Super 7 reveals SDCC exclusive G.I. Joe T-Shirts

Another announcement of an SDCC exclusive non-action figure oriented G.I. Joe item came yesterday with Super 7 revealing that they’re producing two t-shirts with a G.I. Joe theme.

The fact that Super 7 is doing Joe shirts isn’t necessarily new news, they’ve had several for sale on their website for quite a while.  That being said, if Hasbro was ever considering them for producing toys similar to how they’re working on Masters of the Universe Classics consider this my official endorsement. 

The SDCC exclusive shirts should be available at booth #4945 and you can see the images below.  Thanks to Diana for posting this info to the G.I. Joe Discussion Group on Facebook.

G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero – 250 Issues

A guest post by Skinny

Milestone.

It is a word that you don’t hear used a lot any more. That is because they just don’t happen too much any more. Our lives today are fast, We don’t follow Ferris Bueller’s advice to stop and look around. We also don’t put our hair in a mohawk in the shower. What I mean is, life is even faster and we can only take things in chunks. Anything long lasting is intimidating. G.I.Joe from day one continues to be something that was built to last. An exception.

It all began in 1982 when Hasbro visited the Marvel Offices and sought out a creator to bring their re-envisioned version of G.I.Joe to life. Chosen by elimination, Larry Hama took what could have been a side project and infused it with real storytelling.

The late Herb Trimpe, a veteran at Marvel comics, brought his art to the table. Jim Shooter, Todd McFarlane, Rod Whigham, Ron Wagner, Andrew Wildman, Michael Goldman, Mike Zeck, Mike Vosburg and most recently S.L. Gallant, Brian Shearer, J. Brown and Netho Diaz among countless others all contributed to the success and look of G.I.Joe.

250 issues. It has run from 1982 to 1994 and then again in 2010 picking up exactly where they left off in 1994. There were a few half issues in there expanding the stories from the sidelines, but the official 250th issue comes out today.

We have seen new characters, beloved comic only characters, the deaths of characters, the rebirths of characters, minds reprogrammed, cat fights, towns taken over, civil war, alien robots, disguises, close calls, patriotism, imposters, flashbacks, characters seeing the light, ninjas, detailed locales based on reality, a little bit of advice, military jargon, comical moments, and even one issue used as the basis for a movie about a giant asteroid hurtling toward Earth. It is the golden boy and Mom’s apple pie vs Orson Welles in a hood. It is the many faces of diversity both physical and of character.

The characters as Larry has admitted in several interviews are based on the people he knows so he can keep track of them. This provides a wonderful consistency and is the main reason no one can ever really nail down the character’s essences like he can. It would be like you trying to write about someone else’s uncle. You could get some things right but there would be something missing. I would love to meet the practical joker Airtight is based on he/she must be a wild one.

G.I.Joe is centered around the life of a stand out main character, who cannot talk. Imagine creating this tragic tale of a man who expresses himself in other ways besides speech. It is indeed a tragic tale.  G.I. Joe, says Hama, is Junior woodchucks with guns. G.I. Joe takes us all around the world and back in time. G.I.Joe is different things to different people. Hama himself says it best however.

“They don’t understand the intrinsic fantasy. G.I.Joe isn’t a military fantasy, it’s not a war book, it’s a fantasy about loyalty and camaraderie. Which to a ten year old kid is an extremely powerful fantasy because every ten year old kid has been betrayed. Obviously. The idea of best friends that never let you down and will stand up for you; if you are in trouble they will come and get you. That’s a powerful fantasy and its also a fantasy of doing the right thing and having integrity without looking for the reward and about duty, and old fashioned things like that… that to a kid represents order and it’s very comforting.” (Larry Hama YoutubeInterview by Roy Turner 2018)

To center a comic around that theme, and not just make it a toy comic, pushed it into the pantheon of comics that last into the hundreds of issues. Iconic comics.

Milestones.

 

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The state of GeneralsJoes – 2018

Hey, all.  So what’s new?

If you’re a regular visitor to GeneralsJoes, you’re probably thinking that a lot of stuff is new, I just haven’t been talking about it.  And yeah, you’d be right.

Why is that?  Honestly, I don’t really have an answer.  I think it’s a lot of things. 

