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Latest Information
The latest news from Hasbro (Derryl DePriest) deals with the future of the 40th Anniversary line. There will be three additional waves this year. This would put the total number of sets in the collection at 29 including the Marine Medic. Hasbro's availability to bring these to the shelf depends on the current waves selling through. They have an ambitious plan that depends upon collectors buying the product.

Despite Hasbro's pleas for collectors to buy the product, it's been difficult to find the product. Wal-Mart continues to sell the items at below MSRP, but never has them on the shelf or stocks the items on the top most unreachable shelves. Target and TRU continue to sell at the retail price of $34.99 or higher. The market just doesn't seem to warrant this price as they continue to warm shelves at those prices in my area. KMart, believing these are worth their weight in gold, sells the items at an unbelievable price of $43-$50.

I for one, will continue to buy only the items I like and not all of them. I simply cannot afford to buy them all. There is no way for me to pay the mortgage and other bills as well as purchase 12 to 16 40th Anniversary figures every year at $40 each. I will continue to support the line the best I can because it is of high quality and reminds me so much of the vintage era. Should the current distribution problems and consumer perceived high price doom the line, then it was simply not meant to be. I sincerely hope that is not to be the case.

Background Information
The major news from the 2003 convention involved the 40th Anniverary collection figures. Hasbro announced plans to release the entire 1964 line over an 18 month period in waves. The first wave was released at the convention and included 5 figures - Action Soldier w/combat field jacket set (AA Action Soldier version), Action Marine w/Combat Communications set, Action Sailor w/Frogman scuba suit, and Action Pilot w/survival liferaft. Hasbro intended to release a new wave every 90 days. It was stressed to collectors to avoid procrastination when buying these figures as they would not be available again at a later date. Each wave did not necessarily contain one of each action figure line. For example, a wave may include one or more action marines or one or more action soldiers, etc. The action pilot line is a small line so Hasbro planned to spead it out over the entire release.

Each item in the assortment included a figure, reproduction box, window box, and different equipment packs individually carded and shrink wrapped. Hair colors rotated with each wave such as blonde hair soldiers in wave one followed by red head soldiers in wave two. A second wave figure could also contain a uniform variation not seen on the first wave such as pocket variations. Each wave was truly unique even though the same action figure, soldier for instance, was released in a following wave, he may not have the same hair color, accessories, or uniform configuration. Once a wave was gone, it was truly gone.

Hasbro wanted the reproduction to be authentic. That's why the new figure was re-tooled. This tooling was now wholly owned by Hasbro. The head was based on many different samples of the original head (pin heads, gummy heads, etc.). Hasbro took a little of each to make a final composite, original vintage head. This was no longer the Timeless Collection figure collectors have known although these anniversary figures were released under the Timeless Collection banner. The figure previously known as the Timeless Collection figure was history. Derryl DePriest sacrificed a lot for this 40th Anniversary release providing some of his own items including mint in package boxed sets. These were pretty much destroyed in the process of obtaining the correct look for the 40th sets. So, any collectors out there with boxed sets now have just seen a slight increase in their market value as the quantity still available in the world decreased.

There is no reason to be concerned that the new 40th accessories will be passed off as vintage. Hasbro has added a mark on each piece with a "40th" to differentiate it from it's vintage brother. Not that anyone would ever attempt to mistakenly pass off a repro piece as anything other than repro. There are also 2003 copyright markings on some pieces like weapons.

If this 40th run was successful, Hasbro planned to continue with the 1965 sets and so on. However, this all depended upon sales. So, if collectors liked the sets, Hasbro hoped they would buy the current stock thereby guaranteeing future stes.

2003 WAVE 1:
The fist wave was released at the 2003 GI Joe Convention with store merchandise hitting shelves in June and July. This wave included #1 Action Soldier with Combat Field Jacket; #2 Action Sailor Frogman set; #3 Action Marine Communications; and #4 Action Pilot Survival.

2003 WAVE 2:
The second wave arrived in October and included #5 MP Action Soldier (Caucasian and AA versions), #6 Action Soldier with 3 accessory packs (MP Helmet w/small arms set, Bivouac Machine Gun, and Combat Sandbag set); #7 Action Sailor with Navy Attack set; and #8 Action Marine with Beachhead Attack Set. The Wal-Mart #9 Marine Medic hit store shelves in Feb 04.

2004 WAVE 1.1:
The third wave was redesignated Wave 1.1 and 1.2. It arrived in January/February 2004. Wave 1.1 included #10 Action Soldier Combat Field Pack (Caucasian and AA), #12 Pilot Scramble, and #13 Pilot Scramble w/three accessory sets (Crash Helmet, Parachute Pack, Life Vest).

2004 WAVE 1.2:
The third wave was redesignated Wave 1.1 and 1.2. Wave 1.2 included #11 Marine Dress Parade (2 per case), #12 Pilot Scramble, and #13 Pilot Scramble w/three accessory sets (Crash Helmet, Parachute Pack, Life Vest).

2004 WAVE 2:
Wave 2 for 2004 included Action Soldier (w/Command Post Communications) (Caucasian and AA), Action Sailor Shore Patrol, Action Sailor Shore Patrol Small Arms, and Action Marine Beachhead Assault.

2004 WAVE 3 (Jul 04):
Wave 3 for 2004 included Action Soldier (w/Bivouac Tent) (Caucasian and AA), Action Pilot Crash Crew, Action Marine Paratrooper, and Action Marine (w/small cards including Paratrooper Helmet, Communications Flags, Paratrooper Camouflage, and Marine Basics)

2004 WAVE 4 (Sep 04):
Wave 4 for 2004 will include Action Soldier (w/Bivouac Sleeping Bag) (Caucasian and AA), Action Soldier (w/combat helmet, combat rifle, combat field pack, and combat field jackt), Action Sailor (w/Navy attack helmet, life jacket, life ring, and LSO paddles), Action Pilot Dress Uniform set.

2004 WAVE 5 (Nov 04):
Wave 5 for 2004 will include Action Soldier Ski Patrol, Action Soldier Ski Patrol Helmet set (w/snow troops, combat mess kit, bivouac sleeping bag set), Action Sailor Breeches Buoy, Action Pilot Air Sea Rescue.

GI JOE Collector's Club Figures
Upon the cancellation of the 40th Anniversary line by Hasbro, the GI Joe Collector's Club issued two of the 8 remaining figures in their attempt to continue the 40th anniverary collection. The Club promised more if the first wave sold. The Club figures included:

#23 Action Soldier with Field Equipment
#25 Action Pilot with Dress Uniform

The GI Joe Collector's Club figures were a limited edition of 4,000 pieces each. Once sold, no more were produced.

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