Clearing up some confusion – The “Final Twelve”

So another whirlwind weekend at JoeCon has come and gone, and as many folks have likely noticed, I didn’t spend a whole lot of time reporting news from this last JoeCon (mostly for my own sanity).

However, there were some exciting announcements at the “Last Panel” today that I wanted to touch on because I’ve seen some folks who are a little confused about how it all works.

1) The previously announced Night Stalker 3-Pack is still being released in the 4th quarter this year, with three different ethnically diverse head sculpts, using the same builds as the GIJCC female COBRA Troopers

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2) There is a new Ninja Force Zartan w/ motorcycle exclusive coming out, which Dave Lane specifically mentioned should make the choice for the 13th figure in FSS 8 more evident.  From the looks of it, Zartan will be using the same head sculpt as the Con set’s Sgt. Smasher.

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3) Along with these, Hasbro and the Club have worked out a way to release a special “Final Twelve” assortment.  While these will be 12 figures like the FSS, this is NOT an FSS.  The figures will be packaged in two-packs in similar themes, and available for standard pre-order, then shipped in FSS-style boxes.  The Final Twelve 2-Packs are as follows:

Slaughter Marauder’s Barbecue and Low Light

Modern style figures with the classic Marauder’s paint apps to blend with the Con set

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“Black Spider” Rendezvous Adventure Team vs. Coils O’Doom

Another Adventure Team figure (since the past ones sold so well) along with a brand new Coil character (with ties to Crimson Asp) who is inspired by a character spoken about on the “Regular Joes” podcast

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Sonic Fighter Dodger vs Sonic Fighter Viper

Dodger and COBRA Viper in Sonic Fighter deco

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Sonic Fighter Falcon vs Sonic Fighter Road Pig

Falcon and Road Pig in Sonic Fighter deco

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Euro Tiger Force Hit & Run (AWESOME!) and Euro Tiger Force Psyche Out (Fetal position Christopher McLeod not included)

Modern style figures in the vintage UK exclusive Tiger Force deco’s

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Euro Tiger Force Tunnel Rat and Euro Tiger Force Blizzard

Modern style figures in the vintage UK exclusive Tiger Force deco’s

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I know I’ve been pretty clear in the past that I’m not especially enamored with constant vintage revisitations, but I have to admit, one final burst to fill in a few slots in the vintage line is a pretty cool idea, and I am THRILLED to get one last Hit & Run figure, especially in this awesome paint scheme.  This was a really nice surprise for that last panel, and I’m glad they did it, and especially happy for Chris McLeod from The Full Force, because I know how much he loves those UK Tiger Force figures.

Speaking of The Full Force, be sure you’re checking their Facebook page as they have been live streaming and posting videos straight from JoeCon.  FUUUULLL FOOOORCE!!

Wait, what? It’s JoeCon time?

Never before has JoeCon weekend snuck up on me like it has this year.  It seemed like one minute it was months away, then suddenly I’m packing for a whirlwind 2,000 mile round trip car ride to Chattanooga.  Wow.

And yes, it’s true!  JoeCon officially kicks off tomorrow when the Golden Ticket holders can first pick up their boxed sets and get their comics, which invariably have some neat-o clues inside about potential convention exclusives.

I’ll be driving the long haul tomorrow so I can’t promise I’ll have 100% up to the minute news, but if I’m stopped and I get the intel quick I will certainly relay it.  Those dudes over at The Full Force will be ALL OVER IT I’m sure, too, so make sure you’re following their feed super close.

Meanwhile, if you’re attending JoeCon, snag me, stop me, say hi, I’ll be wandering around with a refreshed feeling of low stress enjoyment as I try to soak in every minute of this final convention without the typical rushing around of news reporting and exclusive hawking.  Also be sure to swing by the Kindle Worlds panel at 2:00pm on Saturday to hear myself, Bill Nedrow, Jim Beard, and Don Maue talk about the crazy rock star lives of G.I. Joe authorhood.  Good stuff.

