G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero – The Dreaded 6″ Discussion

If you’ve been perusing the online G.I. Joe community this week, you’ve no doubt seen mention of the possibility that there are some whispers of 6” scale G.I. Joe figures drifting in the winds. Heck, the 2015 San Diego ComicCon was even mentioned as a kick off point for these figures.

Is it true? Nobody knows at this point… but whether or not it is true, it does bring up some valuable discussion points.

I’ve received a lot of personal messages asking what I think about the whole thing (as if my opinion matters more than anyone elses). And, as usual, I can see both sides.

My first instinct is that G.I. Joe should try and focus on being the best toy it can be at one scale before it starts spiraling off into other scales. Over the past 50 years we’ve seen many different styles, formats, and figure scales, but things always seem to fall back to the old standby 12” and 4”, with 4” obviously being the dominant force in recent years. Well… dominant in relative terms at least.

So with 50 years of market data telling Hasbro that G.I. Joe is most successful at those two scales, why muddy the waters and introduce yet another scale and format to even further divide the fandom?

One might argue that G.I. Joe is having trouble finding a retail foothold at the $8 price point with 4” figures, even backed by a $400million film. Will $20 6” figures do anything to further the lifespan of the brand? Emphatically I say no.

But that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a entirely bad idea all together.

Perhaps G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero could use a little spark, right? Perhaps, instead of wondering why Hasbro is trying to spread thin a brand that already is watered down, we need to consider the fact that since G.I. Joe isn’t a behemoth, maybe this is the time to start something new?

My only concern is that Hasbro at this point seems to be treating G.I. Joe as a short term prospect. Most toylines are short term prospects these days, but each assortment of these 4” figures is so specifically geared for a short term theme that you wonder if there are any long term plans. In recent years, G.I. Joe has obviously become a film-based toyline, with some cost-savings filler figures to fit in those gaps when movies aren’t in the theaters. I don’t see a 6” line changing that. I think we all know that the 6” line will simply revisit the vintage look at a larger (and more detailed) scale. In some instances I think that could be fun, and I think (again) short term that will provide some spark. But it’s a finite spark with a clear beginning and end. Unlike Star Wars there aren’t thousands of diehards who’ve been waiting 30 years for a 6” Ponda Baba. As soon as G.I. Joe starts dipping into 3rd tier characters (which will happen far sooner than many folks admit, I think) the 6” line will be on thin ice, and we’ll once again be faced with the whole “what’s next” approach?

G.I. Joe needs some serious revitalization. It needs some kind of Beast Wars, Sigma 6, or dare I say it, G.I. Joe: Renegades level support and effort (only maybe without friggen killing the landmark animated series before it even aired this time). A toyline can only survive on the regurgitated designs from 30 years ago for so long, and we’re reaching a breaking point.

Transformers has survived and excelled because it has successfully reinvigorated itself on a consistent basis throughout the past 30 years. Beast Wars led to Robots in Disguise, led to Armada, led to Classics, led to Generations, which has been further supplemented by fantastic comic books that Hasbro is actually using as inspiration for more toys, not to mention video games (yes I’m forgetting the films on purpose).

G.I. Joe has had one clear behemoth success, and it was three decades ago. Eventually we need to stop looking back and start looking forward, or the brand will always be taking things one year at a time, with no clear direction. While 6” figures might be a fun distraction and a quick spark, if Hasbro is serious about making G.I. Joe a player again, they must realize that’s not the solution to their problem.

G.I. Joe needs synergy. The same synergy that has worked so well for Transformers over the past few years, films notwithstanding. Get an animated series rolling, develop a video game with CARE, PRECISION and continuity. Embrace the comics! For the love of God, don’t be afraid to take some chances and put some resources behind it and maybe, just maybe give the thing half a chance to succeed or fail before you pull the plug. You might just be surprised as the results.

DandDCustoms-6-inch-Joes

Image courtesy of D & D Customs and HISSTank.com

What’s on Joe Mind Presents – the MegaForce Commentary!

Because no one demanded it!

Any G.I. Joe fan from the cheesy 80′s can find parallels between G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero and the totally hokey 1980′s military film MegaForce. And yes, I use the term “military” very lightly. In this special edition we do a full blown commentary on the whole 90 minute film. I’m pretty sure the experience took a few years off my life, so you’d all better enjoy it.

Check out the latest Special Edition on our Podbean Page (or embedded below) and check out the show notes!