After holding the torch of the G.I. Joe fandom for near twenty years, I think I’ve gotten a little tired.  I’ve posted hundreds of reviews over twenty years, thousands of news stories, and seen many of the same themes come and go.  Popularity swings from one extreme to the other, but a solid core of devoted, motivated fans who love the brand and want to continue to see it evolve.

One thing social media has done is provided an outlet for many of those motivated fans to continue expressing their feelings of the brand at large and as things have become more social media driven, I’ve felt like a place like GeneralsJoes hasn’t had a very large role in that.  Mostly my own fault, but it is the truth.

Also I can’t help but say that my own motivation has been somewhat lacking.  As many of you are aware I’ve begun focusing a lot of time and energy on my career as an independent author, an endeavor I’ve found to be exceedingly rewarding and unbelievably enjoyable.  Unfortunately as a husband and father with a 50 hour a week job, I only have so much time outside of daily life to contribute to what are essentially “hobbies” at this point.  Posting new FSS reviews or writing 20,000 words on a new novel?  The novel is going to win out at this point.  I need to do what’s best for my own self worth and my own reward system.

Lots of you will say it’s a lack of news or interest that’s driving the site into relative silence, but I can promise you that’s not the point.  My site begun in 1998 when we were getting maybe 15 new figures a year (and then none in 1999).  My site has  survived the Direct to Consumer doldrums, the disintegration of one of my favorite brands, Sigma 6, the rise and fall of the G.I. Joe film franchise, and GeneralsJoes was right there the whole time.  It didn’t go anywhere, and it’s still not going anywhere.  I’m never going to abandon this site, I’m never going to abandon the G.I. Joe brand,  I just have only so much time to go around, and for the moment that time is being spent on other endeavors.  I truly hope everyone reading this understands.

That being said, if there is anyone reading this who wants to assist in keeping the heartbeat of GeneralsJoes alive, please drop me line (justin AT generalsjoes.com).  I hate to see the site dwindling into obscurity, I desperately want to keep it active and keep it relevant, but there’s only so much I can do personally, and as I said, for my own mental well-being and self-reward, I really want to continue to focus on being an author.

Who knows, if my author career takes off to the point where I can do that for a day job, then that changes my whole landscape.  I don’t see that happening for a while (if ever).

That being said, there are rumors that the next G.I. Joe film will be landing in early 2020.  Along with that will likely be a new action figure line.  The G.I. Joe Collectors Club is officially winding down with their last convention in Chattanooga this coming year.  The good news is that there are so many fans of the brand still keeping the fires lit, and trust me when I say I’m doing the same thing, I’m just doing it a bit more quietly than some others.  That may change in 2018, but I can’t promise anything at this point.

Until then, keep hitting The Full Force, 3D Joes, YoJoe, JoeBattleLines, HissTank, and so many other online G.I. Joe fandoms who are doing a much better job keeping the torch lit than I am.

Like I said, I’m not going anywhere, and if anyone wants to help keep the light on, please drop me a line.  Time will tell how things look going into 2018.

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Some interesting licensing angles in the works for the G.I. Joe brand

While I think many of us wait patiently for news of the upcoming Hasbro Cinematic Universe so we can set expectations for new retail G.I. Joe figures, a few licensees have emerged with potential G.I. Joe related items in various stages of conception and production.

Perhaps most unusual is news from Dynamic Attractions (revealed via Skinny on Twitter) who is apparently planning a new full-blown amusement park attraction and framing it around the G.I. Joe brand.  They speak about it in depth in this YouTube video and even show some brief video (including a look at very COBRA-themed set design and a vehicle that looks more than a little like a four-seat VAMP):

Dubbed an “All-Terrain Dark Ride” this was announced at IAAPA 2017 (The International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions) and even included some promotional opportunities.

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Along with this information, Pop Culture Shock Collectibles has also announced they have acquired rights to produce some G.I. Joe product as well.  Most well known for their lines of statues, we’ll have to see what they have in store and how it compares (or compliments) the existing work of Prime 1 Studio.

“PCS Collectibles is pleased to announce we have now secured a licensing agreement with Hasbro Inc. We are excited about the opportunity to team with Hasbro in creating collectibles based on characters from properties like TRANSFORMERS, DUNGEONS & DRAGONS, MAGIC: THE GATHERING, G.I. JOE and MY LITTLE PONY to name a few. Stay tuned for further details!

G.I. JOE, TRANSFORMERS, and MY LITTLE PONY are trademarks of Hasbro. DUNGEONS & DRAGONS is a trademark of Wizards of the Coast LLC.”

