Are we in for a “different kind of (G.I.) Joe” with upcoming Cinematic Universe?

The Los Angeles Times newspaper dropped an interesting article online today discussing the upcoming release of Transformers: The Last Knight as well as a My Little Pony animated film, but within the context of the article they spoke broadly about Hasbro’s new “Cinematic Universe” initiative.

This is all old news to most of us, but where it got interesting is some very specific discussions about the G.I. Joe brand itself:

Simon Waters, the man in charge of consumer brands says the following:

“The world has changed, and I think you’re going to see G.I. Joe changing with it.”

I think the evolution and change of G.I. Joe is a natural thing, especially as you consider all of the different other brands contained within the cinematic universe.

Hasbro’s Stephen Davis elaborated on this, saying:

“We hope to create a head snap. It’s a different kind of ‘Joe’ — one that still resonates with ‘Joe’ fans but brings in an uninitiated audience and expands the audience internationally and domestically.”

Discussions of a “contemporary approach” also take place within the article, the true meaning of which is anyone’s guess at this point.

I’m glad that G.I. Joe seems to be the focus of a potential overhaul, but time will tell what Hasbro considers a “head snap” and how it will resonate with the long term fans and what it can do to bring in new fans.  I’ll certainly be watching.

Check out the full article at LATimes.com.

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Richard the Warlock on Kickstarter – designed by Boss Fight Studio

Looking for Group is an award-winning webcomic that has thrilled and amused fantasy fans for a long time, and the next evolution made sense… one of the main characters of Looking for Group, Richard the Warlock in action figure form can be found on Kickstarter!

I will admit I know little to nothing about the comic or the character, but it was designed by Catrina from  Boss Fight Studio alongside Blind Ferrett, and my good friend Ryan worked on the project as well, which means I’m going to send some props  their way to help this thing get off the ground.

This Kickstarter is unique in another way as well… as part of a new “One-and-Done” initiative, these Kickstarters run for just one week and feature just a single tier of support, reducing quite a bit of complexity and streamlining the process for a very swift funding opportunity.  As a result, you don’t have much time to help this product reach virtual shelves.

Don’t wait!  This looks like a really fun action figure and it’s in scale with all of your favorite 1:18 toy lines.  Check out and support the Kickstarter you won’t regret it!

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Amazing and unexpected Boss Fight Studio Reveals at ToyArk.com

We’d heard this week that Boss Fight Studio was planning to reveal some intriguing new Vitruvian HACKS items at the upcoming New Jersey ComicCon (today in Cherry Hill, NJ) but today ToyArk.com revealed a lot more than I think many folks expected!

The big surprise was the announcement of Blind Bag Mini Kits, which are accessory sets designed to compliment and enhance the existing Blanks line up!  The mini kits will be sold in Blind Bag format and will be available in red, white, and black colors and provide parts for Rodents, an Anubis, Crustaceans, a Robot, Boxers and “The Old One” which is similar to Cthulhu.  It’s safe to say all those little hints Boss Fight have been sending out in recent months through their various social media platforms were clues to this new line.

Of course we also get some fantastic new images of the upcoming Wave 1 of the Series 2 Fantasy line from Vitruvian HACKS and wow, these look even more incredible with every new batch of images we see.  Images shown were of the Female Elven Archer, Cave Faerie, and Male Knight.  These figures are quite simply some of the most gorgeous action figures I’ve ever seen in any scale.  Truly astounding.

Last but certainly not least, we also get a look at boards for the upcoming Bucky O’Hare line featuring Bucky himself and Jenny!

Looking at these reveals, it’s impressive to think about the sheer volume of product that Vitruvian HACKS has given us in essentially one short year, and they certainly don’t look to be slowing down.  We should be seeing more of these fun sets at NJCC today and hopefully more information about release dates and such will be coming soon.

Make sure you check out ToyArk.com which has a TON more images than I’ve mirrored here.

Animal Warriors of the Kingdom prepares for Kickstarter Relaunch

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ANIMAL WARRIORS OF THE KINGDOM™ Series One: will consist of Ape, Canine, and Feline warriors, including the series main protagonist the albino ape Pale and he’s vile nemesis Baron Kah Lee. Each figure features 17 points of articulation as well as removable armor and weapon accessories.

