Introducing – The Joy of G.I. Joe

As an adult collector it can be a little too easy to turn to snark and disdain when speaking to certain pop culture elements, especially ones that were so important to us as children.  Anyone who has visited GeneralsJoes knows that I try and retain some of the pleasure and joy that toys brought me as a kid, and I’m extremely happy to announce a new project between myself and Jim Beard!

We are working together to bring a new book to the collecting community.  Entitled The Joy of Joe, it endeavors to portray the pleasure of G.I. Joe to kids throughout the years.

But in order to move forward on the project, we do need your help.  We do have a potential publisher, but we need a professionally designed cover and interior formatting, which does cost some up front money.  It’s not much, but it is necessary.  If this is a publication you’d like to support, please consider checking out the GoFundMe page and throwing some support our way.  All we’re asking for is money to develop the cover and format the book.  I’m greatly looking forward to getting this project out there, and sincerely appreciate anyone who might consider supporting it.  The full details are below!

Joy-of-Joe

THE JOY OF JOE is thirty-plus essays about the joy of growing up with one of the greatest toys of all time.

“The book will collect the memories of Joe fans from over fifty years of childhood play, and focus on the true joy of the figures and their accessories. Everything from the original 1960s soldiers through the 70s Adventure Team and into the later Real American Hero era will be covered in equal measure.”

Jim and I see this as the ultimate tribute to not only the toy itself, but to the joy of play and childhood. We would be very grateful if you could help us achieve our vision of the book and have it look as professional as possible. In return, we will try to keep its price as reasonable as we can when it’s published, so that everyone can share in THE JOY OF JOE.

Where it all began – the 1963 Toy Fair pitch that sold G.I. Joe

In the 1960’s Hasbro, quite simply, wasn’t what it is today. Beginning in 1923, the Hassenfeld brothers formed a company selling textile remnants, then migrated to school supplies, and finally, in the 1940’s spun off into producing toys. In 1952 with the arrival of Mr. Potato Head, they finally had a big toy brand to call their own.

Meanwhile, Mattel was rolling hard and strong with Barbie, and while Hasbro was doing okay, it wasn’t in the same league as its west coast competition.

Then came 1963. Then came the revelation that they could do what Mattel is doing and make a Barbie…but make it a Barbie for boys.

G.I. Joe was born.

Pitched in 1963, the brand depended on a successful reception at Toy Fair in New York City to spring forward into production. Deals were made in New York, not in the backrooms in the months leading up to what is now essentially a press event. Brands literally lived and died by their presentation.

It all came down to this.

With the above film reel from 1963, Hasbro officially convinced American retailers to buy into this brand. In 1964 and 1965 G.I. Joe made up 75% of Hasbro’s sales, and while it dipped in the late 70’s, it rebounded in the 80s to become the first multi-media toyline release with a cartoon, comic book, and landmark series of highly articulated action figures all hitting at once. It was an incredible feat of marketing the likes of which had never been seen before, and have rarely been replicated to such perfection even 30+ years later.

It all came down to that nine minute video. The concept of Action Figures was born there, and lives on today.

Today, three decades later, G.I. Joe remains one of the most recognized American icons and toy brands around the world.

Yo Joe indeed!

GeneralsJoes Reviews GIJCC Marissa Faireborn w/ Afterbreaker

Do you like your peanut butter in your chocolate? Some do, some don’t, but whatever your preference, the G.I. Joe and Transformers Collectors Clubs have taken steps to offer exclusives linking together the universes of G.I. Joe and Transformers, and their first entry into that world is Marissa Faireborn w/ Afterbreaker.

Actually released earlier last year, I only got the opportunity to pick this figure up a month or so ago, and am now getting around to the review. You can check out the review on the G.I. Joe Collectors Club review page, or the direct link below.

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G.I. Joe: Legacy Kindle Worlds Crossover begins with the Adventure Team!

A short while ago, we announced an exciting G.I. Joe themed Kindle Worlds crossover event entitled G.I. Joe: Legacy!  The idea was for four separate Kindle Worlds authors (Jim Beard, Bill Nedrow, Troy Osgood and myself) to write different installments of a G.I. Joe story taking place in different era’s of time, from the 1970s all the way up until the 21st century.

