G.I. Joe Convention Undertow Officer adds a twist to the Iron Grenadier corps

Well, I think it’s safe to say none of us saw this coming.  When the Convention set brochure revealed that we’d have an Undertow and an Undertow officer I think most folks assumed (myself included) that one would be the IG deco and one would be the 90’s deco.

Not so fast, my friends.

The G.I. Joe Collectors Club revealed today the Undertow Officer, and she…  yes, you read that right… she is not quite who we expected.

Using the tooling from the dive suit Baroness (also the 25th Anniversary Scarlett) this female Undertow Officer puts a different spin on Destro’s troopers.  I like the idea of a female officer, I just wish there was a better recipe to pull from.  I wasn’t wild about the sculpting of the 25th Anniversary Scarlett 8 years ago, it’s certainly not a whole lot better now.

Check out GIJoeCon.com for the latest, and see the mirrored image below.


JoeCustoms Custom Celebration – The GeneralsJoes Sigma 6 Project (Day 2)

Yesterday I kicked off my small part of the JoeCustoms Custom Celebration with a look at Sigma 6 Duke.

The second figure in this Sigma 6 custom project is Snake Eyes

I kept the theme of PoC Beachhead for the torso and upper arms, going with Retaliation Snake Eyes for the forearms and the legs.  Those arms and legs kept the sleek feel for the Sigma Suit, but were more “ninja-like”.  I built his tonfa sword using a Renegades Cobra Trooper nightstick and random katana.

Joining her two male compatriots is Scarlett.


Scarlett provided the most challenge for me, because I couldn’t find a look that really matched her cartoon appearance.  Ultimately I used Agent Helix’s head with the hair from a 25th Anniversary Baroness and two inner thigh pads from the modern figures for her goggles.  Resolute Scarlett made up the torso and legs, though I’ll be honest, I don’t quite recall what the lower arms where.  Perhaps they were Helix as well?  From there it was some creative painting to get the feeling of the Sigma Suit, though I also managed to trace the pattern of the uniform, too.  I ended up pretty happy with this one.

What’s on Joe Mind Episode 99

Honestly, I was feeling okay, I was just tired. My favorite  team had just won the Super Bowl two nights before, but work was hectic and I hadn’t slept a whole lot in a few days, and felt like I really needed to get some rest. So when Gary and Mike offered to have Gary Head sit in for me…well, I agreed pretty quick.

This had happened a few times before. I was grateful that someone like Gary was willing to jump in at the last minute, especially because he’d asked me to be on the JDSO podcast a number of times, and I’d always found some lame excuse why I couldn’t. But the flip side of Gary filling in for me was that we rarely got a chance to record together. That seems especially hard hitting and unfortunate today.

I give Godsoe a lot of credit for sitting through this episode in editing and preparation, I’m sure I couldn’t have done it…I wouldn’t have been strong enough to listen to Goggles’ voice for three hours while deciding where to cut or adjust sound controls. It must have been difficult.

As we lead up to Episode 100, it seems appropriate that the penultimate marathon that brought us here features Gary “Goggles” Head in his last speaking role, and its a testament to his place in the G.I. Joe fandom that he got one last opportunity to voice his opinions before falling forever silent. Meanwhile, I struggle with the fact that I missed being with him on this night, I’m sure it would have been a memorable one.

You can listen to Episode 99 of What’s on Joe Mind, one that’s sure to live on for a long time, over on our Podbean page, or embedded below.

As always, the show notes are after the break.

Rest in Peace, Gary… as painful as it was, it felt good to hear your voice one last time.

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JoeCustoms Custom Celebration – The GeneralsJoes Sigma 6 Project (Day 1)

How’s that for a post title?

Every year the fine folks over at JoeCustoms.com take a week and devote it to a JoeCustoms Custom Celebration.  This year is the landmark ninth year of this event, and it continues to go strong.  I love the folks at JoeCustoms and consider many of them some of my closest friends, so when they asked me to feature a project with them, I could hardly say no.

I’m not what you’d call a prolific customizer, but I get in the mood to do some customs sometimes, and I’ll dive into a project for several weeks in a row.

So was the case with this particular project.

I think most folks know how much of a Sigma 6 fan I am, but even as much as I love that era of G.I. Joe, I also realize the stylistic and scale differences, and sometimes lament the fact that they didn’t integrate with our larger 4” G.I. Joe universe.

With this latest project, I decided to see if I could work around that.

In some ways I tried to stay true to the look and feel of Sigma 6, but I also tried to bring more Pursuit of Cobra elements into it as well.  Essentially a “what if” Sigma 6 8” universe and the Pursuit of Cobra 4” universe slammed into each other kind of thing.

By and large, I’m pleased with the project.  In looking at these images there is a LOT of clean up that has to be done, but I wanted to get these posted for the JoeCustoms Custom Celebration, so here we go.  I’ll be posting the figures all throughout this week.  Some of them will be one a day, sometimes two.

Of course, we’ll start with Duke.

Duke’s inspiration came from the PoC Beachhead torso (which ended up being the crux of my own “Sigma Suit” technology) and the Resolute Duke head sculpt.

