit when I sold other toys to a certain store.    Not a heavily used item.   Since bagging and boxing up my rather small collection back in 2012 for preparation on moving to the current HQ shell* the Rifle Range has been something I've been planning on sending out the door.    Anyone interested, missing one original rifle?

Digging through my small box of bad guys I realized how little I've done with them for the last few years.  Something else is incoming so I was just playing around today being excited for it and set up a little picture. 

Down in a sub-level of some unknown location that contains a Cobra weapons supply, Big Boa is instructing some Vipers on their shooting skills.




My first 2017 new thing is a Fang II.   This mostly not assembled win still had parts on the parts trees.   But with some disappointment the "complete" Fang II was missing the gun turret part.  It wasn't in the auction picture, either, but I don't think the seller knew it was missing.  I think this may be a case of the part missing from whomever purchased it from the store originally back in the day, a part was missing, and it was returned.  (why some parts were still on the tree).  Still a pretty nice Fang II otherwise.     Anyone have an extra gun turret?



 



Looks like Cobra is going to be donating their weapon supply today....