What’s on Joe Mind Exclusive Interview with Hasbro

The 2016 G.I. Joe Convention is now in the bag, and the What’s on Joe Mind crew has posted a veritable barrage of content straight from Loveland, Colorado!

There are a bunch of links coming up, all of which can be found on the What’s on Joe Mind Podbean page.  No doubt the highlight of the Con was the crew’s exclusive interview with Hasbro representatives Mark Weber and Derryl DePriest.  After the jump you can also check out “One Shot” shows from the Con floor as well as the Shut out the Lights wrap up panel from JoeCon itself.

Check out the Hasbro interview below.

Exclusive Interview – Mark Weber and Derryl DePriest

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G.I. Joe Convention Day Three – Here is where it all happens

You wouldn’t know it from the absolute flood of news stories I posted this morning, but Saturday is typically when things really start moving at JoeCon.

The Hasbro Team panel happens today at 11:00am Mountain Time (1:00pm Eastern) and Mark Weber has promised some very cool things to excite G.I. Joe fans.  The Crossword puzzle has been driving us all crazy for a couple of weeks now, it will be awesome to see it filled in right before our eyes.  You can bet even though I couldn’t be in Loveland, I’ll be right here spinning out updates as I can catch them, and greatly looking forward to seeing what’s in store for us for the remainder of 2016.

Then at 3:00pm Mountain time (5:00pm Eastern) the G.I. Joe Collectors Club will be holding their roundtable where they will likely reveal the line up for the very last Figure Subscription Service and perhaps shed some more light on the upcoming Transformers/G.I. Joe 5 Pack.

It’s a bittersweet day, where the news is fast and furious, but you blink a couple of times and it’s all over.  Saturday is no doubt my favorite day at JoeCon with the absolute flurry of activity (plus the after hours events always tend to end strong) and while it will be painful to be watching from the sidelines, I’m excited to see what’s to come.

From the sounds of things, we’ve got some great stuff to look forward to this year, and as G.I. Joe seems to be preparing for the next stage in its eventual evolution, we should all recognize and embrace the greatness of the Real American Hero and marvel at its longevity.  It’s tough to tell what might come next, so hopefully we can take some time to appreciate the three decades of stuff we’ve enjoyed and all the great times we’ve all shared at JoeCon over the years.

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G.I. Joe Convention Update – Friday

While package pickup was late last night, the first official day of the 2016 G.I. Joe Convention is today!  Already we’ve seen the parachute drop and panels by Adam Riches and James Kavanaugh, Jr., and some great updates are over at the G.I. Joe Discussion Group on Facebook.  Dave Tree’s Action Man panel is hot on their heels.

Hot ticket item for the Con this year appears to be the carded Pythona, which was apparently sold without limits and burned through very quickly in the Club store.

G.I. Joe Con attendees will be getting their first sneak preview at the sales floor today at 2:00pm Mountain time, which includes the Hasbro booth, but don’t be alarmed if there isn’t much to look at there yet.  Generally Hasbro puts out most (if not all) of their new product AFTER their panel, which happens tomorrow morning at 11:00am Mountain time.

It does look like someone got an advanced sneak peek at the Hasbro booth, and so far they’re just showing the SDCC set (priced at $99.99) but as I said, we can anticipate seeing much more than that tomorrow after their panel.

Stay tuned!

Hasbro G.I. Joe Q & A at ComicCon

During the chaos of San Diego ComicCon, friend of GeneralsJoes Chris Polansky took some time to stop by the  Hasbro booth and spoke with Mark Weber, Derryl DePriest, and John Violette about their roles in the latest iteration of G.I. Joe.  They talk 50th Anniversary, IDW Comics, Kre-O, and all sorts of other topics.  It was a great conversation, which I’ve transcribed below.  Big thanks to Chris for taking the time out of his trip to help out. Enjoy!

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Merger talks between Hasbro and DreamWorks Animation cooled off?

A few short days after initial reports hinted at a potential merger between Hasbro and DreamWorks animation, the latest word is that those talks have come to an end. According to the New York Times, a dip in stock prices and internal pressure from Disney may have contributed to the deal falling apart.

It’s not especially surprising giving Hasbro’s deep relationship with the Mouse, being the primary licensor for many of their action figure brands, not to mention just recently sweeping the princess license away from Mattel. Disney is a very powerful voice in the industry and not one you want to be on the wrong side of.

It’s tough to say exactly what the combined forces of Hasbro and DreamWorks might have meant for the G.I. Joe brand, and now it appears we’ll never find out. Get more details at the New York Times.

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Potential merger in the works for Hasbro, but it’s not who you think…

Ever since Disney swept in and more or less consumed the Marvel and Star Wars brands (two toys long linked to Hasbro contracts) the rumors began that a merger between Hasbro and Disney was more or less inevitable.

Well, as many suspected, rumors have emerged today of a Hasbro merger with a large scale animation company. But it’s not Disney.

According to Deadline.com (a very reputable and accurate Hollywood rumor source) Hasbro is in talks with DreamWorks Animation on a potential landscape-shifting deal that could help solidify their entertainment brand. Of course by solidify, I mean likely solidify it in second place compared to what Disney is doing and has been doing. Heck, maybe even third behind Disney and Pixar.

I suppose looking at this logistically, it makes a bit of sense. Stephen Spielberg has been working alongside Michael Bay from time to time on the Transformers films, and has a stake in DreamWorks, although one might say his links to Disney & Lucasfilm properties are even stronger.

What this may mean for Hasbro as an entertainment brand is anyone’s guess, but if nothing else, it’ll make things interesting, especially when it comes to toy contracts. As the primary action figure licensee for many Disney properties (including Marvel, Star Wars, and the newly acquired Disney princess license) it seems odd that they would become partnered with one of Disney’s animation rivals. But stranger things have happened in corporate America.