I will say one thing I’m not a big fan of with this figure is the vest.  It’s too bulky and doesn’t flow with the rest of the figure, but it does look somewhat consistent with the larger version, I suppose.

It’s also evident the work I did to make up his customized weapon system, and it looks pretty sloppy.  You can see the glue lines and change in texture.  All that being said, he has the look and feel for the character, and I think makes for a good jumping off point.

More to come.

Toy Fair 2015 – At least a small bone thrown to Joe fans

It’s early in the Toy Fair weekend, and Hasbro has been the focus so far, but even with G.I. Joe being conspicuously absent from Fan Media Day, we have at least one nice little tidbit of cool news.

Transformers: Combiner Wars has been a huge focus of attention today, and among those announced products is a Legends scale A-10 repaint called “Viper”.

This is something that was leaked previously, and it has been assumed to be an homage to the Cobra Rattler (a pretty obvious one, naturally), but until today it wasn’t clear how much of an homage it was.

Not only is the A-10 blue, but it features the Rattler call sign and actually has a “Winged Cobra” logo on it.

Pretty neat.

Check out the image below, thanks to JasontheDoombot and FakeEyes22 on Twitter.



Adam Riches reveals Cobra-filled exclusive cover for Real American Hero #212

IDW is treating their upcoming 212th issue of G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero as a major event, as well they should.  For spoiler reasons, I’ll avoid the details that have emerged regarding this issue, but all you need to know is G.I. Joe fan (and artist of some of the FSS package art) Adam Riches has revealed the Emerald Comics exclusive cover for this issue.

Taking a page from the Devils’ Due G.I. Joe group cover, Adam has meticulously included all sorts of various Cobra agents from many different G.I. Joe continuities, and it’s marvelous.

Over on the G.I. Joe Discussion Page on Facebook he posted the first look at this cover…just looking through it and picking out all the various characters is an exercise of nostalgia.  Check out the mirrored image below.  It’s insanely cool.


EDIT – Here’s a full Press Release for this exclusive comic:

To celebrate G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero’s landmark issue #212 The Death of Snake-Eyes (pt. 1) Emerald City Comics has partnered with IDW Publishing to create this limited edition variant cover, which acts a companion piece to 2007’s G.I. Joe: America’s Elite #25 (which featured the G.I. Joe hero roster).

This cover is the definitive G.I. Joe’s rouges gallery, featuring nearly every enemy the G.I. Joe team has faced over their 33 year history. With characters representing all eras of G.I. Joe, from the toy lines (ARAH, Sgt. Savage, Extreme, Built To Rule, Sigma 6), cartoons (Sunbow, DiC), movies (ROC, Retaliation) and comics (Marvel, DDP, IDW)!

The Death of Snake Eyes: Part 1
Adam Riches (cover) • Larry Hama (writer) • S L Gallant (artist)
G.I. JOE faces a force unlike anything they’ve ever encountered before… and the only way to control it is by reviving Serpentor, the Cobra Emperor himself! But bringing him back sets into motion drastic events that lead to the death of the original Ninja Commando! The Death of Snake Eyes begins here in G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #212!
FC • 32 pages

-Each book will ship bagged and boarded, with a special custom backboard featuring a fully numbered checklist of all the characters on the cover!

-At 280, this is the most G.I. Joe characters ever published in a single illustration!

-It is the first ever wrap-around cover for the G.I. Joe A Real American Hero main title!

-This is part 1 (of 3) of the long-awaited “The Death of Snake Eyes” story arc!

-Each signed edition will include an Emerald City Certificate of Authenticity.

The book is scheduled to ship in mid-March, but is currently available for pre-order RIGHT NOW at the links below:

Pre-orders are available right now from Emerald City’s online shop!

Pre-orders are also currently available for sale directly from Emerald City, through Ebay!

About Emerald City Comics: Emerald City has been servicing the Tampa Bay/St. Pete/Clearwater area since 1989, and is one of the largest comic and collectible retail stores in the state of Florida. For more info, visit us online at: www.EmeraldCityComics.com

About the artist: Since 2012, Adam Riches has been illustrating the packaging art for Hasbro’s official G.I. Joe Collector’s Club and Convention action figures. This is his first cover for IDW’s G.I. Joe A Real American Hero. You can view more of his work at www.AdamRiches.com

About IDW Publishing: Founded in 1999, IDW Publishing is an award-winning publisher of comic books, graphic novels and trade paperbacks, based in San Diego, California. IDW Publishing is regularly recognized as the #4 comic book publisher in the US. Over 80 IDW titles have appeared on The New York Times Best-Seller list. www.idwpublishing.com

G.I. Joe Convention Tiger Force Recondo crawls out of the jungle

Tonight the G.I. Joe Collectors Club has debuted another member of their upcoming Tiger Force squad from the 2015 G.I. Joe Convention boxed set.  Recondo steps out of the jungle and into the tiger stripe camouflage uniform, but not the Recondo as you might remember him, pilot of the Tiger Fly.  No, this Recondo is based on an early catalog image in a color scheme very reminiscent of Tiger Force Flint.

