Toy Fair 2012 is a wrap. Our photo gallery of Hasbro's showroom from their collector/media event is now live and can also be seen on our Flickr photostream. Additionally, we've added a pair of videos to our YouTube channel and a number of informational tidbits on our Twitter stream. Hasbro's debut of the G.I. Joe: Retaliation line surprised those of us who expected a movie-centric line aimed solely at kids. Sure the figures do include giant projectile firing gimmicks, but the design and marketing teams at Hasbro continue to build on the collector-friendly aesthetics and characters that made the Pursuit of Cobra and 30th Anniversary lines popular among longtime collectors.
G.I. Joe: Retaliation figures will hit retail in June starting with interpretive takes on the movie's characters to launch the line. The second wave will introduce more movie-accurate characters, while subsequent waves will see "off-screen" characters added to the mix for a total of 50 figures planned for the year (count includes vehicle drivers and other pack ins). Figures will include play gimmicks, but have collector-style aesthetics, articulation and accessories such as removable beret on Flint, swappable alternate heads with Zartan and Firefly, and a cloth parachute with the Cobra Trooper. Several figure three packs are also planned. The first wave of three packs focuses on ninja battles, while the second wave of three packs was only shown at during Hasbro's presentation. An Airborne figure that uses the body tooling of the cancelled Data-Viper figure shown at G.I. JoeCon 2011 as the base was shown as part of the Night Ops set. Here's a breakdown of what figures you can expect in 2012:
Basic Figures (MSRP $7.99)
- Cobra Commander
- Red Ninja
- Snake Eyes
- Storm Shadow
- Cobra Trooper
- G.I. Joe Trooper
Ninja Showdown Assortment ($19.99)
- Ninja Showdown Set (Red Ninja, Snake Eyes, Storm Shadow)
- Ninja Dojo Set (Beachhead, Kamakura, Roadblock)
- Night Ops (Mouse, Sgt. Airborne, Snake Eyes)
- Cobra Invasion (Invasion Trooper, Firefly, Storm Shadow)
Vehicles have become a double-edged sword for the G.I. Joe line, in recent years. While many collectors are vocal about their desire to see certain vehicles made, retail sales don't always resonate that enthusiasm. To combat sluggish sales, Hasbro is keeping the suggested retail price point on vehicles between $12.99 - $19.99. In order to accommodate the lower price point, some concessions had to be made and the driver figures included with the vehicles will have less articulation, as a result. The Hasbro team said this was a difficult decision to make, but in the end, it was decided that including a figure with less articulation was more important than not including a figure at all. Here's a breakdown of the vehicles you'll see in 2012:
Alpha Vehicles ($12.99)
Bravo Vehicles ($14.99)
Delta Vehicles ($19.99)
San Diego Comic-Con will once again be the exclusive spot to pick up the second in Hasbro's G.I. Joe / Transfomers H.I.S.S. Tank / Shockwave cross-over. The cross-over set includes Decepticon clad Destro with a Constructicon B.A.T. figures and a miniature Soundwave with cassettes in disguise mode. It also includes a cart with some energon cubes. Like last year, two female figures will round out Hasbro's San Diego offering. This time it's a classically inspired Jinx in her red ninja attire and a chase variant donning white ninja garb and featuring the unmasked likeness of G.I. Joe: Retaliaion actress Elodie Yung, who portrays Jinx in the upcoming movie. It should be noted that Hasbro no longer has the rights to the code name Jinx so you'll see all references to the character by her civilian name Kim Arashikage. In other exclusive news--or bad news--Hasbro will not be returning to New York Comic Con in 2012, putting their planned exclusive for the show, Kwinn, in limbo yet again.
San Diego Comic-Con
- G.I. Joe/Transfomers Shockwave HISS Tank with Destro, B.A.T. and Soundwave Cassette Player with Cassettes
- Kim Arashikage
- Kim Arashikage with Elodie Yung Likeness (Variant)
Hasbro is taking advantage of this being a movie year by putting out a few items we wouldn't normally see otherwise. Role play nunchucks, swords, guns and weapons will arm your kids to the teeth, and a pair of electronic 10-inch figures will make sure the house never has to stay quiet. All kidding aside, in addition to appeasing collectors, Hasbro is making sure kids have their share of G.I. Joe: Retaliation merchandise to choose from. After all, in order for G.I. Joe to continue for years to come, it's important for Hasbro to build brand loyalty among kids.