Well, Part 01, featuring the Adventure Team is online!  It’s a novella, very affordably priced at only .99 and will be kicking off this exciting G.I. Joe: Legacy project.  Look for the remaining parts to hit monthly over the next few months.  As one might expect, I’m handling the 90s.

Check out Jim’s Adventure Team installment here, it’s a great read, and very quick.  Good stuff, and I’m thrilled to be part of this project!

Top 10 G.I. Joe Toys of 2015

The last couple of years as I sat down to write this up, I think ‘oh, this will be easy this year…there was barely any product’!

Then I go through all of my reviews over the past 12 months and realize that for a line that is supposedly on prolonged life support, we still got some GREAT stuff in 2015. Really great stuff.

Now, I migrated to a new review system in 2015, one that makes calculating review scores a bit more granular. But, I’ll be honest… I still went by the seat of my pants on this rundown, and looked at these figures from the perspective of a 100 mile view. It can be tough to write up a review “hot off the presses” right when I get a figure in hand, because honestly, that’s often when I’m in love the most. It can be tough to be impartial that close to the newness of that toy for the first time.

So I whittled down the list and ultimately looked at figures that I could step away from for a little while and gauge my appreciation.

The results are after the break.

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Top 10 G.I. Joe News Stories of 2015

At any given time throughout 2015 it felt like a pretty slow news year for G.I. Joe, but as always, when you stop and look back, suddenly things don’t look quite so small.

Granted G.I. Joe product at retail was pretty much focused to a singular burst in late summer as the 50th Anniversary exploded, then faded, even though we got Convention product and FSS figures earlier in the year. With all that being said, it still feels like there were plenty of “banner moments” in G.I. Joe news for the year that was.

News was breaking right up until the last moment, and I’m actually a bit worried that if I post this prior to December 31st I might end up missing something!

Click the “read more” link below to check out the full list!

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Hasbro to build new connective cinematic universe with G.I. Joe and other brands

On the surface this sounds like a very cool, very fun idea. Underneath the surface, I can’t help but wonder exactly how this is going to work.

The Hollywood Reporter posted an article today revealing a Hasbro and Paramount joint venture to unify the universes of G.I. Joe, MASK, Visionaries, Micronauts, and ROM into one connective cinematic universe.

My first reaction, of course, is JOY. I absolutely love Joe, MASK, and Visionaries, and the mere fact that discussion of these three properties is occurring fills me with immense pleasure.

Of course my next reaction is how the heck is Hasbro going to tell a story featuring a modern military team and Knights of the Magical light and have it make any modicum of sense? Add that to Rom the Space Knight and the Micronauts, and even more confusion comes into play.

It’s funny, I could definitely see MASK and G.I. Joe co-existing on screen in a great way. I could see Visionaries, Rom, and Micronauts even existing in some strange pseudo magic-science cosmic universe. But somehow joining all five together? Very weird, although certainly not without precedence. One might point to Marvel’s success with Guardians of the Galaxy to point out how well a company can synergize more “real world” events with a more cosmic story arc, but Marvel spent half a decade building their universe around their characters. Will Hasbro and Paramount’s vision work the same way?

I guess it will be interesting to find out.

Meanwhile, I’m just ecstatic that there are two more Hasbro properties I’m enthusiastic about potentially getting a stronger focus in the coming years.

Check out the Hollywood Reporter’s article for more details.

(Visionaries image courtesy of the immensely talented stratosmacca on DeviantArt)

G.I. Joe Kindle Worlds Crossover Event – G.I. Joe Legacy

An exciting announcement from the minds behind several of the G.I. Joe Kindle Worlds novels!

For Immediate Release

GI JOE KINDLE WORLDS AUTHORS UNITE FOR MULTI-PART EPIC

The four best-selling authors who recently competed in the GI Joe Hasbro Kindle Worlds Fan Vote contest, Jim Beard, Justin Bell, Bill Nedrow, and Troy Osgood, are joining forces to publish a four-part GI Joe story to launch this January on Amazon’s Kindle Worlds platform.

