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.

RAHC Guide “Salty Santa” Holiday Discount!

For folks who have been interested in the excellent RAHC Guide by noted author James Kavanaugh, Jr. he is currently running a “Salty Santa” sale.  Mention “Salty Santa” in your PayPal payment and get 25% off the price of the book!

Check out the full details of this discount at RAHCGuide.com/chuckdawg1999.

It’s the story, stupid – how I learned to love the new sculpt era again

It started with an interesting website article that was posted by a friend of mine a short while ago.  An opinion piece from Toy News Online which mentioned the need for narrative stories in children’s toys today.  I know us collectors don’t like to think of what we buy as “children’s toys” but at the core of our consciousness, I think we all understand that’s where this journey began.

Over the past few years, Hasbro has been producing some of the best toys they have made in a very, very long time…if not ever.  Using amazing inspiration from past G.I. Joe toys, other 80’s influences, and lots of great modern military equipment, the G.I. Joe team of 2010 – 2013 is an amazing collection of fantastically articulated, amazingly produced toys.

There’s only one problem…  who are these guys?  Who are they fighting?  Why are they fighting?  Why is Destro, who typically is a behind-the-scenes guy, strapping on a thick armored body suit and jumping into the action with a chain gun?  Why is Cobra Commander now wearing a skull mask and metal chest plate?  Does this story take place after the Rise of Cobra, or have we spun out into yet another universe.  I’ve been somewhat surprised to see that other collectors don’t seem to be curious about these things.  Sure, I might get flak for not having enough “imagination” but at some point I think a narrative voice is necessary to breath life into these characters.  If not necessary, it sure as hell helps.

Click the Read the Rest of the Story link below for the full article.

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From rock star to obscurity and back again – the history of Roadblock

For G.I. Joe fans who have been following the property for only a few short years, this may come as a surprise, but believe it or not, there was a time, not very long ago, where Roadblock wasn’t a household name.  In fact, he wasn’t even on Hasbro’s radar.  A victim of lost trademarks, it seemed inevitable that Roadblock would simply fade from the consciousness of the G.I. Joe faithful and no longer be a major part of ongoing canon.

Sure didn’t turn out that way, huh?

I must give credit to long time Joe buddy Todd of Magnum 6 Delta for prompting me to put this post together, and considering the G.I. Joe: Retaliation motion picture on the horizon, and the potential for redefining the core characters of the Real American Hero brand, the timing couldn’t be better.  Click the “Read the Rest of this Story” link below to check out the full article.

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Ordering information for the RAHC Guide!

As promised, the RAHC Guide made its auspicious debut at JoeCon 2011, and now orders are ready to be fulfilled.  We just received the following message from James, the author and publisher of the excellent RAHC Guide:

“Hi gang, the moment is finally here! I’m not going to set up a fancy lil
e-mail, just type out the bare basics so please visit www.rahcguide.com to
catch up on all the fan reviews of the R.A.H.C. Guide on your favorite
message boards!! With that being said, the cost of the book is $40 with $5
shipping and handling. Payment can be paypalled via kuukuuson@hotmail.com.
You may send the payment as a gift but if you choose not to, please allow
paypal to adjust your payment to accomodate paypal fees. Orders will be
held until total payment is made and you will be notified of any additional
costs. When you send your paypal payment, please include your address and
any specific information for your order in the paypal notification as that
is how I will be keeping track of your order. I will copy and paste the
address so please make sure it’s correct. I will gladly entertain
international orders so please contact me here (rahc.guide@gmail.com) so I
can look into how much shipping is to your location.

I am very excited to provide this book for you and can’t wait to hear your
response! Please remember that not only is this guide self published in
limited quantities, it is being processed and shipped by myself and might
take some time. Thank you in advance for your patience and understanding!

Sincerely,

James “KuuKuuSon” Kavanaugh Jr.”

Here at GeneralsJoes, I reviewed the book shortly before the convention, and no Joe collector should be without it, especially if you’re a fan of the 2000 – 2007 era.  Awesome, AWESOME stuff within.

GeneralsJoes reviews the RAHC Reference Guide

Good afternoon, Joefans!

In another little celebration of the 2011 G.I. Joe Convention starting today in Orlando, Florida, I am reviewing the RAHC Guide by James Kavanaugh, JR.  I had the distinct pleasure to work on the Forward of this book for James, and have been with him every step of the way during production of this impressive tome.

This is a reference guide for the Second Generation of O-Ring G.I. Joe figures, including 1997 – 2007 and covering everything from Spy Troops and Valor Vs. Venom to Built To Rule and the Collectors’ Club exclusives.

