Assembly Required – Fantastic Minimalist Posters and a great G.I. Joe fan event

12_Crimson_GuardThis has got to be one of my favorite times of the year…when Hasbro takes their foot off the pedal it falls to the fans to continue celebrating the history and the life of G.I. Joe, and the guys at Codename Iowa do some spectacular work in this regard.

Their event Assembly Required launches in Des Moine, Iowa on November 16, 2013, with free attendance, thousands of dollars worth of prizes, special guests, and the opportunity to purchase some very unique and interesting G.I. Joe posters and prints.  The guys behind this event are amazing artists and that talent shows through in all of their poster offerings, and this year is certainly no different.  For each event they cover a different year, and this year we get 1985!  How can you go wrong.

Read more to see my full coverage of these excellent prints and posters.

I’ve talked about Codename: Iowa and Assembly Required in the past, and I couldn’t feel more privileged to work with them when it comes to their prints and posters.  Printed on very heavy card stock and designed with an impeccable eye for detail, these character posters transcend mere nerd and go straight to retro art.  Brian and Steve manage to perfectly bring out the character, look, and feel of each of these timeless characters with only a few sweeps of a digital brush.


For folks familiar with the awesome work of Codename: Iowa the format above should be immediately familiar.  These posters are able to use very few primary colors, strokes, and shapes, and build out immediately recognizable characters from pretty much any era of G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero.  As you see above, this series is from 1985 and it’s awesome to see the color just come to life before your eyes.  From the very drab beginnings of 1982, things just get brighter and flashier year by year.


Above you can see the great work bringing timeless characters like Airtight, Alpine, and Lady Jaye to life, and Brian, the guy who actually puts these together in artistic form, can immediately invoke character into five different dudes with moustaches.  I love the dirty face wash on Heavy Metal, which awesomely replicates the look of the figure itself.


The use of camouflage throughout the background of the images is a great touch with Dusty and Footloose, while Flint and Snake Eyes use black and negative space perfectly.


I would challenge G.I. Joe fans to find more iconic Cobra Troopers than the Crimson Guard and the Cobra Eel, and like all others, we’ve got great representations of those two Cobra members from the hay day of A Real American Hero.  The shading on the angular face mask for the Siegie and the shape of the goggles on the Eel translate perfectly to these prints and posters.


Continuing the trooper trend with the Snow Serpent and Tele-Viper, we also get perfect minimalist versions of the Twins.

But they don’t just do these character posters, there’s much more to it than that, especially this year.  Some of the coolest G.I. Joe artwork I’ve seen in a long time in the form of a pair of promotional posters featuring the immortal Skyhawk and Cobra CLAW really crank things up a notch.

09_Poster_Skyhawk 10_Poster_CLAW

The colors…the shapes…it all comes together in perfect form, evoking an awesome sense of motion as well as being perfectly retro.

I really can’t compliment these designs and these fan projects enough.   These are guys that spend hours putting this stuff together just to help fund their corner of the G.I. Joe fandom, and if they manage to introduce only a handful of kids to the Real American Hero mythology, it will be time and money well spent.  Assembly Required is going strong here in 2013, and not only will these posters be available, but a score of prizes and some really awesome special guests.  Full details on the show are below, but trust me, you’ll want to make this one.  It’s definitely worth your time.  And even if you can’t make it, hit up the  Codename Iowa store and grab yourself some awesome Joe artwork while supporting the Real American Hero fandom while you’re at it.  Check out more images below.

Minimalist Posters

These posters are minimalist designed based on the action figures that where found on store shelves in 1985. Each poster is 12.25″ x 18.25″ printed on 100 lb. cover weight, acid-free paper. This set of 27 posters comes sealed in a clear bag with a display card showing all the characters on the back. Only 30 sets have been made and ever will be made in this format.

Our largest set to date. They are available on our store site ( for $75 per set.

Minimalist Buttons

These buttons are minimalist designed based on the action figures that were found on store shelves in 1985. This set has 28 buttons on a custom card fashioned after the iconic packaging. These sets are double sided & will be available for purchase at $15 per set.

Souvenir Posters

These posters are a larger version of our event poster featuring the Skyhawk & Claw artwork. These posters are currently in development & will be available at the show & on our store page soon.

All of this and more will be available at this year’s Assembly Required!

Here is the basic stuff about the event…

* Saturday, November 16th…9:30 – 5pm
* New Location – a huge space at the Downtown Des Moines Library
* Open for anyone to attend. You don’t have to be from Iowa.
* Activities for both kids & the adult collector including a new scavenger hunt for kids
* 4 Different custom contests
* 3 Panel Discussions featuring our special guests: Ron Wagner, illustrator…Matt Brandenberg, Former Hasbro Prototype Painter…Chris “Topson” Murray & Gary “Gyre-Viper” Head
* noBooth – A photo booth minus the booth! Capture & edit your AR memories for free.
* Exhibits including a HUGE Joe Declassified Booth!
* Our largest number of vendors to date!
* Over $3000 in prizes…A MIB ARAH KILLER WHALE, 2013 JoeCon MIB Night Boomer, posters, figures, vehicles, limited edition merch, a lot of 20 Retaliation Night Vipers…and much, much more!
* All proceeds from the event & our store ( provide funding for next year’s event. Our goal is to grow & expand activities while keeping the event free & accessible for everyone.

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