As always, time will tell how this all shakes out.  Stay tuned!

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Hasbro Pulse goes behind the scenes with Missile Command Center

The Hasbro Pulse website has posted a pretty awesome behind the scenes talk with G.I. Joe product designer Bobby Vala, which explores some of the thought and work that went into the ComicCon exclusive Missile Command Center!  This is some great insight and has some awesome pictures showing some of the different steps Vala took to get to the awesome finished product so many Joe fans were grateful to finally receive after decades of lusting after the original online.

Check out the Hasbro Pulse article right here and huge props to Hasbro, our buddy Fred from JoeBattleLines and Bobby Vala for sharing some of the trade secrets with us.  Great stuff!

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Joe DeClassified Booth at the Edmonton Expo was beyond awesome

This past weekend was the Edmonton Comic and Entertainment Expo, which featured a terrific appearance by the fine folks at JoeDeClassified.

They posted a wealth of amazing art and pre-production items, and provided some images for folks to check out, even those of us who couldn’t attend.

Check out all of the images over on the JoeDeClassified Facebook Page, I’ve mirrored just a couple of them below.

G.I. Joe comics from IDW Publishing are at a crossroads

I’ve been going back and forth on this for a long time now, but after the events of the last twenty-four hours, I think it’s time that I make a decision.

GeneralsJoes will no longer be covering or providing coverage of IDW Publishing’s G.I. Joe comics until something can be done about writer Aubrey Sitterson.

From a personal perspective, I can respect his devotion to his political beliefs.  Hell, to be totally honest, I share some of those beliefs.  But over the past several months, Mr. Sitterson has systematically worked through social media to generate a sense of ill-will for the majority of the G.I. Joe fan base, and I’ve reached a point where I just don’t want to discuss it or give it any exposure any more.

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It started in the G.I. Joe: Discussion Facebook group where some members were talking about a particular G.I. Joe cover, which caused Mr. Sitterson to get exceptionally hostile towards the fans to the point where he posted an image of himself giving the middle finger with a blatant image of the president blowing his own brains out on a t-shirt.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m no fan of Donald Trump (an issue I will NOT be discussing further so don’t bother asking) but the gesture struck me as being completely out of line for a creator who is attempting to engage with the fan base.  As if that wasn’t bad enough, when one of the admins stepped in, Mr. Sitterson fell back to his personal social media platform and proceeded to accuse the entire group of being homophobes and racists, a complete and total misrepresentation of the facts.  He has used this same tactic with a recent exchange regarding folks expressing sympathy and emotion for the events of September 11th.

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Since then he has continuously posted virulent and aggressive posts through social media while at the same time promoting G.I. Joe, and over the past several weeks I have grown increasingly uncomfortable with how closely linked the G.I. Joe brand has become with his own mode of online commentary.  Mr. Sitterson has spent a lot of time in the wrestling world, and he certainly seems to be working to generate heat, hoping that this heat will spill over into sales and attention for the G.I. Joe comics.  Unfortunately, sales continue to falter and I see disgusted fans by the dozens unsubscribing or expressing their distaste for the way the current writer is handling himself.

G.I. Joe, at this moment, strikes me as a brand in crisis.  I strongly believe any curator of that brand in a professional capacity needs to express himself in a professional manner.  Mr. Sitterson has not been doing that for a very, very long time, and eventually his agenda is going to drive away what few hardcore fans the G.I. Joe brand has left.

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Believe me, I am about as far from the “hardcore G.I. Joe military RULEZ” crowd as you can get.  I have plenty of room in my love for the brand to accept the more eccentric and outlandish stories.  That’s a huge part of what has made G.I. Joe what it is today.  In another life I would enjoy and appreciate the outlandish nature of what Sitterson is trying to accomplish, but his aggressive belligerence makes it impossible to do so.

What I cannot do is accept the fact that one of the brand’s creative members seems to feel a need to work so hard to ostracize the fans who have supported this brand for decades.  His recent tweet about September 11th was poorly worded and borderline offensive, and when folks have called him on it, his response was (and I quote):

“But as a guy who stood in the streets of lower Manhattan, where he lived, and watched it all unfold: F*ck you.”

Is that really the brand ambassador that we all want at the head of the ship?  Also, did he forget that the events of 9/11 not only impacted New York, but Washington, DC, Pennsylvania and thousands of people who lost family members aboard the aircraft that crashed into the two towers?