THE FIGURES: are 1:18 scale figures similar to G.I. Joe, Marvel Universe, H.A.C.K.S, Marauders Task Force, Dime Novel Legends, Eagle Force Returns, Zombie Lab and Hellscreamerz figures. The figures are sculpted, colored and faithful of the comic book source material while remaining highly detailed with have great crossover potential for lines like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and the Vitruvian H.A.C.K.S.!

Kickstarter Launches May 1st

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PALE: ADVENTURE ARMOR -The young albino ape king sports his trademark Mohawk and red armor while wielding the ability to absorb his fallen enemies powers; however this gift comes at a great cost as their ghosts become attached to him and slowly drive him mad!

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BARON KAH LEE – The evil leader of the horrid, bent on dethroning Pale and taking the crown for himself. The supreme commander of the vile horrid will stop at nothing until all animal kind kneels before him. Create Kah Lee’s Elite Guard with alternate head accessory.

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LEON: This traveling hero roams from town to town fighting for honor and revenge. His people were among the first to be displaced and enslaved by the Baron’s rein. The first of Several Feline and Canine Figures we will offer.

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CHUNARIAN SOLDIERS -These heroic soldiers make up the backbone of the Chunarian army and guard the walls of the sanctuary jungle city of Chuh-Nar from enemies of every kind. Create the Captain of the Guard with alternate head accessory. The first of Three army builders offered in the initial assortment.

Surprise! Kokomo Toys Exclusive Vitruvian HACKS Atelis Warrior Pre-Order Launch!!

A fantastic Saturday surprise today as Kokomo Toys has announced an unexpected Vitruvian HACKS pre-order for the “Altered Amazon” Atelis Warrior!

Ever since the line launched fans and collectors have been clamoring for some kind of Gorgon “foot soldier” and the folks from Kokomo and Boss Fight Studio have delivered!

The Pre-Order is now live on eBay and figures are expected to ship within 30 days!  That’s right, this great looking army builder is right around the corner.

Go hit up the Kokomo Toys eBay Store right now and slam down a pre-order, I can guarantee these will not last long.  The previous Kokomo Toys Exclusive Elite Amazon is already fetching big dollars on the secondary market.  Don’t miss out on this one.

This fantastic exclusive brought to the fans by the great folks at Kokomo Toys! Check out their great Facebook Page to stay up to date on all the latest news!

GeneralsJoes Reviews Vitruvian HACKS Berzerker Gorgon

When Boss Fight Studio spontaneously announced the release of their Berzerker Gorgon, I was thrilled and immediately placed my order.  Boy am I glad I did!  The figure arrived late last week and has been updated to VitruvianFACTS.com already, and now I’ve got the review posted on the Vitruvian HACKS Review Page!  Check it out or click the link below directly.

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Boss Fight Studio Vitruvian HACKS Berzerker Disciple Gorgon

Available for sale now at BossFightShop.com!

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Ever since the majesty of Medusa was first revealed, G.I. Joe fans everywhere have been dreaming of a male figure build with the snake tail for…well, for reasons.  With their seventh wave of Vitruvian HACKS figures, Boss Fight Studio has delivered, and what’s especially nice is that they’ve delivered a pretty damn cool action figure in its own right to boot.

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Ever since first reading the biographies for Eurayle and her Disciples I became extremely interested in that element of the Gorgon universe.  Devoted human soldiers under the hypnotic trance of one of the Gorgon sisters seemed like a really intriguing twist on the infamous Medusa mythology.  With very cool pale green skin tones and some great weapons, I ended up buying a few of the Disciples and love where that story is going (especially with Achilles’ release in Wave 6).  The fact that Boss Fight Studio bumped up production of their male lower-torso (initially slated for release with the Naga Serpent in their Fantasy series) to work it into a Series 1 release is really awesome from a fan point of view.

