Three minutes of video made G.I. Joe cool again

So this is what it feels like.  I’d almost forgotten.

As G.I. Joe fans, we’d almost grown accustomed to being the red-headed stepchild of the action figure world these days.  Big brothers Star Wars, Transformers, Marvel, and even to an extent Thundercats and He-Man seem to loom large, gaining more devout attention than our little 4″ army men.  G.I. Joe just kind of plugged along while the other toylines got all the pub and all the credit.

Click the Read the Rest of the Story link below to see how things can get turned around.

For fans who collect now and haven’t been around for the long haul, I think some people forget just how huge G.I. Joe was in the 80’s.  It was a decade-long juggernaut that ruled toy aisles for nearly 12 years.  That was almost unheard of back then.  It overshadowed everything that dared cross its path, unceremoniously crushing toylines like Star Wars, Masters of the Universe, and countless other of the nameless and faceless product of the 80’s.  G.I. Joe was the man.

And then he wasn’t.

It’s tough to figure out where it went wrong but at some point G.I. Joe changed from a trend setter to a trend follower, and just never regained the status they once had.

Then came the 2000’s, and while G.I. Joe made it’s long awaited return to mainstream retail, it obviously didn’t have the sales punch it once did.  Star Wars had been out for a few years already and had the market firmly cornered, while Toy Biz was greatly expanding its range with Marvel Legends.

Complimenting the toys back then were some borderline CGI produced straight-to-DVD animated features that served their purposes, but just didn’t make a collector-based impact.

Then came 2007, and all of a sudden G.I. Joe was making a dramatic come back.  Leaving the 8″ Sigma 6 line in the dust, Hasbro went back to its roots and decided to take advantage of the 80’s nostalgia and kick the 25th Anniversary line into gear.  However, while that drew in the toy collectors, it really didn’t make the global impact that one might hope.

So, fans looked forward to 2009, with the idea that maybe a big budget Hollywood movie might finally put G.I. Joe on the map, and yes, G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra did put G.I. Joe on the map, but not in a good way.  While over the past 10 years, the G.I. Joe brand had existed as merely an afterthought with most of the general public, The Rise of Cobra made it almost a thing of ridicule.  Yes, it made some money, but it generated critical backlash, horrible scores on Rotten Tomatoes, and even Razzie awards for the worst acting of the year.  It took our brand and made it a laughing stock to the regular public.

How far G.I. Joe had fallen.  A powerful, globally respected brand to a neutered and campy, effects-laden laughing stock.  How could G.I. Joe possibly be built up from that over the next two years?

Turns out all it took was 3 minutes.  All it took was the G.I. Joe: Retaliation trailer.  Nearly 6 million views on YouTube, the most popular video on that video sharing site currently.  Huge amount of likes on YouTube and Facebook, Trending on Twitter, and trending on Yahoo…hell even notoriously pessimistic fan Rob Bricken from Topless Robot is fawning all over it.

With three measly minutes, director Jon Chu, the editorial and production team, and of course the actors and actresses have redeemed G.I. Joe.  The entire brand has almost done a 180 and it was merely a movie trailer that did it.

Now the question remains will the film live up to it?

I’m feeling good about it.

4 thoughts on “Three minutes of video made G.I. Joe cool again

  1. do you really want the truth as to why GI Joe became the laughing stock?

    its because the greatest warrior GI Joe ever knew, the mighty snake eyes, doesnt know how to hold his UZI!

  2. He’s offering it in trade to Storm Shadow. When Stormy reaches for it, SE will kick him off the top of the gun platform.

    Brilliant strategy if I do say so myself.

  3. I keep noticing its high rankings as a “trending” item, too. I could care less about such nonsense in a general sense, but yes, it is nice that our beloved property is a cultural contender again, at least for the moment.

    That said, the entire brand has almost done a 180, not a 360.

  4. To my mind, they are already trying to distance Retaliation from RoC by simple fact that the title isn’t ever stated as G.I. Joe 2: Retaliation, or any variation thereof. Well, I should qualify that as I’ve personally never seen anything of that sort.

    You bring up some excellent points, Justin. I hope so much that Retaliation lives up to even some of this hype. For the now, I for one am enjoying the increased popularity.

    And what the hell is with Snake Eyes and that uzi in that 25th display?!? That is freaking hilarious.

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