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.

Kindle-Worlds-GIJoe

 

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.

AWOK-Pale (32)

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.

Full-Force-Banner-General

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.

gi-joe-retaliation-snake-eyes-and-roadblock

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!

Greg “Blizzard” Natale – FSS 8.0

Okay I have another confession, I really like arctic themed figures.  Just wanted to get that off my chest.  With that said the Collectors Club gave us our first look at Greg “Blizzard” Natale today.  It looks like the figure is using the FSS Scoop head and parts from the cancelled RoC Arctic Threat Duke.  I really like the way this figure came together.  Once again the Club stayed true to the original color scheme of the ’88 version.  If I had to nitpick anything it would be the fact that the helmet is not removable.  It would have been nice to get a removable helmet with the figure like the original version but I still think the figure really works and will look great with the rest of the arctic themed figures.  Head over to the GI Joe Collectors Club and get signed up before the May 2nd deadline.

fss8blizzardWEB

G.I. JOE ARCTIC ATTACK SOLDIER
Code Name: GREG “BLIZZARD” NATALE
(Inspired by the 1988 action figure.)
Includes: removable arctic coat, sniper rifle, backpack,
skis x 2, ski poles x 2, boot cleats x 2, and figure stand.

Another week another set of FSS reveals

Another week and another set of reveals from the Club.  This week the GI Joe Collectors Club unveiled Lt. Clay Moore and Lance “Clutch” Steinberg.  Lt. Clay Moore is based off the Sunbow Character from the episode The Traitor (Part II).  The Club also produced him as part of the 2007 “Tanks for the Memories” set.  I always enjoy seeing new characters that we really have not received from Hasbro so overall I enjoy this character.  I think the overall build of the character is good.  I have seen some complaints about the grenades being a little high on his neck and I echo those thoughts.  With that said I still feel he looks good and will look great leading the Cobra Shock Troops.

The second reveal we got this week was for Lance “Clutch” Steinberg.  The figure is based on the ’84 version and includes a removable helmet and work cones.  Released in ’84 as the driver of the VAMP the FSS version looks great and stays true to the original.  I have always been a fan of the VAMP and I can’t wait to see him paired up with his vehicle.

We currently sit half way through the reveals of FSS 8.0 and so far so good.  Most of the figures look pretty good and I can’t wait to see the rest of the reveals.  Make sure to head over to the Club website and sign up before May 2 to be part of FSS 8.0.

 

FSS8claymooreWEB

COBRA SHOCK TROOPS COMMANDER
Code Name: LT. CLAY MOORE
(Inspired by the Sunbow cartoon & 2007 GIJCC design.)
Includes: removable helmet, grenade bandolier, pistol, knife,
assault rifle, bazooka, backpack with shells x 4, and figure stand.

 

FSS8clutchWEB

G.I. JOE V.A.M.P. DRIVER
Code Name: LANCE “CLUTCH” STEINBERG
(Inspired by the 1984 version 2 action figure.)
Includes: removable helmet, vest, assault rifle,
pistol, work cones x 2, and figure stand.

Today’s FSS 8.0 Reveal Bullet-Proof

Today the Club gave us a peak at Bullet-Proof, the Battle Corps Commander. Bullet-Proof was originally released in ’92 as part of the D.E.F. (Drug Elimination Force).  It appears the club has changed the subset away from D.E.F. and gone with the Battle Corps.  Bullet-Proof has a similar deco as his original ’92 release but with the FSS version it appears he will have a non-removable helmet.  All in all he looks to be a great figure.  It’s a shame that we can’t flush out the rest of the D.E.F. team.

Don’t miss out on this figure as well as the rest of the FSS 8.0.  Head on over to the Club page and sign up today.

FSS8bulletproofWEB

G.I. JOE BATTLE CORPS COMMANDER
Code Name: BULLET-PROOF
(Inspired by the 1992 action figure.)
Includes: removable grenade bandolier, pistol, knife,
rifle, rocket launcher with projectile, and figure stand.

