Sunday, June 14, 2015

Kre-ating a New Obsession

When I first started collecting G.I.Joes again in 2009, one thing I told myself was that I would only collect the action figures and stay away from getting any of the vehicles and play sets. I did this for 2 reasons, one to obviously keep my spending down, and secondly because I really didn’t have the display space for a Dragonfly or a Terror Drome. And so that’s how it went, my G.I.Joe action figures grew in number and I managed to keep any vehicle purchases to a minimum (hey, I’m only human). Everything was good….until Hasbro decided to launch their G.I.Joe Kre-o line. Bastards.

Aside from the kreons, Transformers Kre-o didn’t really make much sense to me. I didn’t get the appeal of building a robot, then having to break it apart in order to rebuild it into a vehicle. G.I.joe Kre-o was a different story. A line where you could conceivably construct iconic G.I.joe & Cobra vehicles and man them with minifigures sounded more like a winning formula.

The idea held a lot of promise, but initially the execution was kinda lacking. While the Joe kreons looked great, the vehicles were…well for the most part a bit of a disappointment. In an effort to most likely shave off production costs, Hasbro just repackaged designs from another Kre-o line based on the movie Battleship. So instead of giving us iconic Joe & Cobra vehicle designs, all we got were generic looking helicopters and boats. This was enough to keep me away in the beginning.

Luckily, as the line moved on, more original G.I.joe designs started coming out. We got a Wolverine, a HISS tank and the crown jewel of the line, a Cobra Terrordrome! Still, I did not bite. For some reason, unlike the Transformers line, Joe Kre-os never made it into retail shelves here in Manila, so the only ones you would find would be the over-priced ones in hobby shops, or online.

Then it happened, as bad as the Transformers line was doing on retail shelves, the Joe line apparently did even worse. So it didn’t take long before prices started going down, and on an online Toys R’us Black Friday sale they hit rock bottom and I finally made my move. I got my Joe Platform Base, Arashikage Temple, a bunch of vehicles and of course, the Terror Drome. I went all in without a second thought.

But I didn’t stop there. In order to augment my Joe Kre-o display , I got a bunch of reasonably priced Lego clone sets that I found here locally. For quite some time now, many clone companies have taken advantage of that fact that Lego has refrained from building realistic military sets and have come up with quite impressive builds. I got myself a number of generic tanks, jeeps and copters that fit my Joe display perfectly.

Unfortunately, for all intents and purposes, the Joe Kre-o line is pretty much dead. And I’m ok with that. Although there does seem to be a glimmer of hope. Just recently, Hasbro has announced that there are plans to release a Joe Kre-o related product as a 2015 San Diego Comic Con exclusive. My guess is that it’s going to be the USS Flagg. If they do that, it’s going to a hell of a way to close out the line.