GeneralsJoes Reviews Total HACKS by Brian Hickey and Paddy Lennon

I’ve had this wonderful book in my grubby hands for a very long time, and shame on me for not reviewing it before now, because anyone who is a fan of Vitruvian HACKS needs to check this book out.

Total HACKS is a fantastic creation by the brainchildren of Brian Hickey and Paddy Lennon who worked on a similar book for G.I. Joe: Retaliation.  Paddy is also the one writing the bios for the Vitruvian HACKS characters on the packaging, so he is certainly fully immersed in the universe.

Brian also does the design work on the Bucky O’Hare packaging, so you can believe his eye for design and production is second to none.

Check out my review of the Total HACKS book right here, and from now until December 31st, this book is only $19.99 at BossFightShop.com.  You DON’T want to miss out.  It’s great.

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Total HACKS by Brian Hickey and Paddy Lennon

Buy it here at BossFightShop.com!

Over the past few years there has been a propensity of books being funded and sold throughout the online fandom, many of them being done through Kickstarter.  Brian Hickey and Paddy Lennon (who frequently appear on the always entertaining Full Force Podcast) went another route, producing the book entirely out of pocket for sale directly to collectors.

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Their work on Total Retaliation, covering the G.I. Joe: Retaliation action figure line was fantastic, and their look at (most of) Series 01 of Vitruvian HACKS is equally spectacular.  Actually, moreso in many ways.

Total HACKS is an almost 100 page coffee table book crammed full with action figure profiles, fantastic diorama shots and short fiction stories interwoven within the universe of HACKS.  It truly is a magnificent book from many different perspectives.

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The action figure profiles have great images of each figure (up through Series 01 Wave 6) as well as the Skeletons, with many really fun diorama images worked in along the way.  See really awesome battle sequences, interesting connectivity with other toy lines and some fantastic conversation pieces.

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Taking all of that, you then get exposure to the wider Vitruvian HACKS universe with the great short stories by Paddy Lennon mixed within the other elements.  Paddy is also the one writing the bio’s on the action figure packages, so he certainly is immersed in the HACKS universe and is the perfect choice to be telling these stories.

If you haven’t checked this book out yet, you really need to.  It’s at a discounted price at BossFightShop.com through December 31st, and it’s worth every single penny.  The quicker they sell through Total HACKS volume 1, the quicker we can get volume 2 rolling and I’m pretty fired up to see what they come up with for that.

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It’s great stuff. During this awesome month-long series of sales at BossFightShop.com you need to just toss it in your cart and prepare to find new ways to love Vitruvian HACKS.

Buy it here at BossFightShop.com!

The Full Force Forty-Seven hour Transformers Marathon is now online!

Okay, okay… maybe not quite forty-seven hours.

The Full Force has posted Series 4, Episode 9 of their awesome podcast, this time featuring a plethora of content about Transformers!  They speak to former Hasbro Transformers and G.I. Joe manager Marc Weber and dig into the awesomeness that is Transformers lore for a solid NINE HOURS.

It’s bound to be some good listenin’!  Check out the latest episode on Podbean (also embedded below and be sure to check out the show notes on the Full Force Facebook page, they always have a ton of images and great details straight from the show.

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G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #246 – Dawn of a new… Dawn?

So I realize as I prepare to write this that I’ve been taking something for granted.  Month in and month out, the greatness of Larry Hama and SL Gallant effortlessly weaving their way through the G.I. Joe mythology, incorporating new things, adding some great vintage homages and generally having fun with it all.  I’ve been buying it every month, reading it every month, and enjoying it every month.  But it became a routine and I just kind of expected to have it there, month in and month out.

When IDW announced that SL Gallant would no longer be the primary artist on G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero, I have to admit, I was pretty upset.  His work with Hama had become evocative of the legendary Hama/Whigham work from back in the day, a team that became so inexorably tied with the brand that it’s difficult to think of that era of G.I. Joe without picturing those particular versions of those characters in your head.  The same had become true of Gallant’s time on the title, and now that I don’t have that routine anymore, it feels like a piece of that history is gone.

It’s odd because I’m typically not a fan of brands leaning on vintage nostalgia like a crutch, and I’d much prefer to see different ways that brands can evolve and stay relevant with these days rather than becoming overly reliant on trying to revisit the past…yet Hama/Gallant had just enough taste of the past to feel natural without feeling forced.

That being said, Netho Diaz has certainly made a splash and a very good impression with his work here.  Keep reading for a full review.

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GeneralsJoes Reviews Boss Fight Studio Bucky O’Hare!

A year ago, if you told me I’d be reviewing Bucky O’Hare figures on this site, I would have said you were full of it.  But here we are!