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The Berzerker Disciple Gorgon is a figure that works exceedingly well in many different ways.  The various shades of green throughout the figure compliment each other flawlessly and put together a strikingly beautiful look.  Familiar light “Disciple” green along the belly, embraced by a much darker, vibrant green at the edges makes for one heck of a nice looking Gorgon.  He’s got the bald Blank head with a two-toned green deco that further emphasizes his “berzerker” nature.

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I’m happy to see that the articulated snake tail works to perfection with this new male lower torso and the entire figure feels like it was designed this way from the beginning, from head to toe…err… tail.  Construction, deco, and character concept are all terrific.

Accessories

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The Berzerker Disciple Gorgon doesn’t come with a ton of weapons, but what he does come with makes for a fascinating combination.  He has two separate sheaths, which ends up in a great cross-strap look across his bare chest (he doesn’t come with armor) and the darkened Gorgon skull helmet sets it all off nicely.  He comes with two short swords dipped in venom and looks like an excellent fast attack, lethal trooper.  I really like what he’s got.

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To say I was excited when Boss Fight announced the early release of the Berzerker would be a wild understatement.  One might say I went “berzerk”.  He’s a fun, intriguing figure with some unusual accessories and for the first time since Wave 4, a newly tooled part included (with the lower torso).  Great, GREAT figure and a nice compliment to my already growing horde of Gorgon villains.

Available for sale now at BossFightShop.com!

New Eagle Force Trading Card Kickstarter reveals some great upcoming Eagle Force projects!

Somehow this slipped past my radar in recent days, but there is another awesome looking Eagle Force Trading Card Kickstarter project going full steam ahead, and it’s revealing some fantastic updates to upcoming Eagle Force and Monster Force projects!

Check out the Kickstarter right here and help unlock some stretch goals.  Funding has been met already, but there’s plenty of more to still be unlocked.  It’s a great looking project, and I’m always interested in some new Eagle Force/Monster Force intel.

Great stuff!

What is Monster Force?

So anyone who has been dialed into the status of the Eagle Force Kickstarter has no doubt started seeing some hints and clues scattered around for a mysterious new project called “Monster Force”…

What the heck is this?  Very good question.  Bill Murphy from Fresh Monkey Fiction was kind enough to talk to me a little bit about what we can expect from this mysterious new endeavor…

GeneralsJoes: So Monster Force is still a ways off by the looks, with a date of 2018.  What can you tell us about the background of this idea?
Fresh Monkey Fiction: Craig at Remco and I were bouncing ideas around and we started talking classic monsters.  Craig and I are huge classic monster fans and we wanted to figure out a way to produce some sort of monster figures. I was out to dinner with my writing partner Sean Rourke working on our next Pendragon book and mentioned it to him. He ran with the idea and thought why not connect monsters to Eagle Force and Midnightmen  our WWII comic.  We had already folded the Midnightmen into the Eagle Force universe with Ultima Thule, so it seemed like a perfect fit. We’ll feature General Brown and Mr. Legacy as our cross over characters.
GeneralsJoes: Will the “Monsters” in Monster Force be familiar creature characters or more generic beasts?
Fresh Monkey Fiction: They will be our unique spin on classic monsters. If you’ve seen the Monster Force Egyptian Amulet logo (which is a homage to a classic 80’s monster movie)  you’ll get an idea of a few of monsters we’re thinking about.
GeneralsJoes: It certainly looks like the Monster Force logo and Eagle Force logo share similar characteristics.  Will Monster Force be an Eagle Force “tie in” of sorts?
Fresh Monkey Fiction: Yes, it’ll tie in to Eagle Force for sure. General Brown is our main cross over character to the world of Eagle Force, but you’ll see a couple other Eagle Force/R.I.O.T. characters in the mix as well. A fan demanded R.I.O.T character, from the vintage line,  will make his figure debut in Monster Force.
GeneralsJoes: If it does tie-in to Eagle Force, is it an “alternative universe” storyline or part of the main Eagle Force vs. R.I.O.T. story?

Fresh Monkey Fiction: Well it’s not an “alternative universe” story, it takes place in the same world as Eagle Force, but these monsters pose a much different threat than R.I.O.T., so General Brown forms a new team to deal with them. We’ll reveal more details later this summer and we hope to launch the line in early 2018.

