With G.I. Joe, it takes a lot to make you go “woah”

So for a while I was talking up this fantastic gathering of fellow geek bloggers who had all joined together to form The League of Extraordinary Bloggers, with big thanks to Cool and Collected for headlining the whole thing.  Unfortunately the past few weeks have kind of been a whirlwind, especially with the Retaliation figure reveals, so I’d missed out on submitting my tale with the rest of the League.  I was a bit bummed, but once I saw this week’s topic, I just knew I had to contribute.

The topic of this week’s League mission is the following:

What media announcement had you throwing fist pumps and doing roundhouse kicks in the air? Did the final result live up to your dreams?”

Now, as usual, I’ve got a distinct G.I. Joe twist to this one.  Click the “Read the Rest of the Story” link below to check it out.

It was 2008.  The Official G.I. Joe Convention was in late June, as it usually was, back in those days.  Easily my favorite weekend of the year, I do whatever I can to attend JoeCon, and over the past 10 years, I’ve only missed two.  Owned and operated by Fun Publications, the G.I. Joe Collectors’ Club puts on the convention on an annual basis, and does whatever they can to include Hasbro and other affiliated outlets in the convention experience.

This year, some other folks were involved, and for most of us in attendance, we had no idea why.  We w0uld soon find out.

Early in the Convention schedule we generally get a Hasbro panel where we have a chance to sit down and see some new product, ask questions and even occasionally offer some input to the design team.  It’s really a cool experience and a great opportunity to get some good face time with the minds behind our favorite toyline.  Well, this year, something else was coming our way…something that would totally redefine what most of us considered our “ultimate” G.I. Joe universe.

The fans mumbled excitedly among themselves as they filed into the small auditorium…there were some unfamiliar faces at the front of the room that didn’t appear to be actual toy designers.  Questions were asked, and many fans were wondering exactly what we might see here.  After a few short words, the lights went down…and our minds were blown.

I honestly don’t think many fans in attendance were fully prepared for that four minute sequence. The few moments that followed the conclusion of that footage was literally among my top three favorite moments as a fan of this franchise. The entire auditorium roared.  I don’t think anyone was left in their seat, there were cheers, fist pumps, high fives, and absolute pure and utter euphoria.

G.I. Joe: Resolute had arrived.

It was a movie year, and Hasbro had been willing to experiment a bit with animation excellence, using the extreme talents of Joaquim Dos Santos, Dave Johnson, Dan Norton, and the folks behind Titmouse studios.  For reasons still unknown to many of us, Hasbro was willing to take this chance…to take their beloved childhood brand and push it totally over the edge into a high octane military powerhouse.  And the fans loved it.

Evidently, the Hasbro upper brass did not.  With all of the hugely positive buzz among the fandom, Hasbro consistently pushed back the release of the final product, eventually burying it on Adult Swim at a very late time slot and pushing it out to AdultSwim.com via quick “webisodes”.  While on one hand, I applaud Hasbro for taking this chance, on the other hand I’m disappointed that they seemed to lose their spine and much like G.I. Joe: Renegades, attempt to bury it before it really had a chance to evolve.

Toys were promised, but only a few made it to retail before the 25th Anniversary line gave way for the Rise of Cobra film product, and while Hasbro definitely covered some of their tracks with the excellent G.I. Joe: Resolute 7-Packs, it seemed to many of our maligned fans that a huge opportunity was essentially given away.  Sound familiar?  If I sound bitter, well, I probably am.  In the years since G.I. Joe: Resolute, it has been disassembled, picked apart, torn up, and talked down, and I’ll admit right up front, I’ve played my own part in that.  But I do think that if Hasbro had been willing to let it live up to its potential, there was a chance of some amazing things there, that unfortunately were never given the chance to live up to their potential.  It’s become a recurring theme with the G.I. Joe brand over the past several years.

Don’t get me wrong, G.I. Joe has been very good to me and to the fans over the past few years, but the first film undoubtedly left a sour taste in many folks’ mouths, especially coming so close to the absolute unbridled fandom joy that has been G.I. Joe: Resolute.  But no matter what has happened over the past several years, or what may still happen in the coming years, no one will ever be able to take that moment from me.  The moment G.I. Joe: Resolute was unleashed onto the fandom, and one of the best moments I’ve witnessed in my 12 year history of the online fandom.  Part of me hopes Hasbro can find that marriage again, and I think G.I. Joe: Retaliation has a chance to do it, but even if it never happens, I can still say “I remember when”.

If you want to revisit the G.I. Joe: Resolute Individual Webisodes, you can see them at my YouTube Channel.