You can thank the fine folks at Boss Fight Studio for not only acquiring the awesome Hama/Adams/Golden license, but for also absolutely killing it with the toy design and production.  These are some fantastic, fun toys made as a labor of love and you can really tell.

Check out my brand spanking new Bucky O’Hare Review Page or click the links below to see what I thought!

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Some interesting licensing angles in the works for the G.I. Joe brand

While I think many of us wait patiently for news of the upcoming Hasbro Cinematic Universe so we can set expectations for new retail G.I. Joe figures, a few licensees have emerged with potential G.I. Joe related items in various stages of conception and production.

Perhaps most unusual is news from Dynamic Attractions (revealed via Skinny on Twitter) who is apparently planning a new full-blown amusement park attraction and framing it around the G.I. Joe brand.  They speak about it in depth in this YouTube video and even show some brief video (including a look at very COBRA-themed set design and a vehicle that looks more than a little like a four-seat VAMP):

Dubbed an “All-Terrain Dark Ride” this was announced at IAAPA 2017 (The International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions) and even included some promotional opportunities.

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Along with this information, Pop Culture Shock Collectibles has also announced they have acquired rights to produce some G.I. Joe product as well.  Most well known for their lines of statues, we’ll have to see what they have in store and how it compares (or compliments) the existing work of Prime 1 Studio.

“PCS Collectibles is pleased to announce we have now secured a licensing agreement with Hasbro Inc. We are excited about the opportunity to team with Hasbro in creating collectibles based on characters from properties like TRANSFORMERS, DUNGEONS & DRAGONS, MAGIC: THE GATHERING, G.I. JOE and MY LITTLE PONY to name a few. Stay tuned for further details!

G.I. JOE, TRANSFORMERS, and MY LITTLE PONY are trademarks of Hasbro. DUNGEONS & DRAGONS is a trademark of Wizards of the Coast LLC.”

As always, time will tell how this all shakes out.  Stay tuned!

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G.I. Joe Collectors Club reveals FSS “Treadmark”

Treadmark?  Trademark?  Skidmark?  What’s in a name…

Honestly, when it comes to characters that require $35 modern updates, I wouldn’t put any of the above three on that list, but the Collectors Club revealed their version of the 1988 Desert Fox driver for FSS 7 regardless.

It’s a fine figure, pretty standard parts (though the sweater sleeves combined with the smooth torso is throwing me just a bit).  Check it out at GIJoeClub.com or the mirrored image below.

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First Mate Jenny

Order this figure now from BossFightShop.com!

NOTE: Boss Fight Studio has informed folks that the connecting joints for the replaceable faces and hands are a bit tighter than anticipated.  You will want to apply some heat to ensure safe removal.  Either a quick burst with a hair dryer or some warm water will do the trick.

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Okay – I admit it.  Before Boss Fight Studio got the license, I knew next to nothing about Bucky O’Hare.  I mean, I worked retail in a toy store in the 90s and I was a huge fan of Larry Hama, so I was aware of the brand’s existence, but I hadn’t watched any of the animated series or read any of the comics, even though Neal Adams and Michael Golden, two legendary comic creators to go along with Mr. Hama, were involved.

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That being said, if I know anything about action figures it’s that Boss Fight Studio are some of the best in the business, so I was pretty sure that regardless of my lack of knowledge about Bucky O’Hare, I’d likely be jumping into that series.

Now, as I have the two introductory figures in hand, I’m really glad I did.

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First Mate Jenny has the same dubious distinction that many female characters did over the years – a popular media character that never got her due in action figure form.  She was planned for a second series of Bucky action figures, but even though that series made it fairly far along in production, she was never actually released. For that reason, this figure is an important one in Bucky mythology, being the first time Jenny is available as a toy.

They certainly start off on the right foot.

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As with most of the figures that Boss Fight Studio touches, the sculpt work and articulation is fantastic.  They manage to maintain a great animated style, while also having impressive range of motion and articulation throughout.  Ball jointed hips and shoulders, knees, elbows, ankles and swivel wrists give us a wide range of different poses  that Jenny can achieve, and I continue to be amazed at the variety of Boss Fight’s talents.  The fact that they can make a hyper-realistic action figure like the HACKS stuff, then turn around and do something like this, in the same super-articulated style just blows my mind.  Jenny does have some very narrow limbs and joints, which should obviously be treated with care, but she also feels pretty resilient in spite of that fact.

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Then we get to the paint applications.  The color choices are near perfection here, with a great brushed metal silver and black, a vibrant color pallet that balances with excellence.  The purple jewels stand out nicely as well and blend perfectly with her various magic effect accessories.

