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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Fantastic article analyzing the impact of “Blockbuster” movie licenses on action figure sales

First and foremost, props to Wayne Losey who linked to this great article on Twitter, which takes a very close look at how action figure sales have been trending over the past several years (hint… it ain’t good) and the potential impact of movie licensed brands on those sales.

Mr. Losey is an industry professional (being one of the brain children behind Go Go Dynamo, which is currently producing the awesome Modibot, and who also did some work with Hasbro on Xevoz, G.I. Joe, and Sigma 6) and this article really takes a long hard look at the intertwining of repeated blockbuster movies and product sales associated with them.  Frankly, it’s eye opening.

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What’s on Joe Mind Episode 85 is online!

The G.I. Joe news front has been somewhat quiet in recent weeks, so some of the parts of Episode 85 of the What’s on Joe Mind podcast dip back in time just a little bit.  But then again some of the discussion here is timeless.  We speak to former Hasbro designer Rick Schad who gives us some great insight into his time on G.I. Joe, and of course, with it being episode 85, we pick our favorite figures and vehicles from 1985!  Vintage love for you.

Check out episode 85 at Podbean.com (or the embedded player below) and the show notes can be seen below.

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Fascinating insight into Hasbro’s model shop on Gizmodo

Last week Gizmodo posted a very cool video about the design and construction of Transformers, but I didn’t post it, just because…well, it was Transformers.  However, today, they’ve followed up that video with another video, this time a peek into Hasbro’s model shop.

This is where some of the magic happens, folks.  Figure sculpting, paint, construction…a lot of that happens in the Model Shop.  For folks who went on tour at Hasbro in 2010 during JoeCon, we got a very quick walk through and it was some of the most interesting stuff we saw in the entire process.  The way industrial design, artistic flair, and electronics all merge together into one fascinating department of toy magic.  Pretty awesome.

There are many steps before a toy gets to this point, from concept work, input drawings, etc…  but the Model Shop is awesome in its own right as well.  Check out the video on Gizmodo, or embedded below.  Watch for a Storm Shadow cameo!

And for good measure, here’s last week’s Transformers video as well, now that some of my butt hurt has worn off:

G.I. Joe fans are coming through on the Concept Case Survey!

Man, consider me impressed.

Last year when I launched the concept case surveys for the 2012 JoeCon, I was impressed by the turn out… within the first week I’d gotten about 600 responders, and kept the survey open an additional week so I could capture around 1400 all told throughout the period of… three weeks I think?

Well at this point the 2013 Concept Case survey has been up for about 3 days and there are already over 700 responses!  You guys ROCK.

If you haven’t participated yet, please do so!  Please note, this survey is completely and totally unofficial and not endorsed by Hasbro, but as mentioned at the Hasbro seminar at JoeCon, they are looking for any feedback they can get.  YOUR VOTE MATTERS.

Check out the Concept Case Survey right here and let your voice be heard!

Concept Case Survey from the 2013 G.I. Joe Convention

Granted this one is a lot more low key than the infamous Concept Case survey that  GeneralsJoes helped lead last year, but with some more new concept figures being shown in Indianapolis last weekend, it seemed like a good idea to kick another one of these off.

There were only a handful of new figures shown, and those figures will be the focus of this round of surveys.  However, depending on the results of this one, expect another round at some point to take the winners of the 2012 survey and the winners of this survey for a more all encompassing look at every concept figure shown thus far.

You can hit up the Survey at the SurveyMonkey page itself, or embedded below.  This one should be a quickie.

In spite of lack of product at 2013 JoeCon, bright future for G.I. Joe fans

Okay, hear me out on this one.

I know the rumbling through the online community has been somewhat negative in light of Hasbro’s lack of new product to be shown at the 2013 G.I. Joe Convention in Indianapolis this past weekend.  In fact, not only were people bothered by a lack of new product, when Hasbro showed some more concept items, some fans got visibly upset, thinking that this was just a “tease” for items that would likely not be offered.

Let me once again put on my “Hasbro Apologist” hat and tell everyone…  don’t be so quick to be discouraged.  I think there are some simple explanations for why Hasbro presence was down this year, and I think there are some reasons to be looking forward to the year ahead for G.I. Joe fans.  Click the Read the Rest of the Story link below for more.