Check out the full details at Deadline.com and stay tuned!

G.I. Joe Kre-O images from Toy Fair 2014 Show Room

Wow.  Wow wow wow!

As much as I’ve loved the G.I. Joe Kre-O stuff to date, what they’re showing in the show room at Toy Fair this year is just incredible!  Look at that Terror Drome!  The Firebat, the Skyhawk… Serpentor?!  Good grief some amazing stuff coming for Kre-O fans this year.

HISSTank.com has been on the ball with posting their images, and I’ve mirrored some of their images below.  Hit them up directly for the details.

Hasbro partnering with 3D Systems on 3D “Play Products” for their brands

Very interesting article out of the Wall Street Journal, who reports that 3D Printing company 3D Systems Corp is partnering with Hasbro to create a new 3D playground for Hasbro’s large portfolio of games and toys.

3D Systems Corp is one of the largest manufacturers of three dimensional printers, and has recently acquired Gentle Giant, a well known toy/collectible design and manufacturing company in their own right.

This could create some interesting opportunities for kids and fans, as Hasbro leverages this new agreement to perhaps expand their brands.  Time will tell how this all shakes out, but definitely an interesting twist leading up to Toy Fair.

Check out the article right here.

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The State of the Hobby in 2014

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It seems only appropriate less than 24 hours after the State of the Union address last night that a mild controversy has formed within the walls of the online G.I. Joe community.

Honestly, it’s tough to remember a time when some sort of controversy wasn’t brewing with an online fandom somewhere.

In the latest SmallJoes.com newsletter, the following little nugget of information was in there:

“We are not expecting any new GI JOE 3 3/4″ product at retail in 2014.”

For obvious reasons, this caused a bit of a flurry of activity.  But I do want to caution people to get to heavy handed or critical, and be tempted to shoot the messenger.

I’ve seen posts online claiming that perhaps the G.I. Joe fandom was “lied to” at San Diego ComicCon this past summer, and I would just ask that we please stop.  The man who provided the information at SDCC was Derryl DePriest, someone who many of us have known for a very long time, and one of the hugest supporters of the G.I. Joe brand over the past decade.  I have talked to him frequently at conventions over the past several years, and I can say without doubt or hesitation that he did not and would not “lie” to anyone about plans for a G.I. Joe 50th Anniversary.

That doesn’t mean that we’re getting something this year, though.  In fact, signs point to no.  But it’s much more a matter of plans changing, not so much someone directly “lying”.

The Internet is a wonderful thing.  It has provided billions of people with a way to directly interact with each other in real time, and that atmosphere has created a strong sense of entitlement when it comes to early information.  As a fandom, we all demand to hear and see things as early as humanly possible, and often berate corporations who don’t show us what they’re working on months or years in advance.  So what do we expect when we ask a corporate rep something that far in advance, and then the plans change and we’re unhappy with the end result?

We cannot have it both ways.  If we’re going to ask for this early information, we have to be mentally prepared to accept the fact that things can change in a period of 6 – 8 months, and it certainly seems like that happened in this case.  But please, let’s not assume that Derryl stood up in the Hasbro booth in San Diego and “lied” to several fan representatives who asked him directly about 2014.  That is not at all fair to him.

Now, I’m not absolving Hasbro of all blame here.  If anything, I’m feeling far more critical of the way they’re treating (or not treating) one of their flagship brands on the 50th Anniversary of the brand’s creation.  And not just the brand.  We’re talking action figures as a whole.  This entire industry was born 50 years ago this year, and even if G.I. Joe at large has faded from public consciousness, Hasbro makes enough money off of other action figure lines to at least pay some sort of lip service to the brand that started it all.  To do otherwise is disrespectful and short sighted.

There are plenty of ways that Hasbro could do something with G.I. Joe using existing tooling at limited cost and through limited retail channels, but by all accounts they seem unwilling to do even that.  Disappointing to say the least.

Of course this point might all be moot if we see something at Toy Fair, but by the sounds of it, that does not seem likely.  At this point, though, in the midst of excellent Convention reveals and FSS shipments by the G.I. Joe Collectors Club at least there is a silver lining, though one that is more expensive than what many collectors are willing to consider.

So, I guess in conclusion, let’s not jump all over Derryl, I’m sure he was going by the information he had at the time, and Hasbro proper, if you’re reading, when you look at all of those Avengers, Captain America: Winter Soldier, Star Wars, Transformers, and dozens of other specific action figure toy lines that earn your revenue, pay your salaries, and continue to keep your entire corporation relevant, let’s not forget where that all started.

Yo Joe.

The Ten biggest G.I. Joe news stories of 2013

The dichotomy between 2013 and this upcoming new year couldn’t have been more stark than it was when I was researching the Top 10 biggest news stories for the past year.  We went from anticipating a new film, lots of new Hasbro release toys, the emergence of Kre-O, and many other potential new G.I. Joe events from the upcoming year to a year of total uncertainty.

Today marks the beginning of the 50th Anniversary of the G.I. Joe brand, a brand steeped in history and cultural relevance, and it seems to be a real shame that such an event would go mostly ignored by Hasbro, who wouldn’t exist as an entity today without G.I. Joe’s presence throughout the 60s, 70s, 80s, and 90s.  A damn shame that nearly four full decades of success relegates a once remarkable brand to the potential dustbins of history and pop culture insignificance.  G.I. Joe as a brand helped build you, Hasbro.  It would be nice if you would at least spend some efforts trying to return the favor.

Rant over.  :)

Click the “Continue Reading” link below to see my list of the Top 10 biggest G.I. Joe news stories of 2013, let’s all cross our fingers that there are enough reasons to be writing up a similar list this time next year!

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