Rank and File Volume 2 now available for purchase!

In spite of what you may think of the movie, I think it’s tough to argue that the G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra era was a turning point for the toy line, finding an awesome balance between aesthetics and articulation and cranking things up as far as accessories and detail work.  The period from 2009 – 2011 encompassing the Rise of Cobra and Pursuit of Cobra lines gave G.I. Joe fans a lot to love and even more to look forward to.  For his landmark Rank and File series, James Kavanaugh, Jr. is exploring this period of time for his second volume and it’s available now!

Check it out at RAHCGuide.com.  It’s a definite MUST BUY.

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The adventure continues to evolve in Rank & File — A Guide to Third-Generation 4” G.I. Joe Action Figures!

After a brief hiatus in 2006 that allowed G.I. Joe to flourish in other areas, G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero went in a new stylistic direction that is still predominately used today! Not only did fans get to revisit some of their most cherished icons within the G.I. Joe mythos, they were also introduced to new characters that are now known and loved.

The Rank & File guide volume 2 displays every G.I. Joe action figure produced between the The Rise of Cobra and The Pursuit of Cobra series, complete with every accessory and variation produced. Not only are the accessories shown, they were carefully cataloged in an upcoming section that will guarantee the proper shade of accessory goes to the appropriate action figure. To top it off, every vehicle and play set released in the 4″ era is documented and every easily removable piece is shown individually photographed, ensuring collector completion.

This full color, 52-page resource manual beautifully illustrates the two series’ 180 action figures, 55 vehicles and every accessory, including all known variations. Not only is every accessory present and accounted for, they have each been assigned a unique number and identified throughout the resource guide. Each action figure was carefully examined between its initial run and any further re-releases to ensure accurate samples are clearly and concisely presented, perfect for the collector who is identifying individual action figures or sorting through unorganized lots.

Whether you are a seasoned or rejuvenated collector, enthusiast, or toy vendor, the Rank & File series is the decisive compilation for G.I. Joe action figures, vehicles and play sets produced between 2007 to today. Let the Rank & File Guide serve as a reference for completion or a scrapbook to the next big turning point of G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero.

Basic Information

The MSRP for The Rank & File Guide Volume 2 is $20 and available at www.rahcguide.com. Buyer will pay all additional shipping and handling costs. If you have purchased the R.A.H.C. guides before, the process will be very similar. This guide was self published and produced in quantities reflecting previous sales so do not hesitate in ordering if owning a guide is a priority.

You may join the mailing list at: rahc.guide@gmail.com and like on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/RAHCGuide to get the latest updates between press releases.

Who is Whisper, and where does she fit in the G.I. Joe world?

As the deadline for the Hasbro Pulse fan vote nears (tomorrow, November 9th) the question remains…which of these four characters will get the green light, and where do they fit in the G.I. Joe mythology.  The other three writers have done a great job jiving their creators with an overall timeline, but as I look towards the future, in the event that Whisper actually wins, I want to plan not just where she’s been, but where she will be going.

For anyone who follows my dio-stories, you know that “universe” more or less wrapped up this past year with Darkness Falls.  If Whisper wins the Fan Vote, I have already developed a follow up that Darkness Falls Dio-Story that I will be excited to launch!

The following contains spoilers to Darkness Falls, so if you haven’t read that yet, you may want to before continuing…

“Rescued” by COBRA from a South American fishing village after the entire village was massacred (see Marvel’s G.I. Joe #1), Whisper was brought in and raised by COBRA Commander as his own personal assassin.  Trained by the elite of COBRA operatives, Whisper learned martial arts, silenced weapons, sabotage, covert operations, and disguise by some of the most talented masters in the world.  Then employed those skills in sinister fashion for COBRA (as seen in The Price of Peace trilogy).

Time has passed…

The decades long battle between G.I. Joe and Cobra has more or less ended.  Casualties on both sides.  COBRA Commander as we know him is dead, as are Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow.  Scarlett has retreated to the cabin in the Sierra Nevadas to raise her son Tommy and the world feels a little bit safer.