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Hasbro stuns G.I. Joe Convention attendees with Concept Case reveals

Judging be reactions in the Twittersphere and elsewhere, the Hasbro reveal of additional concept case items yesterday was met with mixed reaction to say the least. Don’t get me wrong, nobody was arguing that the figures weren’t nice, but there seemed to be some heat about whether or not Hasbro should continue to reveal these items considering there were no official releases announced this weekend.

Going by what the Hasbro reps were saying, though, they felt like they deserved to show G.I. Joe fans a little something, even if it wasn’t actual product. What they showed was a mind-blowing assortment of newly sculpted items that appears to be similar to what we saw at the Concept Case last year.

Previous releases were in the case as well, including Flint, Lady Jaye, Beachhead, and others, but what really knocked Joe fan socks off were none other than Gung Ho, Leatherneck, and ’88 Storm Shadow, Rock n Roll, and Destro. The most impressive thing about the figure grouping was that both Destro and Gung Ho were physically larger and far more imposing than the figures next to them. Obviously built off a larger framework, the intricate detail and the astoundingly accurate Destro head sculpt (looking back at the original card art) gave us a really fascinating insight into the mind set of the designers.

This was not a move meant to frustrate the fandom by any means. It was something meant to excite and interest fans, and reassure us that even though no new retail offerings might be in the pipeline, work always continues to innovate and inject the G.I. Joe mythology with something exciting.

It’s important to understand these items are not in any stage of final production, and there is not much likelihood of these figures being released in the immediate future, but I for one am fascinated by these early looks at G.I. Joe product, and will certainly be hanging on every word of Hasbro representatives going forward to see if these figures can expect release in the coming years.

Check out the YoJoe Photo Gallery below, and big thanks to notpicard from YoJoe for being right there with a camera when I could not be and snagging those pics for the YoJoe Gallery.  Also a huge thanks to Fred from JoeBattleLinesand JoeCanuck friend Jon S. for supplying some fantastic images themselves that are mirrored nicely below.

G.I. Joe Convention 2013 – Day One Recap and Report

So the first day of the convention has completely spiraled out of our control and it’s now after 5:00pm before I’m getting anything posted.  How does this happen?!

First and foremost, I do want to let people know that I have been getting pictures of the 2013 Convention Exclusives…just the quick cheesy hotel room shots that I kind of hate doing, but I do it anyway because, HEY I have a compulsion.

You can find those images on the YoJoe.Com JoeCon 2013 Gallery section.

The big news shaking out from the first day of the convention is, of course, the lack of new product being shown in the Hasbro booth.  There have been rumors floating around the sales floor that there may be no new product shown from Hasbro this entire weekend.  How is this possible?

To be honest, I’m not sure.  We’ve got a ton of momentum from the #1 movie in the world, G.I. Joe: Retaliation…we are on the precipice of a huge new influx of movie accurate product starting in early summer, and it would seem to be the perfect jumping off point for Hasbro to thrust G.I. Joe into the spotlight for the holiday season (not to mention an inevitable DVD release).

There is still a good chance that we might see new product in the slideshow presentation tomorrow, there are just no samples ready for display.  It’s also possible that Hasbro will put out new product tomorrow after their presentation, but as I mentioned, the rumors floating around the sales floor are that this is not going to happen.  I prefer to wait until I hear something more official, but I feel it necessary to at least brace the readers for that eventuality.

I will, of course, heartily encourage everyone to follow me on Twitter, as that is where my most fluid, current content gets streamed straight from the seminars.  That will never be more true than it is tomorrow, so if you want to have the latest info as quickly as possible, Twitter is your best bet.  It’s far easier for me to pump information out that way then try to jump on my laptop in between seminars to recap.  That will happen as well, of course, but just as a heads up.  The Hasbro seminar happens at 11:00am Eastern time.

Also please remember that the G.I. Joe Collectors’ Club is having their seminar tomorrow, which means some possible information about the Figure Subscription Service, Volume Two!  That is certainly something to get excited for as well, and I’ll be covering that starting at 4:00pm Eastern.

Cool interview with a former Hasbro/G.I. Joe artist on Leaky Suit Brigade

Doomsun sends word to me that he has posted an interview of former Hasbro artist Andrei Koribanics on his site Leaky Suit Brigade.  Mr. Koribanics was apparently an artist who worked alongside Ron Rudat and Bill Merklein back in the heyday of G.I. Joe production, from 1983 – 1985.

He’s got some very cool stories to tell and it’s always awesome to hear from some of the architects of your childhood.

Check out the interview over on the Leaky Suit Brigade and thanks to Doomsun for the information.