Pythona Figure Slithers Its Way Into G.I. Joe Lineup

G.I. Joe Pythona Figure

It took nearly three decades, but fans of G.I. Joe: The Movie are finally getting a Pythona figure.

Announced as the 2016 membership incentive figure for the G.I. Joe Collectors’ Club, Pythona will be offered to anyone who becomes–or extends–a GIJCC member by March 16, 2016. The Cobra-La femme fatale has been often-requested by collectors and it’s really surprising that it’s taken this long for a figure of Pythona to be made, but is it too little, too late?

I believe that Hasbro’s indecisiveness on the direction in which to take G.I. Joe and their attempt to scale G.I. Joe as a global brand has alienated many G.I. Joe fans and collectors. When G.I. Joe: Resolute debuted on Adult Swim in 2009, fans were ecstatic. Unfortunately, Hasbro upper management was not as thrilled about Resolute as fans were, mainly because of the violence, so they resolved to abandon the concept in favor of something more family friendly. Enter G.I. Joe: Renegades. A cross between the A-Team and G.I. Joe, Renegades took a while for the older fans–still stewing from the fact that the more mature Resolute was being shelved–to warm up to. The lukewarm reception and lackluster ratings hurt Renegades and after just one season, the project was shelved–just as things were getting good. And then there are the movies–G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra and G.I. Joe: Retaliation. While the latter resonates with long-time G.I. Joe fans more than the former, both G.I. Joe movies are essentially action-heavy popcorn flicks that represent G.I. Joe in name only. G.I. Joe has become the poster child in schizophrenic decision-making and it seems that the only thing the decision makers overseeing the brand were able to agree upon was to name every series with a word starting with the letter R.

Five years ago, I would have eagerly purchased a $44 G.I. Joe Club membership for a chance to own Pythona. And five years ago, I owned almost every modern-era G.I. Joe figure made. But five years ago isn’t today, and today’s G.I. Joe disinterests me. I have since sold my G.I. Joe collection and have observed from the sidelines as G.I. Joe has been relegated to waves of repaint figures and vehicles at retail. What’s worse, Hasbro has handed the reigns for ongoing products to the G.I. Joe Collectors’ Club and while the character selection has been admirable at times, the prices are not. You need to be a partner at Extensive Enterprises to cover the $30-plus cost per figure and with companies like Tamashii Nations and NECA putting out superior figures for sometimes half the cost, it’s hard to justify supporting the Collectors’ Club. The perceived value, once a staple of the G.I. Joe line and brand, is just not there.

While I support my G.I. Joe collecting friends that are persevering through this doldrum in collecting and lack of brand identity, I’m content celebrating my G.I. Joe fandom by opening up my A Real American Hero DVD Footlocker and watching an episode of the ’80s animated series without having to get myself implicated in a line of repaints or strong-armed into an over-priced subscription. Although I wish that Hasbro would be content growing a smaller, more fiercely loyal audience in extending the continuum of brand loyalty to G.I. Joe, I understand that like with everything nowadays, if it doesn’t appeal to the masses, it’s not worth the investment.

G.I. Joe Collectors’ Club memberships start at $44. The Pythona figure features a new head sculpt on a Rise of Cobra Reactive Armor Scarlet body and includes a classic file card, Cobra logo stand, removable cloak, and tentacle creature. The figure comes polybagged and will ship in mid-to-late spring of 2016.

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  • SS21O

    Well…where to start , I love G.I. Joe. I love displaying and collecting my modern collection without having to replace O-rings from the ARAH 80s line . Coming from a collector who drops $100-300 dollars on MP/3rd party Transformers and Hot Toys figures, $30-45 dollars for FSS Club subscription and member figures is not a big deal to many or the core Joe Con /Joe community collectors . It all comes down to how much you are willing to spend to get that modern Ambush or Blizzard figure that a collector has been waiting for since the 25th modern anniversary line released in 2007.

    This Pythona figure is going to be a must have for me. I appreciate all the modern films and cartoons in a ” rather they exist than not exist ” perspective. Yo Joe!

    • I love G.I. Joe as well, but at this point it’s just nostalgia fueling the brand. Hasbro hasn’t been willing to diversify the brand in order to attract new, younger fans while maturing with those of us who have been loyal to the brand for years. I’m super excited that you’re finally getting Pythona. If I were still collecting Joes, Next spring couldn’t come soon enough. To your point however, That $45 is a tough pill to swallow for me, especially when the majority of the figures from the GIJCC are repaints. I just don’t feel I’m getting the value for my money and I’d rather save up for something from Hot Toys, buy one of Tamashii Nations’ amazing figures or support NECA, who has been super fan-friendly.

  • Robson Waterkemper

    G.I. Joe has a rich mythos. It’s a shame Hasbro didn’t have the guts to use the mute and scarred Snake-Eyes in full scale. If they did a flick centered around Snake-Eyes origin, showing the journey of the character from Soldier to scarred and muted Commando and finally a military Ninja, it would have a good chance of success.

