Huge, Collective “GROAN!” Heard ‘Round the World as Hasbro Releases Pics of New G.I. Joes

The new 12" "Roadblock" figure as recently revealed at the 2013 Toy Fair. (Photo: Hasbro)

The new 12″ “Roadblock” figure as recently revealed at the 2013 Toy Fair. (Photo: Hasbro)

Shades of “Stony Smith!” Laughably Simplistic Figures Met With Widespread Derision From Fans

To most GIjOE collectors, these new figures from Hasbro BARELY qualify to be called GIjOEs. In fact, their stiff, Frankenstein-like arms and absurd leg-hip socket make them more akin to miniature statues or figurines than ACTION figures.

Barely poseable, these total duds feature molded-on clothing, simplistic weapons and not much else. The “Roadblock” headsculpt (i.e. “The Rock”), while not bad, may or may not be removeable, and looks like a somewhat cross-eyed, open-mouthed, hypnosis victim. Sad! It’s as if Hasbro has intentionally chosen to remove ALL of Joe’s interactive play value. Fans are absolutely CLUELESS as to what they’re supposed to do with these things. Prop open a door, maybe?

The new 12" versions of "Snake Eyes" and "Storm Shadow" as revealed at the 2013 Toy Fair. Yawn. (Photo: Hasbro)

The new 12″ versions of “Snake Eyes” and “Storm Shadow” as revealed at the 2013 Toy Fair. Yawn. (Photo: Hasbro)

Bottom Line: For all but the youngest, least discerning collectors (2-year olds?), these new figures will be total disappointment. With lame products like these, many GIjOE fans believe Hasbro is actually about to abandon production of its 12″ figures for good (yes, again). With no plans for a celebration of the line’s 50th anniversary, it does seem that the company’s “writing is on the wall.” What’s next? Two-dimensional cardboard cut-outs? Grade: D- 

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8 thoughts on “Huge, Collective “GROAN!” Heard ‘Round the World as Hasbro Releases Pics of New G.I. Joes

  1. kneonknight says:

    These lame-brained annoyances are worse than The Defenders from the 70s. At least the blow-molded mannequins had interchangeable uniforms and accessories. These are crap, pure and simple, and it seems like a huge middle finger to those of us who have sunk hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars into G.I. Joe over the last couple of decades. And I’m just talking about new items in the stores, never mind the vintage goods that we all treasure so highly.

    Why did they do it? Undoubtedly, declining profits and rising costs were at the root of these abominations, but if Hasbro had stuck to the “razor and blades” strategy that they originally used in the 60s instead of forcing the consumer to buy another figure every time they printed a newer, more incorrect version of the woodland camo pattern, then it’s very possible that they wouldn’t have had to shelve the Classic Collection, would still be making a decent profit, and we wouldn’t be looking at The Defenders v.2.0.

    I could go on and on about why consumers have been moving away from Hasbro, but we’d need to build a whole new internet to contain the frothing rant I have stored up. Suffice to say that by charging us more and more for less and less, cheapening the overall quality of the product, and constantly screwing things up with new “features” that were badly conceived and poorly executed, Hasbro shot themselves in the foot. I must also state that I had contacted Hasbro by mail at least twice during the CC era with suggestions and concerns about this very thing, and both times was answered with a rather arrogant form letter that basically said “we have PROFESSIONAL toy designers and engineers who know more about this than you, so get bent.” For this reason, I doubt very much that contacting Hasbro about these latest “Inaction Figures” is going to do us any good.

    In closing, I’m going to protest in the only way that makes sense. Until Hasbro decides to start giving the customer what they want at a reasonable price, my wallet is strictly off limits to them. Besides, there’s still a lot of Timeless Collection, 40th Anniversary G.I. Joe/Action Man, and Geyperman (They just announced their German Soldier a few days ago) that are floating around. My hobby can continue without Hasbro. The question is: Can Hasbro continue without the hobby?

    • Wayne Faucher says:

      Aaaand THIS is why I started making my own customs and paying more money for decent figures. Wow, I HAVE to imagine somebody’s heads are gonna roll at the big H when they discover there is absolutely no market for these turds. Obviously designed by someone with NO interest or experience in 12″ figures. But that’s not his/her fault. The fault lies with the exec who ok’ed these abominations and moved them into production.

      And I think you’re right, the utter rejection of these figures will cripple any 50th anniversary plans they may have been thinking of. But frankly, these may BE their 50th figures.

      • kneonknight says:

        You know, I wouldn’t even mind if Hasbro just sold the basic Timeless or 40th figures nude in a poly-bag for $10.00 a pop. There are plenty of sources out there for uniforms, clothing and gear. The only thing I could see doing with these target dummies would be converting them to Boris Karloff as Frankenstein’s Monster or The Mummy. The pose would be easy. Maybe a swarm of zombies. Other than that…I got nothin’.