GI JOE: LEGACY will spotlight the four GI Joe characters from the contest in a sprawling, action-fueled saga that spans more than four decades, and will be published once a month for four months. Each author’s short story may be read on its own, but also as “chapters” of the larger adventure. In addition, Beard, Bell, Nedrow, and Osgood will write the stories in “round robin” fashion, each building off the previous installment.

The Kindle Worlds publication schedule will be:

GI JOE: LEGACY, PART 1 by Jim Beard (Adventure Team Marcus) – January 1st, 2016

GI JOE: LEGACY, PART 2 by Bill Nedrow (Stiletto) – February 1st, 2016

GI JOE: LEGACY, PART 3 by Justin Bell (Whisper) – March 1st, 2016

GI JOE: LEGACY, PART 4 by Troy Osgood (Blackjack) – April 1st, 2016

Please visit the Tales of GI Joe Facebook page for updates, as well as the author’s Amazon pages:

I couldn’t be more excited to be a part of this exciting upcoming event!  I think it’ll be a lot of fun for readers, and I’m sure it’ll be a ton of fun for us authors, too.

Stay tuned, it’s coming fast!

G.I. Joe Holiday Deals at Entertainment Earth

Leading up to the huge holiday weekend, Entertainment Earth has some great bargains on select G.I. Joe items.  Check out the links below!

G.I. Joe: Renegades 4-Pack only $14.10!

G.I. Joe Renegades Pack Action Figures

G.I. Joe: Retaliation 4-Pack only $13.00!

G.I. Joe Retaliation Premiere Pack Action Figures

50th Anniversary Desert Duel only $40.00!

G.I. Joe Desert Duel Vehicles with Action Figures Exclusive

50th Anniversary 2014 Wave 2 set only $18.00

G.I. Joe 50th Anniversary Action Figures 2-Packs Wave 2 Set

Don’t forget there are all sorts of Funko POP! collectibles, Gentle Giant Jumbos available and many other items, too! Check out their full selection at EntertainmentEarth.com!

Writers Room from Transformers films makes its way to G.I. Joe

Paramount made waves last year when it announced a “writer’s room” with some heavy hitting film writers and developers who were all working together to build a cohesive universe for the continuation of the Transformers series of films with Michael Bay apparently stepping away from the franchise.

Well, according to Nerdist, a similar writer’s room is now forming on other Hasbro properties, including G.I. Joe and Micronauts.

This is an interesting conundrum for fans of G.I. Joe, because while a concerted team of folks working on future film development is certainly proof that Hasbro (and Paramount) are committed to investing in the future of the brand, it most assuredly means the next G.I. Joe film is likely still a few years away.

Perhaps that’s a good thing?  While many fans felt that G.I. Joe: Retaliation was a step in the right direction, it wasn’t especially well-received by the movie going public, and the delay in release certainly didn’t set a good precedent either.  With the recent financial hiccup with Jem and the Holograms, it seems that Hasbro is investing in this writer’s room to hopefully not make the same mistake with this next generation of G.I. Joe films.

Now, just because this writer’s room is happening doesn’t necessarily mean the first two Joe films are being wiped from Hollywood memory.  After all, the writer’s room worked to develop Transformers 5, which is essentially a continuation of the film franchise.

How this all turns out is anyone’s guess, but the mere fact that this writer’s room is focusing on G.I. Joe is potentially good news for fans of the franchise.  It’s proof that G.I. Joe’s  future in Hollywood isn’t yet decided, and in fact steps are being taken to try and put together a powerful film franchise.

The leader of the writer’s room working on these other properties is Akiva Goldsman (the same man who led the Transformers team), though who the actual other members are, at this point, unknown.  If some of the members remain the same, we could get some pretty powerful Hollywood talent focused on G.I. Joe, including Robert Kirkman (Walking Dead), Zak Penn (The Avengers w/ Joss Whedon), Art Marcum & Matt Holloway (Iron Man), and Andrew Barrer & Gabriel Ferrari (Ant Man).  Now it’s clear that these folks won’t likely all join Goldsman on the G.I. Joe film brand, but it’s still a fun thing to consider.

Check out the latest news on the Nerdist article here, and to get an idea of what the Transformers Writer’s Room was trying to accomplish, check out this Deadline article for more info.

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