Showing posts with label palitoy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label palitoy. Show all posts

Tuesday, 12 July 2022

Cobra H.I.S.S. makes HasLab history

The 6-inch scale G.I. Joe Classified Series Cobra H.I.S.S. (High Speed Sentry) is the first HasLab campaign I've backed (since joining Hasbro Pulse Premium) because of nostalgia! Nostalgia I had for Star Wars The Black Series Rancor too. However, due to the lack of HasLab backers, The Black Series Rancor didn't go into production.

The record-breaking crowdfunded campaign was successfully backed within the first day.

The Cobra H.I.S.S. is £299.99GBP but comes with 4 action figures (including the misprinted 'Mickey Mouse' Cobra Commander) and awesome accessories. Early adopters have helped fellow G.I. Joe fans (myself included) by securing an exclusive early bird Cobra HISS Tactician action figure for free.

This year marks the 40th anniversary of Action Force (the international name for G.I. Joe). I collected Q Force, SAS Force, Space Force, Z Force and Red Shadows. Palitoy used the Cobra H.I.S.S. mould for the Red Shadows' Hyena + Red Jackal (Destro repaint).

During a family vacation to Italy, the futuristic design instantly caught my childhood imagination in the pages of the Battle Action Force summer special. The Hyena soon became a firm favourite from the toy line alongside Roboskull.

HasLab has knocked the Cobra H.I.S.S. out of the park as evidenced by the crowdfunded campaign smashing through all 4 stretch goals before it ends on 16th August. Some collectors think there may be further announcements during San Diego Comic-Con (SDCC).

What are your thoughts on the HasLab Cobra H.I.S.S.? How do you feel about crowdfunded collectables? Let me know in the comments below.

Friday, 25 February 2022

Megatron mash-up for G.I. Joe's 40th

Hasbro's G.I. Joe and Transformers took pride of place alongside Masters of the Universe, M.A.S.K., Star Wars and Zoids in my toy room. This collection was amassed from the much-missed Exeter's Pram and Toy Shop. Mostly.

In the UK, G.I. Joe was rebranded as Action Force by Palitoy. The beloved Coalville-based toy company recently featured on A Toy Store Near You, licensed and produced a range of products (including Star Wars) from Kenner and Hasbro. Ultimately, Hasbro bought both companies.

The Transformers soon followed. I first discovered the Decepticon cassette 2-packs during a half-term holiday trip to one of dad's customers based in Tiverton. The rebranded puzzle toys (based on Diaclone and Micro Change) instantly captured my childhood imagination.

Alongside Takara Tomy stablemate Zoids, Transformers cemented a fascination for Japanese pop culture that had begun with the Micronauts in the wake of Star Wars.

To celebrate the 40th anniversary of G.I. Joe, Hasbro Pulse has announced a Megatron H.I.S.S. Tank with a vintage Baroness action figure. The Cobra H.I.S.S. Tank was renamed Hyena and included Red Jackal in the UK. The Hyena quickly became a favourite combined with the Red Shadows' Shadowtrak, Laser Exterminator and Roboskull from Palitoy.

Read the official product description:

"Transformers robots have always been -- More Than Meets the Eye -- but now, through the Transformers Collaborative, fans can experience these larger than life characters as they team-up, mash-up, and meet up with other characters, teams, and people who share this same special quality. Worlds collide in this Transformers-G.I. Joe mash-up pack! The Decepticons and Cobra team up to conquer the world! Baroness and Megatron, disguised as a H.I.S.S. Tank, plan the next Cobra attack. The Megatron H.I.S.S. Tank toy converts from robot to tank mode in 28 steps and comes with G.I. Joe Retro Baroness figure. Both figures feature deco and details based on the worlds of Transformers and G.I. Joe. Includes fusion cannon, backpack, and weapon accessories. Accurate scale to the 1983 H.I.S.S. Tank toy. Display Baroness figure at the turret and in the H.I.S.S. tank vehicle mode. Packaging is inspired by a mash-up of the classic ’80s toys with retro artwork. Baroness toy comes on a card back with file card."

This would have been a dream toy back in the day and it's surprising Hasbro took this long.