Big thanks to Bill for talking through this a little bit, hopefully you all join me in my excitement for whatever is to come from Monster Force!  It sounds pretty great!  Keep watching the Eagle Force Returns Facebook Page for the latest info!

 

The Marissa Faireborn mystery has been revealed…

First and foremost, a HUGE thanks to Josh over at YoJoe who has been doing spectacular work with their comic archive, tying the IDW Universe together, even as G.I. Joe has been criss-crossing continuity with other Hasbro properties.  He’s managed to make it easy to follow and make sense, and with the latest reveal of Marissa Fairborne, he goes above and beyond!  He’s written a terrific guest post for GeneralsJoes.com which you can read below.  Again, big props to his loyal and devoted following to the ongoing IDW continuity and how this all ties back to history.  Some really great stuff!

Big News in the GI Joe and Transformers world has just happened in the IDW comic Optimus Prime #3!

An event literally 30 years in making has finally been confirmed (In continuity).

Summaries of all of the different series can be read at YoJoe.com, so you can follow the stories.

Yes, its official, Marissa Faireborn of The Transformers Earth Defense Command is the daughter of GI Joe’s Flint.  And they actually sit down together in a coffee shop and talk.

For 20 years it was only rumored that Marissa was related to Dashiell and the mother was a mystery.  Outside of a DVD commentary, no cartoon, comic or other media has ever confirmed their relationship.

Now for the first time ever and within the IDW continuity, the Joe and Transformers worlds have been combined allowing a long time meeting between Flint and Marissa to happen.

Both GI Joe (not ARAH which is written by Larry Hama) and the Transformers along with Action Man, MASK, ROM and Micronauts are all included in the IDW continuity.  The mini-series Revolution recently tied all of the Hasbro properties together into one universe.

But one mystery that has never been solved officially in any cannon is who is Marissa Faireborn’s mother?

Let’s dive into some Transformers and GI Joe history that got us to this huge reveal.

First, in 1985 Series Four of GI Joe A Real American Hero toys, a character named Flint aka Dashiell Faireborn was released.  He actually premiered in GI Joe: the Revenge of Cobra cartoon episode #1 “In Cobra’s Pit” on Sept 10th 1984, he is voiced by actor Bill Ratner.  Flint has been a leader of the Joe since his first arrival in toys, comics or cartoons.  And in both the comics and cartoons his love interest is fellow GI Joe Lady Jaye aka Alison Hart-Burnett, who also was released in Series Four.  Flint’s in continuity cartoon stories took place in the 1980s.

On September 16th, 1986 a new character named Marissa arrived in the second episode of the third season of the cartoon The Transformers.  The title of the episode was called the “Five Faces of Darkness, Part 2”.  Marissa Faireborn was part of the Earth Defense Command (EDC) that was helping and fighting the Transformers on Earth.  In the timeline of the Transformers series continuity, Captain Faireborn was living in 2005.

At the time of Marissa’s premiere on the cartoon, GI Joe and Transformers had no official connection between the toy lines.  This was the first hint of many crossovers to come in the 30 year history of Hasbro toys and the Faireborn family.

In The Transformers cartoon episode called “The Killing Jar” with had an airdate of Sept 29th, 1986.  Disguised as a shuttle, the Transformers Quintesson ship docks with an EDC space station, and Marissa Faireborn is lured on board by an illusion of her father.  Although not officially called Flint, this character is voiced by the same actor Bill Ratner who performed Flint in the regular GI Joe cartoon.  “Flint’s” appearance in this episode has him with grey hair in his 60s, still active with the military and in good if not distant relations with Marissa, at least well enough for the projection to fool her.

Happening in another part of the Hasbro universe, released in January 1987 in Marvel comics, was a completely different kind of crossover between GI Joe and the Autobots.  Writer Michael Higgins wrote an official in the ARAH continuity 4 issue mini-series called GI Joe and The Transformers.  Now this mini-series does not contain nor reference Flint, Marissa or even the Earth Defense Command.  But forever became official A Real American Hero cannon, whether the fans liked it or not.