Interesting choice to go with this unreleased version rather than the more familiar retail colors…if nothing else, the Club is kind of keeping folks guessing this year.  Check out the mirrored image below, and keep watching GIJoeCon.com for the latest info.


Celebrate the life of Gary Head – Check out the 317 Films Documentary

Yeah, it’s been a bummer of a few days with recent events in the G.I. Joe community, but it’s important that we remember the enthusiasm and excitement that Gary Head brought to the G.I. Joe community.

Christopher over at 317 Films dropped a line to remind me that he had filmed a documentary with Gary, which is posted on YouTube.  It’s a great reminder of his enthusiasm for the G.I. Joe brand.

Check out the embedded video below.  Even just as a G.I. Joe focused documentary, it’s an excellent watch.

G.I. Joe Convention Undertow trooper posted to GIJoeCon.com

The world continues turning, even with recent events, and with his love of Iron Grenadiers, Gary would have enjoyed today’s reveal.

Today the G.I. Joe Collectors Club showed off their Convention Undertow trooper, a modern update of their own membership exclusive Undertow from several years ago, recolored in Iron Grenadier black, red, and gold.

Using mostly parts from the recently released 50th Anniversary Eel, but in the trademark Iron Grenadier colors, this scuba trooper makes for a solid addition to any modern IG army.  Keep watching GIJoeCon.com and check out the mirrored image below.



For folks longing for Undertow in more classic colors, there is an Undertow Officer slated for release in the Convention boxed set as well… perhaps that will give us 90s fan our classic version that we’d love to see?



Rest in Peace, Gary Head

Part of me still can’t get my head around this, even as I try to vocalize what I’m feeling.

Yesterday, Gary Head, one of the pillars of the online G.I. Joe community, passed away far too soon at the age of 35.

I felt like it was very important to post some sort of memorial to the life of Gary, but honestly I feel like whatever I put up here won’t quite encapsulate what he meant to me and to the G.I. Joe hobby at large.

Gary was a very polarizing figure in the G.I. Joe community, with folks who loved him and many who hated him.  I won’t get into those relationships or the reasons behind them here, but will only say from my personal exposure to the man, I can’t think of many folks out there more giving, more driven, or more emotionally invested in the well-being of G.I. Joe.  He wasn’t a collector…labelling him as such would be a disservice to what he did throughout his time in the online community.  Most of what he acquired he ended up giving away or selling, never holding on long to the physical items, feeding instead off the emotional and intangible greatness of the online community as it absorbed everything that was great about G.I. Joe.

His overt and obvious excitement for the toys reached its peak during the Pursuit of Cobra era, but even as the modern toys moved to a place where he wasn’t quite as enthusiastic, he directed his energy towards G.I. Joe history, and through his work and the work of JoeDeClassified as a whole, the entire historical landscape of G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero has been irrevocably altered, and in the best way.

Through his contacts with former Hasbro employees, and work with the G.I. Joe Discussion Facebook Page he exposed the historical landmarks of G.I. Joe, and brought things to light that may have been forever locked away in obscurity.  For this and this alone he deserves the respect of the fandom.

At JoeCon every year, he would take expensive convention items and hide them throughout the hotel for folks to find, and sponsored huge contests for collectors, and more importantly for kids, at various regional shows throughout the country.  He did everything he could possibly do to spread the love and enjoyment of the G.I. Joe brand from 1982 to the present, and was one of the most visible and enthusiastic ambassadors for the brand.

Beyond that, he was a deep and personal friend of mine.  Our friendship started rather selfishly on my part, as he offered to send me some pre-production items for review.  I, of course, enthusiastically accepted, and ever since, have been working hand in hand with him to bring early looks at pre-release G.I. Joe items, that have been appreciated and consumed by the fandom at large.  But it went so far beyond that.  We shared our family events, our musical tastes, our personal lives, and of course, would talk endlessly about where G.I. Joe has been, where it is, and where it might go.  I only wish he had lived long enough to see some kind of cultural resurgence in the brand that he loved.

The G.I. Joe community at large has suffered a major blow with Gary’s loss, and I hope we can all come together and overlook our personal differences to appreciate what he contributed.  Even if folks had questions about the messenger, we owe him the appreciation of the message, and I’d hope every one of us can recognize what he brought to light.

I can barely bring myself to think about his wife and three kids, who he left behind way too early than what is right, and realize that G.I. Joe was only a small piece of his personality.  He had sent me a wonderful Christmas card this past year (and once again I didn’t send him one, a failing that I will not soon get over) and as my five year old looked at the three beautiful kids on the card, she asked me why their Dad had to die.

Why indeed?

With the 2015 G.I. Joe Convention coming in just a couple of months, I look forward to many of us coming together to celebrate Gary’s life and legacy, which was large and impactful, especially for only having been in the community for a handful of years.  I can’t imagine who will take up where he left off, and the community will have a Goggles shaped hole in it for years to come.

I love you, Gary.  I hope you’re in a better place.