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Before Boss Fight’s announcement, I couldn’t have told you much about Bucky O’Hare and certainly had only tangentially heard off Jenny as a character, but I find this figure to be a lot of fun, and even with her exorbitant animation-accurate hair style, she’s able to maintain a bunch of really cool poses.

Boss Fight really went smart with Jenny’s design, purposefully representing her tail and hair so she could look animation accurate, yet still have a counter-balance for offering impressive poseability and stability.

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NOTE: Boss Fight Studio has informed folks that the connecting joints for the replaceable faces and hands are a bit tighter than anticipated.  You will want to apply some heat to ensure safe removal.  Either a quick burst with a hair dryer or some warm water will do the trick.

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I kind of struggled where to fit some of this stuff in, because while they are technically accessories, they become a very key part of the action figure itself.  As a female cat from the planet Aldebaran, Jenny has mysterious magical abilities, so Boss Fight Studio included magic blasts, additional hands firing magic blasts, plus several other replacement hands and face expressions in order to mimic whatever mood Jenny might be in.  The replacement face expressions are especially awesome, allowing the collector to give Jenny any manner of faces to mirror what she may have looked like in the animation or comic panel of your choice.  They fit and stay really firmly and look excellent.  The hands are swappable, yet also stay firm, and the magic effects lock nicely around the wrist.  I especially love the way the magic shooting hands and wrist-mounted magic effects combine to give us a really spectacular version of the first mate of the Righteous Indignation.

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I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the fantastic package art as well.  Brian Hickey assisted in the design of the packaging and did an exceptional job leveraging color, artwork, and a great vintage aesthetic.  The package is also collector friendly with a removable bubble just like the HACKS package.  Gorgeous stuff.

Coming from someone who really had little attachment to Bucky O’Hare, I find myself being really excited and into this new iteration.  The figure design is excellent and the execution is close to perfect.  A really awesome new generation of a classic property with all the hallmarks of your favorite toys from Boss Fight Studio.

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Order this figure now from BossFightShop.com!

NOTE: Boss Fight Studio has informed folks that the connecting joints for the replaceable faces and hands are a bit tighter than anticipated.  You will want to apply some heat to ensure safe removal.  Either a quick burst with a hair dryer or some warm water will do the trick.

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As I mentioned in my review of First Mate Jenny, I had very little exposure to Bucky O’Hare prior to Boss Fight Studio acquiring the license, but I didn’t hesitate in jumping on board, because I’ve grown intimately familiar with how well developed their toy lines are, and had no questions in mind that Bucky would be any different.

Now that I’ve actually got the first two figures in hand, I can say with assuredness that Boss Fight Studio knocked these out of the park.  The fact that BFS is able to design, sculpt, and produce figures as realistic as their Vitruvian HACKS line, then turn around and do an animation-accurate line like Bucky O’Hare is pretty astounding, and they execute it to near perfection.

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The sculpting of Bucky is very much like he appears in the vintage action figure line, but with loads more articulation worked in.  Ball joint shoulders and hips, jointed knees and elbows, and swivel forearms at the glove (not to mention jointed ankles and toes for crying out loud) allow for nearly any pose you can think of, and the joints are all rigid and move fluidly.

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Bucky’s color scheme is great as well, an awesome combination of especially vibrant and animated green, red, and yellow looking as if he just leaped right off the comic page or right out of the TV screen.  I absolutely love the color selection of the first two figures in this line as they very nicely match an animated aesthetic and compliment each other well.  There’s a definite art to color selection, and Boss Fight has it nailed.  From look to sculpting to articulation, Bucky O’Hare has it all.

The best thing about Bucky specifically is the sheer playability of the figure.  He just feels like a fun toy to play with, yet still manages to capture a collectors’ style.

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NOTE: Boss Fight Studio has informed folks that the connecting joints for the replaceable faces and hands are a bit tighter than anticipated.  You will want to apply some heat to ensure safe removal.  Either a quick burst with a hair dryer or some warm water will do the trick.

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Like Jenny, Bucky’s got a mixture of external accessories as well as additional body parts for the figure itself.  His swappable hands attach at the glove and allow for clenched fists, pointing fingers or hands that grasp his laser pistols.  He also comes with three facial expressions that are swapped (courtesy of a little heat) and look really great, conveying all sorts of fun emotions.  The two aforementioned pistols also fit on the knobs on his belt and hook into his grasping hands perfectly as well.

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Packaging for Bucky O’Hare looks spectacular.  Great artwork, very nice layout and a collector friendly separating bubble give you anything you could possibly want from a presentation perspective.

This line has already started out strong.  Captain Bucky O’Hare and his First Mate Jenny launch this new Boss Fight Studio line in style and set a new standard for animation accuracy without sacrificing functionality.  Really great stuff, even for fans who aren’t super into the Bucky O’Hare property.