Over in the United Kingdom, on August 8th, 1987 issue #125 of Marvel’s UK The Transformers is released with an original crossover story called Ancient Relics Part One. The rest of this story also appears in the Marvel UK Action Force comic #24 titled Ancient Relics Part Two, #25 is Part Three, #26 Part Four, #27 is Part Five.  Flint is the leader of Action Force in the UK, when in the London underground a Transformer is discovered and it’s Megatron. Autobots Wheeljack, Grimlock and Blades all fight with Flint and his Action Force team against Megatron.  Additionally, the Ancient Relics storyline was reprinted in 5 parts in the UK’s Action Force Monthly (Issues #1-6) in 1988 which in America is called European Missions (Issues #1-6) as in 1988.  It has always been debatable whether European Mission is officially part of the ARAH continuity.  But either way it is still an original story that crosses over Flint with The Transformers, presumably before Marissa was even born.

6 years later in 1993, The Transformers appear within the GI Joe A Real American Hero comic starting with issue #139 until #142.  Now this is officially within the ARAH continuity.  Megatron shows up and partners with Cobra Commander and of course the Joes fight them.  At the conclusion of #142, Marvel’s The Transformers Generation 2 becomes a spin off comic book series starting with #1.  The GI Joe’s only appear in 3 issues of the series and Flint appears in Transformers Generation 2 #6.

Since GI Joe and Transformers first official crossed over they have since crossed over in comics numerous times with several different publishers since 1993.  Generally, each of these is their own continuity and the publisher’s were Devil’s Due Publishing, Dreamwave and IDW.   The Dreamwave Transformers GI Joe series has the Joes fighting in World War II against The Transformers.  This series introduces Nathaniel Faireborn who is Flint’s father and Marissa’s grandfather. In the Devil’s Due crossover series Flint actually goes to Cybertron.  In Dreamwave’s G1 Transformers series Marissa now holding the rank of Commander, rather than Captain, portrayed as a member of the EDC, which in the Dreamwave continuity clandestinely handles terrestrial/extraterrestrial encounters. Following the Transformers’ return to activity on Earth early 21st century, The Transformers plans were stopped, but Marissa’s superior officer did not share her fondness for the Transformers. Dreamwave’s bankruptcy and subsequent closure left remaining stories of Marissa Faireborn untold.

Marissa was a key character in US the Transformers cartoon series but never appeared in a Marvel comic in the 1980s.  In the 1990s in a comic in Japanese, Manga style, that was never released in America and connected to a radio series, this is called KISS Players.  Marissa as a child in the 1990s, lived in New York, where she met and became friends with Shaoshao Li, who developed an extremely strong attachment to her. The young Marissa resented her military father, so when one of his missions went awry and she and her father had to be rescued by Optimus Prime, she quickly came to view the Autobot leader as a surrogate father figure… and perhaps a little bit more.

Ok, so that covers comics and cartoon references between Flint and the Joes and Marissa and the Transformers.  In recent years the toys have started to crossover Joes and Transformers and the Transformers and GI Joe Collector’s Club in 2015 released a Marissa Faireborn toy, see the GeneralsJoes toy review.

But who is Marissa’s mother.

Fans speculated for two decades that the character Marissa Faireborn in Transformers is his daughter, since they both share the same last name. The writers of both shows remained coy whether Marissa Faireborn was actually Flint and Lady Jaye’s daughter or not. However, cast notes for “The Killing Jar” refer to Marissa’s father as being “a 60-year-old Flint”. The mystery was finally solved on November 7, 2006, with the 20th anniversary DVD release of The Transformers: The Movie. On an interview on the DVD, Flint Dille, story editor for Transformers, confirmed that Marissa Faireborn is indeed Flint and Lady Jaye’s daughter.  This would subsequently make Marissa a distant relative of Destro as well. However, in an interview with G. I. Joe fansite Joe Headquarters, Dille added the caveat that “I’ve always thought of Flint as being too young to have a daughter that old.”

And now you know and knowing is half the battle.  But we don’t know who Marissa’s mother is within the IDW continuity.  Stay tuned.

References: Yojoe.com, tfwiki.net, Wikipedia.com