A quick trip to Frank and Sons collectibles yielded retro gold with these Zartan, Storm Shadow & Crimson Guard Retro GI Joe Classified Series In Hand Images!
As part of my (The Toy Sorceress) pilgrimage to Frank and Sons this pastweekend with the Baroness of Toys, I had two things in mind that I really wanted to find, one was the Star Wars Retro Collection 2 Multipack , and you can read more about it here, and the second was the Retro Zartan, Storm Shadow and the Crimson Guard GI Joe Classified Series figures. They also had Snake Eyes, but the cost was too much, so I will have to wait for him to arrive from my preorders. For those of you who haven’t heard of Frank and Sons collectibles, it’s this huge Costco sized warehouse full of toy vendor booths, and they have everything from vintage figures, to Funko Pops, to sports memorabilia, to anime, to all the latest in Action Figures and collectibles! The Baroness of Toys and I (The Toy Sorceress) had a fantastic time toy hunting. While I was there, I was able to find the latest of the GI Joe Retro Classified Series figures. I picked up Zartan, Storm Shadow and the Crimson Guard at the Toy Arena booth in row 200, don’t know the boot number but it was at the end of the center section of row 200. I do have to say that they were marked up quite a bit from retail, but my goal here was to obtain a set I can keep nice and minty and carded, as I expect when my preorders arrive from Walmart, they will be damaged and bent. So we will show you the in hand images carded for now. Be on the lookout in the near future for a full review of the Crimson Guard by Michael as I picked up a set for him so they will be coming his way in the mail!
Retro Classified Series Zartan
This is the third version of Zartan and they wanted to go with the 80’s Sunbow vibe with the blues, the blacks, and the “weird gray shoes.” The fits and finishes are fantastic, including the silver Dreadnok belt buckle and the armor clips. The face deco is amazing with the beady green eyes and they subtly redefined the face paint to differentiate it from other releases. What is cool about this version of Zartan is that he will be a single carded figure, which we have not seen since the 25th Anniversary 3 3/4″ line so it will be cool to see what the card looks like for this figure. Announced at Walmart Collector Con 2022, we are finally getting a chance to see how Zartan came out and he look amazing, for a repaint! Hopefully this means we will see him on the shelf soon!
As Yo Joe June 2022 has come and gone, the only two GI Joe Classified Series Retro Cardback figures that were left on the table were Zartan and Storm Shadow. Revealed April 26th, 2022, as part of Hasbro’s GI Joe Fan First Tuesday YouTube Livestream reveals and preorders, they said that Zartan and Storm Shadow will be on the Retro Classified Series cardbacks! During Walmart Collector Con earlier in the year in March of 2022, Gung Ho, Lady Jaye, Detro, and Baroness went up for preorder on Walmart simultaneously with a Hasbro Pulse preorder, which sold out fast! We are expecting that Hasbro Pulse will also offer these figures for preorder, like they always do with big box stores or online retailers they partner with.
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Zartan Official Images
Zartan Digital Render
Zartan previous single card releases
As we’ve seen with previous single carded illustrations for the 25th Anniversary and Hall of Heroes versions of Zartan. Personally, we think the 25th Anniversary illustration is the one that inspired the Retro Cardback version as he looks more like the digital render with the ram’s skull and belts design but who knows…they might make a brand new sketch.
Retro Classified Series Storm Shadow
This version of Storm Shadow sparks nostalgia and I can’t wait to see this one on the retro card back. There are subtle updates to this figure, including the absence of the archer arm gauntlets, bare hands, and wrapped forearms. The color of the white is slightly different and the texture on the figure looks amazing.
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Storm Shadow Official Images
Storm Shadow Digital Renders
Storm Shadow previous releases
I think we have a good feeling for what we will see for a Retro Cardback Storm Shadow! For the last 5 iterations of retro versions of Storm Shadow we’ve seen the same illustration since 1984. If we were playing poker, we’d take the house to the cleaners with 5 aces but the most likely candidate is the Retro Collection Wave 1 Walmart exclusive version as the other figures were put on those card backs.
This is a retro style repaint of the previous Crimson Guard release. The card front features the classic illustration from 1985 on the extra large retro card back from the GI Joe Classified Series line! The backs of the cards features a large file card (translated into several languages) with Storm Shadow, Zartan, and Snake Eyes as cross sells.The packout is the same as the standard release Crimson Guard but has a red backpack and different paint apps on some of the weapons. There is also a figure stand included, which is great so your figures does not nose dive off the shelf!
January 15, 2023 UPDATE: More Crimson Guard Images
Instagram can be a treasure trove and we hit the jackpot today thanks to tsunocharliemon2099, who posted several out of package images of the Crimson Guard. The packout is the same as the standard release Crimson Guard but has a red backpack and different paint apps on some of the weapons. There is also a figure stand included, which is great so your figures does not nose dive off the shelf!
This figure looks amazing from all angles and we love the classic throwback nature to the first Crimson Guard that came out in 1985, with the red backpack and silver face mask on the helmet.
You can really see the color difference in the Crimson red between the standard release and the retro card back figure. It’s cool that Mike popped another head on the Crimson Guard so you can get an idea of what you might want to do with these figures if you army build them.
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Retro Cardback Crimson Guard Reveal
In a surprise reveal, the Crimson Guard will be coming to the GI Joe Classified Series Retro Cardback line! This was shocking becuase we still have not received the standard figure in hand yet and the figure already looked retro inspired to begin with.
The stand version of the Crimson Guard came out AMAZING!!! The accessories are module and one really surprising accessory they gave him was an officers sword that can plug into and stow on the backpack or his belt, which is a design decision they made mid sculpt. These will look fantastic right night to Tomax and Xamot so really looking forward to this figure.
Crimson Retro Card back Potential Illustration
For potential illustrations of what the retro cardback could look like, here are some images of the vintage, 25th Anniversary, and Hall of Heroes designs. I am sure we pretty much know what we are getting!
Where to Buy the Retro Collection
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