This is always a fantastic, fun weekend, hopefully I’ll see some of you all there!

Until then…  I’m on to Chattanooga!

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Animal Warriors of the Kingdom DELUXE action figure Kickstarter is live!

Spero Studios is cranking again! Shortly after delivering some awesome figures from their first Kickstarter, the folks at Spero are back at it, seeking funding for a new line of Deluxe Animal Warriors of the Kingdom figures. Many of the figures within this second Kickstarter are 5″ tall (though still scaled for 1:18, they’re just big boys!) and we’ve got some pretty amazing looking stuff going on here.

Personally, I’m really digging Belarus, the crazy cyborg bear, but there’s a ton of potential for other incredible stuff as well. As with the first Kickstarter, there’s a ton of great basic sized figures, too with some excellent new gear, new heads, and new creatures.

Lots to love here, especially if you dig human/animal hybrids like I do. I can see half the cast of my Operation: Harvest novels right here. Awesome stuff.

He’s sitting at around $32,000 right now, with a goal at 50K, but I think all of us would like to see some serious stretch goals made. Don’t sit on the fence, hit up the Kickstarter and put your money where your mouth is. He’s proven he can get this stuff produced, I’m itching to see more.

Now available – The Joy of Joe (#1 New Release!)

As many of you readers are aware, recently I’ve been diverting my focus a bit more to my burgeoning independent author career, which has required more and more attention.  It’s always awesome when my interests can intersect, and thanks to Jim Beard and Bill Nedrow, I’ve been able to combine my two loves (publishing and action figures) into a new essay project – The Joy of Joe!

It’s an unfortunate fact of life that today’s fandom environment can be rife with hostility and toxicity for reasons that are completely alien to me.  I’m happy to say that the Joy of Joe is the absolute antithesis of that.  It’s a nostalgic and youthful look at the G.I. Joe brand and the awesome positive effects it’s had on our youth.  A collection of essays from some great contributors (including some names you will certainly recognize, including the co-creator of Marvel Comics characters Cable and Deadpool) really captures the fun innosense of what it was like growing up in the midst of the heyday of America’s Movable Fighting Man and Real American Hero.

As an added bonus, upon release yesterday it quickly became the #1 New Release in the Toy and Collectibles category which is a testament to the work that Jim and Bill put into this project.  Please grab a copy, if you’re reading this site, I know you’ll enjoy it.

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GeneralsJoes Reviews Bucky O’Hare Wave 2

Okay, before we get onto the reviews…  so far we’ve got three members of the Righteous Indignation crew… but no bad guys for them to fight.

That stops now!  Boss Fight Studio has just launched pre-orders for the new KOMPLEX Storm Toad figures, including single packs and two packs.  GO GET YOU SOME.

Then you can hop on back over to my Bucky O’Hare review page and check out reviews for the latest Bucky O’Hare figures:

As one might expect… they’re incredible.  Deadeye Duck especially feels like a new barometer set in toy engineering.  Wow.  More great stuff from the rock stars at Boss Fight Studio.

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Amazon’s Kindle Worlds preparing to tell their last stories…

Unfortunate news circulating in some of the author communities today as Amazon is expected to announce today that they are sunsetting the Kindle Worlds platform.

Originally launched in 2013, Amazon’s Kindle Worlds was a unique collaboration between the online retail giant and several IP holders which allowed authors to write in different universes belonging to licensed properties.  As most of you know, one of those properties was G.I. Joe.

This hits me especially hard.  As many of you know, I am currently an independent author who has written and published several novels and novellas.  The first thing I ever published as a G.I. Joe trilogy for Kindle Worlds, and if not for that opportunity, I might never have become an author at all. 

Kindle Worlds, quite simply, changed my life.

I won’t tell you that I still make a lot of money off Kindle Worlds, I don’t, and honestly it’s never been that lucrative at all, it was one of those things I did because I loved it, and while I haven’t had much time lately to write more G.I. Joe content, I had a pretty cool twelve episode series in the works that I really thought was going to be neat.  Now, it may never see the light of day.

