Hasbro announced a new G.I. Joe Classified action figure lineup back in the first week of May. The new collection of 6″ highly articulated figures will debut with iconic characters that have been around with the series since the beginning. Duke, Scarlett, Roadblock, Destro, and Snake Eyes are all part of the first wave of figures.
Each of these figures will have the level of detail that compare to the Star Wars Black Series of action figures. The characters are updated to have a more modern look on par with their current movie adaptations. That said, they still seem to have a slight cartoon quality to them. But not enough, in my opinion, and that’s what I’m going to talk about next. Why I don’t think these new figures are all that exciting.
First, it’s not the figure themselves that I don’t like. I think the toy figures look good overall. They are well made and have a high level of articulation. Each of the toy figures carries the same quality of any other Hasbro action figure in this level or type. So what don’t I like? I guess it boils down that I don’t have much of a connection to the G.I. Joe series as a whole anymore. They haven’t put out good content for a long time. At least nothing that I can recall. Any memory of this series goes back to the original series. And, that’s a long time ago.
Joe, you need new content yo
An example who has continued to feed its fan base is the Star Wars series. Star Wars has as many hits as misses, but I still get excited about their toy lines, comic books, clothing, and other merchandise. They’ve continued to keep the stories and characters relevant, whether you like all the movies or series. They have kept their characters active and exciting. G.I. Joe hasn’t given me any reasons to stay engaged. No new cartoons. No new stories. Except for a few action figures here and there, with little to no substance behind them.
D.C. has also managed to create good new content with its direct to video animated movies of their characters. They’ve managed to develop a micro cinematic universe with these animated movies. I realize it takes time, money, and talent for all this to happen. So start making a list of what talent would be needed and find the time and money. The fans are out there.
I loved G.I. Joe as a kid and still have a lot of memories watching the original cartoon series, getting an action figure or playset for birthdays and Christmas. At one point in my childhood, G.I. Joes were my favorite toys, even over Star Wars, and I was a huge Star Wars fan. I believe G.I Joe lost its way and forgot who is its audience. They released a couple of movies that were not that great. That suffered because they made those for general audiences and not fans.
I think studios think they need to make movies based on a childhood fanbase geared for the adult audience in general. I think that’s the wrong approach. It’s true those who grew up with G.I. Joes are now adults, but we are also kids—big kids whose appreciation and fascination still exist for the series. We like to let our imaginations take over when we talk about the series with buddies or family.
So who is the audience?
Big kids that’s who. Why not bring that back in the form of an animated series. We don’t need movies to remind us we liked the original series. We want more good content. It can still be for kids and us too. One of my favorite recent series was Star Wars Rebels. The audience for this series is kids. But I, as an adult, couldn’t stop watching the episodes. It was great new content for the Star Wars universe. Do that for G.I. Joe and your original fan base will get on board immediately. You won’t have to convince us, and we are waiting for this kind of content.
I think it would be great if they could find a way to come out with a new Netflix or Amazon series. Bring it up to date with a little more modern feel. Give it a stylized look if necessary and release 3.5″ figures based on this new series.
The long and short of it
I guess that’s the long answer to the original short question. For me, the figures look great, but they don’t have much soul. This opinion is coming from a fan of G.I. Joe, action figures, and toys.