Sunday, June 17, 2012

Soft launch of G.I.Joe Retaliation toyline

So Hasbro and the movie studio involved with releasing the G.I.Joe live action sequel/reboot, G.I.Joe Retaliation, decided to push back the release of the film from this month until Spring 2013. They official claim it was to enhance the movie into 3D which international audiences are supposedly eating up. To top off the disappointment of fans they have held back any future product releases until closer to the new debut date. The toys had a street date of May 28th 2012, but it looks like retailers ordered minimal amounts with fears that it would perform poorly like the toyline from Rise of Cobra. Honestly I rather liked the original toyline. Most the Joes in that line were in some version of a blue urban camo duty uniform. I thought this was appropriate for a team like G.I.Joe, who in its original incarnation was formed of different specialists each with their own outfit, without true "uniforms". I know some purists will argue with me that the first handful of Joe's appeared in some version of a "green shirt" uniform. Also others might suggest that Night Force, Tiger Force, Slaughters Marauders and others were like uniforms. I can't argue against these points. It was in the Rise of Cobra line that even Snake-eyes donned duty uniform pants in one incarnation. Nevertheless, Hasbro and retailers may have majorly misjudged the demand of figures and vehicles for Rise of Cobra (ROC), or perhaps the retail price-point was way too high. It seems the toyline did fairly well at closeout. So anyways, back to the current film, more specifically the toys. It seems of my local stores only Target had more than one case of figures on the shelves for launch, I estimated about 3 cases must have been put out. I did not actually do a toy run on May 28th to all the chain stores in my area, which is basically 2 Walmarts, 2 Targets, 1 Toys R Us, and 1 Kmart. I did manage to pick up a few items in the week leading up to the official street date. I found 2 three-packs at my Toys R Us at the $19.99 price-point, as well as the two vehicles at the $15.99 price-point. After the launch date, my local Walmart had one solid case of characters on the shelf so I bought all twelve. Then I picked up an extra Cobra Commander and Red Ninja from another Walmart not that close to home. This mostly completes what I want from the movie line for now. I am not impressed with the new HISS tank mold, the Joe plane, or the motorcycles. This partially has to do with the limited articulation of the drivers which totally goes against the founding principle of Joe figures being super articulated which had given them the edge against Star Wars toys back in the day.