Trust me when I say this book is impressive.  What he does with the accessories especially totally blows me away.  Check out my full review RIGHT HERE!  Then track down James on the Convention floor and buy the book for yourself, it’s on sale this weekend!

Yo Joe!

Latest update on the upcoming G.I. Joe: RAHC guide

It seems like it’s been a long time coming, but G.I. Joe fan James M. Kavanagh, Jr. has continued his very hard work on the upcoming R.A.H.C. guide featuring profiles of those infamous years post 1994 where G.I. Joe leaped back into toy aisles and back into many collector’s hearts.

He has painstakingly crafted an excellent guidebook with images, text, and some really nice details that any G.I. Joe fan would love.  Some images that James sent along a little while ago are mirrored below.

James also sent along another press release, just to provide an update, and you can read it below.

“Hello and welcome to another update on the R.A.H.C. Guide.

To anyone who’s dealt with the nasty weather, I hope they are starting to thaw out. To the rest of you, be glad you were sitting pretty. The Weather Dominator tried to knock out Dayton, OH’s power to no avail. The R.A.H.C. Guide is even closer to bringing you a reference guide to one of the most intricate eras of G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero. Much like the “A Real American Hero” genre, the R.A.H.C. Guide has combined a team of experts in their fields. Every action figure, accessory and vehicle/play-set was photographed by Nick O’Donnell of 808 Studios, a premier wedding photographer and much, much more. Nick’s images are simply phenomenal, I wish I could make the guide about twice as big as it is, the detail and quality are indescribable!

While working on the guts of the guide, the guy at my then job Scott DM Simmons came strolling in only to casually inform me he had worked for Kenner and Hasbro as a photographer. He was all too familiar with my project; he shote them the first time! His vast knowledge of action figure photography stemmed from [his] step-father’s work on all the vintage Star Wars product shots! This father/son duo made for the perfect team to produce the spectacular front and back (yes, I did say back cover) you’ve been teased with.

And how could such a dynamic package be wrapped up, or should I say introduced? Why none other than a foreword from super fan Justin Bell! While these action figures evolved throughout the late 90’s to early 21st century, Justin was there reviewing, promoting, customizing, and creating such dynamic dio-stories. Justin’s hard work and dedication never ceases to amaze me and I was truly ecstatic when he agreed to [write the] foreword.

So that only leaves two questions remaining: when and how much? Well in the tradition of G.I. Joe updates I am going to say that I now understand why the major questions can’t always be answered and to rest assured that I am in the process of finding a printer that will tackle the level of quality and detail this project deserves at a price that’s fair for this specialized material. I will say that you should be receiving a third update very soon. That’s all, now let’s go back to discussing Toy Fair!!

Sincerely,

James M. Kavanagh Jr.
“KuuKuuSon”

HubWorld offers plenty of coolness for old school fans, too

So most of the focus on HubWorld.com has been G.I. Joe: Renegades and Transformers: Prime…  however what some folks don’t know is that HubWorld also ported over a lot of the videos from Hasbro’s MonkeyBarTV site, which means full online versions of many of the Sunbow cartoons as well as some of the CGI features from 2003 – 2005 (including the fun Valor Vs. Venom).  This is a very cool added feature and something that Joefans of all genres can appreciate.

Check out their video episodes section right here.

GeneralsJoes “Top 50” G.I. Joe figures of the decade

Last week, Mike and I posted a Top 15 list for the last decade, outlining our top 15 figures of the past ten years, and I let readers know that my initial list was actually a top FIFTY, but for obvious reasons, we pared it down simply because…well…a  top 50 list would have been long and probably insane.  But mostly just long.  But a few readers showed an interest in seeing the Top 50 list, so I’m going to post what I was originally starting.  I won’t go into gory details with each and every entry, though, and just leave it as a list, so folks don’t go homicidal halfway through it.

Continued after the jump…

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GeneralsJoes “Top 15” figures of the Decade

Justin: As 2010 drew nearer, I knew I wanted to do something to celebrate not only the past year in G.I. Joe, but something to celebrate the entire decade.  The past ten years have added several series of generations in G.I. Joe lore, some better than others, but I thought it only right that I give some time to not only cheer what Hasbro did in 2009, but also everything it took to get there from G.I. Joe’s apparent mass-market resurgence in the year 2000.

But a strange thing happened as I began paring down the list…  I had fifty figures.  Yes, FIFTY.  And it took me a while to pare it down even that much.  Even for a raging fanboy like myself, 50 of the “best” figures of the past 10 years hardly seems like a “best of” list, and more like a “look at all these pretty decent figures” list.  Even though nearly 1200 G.I. Joe figures have been released in the past ten years, I wasn’t sure a “Top 50” would generate much discussion or thought…  click the “Read the Rest of this Story” link to peruse this monstrous volume!

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