From a personal perspective I will no longer be buying IDW Publishing’s main G.I. Joe title.  I’ve been purchasing every single G.I. Joe comic since 1984.  It took until 2017 to get me to stop, but I have finally been worn down to the point of just not being able to support it anymore.

Mr. Sitterson has complete and total freedom of speech and as I’ve already said, I fully respect his opinion and his intense desire to share that opinion regardless of what others may think.  It’s an admirable trait.

However, in this case, I think he is actively damaging a brand that cannot withstand the continued punishment, and the best interests of IDW Publishing’s G.I. Joe universe do not necessarily align with his.  For that reason, I’m expressing my own freedom in not promoting or commercially supporting IDW Publishing’s endeavors with the G.I. Joe universe.  It’s unfortunate, and honestly I’m sure my little voice in this big, huge world doesn’t mean much, but I’ve gotta do what I feel is right.

First ever HasCon impresses, surprises, and satisfies

First and foremost… for some of the best coverage of HasCon you MUST check out the following two places:

Both Christopher and Carson went above and beyond documenting the experience in video and image form, and have a lot better detail there than I’m providing below.  This is just my own take on the experience.

On paper, it looked like kind of a crazy idea.  The coordination, the early mornings, the blood, sweat, and tears.

Oh, I’m not talking about HasCon itself.  I’m talking about my plans for HasCon weekend.  Deciding to forego the VIP treatment this year (going by some peer reactions, this was a significant lack of judgement on my part) I elected instead to make HasCon a day trip.  Grab a ticket, cruise down to Rhode Island for the day, have some fun.

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(Image courtesy of the 3DJoes Facebook Page)

Then they decided to bring James White from the New England Patriots, and my daughter caught wind of it, and those plans went out the window.  She had to see him on Sunday, and I had to see my friends on Saturday, so I decided on back-to-back road trips of nearly 3 hours each way.

I don’t regret one second of it.  If anything, I regret not bringing my second daughter along for the ride.

As we near the end of Fun Publication’s license for the G.I. Joe Convention (with Botcon already come and gone) Hasbro had elected to take over some of the convention reigns themselves, putting together a combination con involving all of their various brands.  HasCon as it was dubbed was immediately greeted by mixed reactions (my own included).  But as more and more of my friends expressed their interest in attending, I decided I’d go along for the ride.

(Images Courtesy of the 3DJoes Facebook Page)

Next year, it’s VIP all the way.

While I missed Friday, from everything I heard, the G.I. Joe panels were informative, interesting, and fun, a deep, introspective dive into the history of the world’s first action figure.  Certainly a lot of the discussion focused on the Real American Hero side of things, Hasbro pulled out all of the stops with actually recreating some of the old prototype vehicles and restoring many items for display.  Alan Hassenfeld himself was on site during the dinner to give a rousing speech, with the always present and always enthusiastic Derryl DePriest carrying the torch as well.  By all accounts they were both fantastic.  If you missed Friday like I did, you absolutely must go check The Full Force on Facebook, as the stalwart Chris McLeod managed to capture the majority of it on video.

I showed up on Saturday, shortly before noon, and the place was slamming.  It was wall-to-wall people waiting in line for autographs by David Ortiz, or playing along with a DJ, having a blast in the HasCade, or enjoying the G.I. Joe history lesson courtesy of Dan Klingensmith and an entire cadre of design legends from the hallowed halls of Hasbro.  I gravitated towards the G.I. Joe display of course and ran into some great friends there from 3D Joes and the Flag Points podcast, Dan K. himself, as well as members of the G.I. Joe Discussion Group on Facebook.  Less than thirty minutes into my arrival and it was like old homes day, especially for this old man who had missed the past two JoeCons in a row.

After chatting the guys up for a few minutes, I was swept into the main exhibit hall which was simply astounding.  Every single Hasbro brand was represented there from Transformers to Nerf to My Little Pony and Magic: The Gathering.  Disney Princesses, Star Wars, the whole ball of wax.

Well, except for G.I. Joe, which maintained its position on guard outside the front door.  If anything, though its placement gave it more visibility, not less.