According to reports, the rights for the published work will be returned to the authors, however that’s more or less meaningless without the conduit to the IP holder allowing us to use their characters and their universes.  From what I’m hearing, some folks who own these Kindle Worlds properties are considering their own solutions that might allow authors to continue writing this work, but at this point, Hasbro has not made any official comment or determination.

So I guess, if you love G.I. Joe fiction and you’ve wanted to check out Kindle Worlds, you’d best do it now because you won’t have much longer.  Reports are saying that submitting new content will be denied after tomorrow (May 17th) and all published works will be taken down by July 16th.

I’m disappointed, of course, but also extremely thankful that the opportunity was  there to begin with.  Huge thanks to Hasbro, Derryl DePriest and others behind the G.I. Joe curtain, and to Amazon themselves for making this available and allowing some of us creatives a unique opportunity to play in their sandbox.

If you want to check out G.I. Joe at Kindle Worlds, do it soon.

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The rumored letter going out to Kindle Worlds owners can be seen below:

As a valued member of the Kindle Worlds licensor community, we wanted to let you know that the Kindle Worlds program is closing. We will be notifying fan authors tomorrow, May 16th.
 
As of May 17th, Kindle Worlds will no longer be accepting new submissions. Previously published Kindle Worlds stories will no longer be available for sale on Amazon.com on or around July 16th. The Kindle Worlds website will be closed on August 29th; we ask that all Kindle Worlds participants update and validate their banking information, mailing address, and contact information by July 31, 2018 in order to facilitate a timely final royalty payment.
 
Your final royalty statement will include a proactive final payment for all remaining Kindle Unlimited borrows, including borrows that have not yet met the qualified borrow threshold. We plan to remove Kindle Worlds stories from Kindle Unlimited on May 16th.
 
Effective as of the date we remove each fan author’s work, we will revert the rights granted to us by that fan author. Our reversion letter to each applicable fan author will provide that such reversion is subject to the rights we granted to you in the Kindle Worlds License Agreement between you and us.
 
For five years, Kindle Worlds has been thriving, engaging writers and readers who enjoy writing in one another’s worlds, and we’re proud of the work we’ve done together. While we are closing Kindle Worlds, Amazon is constantly innovating on behalf of our authors and readers, and we look forward to continuing to do so.
 
We hope that 2018 and beyond bring wonderful things for you and your stories, and we appreciate your support over the years.
 
Warm wishes,
The Kindle Worlds team

 

 

GeneralsJoes Reviews Animal Warriors of the Kingdom

So I’ve had these figures in my hands for a short period of time, and wanted to be sure to do as thorough a review as I possibly could.  It’s obvious that Jason and the folks involved with this project put a ton of blood, sweat and tears into it, so it seemed only fair that I spend a fraction of that time doing the actual review.

You can find the AWOK Review right here.

The short version is – these action figures are a ton of fun.  The fact that he was able to put together this Kickstarter, get these things produced and shipped in such a short amount of time is astounding, and the end result on quality is really impressive.

There are some (very minor) areas of improvement, which Jason has acknowledged, but I think we can all feel comfortable those things will be addressed going forward, and to be honest, they’re so minor that they didn’t significantly impact my enjoyment of the figures.  These are really, really cool.  The Kickstarter is over, but all of these action figures are available at SperoToys.com.  Check them out, I think you’ll really dig ’em.

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Full Force Podcast continues to produce some fantastic G.I. Joe and related collectible content

Anyone who hasn’t been listening to the Full Force podcast is doing themselves a disservice.  They’ve been right on top of the latest G.I. Joe news and bringing some really fun stuff to the podcast world.

Just over the past few days, they’ve posted a couple of different news bursts, including a great interview with Hasbro designer Bobby Vala talking specifically about his work on the G.I. Joe Collectors’ Club Figure Subscription Service 8.0 as well as other G.I. Joe oriented product.