        You brought up an interesting point when you mentioned doing your own customs – I think it is going to be up to the fans and collectors to fill in for Hasbro come Joe’s 50th anniversary. There are dozens, possibly hundreds, of talented individuals like yourself who are either making reproduction parts or entirely new creations, and many of these are as good as Hasbro’s original product, if not better. Add to that the professional companies that are turning out a huge array of 1/6 scale product at increasingly lower prices, and it’s really no wonder Hasbro is feeling the squeeze. But honestly, it would have been better if Hasbro had done absolutely nothing instead of inflicting this trash on us. I believe that we all deserve much, much better than this, and if the folks in Rhode Island won’t deliver, then I’m sure the community will find someone who will.

  2. Wayne Faucher says:

    I think one of the problems is that Hasbro is a TOY company and so, thinks of a 12″ line as that. That’s not their fault entirely, as it would require an entirely new paradigm to move in positive direction on this.

    They need to understand that the days of collectors expecting a great value for under $20 are gone. We don’t. It’s very common for those of us who would be interested in a 12″ Joe to pay $100 or more. I just don’t see them understanding that any time soon. I’d pay $100 dollars for a Hasbro Joe product if it was worth it. I don’t even think they’d have to go all “Hot Toys” on it either. Something in the Joe tradition with some class. Maybe a set representing battles from each of wars. Something which ties the history of the US in with the amazing GI Joe legacy. They have a great franchise. It’s sad to watch them p*** on it.

  3. Matt Pak says:

    I come at this from a different perspective, and some classic G.I. Joe collectors may not like this, but I actually like the molded-on clothes action figures such as Action Man and Max Steel…as a toy for children (and not collectors). It makes sense to have figures with a lower cost point. BUT these stiff monstrosities are taking it too far. These are just a breath away from being shampoo bottles or statues. Did Hasbro actually TEST market these with children? Did a group of real kids say “I think it’s cool that they can’t bend their elbows or sit down?” They already have the tooling for limited articulation figures with molded-on clothes such as was used for the 12 inch Rise of Cobra line. If those didn’t sell well do they honestly think an INFERIOR figure will sell better?

  4. kneonknight says:

    Hmmm…I just realized that these are only one step away from the “dummy” that used to ship with the vintage Deep Sea Diver. The irony is that the dummy is in higher demand among collectors.

    As far as the molded on clothing goes, a lot of toys have used that approach, some of them quite successfully, as the Marx Best of the West, Stony Smith and others demonstrated. But they were designed that way from the beginning, and to expect collectors of the vintage or Classic Collection Joes to blithely accept what is a huge step backwards is just not realistic. It might have worked if they had done it with the RAH line and kept it separate and distinct from the other G.I. Joe products, as one can argue that the 12″ versions are just the little guys in a larger format. That doesn’t work with the generic “everyman” G.I. Joe, as the uniforms are part of his now iconic image. Remember, the idea was to buy one G.I. Joe and then change his uniforms as the need arose. The figure itself was not the moneymaker; the clothing, weapons, and vehicles were.

    While we’re on the topic of the accessories, Mr. Faucher raised an interesting point in his earlier post, that of historically accurate portrayals of the average Joe in the trenches. I really have mixed feelings on that – on one hand, I appreciate the amount of research and work that goes into creating all the minute details of, say, a Hessian Mercenary’s uniform from the 18th century. I think that the “Unsung Heroes” boxed set demonstrates that Hasbro is capable of producing something that will please all but the most finicky of collectors. And, as is to be expected, that set commanded a premium price. But it was not for me. I would not buy it simply because that level of detail moves Joe from the area of “action figure” into the much broader field of scale modeling. I collect Joe because he was a childhood friend, not because I want to spend hours agonizing over whether or not my Fallshirmjager’s splinter pattern camo is reproduced at the correct scale.

    So, the bottom line for me is this – let Hasbro do what it has already demonstrated it can do well, namely, make durable action figures that kids can play with and that adults can collect at a reasonable price. There are plenty of other companies that are geared toward making the very accurate pieces for the more discriminating collector, and enough sweat-shops in the third world churning out crap like these that no one really wants. Hasbro has a winner on their hands, they just need to quit trying to force G.I. Joe into being all things to all people, and when that fails, turning him into the lowest common denominator.

  5. kneonknight says:

    I was re-reading the comments here, and realized that I come off as being “anti-1/6 scale modelling”. Rest assured, that is not the case, and I love nothing more than looking at what others have accomplished with their figures, and do appreciate the skill, attention to detail, and hours spent in research and construction of what I can only describe as masterpieces in miniature. If anything, I envy those able to create the stunning displays and custom items. I just know that it is not a facet of the hobby that I can realistically partake in, and thus is not the focus of my collecting habits.

    So, if I seemed dismissive of or antagonistic toward those of you that do create the armies of painstakingly accurate troops, my apologies. No offense was intended.

  6. Harry says:

    Join the Collectors club and show the bean counters that there is a market for the 12″ line.
    I’m not saying that the Collectors club is awesome.
    But I’m sure Hasbro does notice since they at least get Licensing rights from them.

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