    • Great point! There are so many directions Hasbro could have taken G.I. Joe in keeping it true to the storyline that made it popular in the ’80s. Instead, Hasbro and Paramount wanted to shed the A Real American Hero moniker, which they saw as a stigma. In trying to create a more global team, they lost touch with what made the ARAH story so special. The point is, you don’t have to change something for more people to like it. If you do it right, the people who like it will influence others to like it and that feeling will become infectious. If you disappoint the core audience, there likelihood of success is greatly reduced.

    • Well you have to keep in mind, I’m pretty sure they have very little say in what took place in the movies. And as much as you and I would have liked to see the idea, I don’t know if there is much of an general audience that would. What you described is a dream movie of the 80’s, not something that would be successful in today’s market.

      • I think the point @robsonwaterkemper:disqus does make is that they didn’t have to try to cram everything in at one shot. They could have spaced things out, told origin stories and built on the team the same way Marvel has done with Avengers. If you can put a Norse god, a playboy billionaire, an archer, a woman scorn and a mad scientist together and make them work, there is no reason G.I. Joe can’t work.

        • Oh I agree with that, but when you don’t know if you will have a second chance, where do you start? If you do go origin story, what happens when you flop and can’t tell more? Kind of becomes a waste.

      • Robson Waterkemper

        Hasbro should have to have the final say in every G.I. Joe property. They should overview the movie making process and guarantee that everything was going well.

        Snake-Eyes is a very charismatic character. Almost in the level of Wolverine. If done well, a good origin story interlaced with a G.I. Joe team adventure would work well for general audiences.

        I’ve been writing a fan fiction about this vision that I have of what would be a good G.I. Joe 1st movie. It took me forever to get to final pages (it’s not completely finished yet).

        The plot is something like this: Snake-Eyes goes to Afghanistan War and meets with Tommy (a japanese soldier). They became friends. Baroness brother is in Afghanistan doing charity work when Destro Sr. visits the camp to make a donation. In that same day Destro Jr. tries to buy a USA lost atomic device from a muslim terrorist. Snake-Eyes, Tommy and Scarllet are investigating the lost device as well. Snake-Eyes confronts Destro and the terrorist and gets to know the activation code. USA attacks, things go bad, Baroness brother is killed and Snake-eyes is injured and taken to a hospital. Snake-Eyes is the only man who knows the activation code. His is put under classified status so the enemies wouldn’t get the code. When he returns to USA, his family dies in a car accident.

        An year later Tommy finds Snake-Eyes and convinces him to meet his family in Japan. Snake-Eyes accepts and he starts training for being a Ninja. The classic Snake-Eyes, Stormshadow origin. Prejudice against the Westerner. Jealousy from Stormshadow etc. Hard Master is killed by an arrow in a conspiracy plot, and everyone thinks it’s Stormshadow. Arashikage clan is disbanded. Snake-Eyes goes back to America.

        Some years later, Baroness and Destro reunite and try to recover the lost nuclear device. They plot a scheme to smoke out the guy they know has the activation code. Stormshadow is working as Baroness body guard now.

        George Strawhacker, the secretary of state of USA is kidnapped by the Dreadnocks and Zantan tries to pass as him to get the name of the soldier who has the code. Scarlett gets the spy on act, but he escapes. Colonel Hawk calls Scarlett to help him retrieve the secretary. It happens that George was actually fiancée of Snake-Eyes’ sister and they would need the help from him to rescue the secretary. They go after him in the Sierras and convince him to help.

        With the aid of a Delta team, leaded by Duke, they attack the Dreadnock’s hideout. In that event, Snake-Eyes is injured: his face is scarred and he lost his voice, but George is rescued.

        Hawk then decides to reinstate the G.I. Joe under classified status. Duke, Scarlett and Snake-Eyes join. Snake joins as his commando incarnation, leaving aside his ninja stuff.

        They go in a team adventure against the bad guys who have the lost nuclear device, but they are tricked into providing the code for Destro, thinking they were deactivating the weapon.

        In the climax, the G.I. joe attack Destro’s hide out and Snake-Eyes confronts Stormshadow. SS was infiltrating the terrorism underworld to find Hard Master’s assassin. SE has to use his ninja abilites to defeat SS.

        By the end of the movie, SE truly becomes Silent Master reuniting his Western and Eastern background. And G.I. Joe is solid as a new team. They find out about a rumor regarding an underground terrorist organization called Cobra…

        ———-

        This plot has some similarities with G.I. Joe Rise of Cobra because I started writing this when I first know about the rumors about that movie. I think they were right in making the first villain to be Destro, so they could focus on G.I. Joe origin first and then go to Cobra. But it was not actually what they did in movie after all.

        In my fanfic, I used as well the global view of the G.I. Joe and I think it can work well. The key is make G.I. Joe about NATO and not only USA.

        • Well I don’t think Hasbro has final say in their movies. I think Paramount for the most part can do as they please as long as they don’t deviate too far. Which for the most part, they haven’t done with G.I. Joe or Transformers.

          I like your story idea, sounds cool. We can hope for something as interesting as that, but in the end, I don’t think we’ll ever get it.