Fast Draw and Red Laser – FSS 8.0

The Club gave us two reveals last week for the FSS 8.0.  We got our first glimpse of Fast Draw and Red Laser.  While both of the figures look to be parts mash-ups from previous figures they both look put together quite well.  As I previously mentioned FSS 8.0 is going to be bittersweet for many of us.  I am super excited to see a lot of the figures that have been mentioned in the lineup but I also realize with each reveal we are that closer to wrapping up the Figure Subscription Service.  With that said let’s look at Fast Draw and Red Laser.

Fast Draw is inspired by the ’87 release and stays true to the original color scheme.  It looks like a lot of the figure comes from the Modern Era Blowtorch figure but I think it works pretty well.  Fast Draw also comes with Duke’s launcher from the Pursuit of Cobra and looks ready for battle.  All in all I think Fast Draw looks good and will look great with the rest of the ’87 figures.

The next reveal was Red Laser who is inspired by the European exclusive action figure.  I personally don’t know a lot of the history on Red Laser so I had to do some searching.  According to what I found Red Laser was originally released in ’83 as a repaint of Cobra Commander.  He was available in the United Kingdom and Europe and was part of the Red Shadows.  It looks like the Club opted for a repaint in this case as well using mostly what appears to be the Ultimate Cobra Commander.  He looks really nice with the vibrant red color scheme and skull and crossbones flag.

If you’re interested in the FSS 8.0 make sure to jump over to the GI Joe Collectors Club and get signed up before the May 2nd deadline.

FSS8fastdrawWEB

G.I. JOE MOBILE MISSILE SPECIALIST
Code Name: FAST DRAW
(Inspired by the 1987 action figure.)
Includes: removable helmet, face mask, revolver pistol,
backpack missile system with 8 projectiles, remote controls x 2,
connection hoses x 2, and figure stand.

FSS8redlaserWEB

RED SHADOWS WEAPONS TECHNICIAN
Code Name: RED LASER
(Inspired by the European exclusive action figure.)
Includes: removable helmet, advanced combat rifle,
laser pistol, Red Shadows flag, and figure stand.

G.I. Joe Collectors Club FSS 8.0 Lineup Announced

An unexpected Friday surprise!  The G.I. Joe Collectors Club has revealed the line up for the upcoming Figure Subscription Service 8.0!  This is expected to be the final FSS as the contract for the Club is expiring, and by the looks of this line up, they’re going out with a bang.

This is a pretty impressive line up, I have to be honest. I love the choices of most of these characters (with the exception of tan Clutch which feels pretty unnecessary, even if he is filling the lone “1984” slot still open).

Recoil? YES.
Capt. Grid-Iron? Love it.
Fast Draw? WOOO!
Blizzard and Bullet-Proof are great choices as well, though it feels a bit late in the game to start revisiting DEF.

My GeneralsJoes cohort Josh has some perspective as well…

Josh: This is a bittersweet day for a lot of collectors.  On one hand, we get to see some additional amazing figures from the club, but on the other hand this will be the final reveals that we will see.  With the lack of Joe coming from Hasbro the Collectors Club FSS has provided us with a steady stream of figures and I for one am going to miss the reveals and the figures arriving in the mail.  The first figure reveal for FSS 8.0 is Captain Grid-Iron.  I have to admit I have always been a huge Captain Grid-Iron fan.  Originally released in 1990 Grid-Iron spoke to my two greatest loves at the time, GI Joe and Football.  The figure is based on the original figure and will sport (no pun intended) a new helmet and re-tooled officer’s pistol.  The helmet will be removable and he will also include his signature football. 

Good stuff to close out the G.I. Joe licensing contract… check out the full list below as well as an image of Captain Grid-Iron to kick things off!

The cost of FSS 8.0 will be $384 + shipping and can be broken up into installments.  As always you will be charged an additional $6 for each installment payment.  The deadline for signup is May 2, 2018 so hurry up and sign up today.

01-Grid-Iron

 

G.I. JOE INFANTRY OFFICER
Code Name: CAPTAIN GRID-IRON
(Inspired by the 1990 action figure.)
Features NEW helmet & re-tooled officer’s pistol!
Includes: removable helmet, armored vest, holster with pistol,
officer’s suppressor pistol, football “grenade” and figure stand.G.I. JOE MOBILE MISSILE SPECIALIST
Code Name: FAST DRAW
(Inspired by the 1987 action figure.)
Includes: removable helmet, face mask, revolver pistol,
backpack missile system with 8 projectiles, remote controls x 2,
connection hoses x 2, and figure stand.RED SHADOWS WEAPONS TECHNICIAN
Code Name: RED LASER
(Inspired by the European exclusive action figure.)
Includes: removable helmet, advanced combat rifle,
laser pistol, Red Shadows flag, and figure stand.