But the battle is not over.  Whisper has returned, and has returned to find her father dead and her support system decimated.  With only her blinding hate of G.I. Joe to guide and feed her, Whisper prepares for a massive campaign of revenge on former G.I. Joe leadership.  Meanwhile, the remnants of the COBRA organization have come together to form The Coil, a sinister underground devoted to furthering the COBRA cause.  But they may hit some resistance as a new and improved COBRA Commander comes on the scene…

I plan to use Whisper to kick start a new generation of G.I. Joe, focusing pretty strongly on the Pursuit of COBRA aesthetic.  While my old dio-story used a lot of those figures, this new universe will take that concept and run with it.

So, please consider voting for Whisper, and we can all experience this fun new world together!  You could also expect to see her show back up in my Kindle Worlds work as well.

Meanwhile, definitely check out all of the other creators behind their own Hasbro Fan Vote creations as well.  Lots of good stuff there.

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Some fantastic very “G.I. Joe” like concept art from Captain America: Winter Soldier

Thanks as always to Twitziller who manages to find the coolest concept art out there.  Recently Josh Nizzi, who not only did concept work for Captain America 2, but also Rise of Cobra and Retaliation, has posted some of his work for the Marvel Studios sequel.

Fans of G.I. Joe: The Pursuit of Cobra will likely smile at some of these and identify pretty strongly with them.  I’m not sure if there was some influence somewhere along the way, or it’s just a happy coincidence, but pretty cool seeing some of Falcon’s concept art looking pretty close to Skydive/Ripcord’s flight suit.

Check out those two images below, and be sure to comb through Josh Nizzi’s site for some actual G.I. Joe goodness while you’re at it.

YoJoe Pro – A great resource for managing, selling, and trading your collection

I think I speak for nearly every G.I. Joe fan online when I gush about what a great resource YoJoe has been over the years.  Tracking the new figures, in depth and intricate listings of variations, vehicles with their drivers, and even dipping into the accessory realm with the great Whobit.

But have you checked it out lately?  And have you considered YoJoe Pro?  YoJoe Pro is like YoJoe on steroids…  you can track your collection based on the figures in the fantastic YoJoe database, and then sell or trade your extras with the simple click of a button.

Base membership is 100% free and allows you to organize your collection with checklists and provides unlimited listings to sell items in your collection for free.  If you item sells, there is a miniscule .99 (or 2.5% of sell price) fee, which is a fraction of what eBay would charge you.

But if you think you’re going to be a heavy user, consider one of the paid plans.  Starting at $20 per year (yes, less than $2 per month) you have all the same functionality as the free version, plus exporting your collection to Excel, and adding photos or notes to your collection entries.  It really is awesome functionality that can really personalize your own collection.  Along with this, you get 25 free sell listings per year.  There are other paid options as well, and each offers more free sell listings.

These are all amazing resources for maintaining your collection of G.I. Joe figures, which can get out of hand very quickly (I speak from experience) and I would strongly recommend signing up and kicking the tires.  I’m currently a member, and it’s been an awesome addition to my G.I. Joe life.

Check out the YoJoe Pro page for all of the details!  Yo Pro!

G.I. Joe Collectors Club reveals two more FSS 2.0 figures!

And they pretty much ROCK.  Cobra’s first ever desert combat specialist the Desert Scorpion was a long time favorite of mine, and the Collectors’ Club did him justice.  Using the Snake Eyes-like head sculpt from the Steel Brigade Delta figure and the head wrap from the Night Creeper, as well as 25th Anniversary Zartan’s body and an amalgamation of legs (I really dig those HISS Driver lower legs).  I can’t quite place the arms at that angle, but the rest of the figure looks very classic themed.  I approve.  Interestingly, the figure is very close in design to the canceled Cobra Minotaur driver, with just some very minor part changes (specifically the head sculpt).  It will be interesting to see if this version has the Crimson Twins arms like that older version was meant to.

Meanwhile, Widescope… hoooly cow.  Back in the early 2000’s, Widescope was merely conceived as a Shockwave place holder, since Hasbro didn’t have the appropriate trademarks for him.  With this figure, the Club really takes Widescope to a new level, and maybe it’s just me, but this figure makes the 25th Anniversary Shockwave look pathetic.  Yes, it’s essentially a repainted Shock Trooper with a Shockwave head and hat, but the blue paint scheme is fantastic.  I really  dig that camouflage on the legs, too.  It looks very similar to the “Urban Rain” color scheme from the 2005 Steel Brigade Convention figures.  Very unique look.

