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.
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.
I can’t help but renew my (minor) disappointment with this figure as the G.I. Joe Collectors’ Club gives us a very nice in depth look at the Barrel Roll character on GIJoeClub.com. Their first two figures were Quarrel and TNT, both International exclusives that some newer domestic fans might not be real familiar with.
Barrel Roll was a character released in 2003 originally, and I’m sure there are some modern era specific fans who don’t know who he is, and this article provides some awesome insight, as well as some great new images of the upcoming Figure Subscription Service figure. I’m happy to see that the helmet fits much better here than it did in the DTC days (or in earlier pictures).
All of that being said, the figure is cool enough that I’m almost even more disappointed that he ended up in his desert deco instead of the much more established blue and gray. I think the same exact figure in some slightly tweaked colors would have made me infinitely more happy. That being said, the figure still looks really nice and has some very cool elements.
Check out the article on GIJoeClub.com and don’t forget, deadline for signing up for the FSS is September 4th!! Don’t miss your chance.
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.
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.