G.I. JOE BATTLE CORPS COMMANDER
Code Name: BULLET-PROOF
(Inspired by the 1992 action figure.)
Includes: removable grenade bandolier, pistol, knife,
rifle, rocket launcher with projectile, and figure stand.

COBRA SHOCK TROOPS COMMANDER
Code Name: LT. CLAY MOORE
(Inspired by the Sunbow cartoon & 2007 GIJCC design.)
Includes: removable helmet, grenade bandolier, pistol, knife,
assault rifle, bazooka, backpack with shells x 4, and figure stand.

G.I. JOE V.A.M.P. DRIVER
Code Name: LANCE “CLUTCH” STEINBERG
(Inspired by the 1984 version 2 action figure.)
Includes: removable helmet, vest, assault rifle,
pistol, work cones x 2, and figure stand.

G.I. JOE ARCTIC ATTACK SOLDIER
Code Name: GREG “BLIZZARD” NATALE
(Inspired by the 1988 action figure.)
Includes: removable arctic coat, sniper rifle, backpack,
skis x 2, ski poles x 2, boot cleats x 2, and figure stand.

G.I. JOE DEFIANT SHUTTLE PILOT 
Code Name: PAYLOAD
(Inspired by the 1987 action figure.)
Includes: removable helmet, MMU backpack,
control arms x 2, and figure stand.

COBRA B.A.T. LEADER
Code Name: OVER KILL
(Inspired by the 2003 version 2 action figure.)
Includes: removable helmet, harness, “human” face mask,
neckerchief, gauntlet, claw hands x 2, rivet gun,
hand-held assault weapon, and figure stand.

G.I. JOE L.R.R.P. TROOPER 
Code Name: RECOIL
(Inspired by the 1989 action figure.)
Features re-tooled mine case & dual weapon!
Includes: removable helmet, tactical harness, pistol,
assault rifle, mine case, dual tactical weapon,
backpack, combat knife, radio, and figure stand.

G.I. JOE NINJA COMMANDO
Code Name: BUSHIDO
(Inspired by the 1993 action figure.)
Features NEW samurai face mask!
Includes: removable samurai helmet with face mask,
tactical harness, double sheath with swords x 2,
Kusarigama weapon, and figure stand.

COBRA MERCENARY 
Code Name: MUNITIA
(Inspired by the 2008 DTC: GIJCC action figure.)
Features NEW head sculpt!
Includes: bladed pistol, assault rifle, radio, and figure stand.

NOTE: These modern era club exclusive action figures will not be exact replicas of their vintage counterparts.All images are Photoshop mock-up representations, final product, accessories and/or colors will vary!

The cost of the twelve-figure subscription service is $384.00 (+ shipping for 6 shipments). You can pay all at once or in three installments of $128.00 (billed to your credit card). When you subscribe and choose to pay by Installment, you will be billed for the first two month’s shipments. Then in October 2018, you will be billed for the 3rd and 4th months’ shipments and finally in December 2018, you will be billed for the final two months’ shipments. Upon subscription completion, you will receive a bonus carded 13th mystery figure with the last shipment.
Please note that for the installment payment option, there is a $6 service charge per billing while the pay in full option has one $6 service charge. Please also note that for installment buyers, there is an additional charge each time a billing is attempted if your card is not approved. If your card has been declined and we have to re-bill, we will only be able to retry your billing three (3) times before your subscription is cancelled. Each retry has an additional fee added to your total charge (please see the Terms and Conditions.)

This Figure Subscription Service is a “build to order process” so you can order as many as you like, until the order period closes. At that time, we will not process any more subscriptions and we may/may not have additional figures in the club store at a higher per figure price.

Please note that the figure previews are Photoshop mock-ups and the final product may vary. Also, the colors are approximate as some may look more glossy or metallic on your monitor screen and everyone’s computer has a different color calibration.

Final figures colors/names/accessories will vary from the descriptions and preview pictures.