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Thread: Any chance we'll see the classic O-ring G.I.JOE style return in 3 3/4"?

  1. #1
    Let's get Crita in MOTUC! The All American's Avatar
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    Any chance we'll see the classic O-ring G.I.JOE style return in 3 3/4"?

    I've noticed there are a number of G.I.JOE fans on the boards. I loved the original G.I.JOE: A Real American Hero line from 1982-1994 and it's following style iterations in 1997, 1998, 2000-2002 and scattered in the following years. I personally was not a fan of any of the new styles which began in 2002, though I know many who like them. The G.I.JOE Collector's Club eventually became the only outlet for the classic O-ring style with their exclusives, but even they have moved on a number of years ago to the modern style.

    The jumbo 12" G.I.JOE recreations of the original 3 3/4" shown at SDCC 2014 look interesting, but I'm still hoping for new O-ring figures in the traditional size.

    For those in the know, or maybe those just hopeful like I am, will we see the classic O-ring style 3 3/4" G.I.JOEs again?

  2. #2
    Shivering Isles resident diosoth's Avatar
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    Probably not. A simple joint is probably far cheaper to produce and uses less parts, so it's preferable, and it's not like GI Joe is selling all that well at basic retail anymore as it is. And, if Hasbro doesn't use screws in the torsos and such, if they glue the bodies together it'd be impossible to replace them if they break, and I don't put any faith in them to use screws.

    Besides that it never really caught on outside of Joe. Clone brands in the 80s used it but after that it seemed only Joe kept up with it. Even Lanard ditched it well before Hasbro did. There seems to be low demand. I honestly wonder how those oversized things will even handle this, if they aren't just fusing the waists.

  3. #3
    Heroic Master of Puzzles Thatman's Avatar
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    I think first we'd have to see 3 3/4" Joes at ALL to see the O-ring. The pickings are slim these days.

    I agree with what Diosoth said, though. Odds probably aren't very good.

    I've all but given up on the brand. I did pick up that new three pack, since I didn't have a 25th-anniversary Leatherneck. I have most of the characters I want - and the few I don't are impossible to come by at reasonably prices, since they were exclusives (Sarge, Dial-Tone, Jinx, Zarana). Heck, I couldn't even find Law & Order, and he was retail.
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  4. #4
    EVIL TRENTONIAN Grepicon's Avatar
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    Definitely not. The original huge steel molds in here in the US and China were recycled. You could see that the bootlegs of all the Cobra Soldiers from 2008-2012 were starting to have obvious defects.

    Between the "Black Major" making thousands of sets of custom O-ring figures and custom casters - they are still out there.

    A few new fan sites have emerged that have large O-Ring followings, one is OG13 and the other, I think, is like the Fighting 118 - or something like that. Custom O-rings still pop up on JoeCustoms as well.

    Personally, I am O-ring till I die. MOTUC Classics is the only modern brand I collect, other than MP Transformers, that I feel, is a superior re-imagining than the originals.
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  5. #5
    Shivering Isles resident diosoth's Avatar
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    I add it to that group of things about toys that I would've thought would have caught on but never did, like "modular action figures". Stuff like Modulok always seemed to be a special thing, we rarely saw it as a major gimmick for an entire line- probably for the best, seemed most lines that tried it always suffered from fragile connectors. Crash Dummies, that one robot line, etc. Then again, "super articulation" took forever to become a norm. Even with GI Joe going, it didn't become an industry thing until Spider-Man Classics/ML. 5-10 POA were the norm even running alongside GI Joe up until the late 90s. If not for that I would think that articulation would've actually decreased since McFarlane did quite well selling pre-posed statues that may have had some movement but it was mostly useless.

    I hate the chest joint. First, they fused the torsos together so customizing them is just annoying. Second, it makes it much harder to swap a chest and a pelvis around since you have the shirt split in the middle while with a waist joint you don't have this issue. Third, I hated the range of movement. But asking o-rings to come back would be like asking MOTU rubber band legs to come back- toy companies likely won't spend the cash on buying the rings when they can make a simpler joint that requires no outsourcing, no worries with consumers over "broken" toys, and all that. It also means not buying screws for the bodies- I'm surprised they aren't fusing the thigh halves together, actually.

    And of course, replacing o-rings isn't just as simple as buying a new pack. The ones Hasbro used were more flexible than stock o-rings used for plumbing. You buy replacement rings now and what you get are hard rubber things meant for plumbing. They might technically work but they're going to be a harder rubber, not as stretchy and flexible, and won't feel the same. To make it worse the newer era with the bulky arms used different sized rings. Even if Hasbro were to sell their own rings to whoever needed them, today's consumer would sooner throw a broken thing away than fix it.

    last minute thought- with how toy safety concerns keep tightening up, I also would not be surprised to see Hasbro "play it safe" and exclude that hooked bar that the o-rings require. I think it's been a few years since we saw an ARAH mold issued by Hasbro, I believe it was an ARAH/25th Snow Job pack. I know it sounds silly, but this is the company that put an orange barrel tip on a tiny Legends class G1 Megatron that was barely 2" long.
    Last edited by diosoth; September 3, 2014 at 05:23pm.

  6. #6
    Let's get Crita in MOTUC! The All American's Avatar
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    Lots of interesting thoughts here. Thank you!

    I guess the ARAH style with O-rings, screws, etc... does cost a bit more. It's a shame, because that style is timeless at least in my eyes. Hasbro lost me as a customer by changing the style, to what I feel is an inferior action figure. While there are severe limitations for certain things with the ARAH style, it was nice having a uniform look that fit our original toys and was just a continuation. Like Hot Wheels or LEGO blocks, the 3 3/4" ARAH style should have never been halted. Great classic posability that didn't have that awful ab crunch or stringy proportions.

    I guess there is no talk of reviving it for collectors? I'm just totally out of the G.I.JOE collecting loop so I appreciate everyone's insight on this.

    Quote Originally Posted by Grepicon View Post
    Personally, I am O-ring till I die. MOTUC Classics is the only modern brand I collect, other than MP Transformers, that I feel, is a superior re-imagining than the originals.
    Ya, I'm with you on those!

  7. #7
    Shivering Isles resident diosoth's Avatar
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    Since GI Joe is selling as well as a snow machine in Antarctica, probably not. I'm real surprised they haven't canned it by now but as long as they have people willing to pay a fortune for club repaints and the occasional "internet only" item I guess they'll keep it going on a minimal level. But it's become retail poison for whatever reason- well okay, getting the Renegades toys out well after the show was over was dumb, the movies not doing so well isn't helping, and a wall of Arctic Destro on pegs for much of 2012 really got on consumer nerves. I've noticed the online fanbase is also dwindling- it's mostly a handful of long-timers who are too personally invested who stick on. The forums I used to go to have seen fewer members active these days, with almost no influx of new collectors. Hasbro is annoying people into quitting this line. I almost expect Hasbro to send a rep to your house and sock you in the teeth if you buy a GI Joe toy, it'd be about the only way they could make the consumer experience more of a hassle.

    But going back to the t-bar with a hook on it, I'd wager there's a legal liability concern, all it'd take is one kid disassembling a modern GI Joe and swallowing that piece, getting their digestive track torn up, Hasbro would end up in the hot seat. TRUE it never happened before, but kids didn't swallow magnets before either. Those round toy magnets vanished after kids swallowed them and suffered major injuries. They already have to give everyone a tiny pinhead just to keep those heads small enough to pass safety standards- it's either that or no removable heads on ball joints.

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