Here is another unique 1 of 1 GI Joe Tiger Force prototype, the Tiger Cat! Notice that the “Tiger Force” stickers used are actually slightly different than those used on the released vehicles with the yellow outlining.
I have been pretty quiet on the blog for a few months, part of that has been moving into a new house and getting ready for my second kid arriving in two weeks. But another reason that I haven’t been updating the site with new finds is that I had been holding off and saving up for a potentially huge deal. I didn’t want to tease it, because early on, I was really unsure if it would end up working out. But in the end it did and I couldn’t be happier! I picked up a huge run on GI Joe Tiger Force prototypes, including my holy grail, the one and only prototype Tiger Ray. This is the actual vehicle that was teased in the GI Joe Discussion group. When I first saw it I knew that if I ever had the chance to buy it, I would do everything I could to make that happen. I was not only able to acquire the Tiger Ray, but several other amazing Tiger Force Prototypes, that I will share in the upcoming days. Enjoy the pictures!
I was recently able to complete the Funskool/Complan Commando Force figure set! These figures free/promotional figures, that were given away on the purchase of ‘Complan Chocolate Health Drink.’ It appears that they were carded as one file card for each of the figures has surfaced (except for the Blue/Yellow Firefly/Short Fuse figure). The last figure that I needed to fill out the roster was the Blue/Yellow Firefly/Short Fuse. I believe this is the first complete set in collectors’ hands. However, I know that more sets will be completed as I have confirmed 4 Canary Ann figures now. 3 have sold, and one is still available, but it is way overpriced for the condition it is in.
Emerald Gung Ho/Zap – “Striker”.
Red/Purple Scrap Iron/Zap – “Cross Country”
Blue/Yellow Firefly/Short Fuse – ??
Red Baroness – “Rednok”
Yellow Lady Jaye – “Canary Ann”
The Club revealed the Tiger Force Dial Tone today to what seems like almost unanimous hate from the community. I have to admit, I am disappointed with the execution on this figure. The use of old 25th era parts, and the choice to use brown instead of blue really hurts the overall look of the figure. But with that said, it has grown on me in the hours since the initial reveal – though I imagine it will remain one of my least favorite offerings from the Club this year.
As many of you know, I have been really focused on collecting Chinese release items and Tiger Force items. So, you can imagine how excited I got when I found a Chinese vehicle that I previously did not know existed and another that I was able to confirm it was released in China!
First up, is the Chinese Mudbuster. It is essentially a US box with just the Chinese name printed on it. Interestingly, the blue prints are also in English and not Chinese. This was a vehicle that I was told may have been produced in China and I was able to confirm it was by acquiring it!
Second, we have, what I believe to be, a previously unknown Chinese release vehicle – the Ice Sabre. I looked long and hard for any other reference or pictures to a Chinese Ice Sabre and even asked around to fellow international collectors. This sealed contents example appears to be the first and only one, at least publicly. Still waiting to get it in hand, as shipping from China can be slow. So for now, I’ll show just the pics from the listing.
I first learned of the vast existence of international GI Joe comics from GI Joe Comics International. It was there that I first saw the Chinese GI Joe comics, and up until last week, I had never seen them myself or had the opportunity to buy them. So when I saw these on eBay, I snapped up all 5 as soon as I saw them. As an added benefit, they will look great with the rest of my Chinese release items!
The Leaky Suit Brigade is very happy to report that the convention set for JoeCon 2015 is Tiger Force! I have been anticipating a Tiger Force related announcement from the Club for some time now. The Club revealed the set theme in their first preview of one of the convention exclusive figures – Wreckage.
Wreckage is based off of a prototype from the 1980s that used a repainted Firefly figure code named “Sabretooth.” Unfortunately this figure never made it to retail – though I would LOVE to find the prototypes from this catalog…. Hasbro did eventually release Wreckage in 2003 in their Toys “R” Us Tiger Force five pack, which also included Dial Tone, Stalker, Jinx and Big Brawler. In addition, the pre-production samples of the TF five pack included Outback – not Big Brawler. This updated modern figure uses the Ultimate Firefly tooling from Retaliation.
This reveal may indicate that we will be seeing more updated figures from that Toys “R” Us Tiger Force five pack.
Hunting down the 10 remaining MOC Chinese figures that I am missing has been pretty difficult. I went almost 6 months without finding one I did not have – apart from a seller in China that wants a king’s randsom for two figures. I was able to pick up Stretcher, Salvo, and Rock n Roll all MOC on Chinese cardbacks, bringing me down to 7 remaining figures. I also picked up another MOC Chinese Snowjob which I will use for trade bait for anyone out there that is interested in trading one that I do not have.
This is a little unorthodox and something that I will try for the first time and see what, if anything, comes from it. As you may know, my two focuses lately have been Chinese release items and Tiger Force items, with that in mind I am asking the community for assistance in finding the remaining figures I need. I am interested in only MOC figures. Vehicles can be loose, but must have the Chinese box. Anyway here is my want list along with prices I am offering to pay:
Snake Eyes v3 (1989): $600
Snake Eyes v4 (1990): $200
Barricade (not the Roadblock also released in China called Barricade, but the actual Barricade figure): $100
In addition to the figures, I am looking for any Chinese vehicles either MIB or loose with box that I do not currently have. The only vehicle that I am 100% sure was released in China that I do not own yet is the Sky Havoc. Other unconfirmed Chinese vehicles include the Mudfighter, Hammerhead, and BUGG. There are supposedly 30-40 Chinese vehicles. If you are willing to sell a vehicle that is Chinese release that is not listed below, I am absolutely interested in buying it.
Chinese vehicles I own:
I first saw a picture of this set of figures in Ron Conner’s 1995-2003 Guidebook. What instantly caught my eye and became a grail find for me was the unreleased alternate figure – Outback. The 2003 set was released with Big Brawler, which had a red hair variant and a black hair variant. Big Brawler, especially with red hair screamed Outback – it was obvious that Hasbro initially planned to release the set with Outback, but for whatever unknown reason, decided against it.
I had been looking for this figure or set of figures for 5 years without finding one. I knew from Aire’s videos on Youtube that she had a loose set, I was very surprised and happy to learn she also had the mock up. This item was initially going to be the only thing I bought from Aire – but that didn’t last long 🙂
It is interesting to note that Jinx, Wreckage and Dial Tone are all also preproduction variants with different skin tones than what was actually released. The package is made from some Whinny The Poo box/cardboard.