Each section of boys toys goodness was crammed with new and old toys, fantastic, elaborate diorama displays and a bunch of great Hasbro designers to talk with.  I was able to play catch up with John Warden (though I kept missing Bobby Vala in the Marvel booth) and the enthusiasm with which they talked about their craft and the product lines they work on was infectious.  Moving from booth to booth (dodging the 15 foot tall Bumblebee dancing around) was an experience in glorious sensory overload.  HasCon is like JoeCon + Botcon x 10 squared.  It was really amazing.

(Video Courtesy of The Full Force Facebook Page)

But the audience was manageable.  It was large, but not TOO LARGE if you get my meaning.  Things rarely got to San Diego ComicCon shoulder-to-shoulder level, but on Saturday there was a constant stream and presence of people, but it never quite reached overwhelming status.

As a collector, though, once you pulled yourself away from the Boys Toys alley, things got even cooler, especially for those of us parents in the room.  Sprawling out throughout the rest of the exhibit hall was booths upon booths of fun, colorful, interactive demonstrations of Hasbro’s core brands.  Stuff like My Little Pony (full make up stations), Littlest Pet Shop (you could customize your own pet, or win free pets by spinning a hamster wheel), Baby Alive (changing stations, feeding stations, the whole nine yards), Nerf (shooting ranges and Dude Perfect trick shots), and even a Troll section where you could get your hair done up like one of those crazy plastic dolls that actually have names and a mythology now.

I’m so old.

There were kids and families.  Everywhere.  Just as it should be.  Boys and girls of all ages being exposed to Hasbro brands, discovering just how cool the various Nerf weapons or the latest Beyblades were.  Getting smacked in the face with a whipped cream pie or sprayed by a toilet (don’t ask)…  it was a tradeshow, a family fun day, and a full blown fan convention all wrapped up in a single package.

And it all worked.

Upon my return trip on Sunday, with my 12 year old in tow (who was thrilled to meet and get her picture taken with James White) the crowds were smaller and more scattered, making the floor more manageable.  She was able to play at the various game stations and although she was ‘way too old, dad’ for Baby Alive or My Little Pony, she eagerly traveled the floor with her little passport to collect all the stamps and get her free water bottle.  She customized her own Littlest Pet Shop and won a couple of free ones to bring home to her sister.  All that plus enough free Play-Doh to choke a stable of horses.

Sure, there were hiccups as there always are the first year around, but overall the experience was exceptionally smooth.  Busy, but not packed.  Lots to do and see, but not sensory overload.  Just enough great stuff happening at regular intervals, but not so much that you felt like you were going to miss something.

I’m not sure HasCon will become a regular thing, I can’t even imagine the coordination it took to bring it all together.  But I hope it does.  And if it does, I’ll be there next year.  I may even bring the whole family.

Dan, Derryl, the G.I. Joe legends, and everyone involved deserves some serious props for what it took to pull this off.  Yes, the best part (as always) was seeing all my friends and hanging with great people, but the Convention itself was a blast, and something I can see myself attending every year, and even better, something I can bring the family to as well.

Great success and congrats to all.

It’s a Full Force extravaganza – Series 4 episode 3 …with Zombie Lab!

More great G.I. Joe news than you can shake a stick at!  The Full Force is online with their latest episode (Series 4, Episode 3 to be precise) and they are unraveling the latest news from San Diego ComicCon as well as an exclusive interview with the folks behind the latest awesome action figure Kickstarter – Zombie Lab!  Myself and Boss Fight’s Dave Proctor join Chris to talk to Andy and Alex and get the skinny behind the action figure Kickstarter going on right now!

Lots of great content to digest with this one from lots of awesome contributors including G.I. Joe artist Adam Riches, collector supreme Troy McKie and those awesome dudes from across the pond Dave Tree and Eddie Inman.  Of course Chris does a great job running the show as always.

Check out The Full Force on Facebook for show notes and other great stuff, and the podcast episode can be accessed from Podbean, or embedded below.

FUUULLL FOOOOOOORRRCE!!

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In hand images and guest review – ComicCon Cobra Missile Command Center

 

Noted author James Kavanaugh, Jr. is back with GeneralsJoes for an awesome early sneak peek at the COBRA Missile Command Center ComicCon exclusive!

This thing took all of us by surprise and James goes in depth with the good, the bad, and the awesome little details.

Check the review out right here (or the link below) and once again, huge thanks to James for pinch hitting this spectacular reviews.  Great stuff!

And hey, if you want to thank James for his help with these reviews, hit up RAHCGuide and buy some of his awesome G.I. Joe reference guides!

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