Blast from the Past – 5/1/14 – G.I. Joe Eco Warriors Concept
It’s time for another blast from the past, albeit not very far in the past. Today I’m going to share a concept I had put together for a G.I. Joe Convention Set based on the Eco Warriors line from 1991-92. For those of you that aren’t hardcore action figure collectors, let me give you a little back story. Each year the Official G.I. Joe Collectors Club puts on a fantastic convention (Joecon) for fans of the G.I. Joe brand. These convention feature exclusive items for collectors of both 12″ and 4″ G.I. Joe that can be purchased (mostly) only at the show. Each 4″ set contains 15 figures, with additional souvenir items that are debuted and sold at the show.
When I don’t have active paying work I put together concepts I’d like to see made to keep my portfolio fresh, and to keep my creative juices flowing. The particular concept came together in the fourth quarter of 2011/first of 2012 with a rush to have it done before Joecon in New Orleans. I was very pleased at the time with how these came out. They added a lot to my portfolio that year, and helped to show case that I could work with a wide range of techniques. Most importantly this project was instrumental in showing folks that I had a eye for toy design and helped me to eventually move into paid work. That being said it’s interesting for me to look back on this and see how far I’ve come from just 2-3 years ago. I’ve grown a lot as a designer since then and I’ve increased my capabilities substantially.
But back to 2012. The live action film G.I. JOE: Retaliation had just been pushed back a year by Paramount at the time so all of the new figures for that film diapered from store shelves. On top of that the figures from the previous years 30th Anniversary line were still in short supply and hard to come by in my area. Those two things culminated in figure builds that felt a little dated even at the time, but for what I had to work with it came out pretty well. The bright colors of this project also helped me work outside of what at the time was my comfort zone of drab greens, browns, and blacks. What I ended up finding out was that I really enjoy working with a brighter color pallet.
The set is based on a not always well received G.I. Joe concept from the early 1990’s. The Eco Warriors was a retail sub-line of G.I. Joe Action Figures packaged with working water cannons and color activated “Sludge” paint splatters. The G.I. Joe members of the Eco Force fought to stop the all new Cobra character Cesspool from polluting the world. The second year of the Sub-line introduced the Toxo-Zombies and moved the concept in a slightly different direction. As an 8 year old who was wowed by anything G.I. Joe this concept peeked my interest but was not readily available where I grew up. The fact that they were so hard to find probably caused me to think the line was more desirable then I might have otherwise been. As a kid I only managed to snag one figure (Cesspool) on clearance at an ACE Hardware.
Now back to this set. It contains what is essentially a three-way battler pitting G.I. Joe against Cobra against the Toxo-Zombies. Each faction got 5 figures based on either existing Eco Warriors figures, or internationally exclusive Eco Warriors. The Joes were represented by Ozone, Clean Sweep, Outback, Snow Storm, and Deeps Six. The Cobra faction consisted of Cesspool, Corrosion (based on the Brazilian Corrosao) and three Toxo-Viper Troopers. The Zombies were five former Toxo-Vipers turned Toxo-Zombies.
I also put together additional add-on items: First was in International Contamination Specialist 2-Pack featuring Biological and Biomass based on the Brazilian Biologico and Biomassa. An updated of the Eco Striker vehicle piloted by Biodiesel (an update of the Brazilian Bisofera. Last but probably most impressive was a new Cobra Septic Tank based on the G.I. Joe VS. Transformers Comic Con exclusive Shockwave with an updated Cobra Sludge-Viper.
Now I don’t have the resources to put something like producing this set together, but luckily I don’t have to. This year the G.I. Joe Collectors Club put together a fantastic convention set for Joe con 2014 with the help of the super talented crew over at Boss Fight Studio. It has a 15 figure set that has most of the highly desirable Eco Warriors, Zombies, and a Ninja thrown in for good measure. We also got the Eco Striker and Septic Tank as souvenir items. Many of the character I put in my set are finally available, and are substantial better then what I put together a few years back.
So that pretty much covers the basics of this set. If you have any questions or comments please feel free to post them below and thanks for reading!