G.I. Joe State of the Union Toy Fair 2020 Edition
It’s crazy how one week can change the entire direction of a brand. G.I. Joe went from a depressed fan base and bone-dry retail environment to the talk of the action figure fandom and catching fire. It’s debatable how successful the launch of the G.I. Joe Classified 6″ line has been among the die-hard fans of the brand. Reactions were mixed at first but the Exclusive Snake Eyes was received with a thunderous lightning strike followed by a sellout of the first offerings (due to ship 4/1/2020) within hours only to be relisted for those who missed out on Hasbro Pulse (Est. due to ship 7/1/2020). Then we got our first look at Scarlett and Roadblock. While some fans were ready for design changes including myself, others wanted A Real American Hero while sleeping with one eye open gripping their O-rings tight. What we got IMO was a nice mix of new and old with a fresh start.
A shock to the system is a normal reaction to any fandom when things go through major changes and the G.I. Joe – now GIJOE community is no exception. Look at the rebellion entrenched old school Star Wars fans put up when Black Series 6″ figures were announced. In comparison the GIJOE community has responded in a much more positive manner. Just to give you an idea the first Wave or Star Wars Black Series 6″ figures now sells for $250.00 in a wave that consists of X-Wing Luke Skywalker, Darth Maul, R2-D2, and Sandtrooper pre-photo real technology. So those that are on the fence might want to click that add to cart button just to make sure you don’t miss out. Nobody wants to pay after aftermarket on toys, and we all lived through the G.I. Joe 25th Anniversary single carded figure hunt.
All of the above and we didn’t even get to see the Cobras or the second Snake Eyes figure in the GIJOE Classified Wave 1 assortment. That’s right, turns out the exclusive Hasbro Pulse Snake Eyes 00 will not be the exact same Snake Eyes as the Wave 1 release and will be in the Blue packaging. Exactly what those changes are we will just need to wait until the marketing team decides to show them off or are leaked. From what we have seen so far the poster art for the new line reflects the action figures that we have seen at Hasbro’s Toy Fair 2020 showroom. There are various rumors out there of a variant Destro and future waves have seen listings for pre orders to only be taken down that included Snake Eyes Movie waves (Toys “R” Us Canada).
While at the Hasbro Toy Fair 2020 show room in conversation with both Hasbro employees and fans I personally didn’t see anything but excitement at the GIJOE wall. The GIJOE Classified 6″ figures look even better in person (especially Duke) and I am looking forward to many photo shoots when these products hit retail. The overall take away from my point of view is a brand looking to breathe. I am sure if this line gets legs Hasbro will produce designs for both the fresh brand spanking new look they are going for and designs to satisfy the old school base. It was no surprise to see tons of crossover fans from Marvel Legends and other popular 6″ scale collectors that have dominated the market for the last -10 years. Lots of new GIJOE fans were generated with the creation of the GIJOE 6″ Classified line and we welcome you to the fold.
G.I. Joe Licensing looks to be very strong moving forward. Most promising for the fans of G.I. Joe A Real American Hero is the potential Super7 has to blend seamlessly with the existing Reaction line. If Hasbro allows Super7 to produce such a line I have no doubt they will be a huge success. Currently there are NO plans for that to be a reality. But Super7 is working with Hasbro and they do have a G.I. Joe license agreement. The Cyborg Cobra B.A.T. in concept looks to be a huge hit and I can’t wait to get my hands on one. Jada Toys has also acquired a G.I. Joe A Real American Hero license. The small die cast vehicles are fantastic looking. They come in 3 packs of classic vehicles and are on my want list. They also have larger Die Cast plans that include the Cobra H.I.S.S. Tank. Which brings us to Jazwares that has also acquired a G.I. Joe license, but the only product shown so far are the Domez style static figures. If there is something bigger going on at Jazwares it’s on lock-down or negotiations didn’t go as planned for something broader.
Does GIJOE and the upcoming Snake Eyes Movie have the worst timing of all time? You don’t need to look to far to understand the problems that China is currently undergoing. While the humanitarian efforts should be every nation’s number one concern, major production delays are on the way. This brings into question the timing and execution of not only GIJOE Classified action figures hitting retail but Snake Eyes Movie figures being on shelf, in time for the release date. These concerns stretch across all brand lines and all products produced in China. Will we even get SDCC 2020 action figures this year? The extent of the delays is unknown and IMO the shipping dates from all of the toy companies at Toy Fair 2020 reflected best case scenarios.
While marketing for the new Snake Eyes movie was present and looks to be moving in a good direction, no trailer or merchandise was anywhere to be found. Expect the brunt of that promotion to kick off at SDCC 2020. Until then I think we will see a drawn out, slow drip marketing plan keeping fans attention to the GIJOE brand leading up to those reveals and further information for the Snake Eyes movie.
I hope you have enjoyed the information we provided for Toy Fair 2020 and look forward to reading your responses to all the information. See you on the forums, Yo Joe!