I've pre-ordered mine for toy photography from Hasbro Pulse but it's also available from selected retailers including Amazon (affiliate link).

What are your thoughts on the new Megatron H.I.S.S. Tank mash-up? How does it compare to Star Wars and Marvel Transformers crossovers? Let me know in the comments below.

Saturday, 28 March 2020

Hasbro releases G.I. Joe animated series on YouTube

Hasbro is the latest company to offer free content whilst we self-isolate during the coronavirus pandemic.

G.I. Joe fans (myself included) can watch the first three 5-part story arcs (15 episodes): The M.A.S.S. Device, The Revenge Of Cobra and The Pyramid Of Darkness on YouTube.

"G.I. JOE: A Real American Hero follows an elite team of soldiers as they battle the evil Cobra organization. These heroes thwart the COBRA's desire for world domination at every turn, cleverly stopping them from controlling the weather, creating unstoppable weapons, and genetically engineering super-warriors."

G.I. Joe became a staple of my childhood when Palitoy licensed the toys from Hasbro in the early eighties and created Action Force. Action Force comprised Q Force, SAS Force, Space Force and Z Force (doubled as U.N.I.T. from Doctor Who) who were pitted against the Red Shadows lead by the diabolical Baron Ironblood.

Baron Ironblood was the forerunner to Lord Buckethead and became Cobra Commander when the Battle Action Force comic ended and Action Force moved to Marvel comics in the wake of Palitoy's closure with Hasbro producing toys directly.

What are your favourite memories of Action Force and G.I. Joe? Let me know in the comments below.

Saturday, 29 February 2020

Hasbro celebrates 40 years of The Empire Strikes Back

This year marks the 40th anniversary of Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back. The critically-acclaimed sequel to Star Wars (1977) is regarded as one of the greatest movies ever made, and Hasbro is releasing a Kenner-branded vintage collection to celebrate.

Has it really been four decades since AT-ATs attacked the Rebel base on Hoth and Luke Skywalker learned Darth Vader was his father on a city in the clouds? The Empire Strikes Back is not only my favourite Star Wars instalment, but it's also my favourite film. Period.

During the 3 year gap between The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, I amassed a sizeable collection of Palitoy action figures and accessories. From Luke Skywalker's battle-damaged X-Wing to Darth Vader's Star Destroyer playset. However, Boba Fett's iconic Slave 1 was a big omission. So, the vintage collection Slave 1 (affiliate link) is a must-have for the study despite the eye-watering price.

Aside from the Black Series vintage collection, Hasbro's also announced retro action figures at the New York Toy Fair. Happy hunting and let me know what merchandise you're looking for in the comments below.

Tuesday, 10 December 2019

A Star Wars Toy Story

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is released in UK cinemas on 19th December and is the culmination of an epic 9-part saga that began over forty years ago with the original Star Wars in 1977.

George Lucas' space opera revolutionised theatrical technology and merchandising. My earliest merchandise memory is being gifted an R2-D2 action figure before seeing Star Wars at the Odeon Exeter. That little droid fired my nascent imagination post a life-changing childhood trauma and ignited a lifelong love of gadgets (I most recently added Hasbro's app-enabled D-O during Black Friday).

Palitoy, the defunct Coleville-based toy company, licensed Star Wars action figures and accessories from Kenner (bought by Hasbro) and released unique playsets including the fabled Death Star. The Death Star playset topped many children's Christmas wishlists, including mine, in the late seventies. Alas, I never got to recreate the rescue of Princess Leia or Darth Vader and Obi-Wan Kenobi's final duel. Instead, I was gifted Star Bird Command Base, which served as the Imperial HQ where the Death Star plans were stored decades before Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.

I became inspired to become a graphic designer due to Palitoy's colourful box art and would write to the company with original ideas for extending Star Wars and Action Force toy lines. These were always politely returned, but with a letter of encouragement and an action figure!

To celebrate the release of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, Toy Empire: The British Force Behind Star Wars will be shown on BBC Four on 16th December.

What are your fondest memories of collecting Star Wars toys? Let me know in the comments below.