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G.I. Joe not appearing at Toy Fair 2015 – What does it really mean?

This has been reported in several places already, but just wanted to add my perspective…

It was revealed yesterday by Hasbro Public Relations that there would be no G.I. Joe presence at Toy Fair this year. My first reaction is actually one of thanks… I appreciate the advanced heads up just so the fandom (and those of us who cover the show) know ahead of time whether or not its worth making the trip.

It just so happens this year I have a full-weekend software deployment that weekend, so I wouldn’t have been able to attend anyway.

Secondly, I’m hoping this doesn’t come as too much of a surprise to anyone. Mark Weber, in his interview with the G.I. Joe Collectors Club specifically said they’d have more information to reveal at JoeCon in Springfield, IL…the lack of even a mention of Toy Fair was an indicator to me at the time that February in New York City would be a G.I. Joe free zone.

I really don’t think this dampens any enthusiasm for the coming year. We can assume that 2015 will be more or less a repeat of 2014, product-wise, with the big push coming next year in concert with the third film.

Of course that does bring up the question of the third film… this makes me believe that perhaps that third movie will appear later in 2016. Obviously if production hasn’t really started yet (and there’s no reason to think that it has) then we’re still a little ways off, plus I would think they’d leverage Toy Fair (though SDCC is a possibility) as a place to debut toys for the new film. If they debut those toys next February, we can expect them not to hit retail until mid-year at the earliest, likely in concert with the film release.

However, if Hasbro does choose SDCC to preview movie toys, it could happen earlier, but the timeline is feeling mighty compressed as it is. Regardless, we should hopefully have a better idea come April what the short and long term future holds for G.I. Joe.

Ten things for G.I. Joe fans to look forward to in 2015

I know it’s been somewhat doom and gloom in the G.I. Joe realm over the past few months, even with the releases of 50th Anniversary product and continued rumors of the third G.I. Joe film, but hey, you know what?  Things aren’t all bad.

As 2015 gets kicked off, it’s important to think back on recent history, and look forward on what’s to come.  And when you really look at it, the future has some brightness for G.I. Joe fans.

Click the Continue Reading link below to check out the list!

Continue reading

G.I. Joe Collectors Club introduces new Brand Manager of G.I. Joe

A pleasant surprise for a few folks who have received their G.I. Joe Collectors Club newsletter tonight. A full-page interview introduces the G.I. Joe collecting community to Mark Weber, the new Brand Manager on G.I. Joe!

Mr. Weber brings a wealth of experience, working within Transformers, and also managing the Sports Picks brands for MacFarlane Toys. As a long time G.I. Joe fan, he seems poised to make some great changes to our favorite brand going forward.

He does get into some details about plans for G.I. Joe in 2015 and going forward, focusing on “future entertainment”, which most likely refers to the third film. One piece of good news he gives us is plans for 2015 include “a lineup constructively similar to 2014″ which means more modern format G.I. Joe figures in a 4″ scale. More news should be coming at JoeCon in Springfield, IL.

With the news so quiet on the G.I. Joe front recently, it’s great to see someone actively working on the brand. Please join me in welcoming Mr. Weber to G.I. Joe, and hopefully we can all work together towards some great things in the coming years!

To see Mr. Weber in action, check out Vangelus’ interview of him at Botcon 2014 below.

Top 10 G.I. Joe Stories of 2014

I set out to write this article, and was immediately surprised by the fact that there was actually some stuff happening with the G.I. Joe brand in 2014.  I know the fandom is eager to jump and say that G.I. Joe was high and dry in this momentous year, and from a practical perspective, it was, but even so, there were lots of things happening this year worth exploring.  Not on any grand scale, however.

I suppose that’s a commentary on the state of G.I. Joe these days, where it remains somewhat relevant, but just barely.  And one is forced to ask what’s worse? Being totally irrelevant, or being just relevant enough to cling around, but not relevant enough to try and push harder.  It’s like the brand is stuck in this murky middle ground where it’s got the slightest hint of popularity enough for Hasbro to keep it hanging on, but not enough to get a real push.  Yet, until it fades away completely, it likely won’t get a full rejuvination either.

All that being said, there were still some discussion points throughout 2014, and here are my top 10.  I’m going to try very hard to maintain a sense of positivity and optimism, because dammit I still love G.I. Joe, even if the rest of the world currently couldn’t give a crap.  :)

Check out the list after the break.

Continue reading

These Draxhall Jump G.I. Joe vs. Cobra Concepts are an early Christmas Present

Being a G.I. Joe fan during the 2002 – 2005 era was an exercise in enthusiasm, excitement, and on occasion bitter disappointment. Those formative years of the new era of G.I. Joe were surrounded by an extremely vibrant fandom who latched onto G.I. Joe’s new retail presence and celebrated through Devils’ Due comics, the G.I. Joe convention, which now catered more to the 3 3/4″ fans, and a lot of folks embracing the excitement and wacky nature of G.I. Joe for the first time since the 80′s.

From a conceptual standpoint, Hasbro was developing an impressive resume of characters from the old days as well as new characters, establishing almost a perfect formula of vintage and modern. The only problem was, back then, the toy design process was a bit hit or miss, and the actual product wasn’t measuring up to the concepts. Seems we’re at an opposite place now, where we have this process to develop fantastic figures, but conceptually there seems to be a struggle. If only we could get the JvC enthusiasm and marketing muscle with the modern design technology…

But I digress.

Over at their new podcast, Nerdrahtio, Sam Sears and Tom Mathias spent some time speaking with Sam Wells, formerly of Devils’ Due Publications, who shares some magnificent concept art from the Joe Vs. Cobra, Spy Troops, Valor Vs. Venom, and even DTC days. Back then, Draxhall Jump was doing amazing work building these terrific character designs, which unfortunately ended up somewhat limited in execution. But looking back at these spectacular concepts, it can’t help but make G.I. Joe fans wish for “what might have been”. Not only that, but there is a wealth of unreleased characters featured in the artwork as well. Amazing looking stuff, truly.

Still, kudos to both Sams and Tom for sharing the information. I’ve mirrored a couple of images below, but you should check out Nerdrahtio.com for the rest. You will NOT regret it. While you’re there, listen to that first episode as well, a great interview with Mr. Wells along with discussion about the concept art shown.

YoJoe.com Top 10 G.I. Joe toys of 2014!

Alongside the stalwart cohorts at YoJoe.com, we’ve put out our list of Top 10 G.I. Joe toys from 2014.

I know to many Joefans, 2014 felt like a lost year, but looking back on it, there were some great things to enjoy, and the crew at YoJoe runs them down.

If I did my own list it would be pretty different from this, but that’s the cool thing about bringing different opinions to the table…

Check it out at YoJoe.com!

Darkness Falls – The Epilogue

The battle would appear to be over.  Cobra and G.I. Joe have both paid the price for this decades long war…  so where do things go from here?

The answers may surprise you…

It’s been a long, winding road, and the epilogue to my final story has officially been posted.  Check out the Darkness Falls section, or click the link directly below.

darknessfalls_epilogue_post

G.I. Joe and Jem get truly outrageous in another new Honda video

I don’t know how much licensing fees Honda is paying to use all these toys, but I’m glad they are, because this is some creative stuff they’re putting out there. Following up on the Honda commercial featuring the original 12″ fighting man and the leader of the holograms, a follow up has been released with G.I. Joe attempting to woo Jem with some of his mad skills.

Check out the video on YouTube or embedded below.