SHOW NOTES

MEGAFORCE

“Making it Up as I Go Along” – A documentary on Larry Hama from the Spitting Image

The Spitting Image is a creative production company and they focused some of their exceptionally talented attention on our very own Larry Hama. A new documentary entitled “Making it Up As I Go Along” follows Hama through New York ComicCon, hundreds of comics, and over three years of camera footage to produce a very slick and nicely presented documentary.

You can check it out on the Spitting-Image website, and it’s a great looking piece of work. Obviously there are G.I. Joe references throughout the production.

Making_it_Up_Hama-01

New logo revealed for 2015 G.I. Joe Convention

One must ask, if a new logo has been revealed, are they close to revealing this next year’s theme? I know the reveal last year happened towards the end of 2013, so the timeline is coming close, but it all depends on when the Convention is going to be held.

Check out the GIJoeCon Facebook page, and the image is mirrored below.

GIJoeCon_2015_Logo

Entertainment Earth Pre-Orders for upcoming G.I. Joe Product

Well, it looks like Toys “R” Us and Big Bad Toy Store exclusivity may be gone…  pre-orders have been announced by Entertainment Earth, not only for G.I. Joe: 50th Anniversary, but also for the Gentle Giant 12″ Rock n Roll!

Check out the links below.

G.I. Joe Rock N Roll Jumbo Vintage-Style Action Figure

The following images link to sets of the 2 Packs and Full cases.

G.I. Joe 50th Anniversary Action Figures 2-Packs Wave 1 SetG.I. Joe 50th Anniversary Action Figures 2-Packs Wave 1 CaseG.I. Joe 50th Anniversary Action Figures 2-Packs Wave 2 SetG.I. Joe 50th Anniversary Action Figures 2-Packs Wave 2 Case

Enjoy!

Entertainment_Earth_Logo

Unicef Releases powerful video – A Vaccine for Violence

The G.I. Joe connection here may be tenuous, but the message is a good one. Unicef UK reached out to me to help spread the word about their new “Violence Vaccine” initiative, and a video they produced to get the word out about it, and if an organization like Unicef asks me to share something, I’m going to try and do it.

At one point in the short film, a child poses his G.I. Joe figure as a method of defense against potential violence, which impacts children across the world far more than any of us would like to believe or realize. Please check out the video below and the Press Release to go along with it.

Check out the Press Release below.

Continue reading

IDW Publishing G.I. Joe #2 (Season 4) Preview

Karen Traviss and Steve Kurth continue the resurgence of the main G.I. Joe title from IDW this Wednesday, and you can check out a preview of the upcoming second issue below.

G.I. Joe #2

Karen Traviss (w) • Steve Kurth (a) • Jeffrey Veregge (c)

THE FALL OF G.I. JOE! Scarlett’s last chance to save the G.I. JOE team’s existence is threatened on all sides—the U.S. government, shady spy organizations, two warring factions in a nation in the throes of civil war… plus the benevolent peace-keeping forces of Cobra?!

FC • 32 pages • $3.99

Bullet points:

  • Bold new era continues with superstar writer Karen Traviss (Halo, Gears of War, Star Wars: Republic Commando)!
  • SCARLETT commands the G.I. JOE team!
  • The world will always need the G.I. JOE team—right?!
  • Ask your retailer about the David Williams variant cover, connecting to variants for issues 1, 3 and 4!

Darkness Falls Episode 31 – The Valley of Death is now online

After pushing their way through the maintenance tunnels, the G.I. Joe team is on the precipice of striking at the heart of the Cobra Command structure…  but they’re not there yet!  One last obstacle stands in their way in the form of the Cobra Imperial Guard!  Can they make one last push through this final obstacle, or are the Commander’s most trusted and powerful personal guards too tough for them?

Check the Darkness Falls section, or click the episode link below.

darknessfalls_ep31_post

Pre-Orders Announced for first Gentle Giant 12″ G.I. Joe – Rock n Roll!

We’ve been hearing about them for a few months now, and the pre-orders have officially gone live! Gentle Giant’s entry into the vintage G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero line is officially up for pre-order on Big Bad Toy Store. Check out the link below to pre-order and also take a peek at the great images courtesy of Gentle Giant themselves.

Okay, I have to admit, that Rock n Roll looks pretty sharp in those pictures.  This isn’t a line I plan on collecting, to be honest, but I can’t argue that seeing the vintage figure in that size and with those crisp paint apps is a pretty awesome nostalgia punch.

Good stuff.