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Hasbro Studios Exec Steven Davis speaks in ToyFare #159

Just off the Hub media event yesterday, ToyFare #159 hit comic shops and featured a very cool and in depth interview with Hasbro Studios president Steven Davis, who spent some time talking about G.I. Joe: Renegades and Transformers: Prime.
Featured in the article is also some of the character art we’ve seen before, but in some better quality.  There are some interesting topics brought up, though not much in the way of revolutionary information.  Some of the quotes I found most intriguing were:

“We really look at what the DNA of the characters are, that allowed them to become what we now know as “the Joes”.  So it’s very much a hero’s journey, very much about teamwork.  It’s a very accessible show; there’s a lot in there for kids, for adults like myself who grew up with it, for fanboys.”

This focus on characters is great, I think.  While I’m right in line with the other older fans who loved Resolute, you can’t argue that the character depth was shallow to be kind, and at least with Renegades, some thought and effort is being put into what really makes these characters tick.  Without the characters, these are just guys in fatigues shooting at each other.

“…we introduced a number of new characters to the Joe team, which allows us to explore lots of different personalities [and] motivations.  And the idea is that this is a group of heroes who have been wrongly accused of something, they’re on the run from Cobra, but they’re trying to expose the wrongs of Cobra while at the same time clearing their name.”

I’ve heard so many complaints about the parallels with the “A-Team” but personally, I’m willing to give the cartoon a shot before just casting it off.  Throughout the three decade history of G.I. Joe, they’ve been on the run from the law a number of times, I can see it happening, and I think it makes for great entertainment, and a good re-introduction to the G.I. Joe mythos.

“I think that you will find there are a number of surprises, both in terms of characters and the storylines, as well as what actually propels them forward.  And we’ve really tried to keep it exciting and interesting and on the edge of your seat.  And we’ve planted some pretty cool plot twists.  And although each of the stories are closed in, there is a continuing B-story throughout the series which allows us to offer up some pretty cool twists and turns…”

So, yes.  The character designs are not hard-edged military as many of us 30-something fans would like to see.  Yes, this “origin” story is a pretty different backstory than what we’re used to.  But it already appears to me that they’re putting a strong focus on quality storytelling, which to me, is far more important than what the character is wearing and whether they are seven-and-a-half heads tall like they’re supposed to be.  I can forgive bullets for lasers if the character depth and story keeps me captivated.  I’m keeping an open mind, and I cannot wait to see what happens.
Big thanks to Jeff Bohn for directing me to this information, and if you want to read more, pickup ToyFare #159 on store shelves today!

Past Generation Toys Sponsor Update

The newest waves of Transformers: Hunt for the Decepticons,  Transformers: Generations and GI Joe Pursuit of Cobra have arrived!
For fans of comic book related action figures we have the newest waves of Iron Man 2, Marvel Universe, Blackest Night Wave 5 (includes Black Lantern Batman, Black Lantern Deadman, Black Lantern Hawkman, and Black Lantern Nekron), and  DC Super Heroes Retro Action Figure: Batman and Aquaman.
Gentle Giant collectors will be happy to know that the Hoth Luke Skywalker and Hoth Han Solo have arrived.
As for PreOrders, we now have listed the DC Direct Brightest Day action figures.  If you are a fan of the Darkest Night series I think you will find these of interest, as well.  Also as PreOrders, for all you Matty fans we have the new Egon Spengler Ghost Buster Action Figure along with Chief Carnivus and Gygor for you Masters of the Universe Classics collectors. We added several new Sideshow Statues ranging from Star Wars to a Terminator T-800! Finally, if you are a fan of Captain America then you will want to check out the new Bowen Designs bust!  If history repeats itself this will be a hard-to-find item in no time!

Some addendums to the Hub and G.I. Joe information

Now that I’ve had a chance to listen to some more of the podcast, and now that the guys from Toy News International have also clarified a few things…

  • Transformers and G.I. Joe will air during the 3:00pm – 6:00pm BLOCK, not necessarily at 3:00pm exactly.
  • Classic episodes of Transformers and G.I. Joe will be aired late night.
  • Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, initially suspected to provide a voice in Renegades will be voicing “Cliffjumper” on Transformers: Prime
  • A voice cast list was revealed, as well as a healthy amount of character bio’s.

I have a ton of thoughts in my head in regards to G.I. Joe: Renegades and will certainly be talking about this much more in the near future, but will stick with a little fact checking first.  Some images were also revealed:

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Help a Joe fan in need…and help yourself while you're at it

I’m passing along a message from my friends over at regarding a Joe fan North of the border who needs our help…and the JoeCanuck guys feel so strongly about it, that Mike, the owner and operator of the Canadian JoeCon has offered up a nice perk to folks who feel compelled to donate money to his cause.
I’ve laid out all the details on a separate page right here, and let’s just say if you’re a fan of the Canadian JoeCon exclusives, this is something you want to think about participating in.
Click the banner below for full details, and thanks for reading.