8" G.I. Joe - A Post Toy Fair 2007 Report
As has become the norm with Toy Fair, revelations of new toys left almost more questions than answers. Not being one to sit and wonder, the Sigma 6 Central staff went out to try and dig up as many answers as we possibly could. Let's see if we can enlighten some folks here.
The Cartoon - It would appear that the cartoon's time has unfortunately come. There has been no news on future shows being shown on 4KidsTV and Hasbro's own "MonkeybarTV" has been boasting that it will be the only place to see the second season. I do know Hasbro has finished production on the last five episodes, so I'm sure they will appear somewhere .
The Future of Sigma 6 - As reported at Toy Fair, the whole Sigma 6 "theme" is no more and will be replaced by standard "G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero" packaging. The sculpting style and scale of the figures will continue on going forward and 2007 will prove to be a very strong year for the Sigma 6 "style" even if the name is not out there.
Paratrooper Snake Eyes and Ninja Tracker ATV - Paratrooper Snake Eyes is still on the books moving forward, and will be a Wal-Mart exclusive likely to appear in Spring '07. Alas, the Ninja Tracker ATV did not make the cut...it has indeed been cancelled. Currently unsure as to whether or not the accessories will be allocated for any other sets or figures.
Will the Sigma 6 "look" live on through the toys - So the cartoon is done, but the Sigma 6 "style" will definitely continue to live on through the toys. I wouldn't necessarily expect any show-accurate figures to still come down the pike. Word is, in fact, that Overkill did not make the cut, and was not greenlit for release as originally reported in the Collectors' Club newsletter. Unfortunately that's the thin line that manufacturers walk when they provide early information to satisfy us pesky collectors. Sometimes things end up changing. There is still a Dreadnok in the works, though it is not one of the "big three" and the character may come as a surprise.
Combat Squad - This has been a source of some frustration among the collectors, but rest assured, there are pretty neat things in the work for this subset. The Commando Squad has been designed from day 1 to be a military line more true to their 12" roots. It is not part of your typical "Joe Vs. COBRA" or "Sigma 6 Vs. COBRA" mythos, it is simply a line of more realistic military based figures who just happen to have the names of some familiar G.I. Joe characters. They are seen as a more "real world" military team not really cohesive with the whole Sigma 6 "universe". Yes, the figures shown at Toy Fair were final mock ups of the first 3 figures, Leatherneck, Shockwave, and Desert Wolf, but keep in mind that this is the first wave of this series, and things will quite likely improve from here. This is the first wave of this "Combat Squad" subset, so it's quite likely that the first three figures will not represent the overarching quality of the line. It is designed to use mostly existing tooling, but there should be some new head sculpts in future assortments, possibly some new weapon tooling, and the overall quality of the figures should be above what was shown at Toy Fair. Keep in mind, existing tooling will be reused pretty heavily in the Combat Squad (yes, including head sculpts) but wherever possible, the 8" scale design team will use the same talents they've used throughout the line to mix and match and bring us as fresh concepts as possible. We may even see some color alterations on the head sculpts to freshen things up a bit and make them stand out a little from the others. Expect some neat things out of Combat Squad, even if Leatherneck didn't impress a whole lot. I personally do like the Shockwave figure and the Desert Wolf figure, (even though I was not at all a fan of Leatherneck) so I'm absolutely optimstic. The design team has not let me down yet. It should also be noted that the Combat Squad is meant as general military figures only, and there will be no COBRA's or "bad guys" mentioned on the package or released in the line up.
Commandos - Continuing on the Sigma 6 style will be the "Commando" series of 8" scale "G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero" line. The Tactical Ops COBRA Commander, Heavy Duty, Dojo Training Snake Eyes will be the last of the "Sigma 6" packaging for the Commando line before it rolls over to the RAH assortments. Tactical Ops itself will sort of be toned down and phased out a bit, but we can still expect some pretty elaborate, heavily detailed weaponry. Expect a storyline somewhat focused on ninja action, but also expect some familiar faces like Flint to show up as well. Bad guys will continue to make appearences with new versions of Destro and Storm Shadow as well as some new faces as well. Beyond what we've seen so far, there should be a few more waves in the second half of the year for the "Real American Hero" lineup.
Soldiers - Contrary to rumors going around, the Soldier price point is not going away in 2007. It will continue right alongside the Commando waves as a way to introduce kids and new folks to the mythos. Soldiers will be used to showcase some new characters as well. As the year goes on, Soldier releases will be a bit lighter in numbers per wave, but once all is said and done, the release numbers of Soldier figures this year should be very comperable to the Commandos.
Soldier Wave 2/3 - Recently it has been noted that the Gung Ho/Iron Grenadier/Inferno wave has shown up in pre-orders and in packaged shots while the Lockdown/Toxic Zartan/Samurai Storm Shadow wave has not yet. Likely due to packaging issues, these two assortments have actually been swapped. The Gung Ho wave will be appearing in April while the Lockdown wave appears in May. In spite of what the Big Bad Toy Store pre-order says, Lockdown will NOT be a part of the Wave 2 case assortment in any way, shape or form.
Adventure Team - Expect lots of fantastic new tooling and great new figures in the Adventure Team assortment. Of course the big question is who is this guy? Actually, that's still up in the air. It is believed that he was actually conceived and designed as Recondo, but naming trademarks are still being worked out, so his final name is not yet known. Recondo is definitely the original plan, but his final name may not be revealed for a little bit.
Future Adventure Team "adventures" - There should be a total of 8 figures released for the Adventure Team this year, likely broken up into 3 assortments. Expect some environment specific characters like possibly Dusty or Torpedo/Wet Suit (depending on names available). Also the Adventure Team is likely to go "old school" with an updated release for the original G.I. Joe, Joe Colton! Scorpions and Gorillas will highlight the animal pack-ins.
Packaging Variations - Recently there seems to have been a rash of packaging variations throughout the Sigma 6 figures. These are mostly due to running changes. Often times mock ups are shown and if changes are asked for, usually the changes can be made before any figures get produced, but sometimes there is a run of figures that gets out before the change is instigated. That run can be very short or somewhat long, depending on the situation. They do not do packaging variations purposefully, there is normally a very distinct reason for it.
Female Figures - Same old answer here, still not on the table and probably not likely to be on the table.