I fully admit to being a fan of the first generation Figure Subscription Service, and man, version 2.0 is out pacing it at almost every step.  If this is any indication, we’re in for some great product from the Club over the next series of years.  I love the fact that a relative unknown like Widescope is getting really great treatment and a chance to live on in a modern format.  Really good stuff.  Keep checking GIJoeClub.com for the latest information, and I’ve mirrored the most recent two images below.

GeneralsJoes goes back in time and reviews pre-production City Strike Scarlett

First and foremost, big thanks to Glumby who so kindly gave me access to this very rare and highly sought after pre-production piece!  As we all know there isn’t enough G.I. Joe: Retaliation product for me to push forward on these daily reviews for the next 24 days, so I’m getting a little creative here.

Initially I had asked for the figure so I could do a comparison shot for my FSS Jinx review, but since I had it…  again, thanks to Glumby for the assist!

You can check out the review in my Pursuit of Cobra Review Page (in the “pre-production section) or at the direct link below:

12 for ’12 – GeneralsJoes Top 12 What’s on Joe Mind Episodes of 2012

So did you think 2012 was a slow year for G.I. Joe?  While the fine folks behind the What’s on Joe Mind Podcast did drop down their recording schedule a bit to accommodate a slow trickle of Joe news, there were still many exciting G.I. Joe events to talk about.

From animated voice actors to movie news and toy reports, What’s on Joe Mind covered the gamut of G.I. Joe news and events for the year.

Even with a much slower recording schedule in the back half of 2012, it was tough to pick out 12 isolated episodes, but with Gary and Mike’s help, somehow I made due.

Click the Read the Rest of the Story link below for the full list!

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Reminder – Take the GeneralsJoes “Re-Release” Survey!

It’s fallen off the main page, so I’m figuring folks have probably forgotten, but if you haven’t done it yet, please consider taking a few moments to fill out the GeneralsJoes survey reporting which PoC/30th figured you’d like to see re-released in single pack form.

It’s nothing official, but I figure if I can get some data together perhaps even to present at Toy Fair, the more responses the better!  Check out the survey at the link below:

Reminder – Some great discussion about what G.I. Joe figures should get re-released

It’s been about a week, give or take, since I posted the SurveyMonkey survey asking for some input from Joefans about what figures they’d like to see re-released in single pack form at retail.  The survey, as I hoped it would, has generated some terrific discussion.

Please take a few moments to share your thoughts on the survey and in the comments section.  Some good stuff coming out of it.

Discussion point – What existing G.I. Joe figures need to be re-released?

Things get interesting when the retail shelves are bare, especially at Christmas time.  It seems almost criminal to have a holiday season with nary a single G.I. Joe item to be found on shelves…but such is the unfortunate dichotomy that comes with a Hollywood marriage.  The brand can live or die with the fate of the film, and for 2012 at least, G.I. Joe is a non-factor.

Hopefully with 2013 and the coming of G.I. Joe: Retaliation that will change.  In fact, online stores are already offering pre-orders for the first two waves of G.I. Joe: Retaliation product, currently slated to hit in February.  But with all of this G.I. Joe “down time” I got to thinking.

Over the past few years we’ve seen a LOT of great G.I. Joe toys come and go, and sometimes they either went too quickly, or they were somewhat difficult to get a hand on due to exclusivity.

Purely for the sake of discussion, and for the sake of gathering information, I took further advantage of the Survey Monkey tool and created a quick survey.  Looking back through the Pursuit of Cobra, 30th Anniversary, and the 7-Packs, which figures were the best figures that you had the hardest time finding?  What figures did you love the looks of, but were disappointed that you couldn’t get your hands on?

The best example I can think of from my own perspective is a figure like Shadow Tracker, who I think is very cool, and was also very hard to find.  The same could be said of Renegades Storm Shadow.  However, figures like Zombie-Viper or Jungle-Viper were good figures, but not as hard to find.  Of course your mileage may vary…that’s kinda the point of the survey.  ;)

Essentially what I’m asking is if you could get access to some recently released figures again in single card form, which figures would you prefer?  Check out the Survey Monkey survey below and share your thoughts! If you need any refreshers on which figures were in which waves, more than just the list below, check out the GeneralsJoes review sections: