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G.I. Joe: Collector’s Club
Dial-Tone (2011) Review

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…

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19 comments to G.I. Joe: Collector’s Club
Dial-Tone (2011) Review

  • LOVE that last pic!
    as always great job!

  • Zach

    Great review! Dial-Tone was one of my faves back in the day as well. Alas, I missed out on this one. Here’s to a 30th!

  • Those arms! They let him look almost like the weirdo 200x Joes (and they look weirdly soft sculptwise). But in all colorwise and reusewise they made it a working figure. I loved Dialtone in the cartoon and also love his vintage version figure alot…now i see the accessories, i want them hard for mine!! 😀

    • Those poofy sleeves do give off that look. LOL

      I love that he got his classic gear. I’d love to see a 30th Ann communications officer though!

  • Brainlock

    we had similar tastes. I had Dial-tone replace original cast favorite Breaker, mostly because of the “broken thumb issue”, as well as them both being the communication specialists. Crankcase, Mainframe, and Sci-fi were also favorites. And all but CC made the shortlist for those I’m planning to custom into 6″. (No decent fodder…looks at Steve Rogers again. hmm…..)

    of course that said, I really don’t care for most of these new Joe molds, but I stumbled across Sci-fi last night and only hesitated a few seconds before deeming he was “worthy” enough for a new version. (Most of the originals were “lost” in storage.) I still passed on Renegades’ Scarlett, Tunnel Rat, and Ripcord numerous times last night. :/

    • I’d love to see some pics of your customs when you get ’em done. I’d enjoy some large scale Joes…

      I have that whole case with the Renegades figs, but I haven’t opened any of the simpler ones. Lifeline, Airtight, & Law & Order are all as cool as Sci-Fi though!

  • Clutch

    That pic is very sweet in the classic sense. (Where do old soldiers go…?) I like this version of Dial-Tone a lot and it brings us closer to an updated Team ’86. (With the lone exception being poor Iceberg.) I mailed out a check this week, too. The Club is in dire straits right now, but I don’t want to miss out on Footloose, another favorite from the Joes’ glory days.

    • Thanks, Clutch!

      I definitely want Footloose (and that Lost Adventurer honestly…) and I don’t mind helping the Club get back on its feet. Hopefully, they’ll be problem free for years to come!

  • Nice! The facial sculpt is excellent, but haunting in a way. I can’t seem to put my finger on it, but he looks like an actor or something, but much younger.

    A figure like this makes me wish I still collected Joes.

    The last pic is great! What other characters are in there? I’m not good on names.

  • That is a pretty good likeness! I kept thinking of someone like an amalgamation of a young Anthony Hopkins or Edward James Olmos. There’s some Roger Moore in there.

  • Shadow_Contact

    This was an easy pass last year, (and this years exclusive is a harder pass I wanted Footloose but I don’t think the club is taking care of the problems fast enough). His head Sculpt is awesome so are the accessories but Yuck, some one make Hasbro throw away that Buzzer torso sculpt and web gear. The only figure it works for is Buzzer but the Club Dial tone and both wide release Leathernecks have been sullied with those sub par pieces. Hopefully Dialtone will get an updated figure after Retaliation as in the last decade he has grown more and more on me (He will never replace Breaker), but until then I have his sister holding the Fort as 1 of only 2 Oregon Joes!

    • I never did get a Leatherneck! I could’ve maybe overlooked the Buzzer torso, but they never bothered to get his colors right and never game him a proper head. Lame!

      I’m not old enough to have much love for Breaker it seems.

  • Beedo Sookcool

    Excellent review, as always. Last pic is outstanding!

    I was really, really looking forward to this character, and then they went and made him an exclusive. I really hate the concept of exclusives, especially when Hasbro does them, because they’re ridiculously hard to get hold of, especially if you live outside the U.S.A. So I’m hoping you’re right that they’ll do a 30th-Anniversary-style update of Dial-Tone, which will kick even more butt than this version, so I get a chance at him.

    • Thanks!

      Exclusives do indeed suck. It’s like I said about Runamuck and Runabout – it was completely boneheaded to make the club exclusive so connected to another figure that blew out so quickly. Not having one ensures I don’t want the other.