I’m setting a bad precedent doing two consecutive weekend spotlights, but you guys don’t really mind do you? I mailed off a check to the GI Joe Collector Club this week and that got me thinking about last year’s figure, Dial-Tone. Turns out he never made it onto the review schedule.
Speaking of the G.I. Joe Collector Club, I almost didn’t renew this year. If you don’t follow Joe or Transformers Club news, Fun Publications (the company that administrates the Collector Clubs) had a security issue and lost an undetermined amount of data, including contact information and credit card info. I’d been cranky all year because I wanted to order the 3 3/4″ Adventure Team Joes, but it turns out I lucked out by never getting around to ordering them. Unfortunately, my 2011 Club Memberships were given to me as a gift which means those loving folks that did purchase my membership are at risk now – so I feel like a complete tool.
The Club’s response hasn’t been the best, but that appears to go hand-in-hand with security issues (lawyers and liability overtake good customer service). Maybe I’m naive, but it would seem being open, forthcoming, and apologetic is the best thing to do in these scenarios and that never seems to happen. This was a crime committed by someone unknown crook out there and Fun Publication is another victim, but their subsequent poor handling of the situation hasn’t done them any favors (i.e. – don’t link me to other companies that have had similar issues, we know fraud happens).
With their online systems compromised, I had to renew for 2012 by check (though thinking about it, I should’ve used a money order). I waited until almost the last minute because I wasn’t sure if I wanted to continue with them, but ultimately I did decide to stick it out*. One broken egg doesn’t ruin a dozen and hopefully, like a re-opened restaurant after a health code violation, it should be one of the cleanest & safest places I shop when they get up and running again.
* – On an unrelated note, I did let my TFCC Subscription lapse. Partially because of this issue, but mainly because the club figure was Runamuck. If you have Runamuck, you have to have Runabout. I believe TFWiki describes them as “nearly inseparable”. Well, I missed Runabout (Over-Run) due to his one day sell out and, well… what do I need with just one of them?
Okay, so yeah, uh… toy review. How’d the GIJCC get my interest last year? Well, they went and made one of my all-time favorite Joes as the sign-up figure: Dial-Tone. I don’t have a strong timeline of my childhood loves. I’m not sure when I moved from one thing to the next or what overlapped, but G.I. Joe seems to come after the super-hero lines that were some of my first loves faltered. ’84 Joes are unfamiliar to me, there are a few ’85 Joe favorites (Footloose, Bazooka, Shipwreck), but my list of favorite Joes explodes in 1986: General Hawk, Iceberg, Lifeline, Low-Light, Mainframe, Beachhead, Wet Suit, Lift-Ticket, the Strato-Viper… I could go on and on. But among those select Joes, Dial-Tone stood out.
I’m not sure why exactly. Maybe I liked his flip-down communications backpack, his green/yellow color scheme (him & Crankcase hung out all the time), or it could have been his cool mustache. Who knows? But my appreciation for Dial-Tone resulted in my having a few different versions of him, but the original always got the most play. He ended up so torn up that the Dial-Tone pictured here is a second figure I bought later just to have a nicer one.
I was crushed when Dial-Tone didn’t pop up during the 25th Anniversary. He would’ve been a lock if I were in charge, but alas I just review ’em. When the Collector Club announced him, I was elated. I talked about signing up so much that my parents, who also well remembered Dial-Tone, went and bought it for me (See, isn’t that cute? My parents signed me up! And look how I repay them, with the possibility of identity theft… sigh).
What stings a little more is that enough time passed that Hasbro has revisited the classic Joes – making kickass versions of other favorites like Low-Light, Crazylegs, Lifeline, & Sci-Fi (some of which you’ll see in future reviews), that I’m left wondering what could’ve been. The Club Dial-Tone is sufficient, but he’s still a 25th figure at best and the 30th figures make the 25ths one… almost inadequate. Continue to Page 2…