Also, I joined Chris and Erik from Boss Fight Studio to talk about recent rumors surrounding G.I. Joe “Ever Vigilant” (if that is it’s real name).  Some good stuff and considering the relative dearth of G.I. Joe news, they manage to be relevant, entertaining, and just plain fun.

Make sure you’re staying well up to date on the Full Force Facebook Page, their YouTube Channel, and over at Podbean.com.

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Rumors emerge for next G.I. Joe motion picture – “Ever Vigilant”

An interesting report from the folks at That Hashtag Show tonight, who have reportedly gotten a look at an early script for the upcoming third G.I. Joe film, which they claim will be entitled “Ever Vigilant”.

Perhaps the most interesting element that they discuss is that the third film (at least at this stage in the script) is not being developed as a reboot, but instead as a true sequel to G.I. Joe: Retaliation with the hopes that Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson will reprise his role as Roadblock.

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I’m a bit mixed on this news personally.  Unlike many G.I. Joe fans, I actually didn’t hate G.I. Joe: Retaliation, I thought it was a far better film than The Rise of Cobra (though there were parts and pieces of that film that I enjoyed as well) and honestly, I think keeping The Rock involved in the brand could only mean good things for its exposure and potential box office revenue.  That being said, the events throughout the first two films have made it increasingly difficult for a true G.I. Joe vs. Cobra story to be told without some level of retconning or creative elimination of past events.  In that way, a reboot would almost be a better course of action.

Regardless of all this, That Hashtag Show gives us a neat run down of some potential characters that are slated to appear in the third film, at least according to this early script (which everyone should take with several grains of salt):

Tomax & Xamot – This doesn’t surprise me at all, actually.  There were earlier scripts of a follow up G.I. Joe film which featured the twins (and introduced the Dreadnoks) so it seems to make sense for them to finally make their appearance in a proper “Arbco” type of scenario.

What’s odder to me is the list of potential G.I. Joe characters:

  1. Daina Janack (yes from the Oktober Guard)
  2. Dr. Adele Burkhart
  3. Wild Bill
  4. Barbecue
  5. General Flagg
  6. Doc
  7. Keel-Haul

On the one hand it’s interesting to see them diving deep into G.I. Joe lore, but on the other hand, you have to wonder how many of these characters will be “in name only” and this kind of gets to the crux of the issue with doing a true sequel.  Considering the majority of the G.I. Joe roster died during the events of G.I. Joe: Retaliation, how limited will these film makers be in what characters they can use in this film?  And really, I love G.I. Joe, believe me, but do we really need a film that focuses on characters like Daina, Barbecue, and Keel-Haul?

Again, this is supposedly an early version of the script (and yes according to That Hashtag Show, it does plant the seeds for the Hasbro Combined Universe) so by no means should any of this be treated as gospel, but it is certainly fodder for some very interesting conversation going forward.  Be sure to check out That Hashtag Show for the full details.

More to come, I for one am pretty excited at the idea of talking about G.I. Joe films again, regardless of what shape they’re taking.  It’s always a lot of fun to speculate and the ramp up to a big Hollywood event keeps things exciting.

Stay tuned.

Vitruvian HACKS Mighty Steeds Kickstarter – THE FINAL LEG!

All right, folks, it’s time.  We’re getting down to the wire – only eight days left to fund some stretch goals for the exceptional Vitruvian HACKS Mighty Steeds Kickstarter!

Yes, the good news is this bad boy is FUNDED.

The bad news is I don’t have any centaurs yet!  Come on, everyone, let’s make one final eight day push and get some of these terrific stretch goals under our belts.  I needs me Kawiki the elk, I needs me some Knight tack, and some Knight of Asperity tack and I NEEDS ME SOME CENTAURS.

Well, and this.

Who doesn’t need their own Rainbow Unicorn?

Seriously, between me and my eight year old, we are fired up about this Kickstarter, and I’m hoping everyone else is getting that way, too.  So much cool potential not just now but in the future for more creature sets if the interest is there for this one.

Please hit up the Kickstarter and throw some support its way there’s a ton of awesome stuff still to be unlocked.

BOSS FIGHT!