Category Archives: New Products

Look Out, G.I. Joe! “Dr. Isotope, The Radioactive Menace” To Be Club Membership Figure In 2015

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Stand back, Joe! The GIjOE Collector's Club is about to release its ominous new membership figure, "Doctor Isotope," the first-ever 12-inch glow-in-the-dark GIjOE. WOW! (Photo: GIJCC)

Stand back, Joe! The GIjOE Collector’s Club is about to release its ominous new membership figure, “Doctor Isotope,” the first-ever 12-inch glow-in-the-dark GIjOE. WOW! (Photo: GIJCC)

isotope
/ˈīsəˌtōp/
noun
1. one of two or more atoms with the same atomic number that contain different numbers of neutrons

Too Hot to Handle?

Heads up, GIjOE collectors, there’s a new “bad guy” in town, and his very touch could spell the end of your toughest “good guy” Joes. He’s the GIjOE Club’s 1:6 “Doctor Isotope” and he has all the earmarks of becoming an instant classic. What makes this guy so special, you may ask? Doctor Isotope will GLOW IN THE DARK, my friend. That’s right, hold this 12-inch evildoer under a lamp for a minute and he’ll be able to threaten your Adventure Team’s headquarters even in total darkness. Imagine all the sleepless nights you would’ve enjoyed as a kid if you’d had one of these ghostly guys to play with. That’s guaranteed FUN!

For those who aren’t aware, every year, members of the GIjOE club are given the choice of receiving either a 3.75″ or 12″ club membership figure as an “exclusive” reward for their paid membership dues. Offerings over the years have ranged from so-so to nice, but 2015’s evil Doctor Isotope looks to be one of the BEST ever produced. For eligible members (i.e. those who are paid up on their dues), the deadly “Doc Iso” figure will be shipped complete with his first-ever, very unique glow-in-the-dark body, a flocked headsculpt and a 2-piece underwear set complete with his nifty atomic chest logo. It also appears the doctor lost his irises during his unfortunate “nuclear fire,” thus giving him a sort of zombieish blank stare. 

The optional uniform set for Doctor Isotope is practically a "must-have" for most fans and collectors. What a great look! (Photo: GIJCC)

The optional uniform set for Doctor Isotope is practically a “must-have” for most fans and collectors. And with KFG hands, he can actually hold both weapons. WOW! (Photo: GIJCC)

Of course, ol’ Doc wouldn’t strike much fear into our hearts if he ran around in his underwear all the time, so the club is also going to offer an optional uniform set (see photo above). As with past club figures, these optional outfits have ranged from ho-hum to neat-keeno, and this one looks like it will rank right up there at the top. Prices haven’t been announced, but according to the photo supplied by the club, you’ll receive a 2-piece silver radiation suit, pair of short black boots, goggles, gloves and twin “blasters.” According to the official press release from the club:

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“This will be the first ever 12″ GIjOE action figure that will glow-in-the-dark! Doctor Isotope is a new adversary for the Adventure Team. Born from fires of a nuclear nightmare, he is bent on the destruction of the Adventure Team and anyone else who dares oppose him in his mad quest for power! His very touch is deadly as his blood boils with the power of the atom.”

CLUBlogo_blkBottom Line: It seems obvious (to us) that Doctor Isotope is a going to be a SMASH HIT with most members of the GIjOE club. We can already envision the wide variety of custom boxes, dioramas, and equipment additions being planned by customizers out there in Joe Land. If you’re not a member of the club, this may be a good time to join (HERE).

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Mysterious “Project: HERCULES” Excites Fans of 1:6 Scale Worldwide———Purpose of “X-1” Unknown

Due to a current news "black-out" and strictly enforced "no photos" policy recanted enacted by the ground crew at the Patches of Pride launch site, we're unable to bring you a better image of the upcoming "Project: HERCULES. Just WHAT are we looking at? The boys in our photo lab have done their best to clear up this image, taken last night in total darkness using a long-range telephoto lens and night-vision filter. The best consensus we can reach is that it appears to show some sort of canister, possibly a fire extinguisher and most likely, the helmet of the test pilot of the enigmatic "X-1." Unfortunately, we can't be sure of either assessment, but those are our best guesses. (Photo: TJR)

We’re in the Dark Due to a current news “black-out” and strictly enforced “no new photos” policy recently enacted by the ground crew over at the Patches of Pride launch site, we were unable to bring you a better image of their upcoming “Project: HERCULES than this. So… WHAT exactly are we looking at here? The boys in our photo lab have done their best to enhance and clean up this image. It was taken last night in total darkness using a long-range telephoto lens and night-vision filter, but the best consensus we could reach is that it appears to show some sort of spray canister, most probably a fire extinguisher and what looks like a flight helmet, quite possibly that of a test pilot of the mysterious “X-1.” This leads us to believe that whatever the X-1 may be, it’s operable at night, even in total darkness. Unfortunately, we can’t confirm any of these assessments at this time. (Photo: TJR)

A recently posted sign warns photographers to keep their lens caps on. ARGH! (Photo: Tracey Evans)

No Pictures! A recently posted sign warns news photographers approaching the Project: HERCULES launch site. (Photo: Tracey Evans)

Little more than a week away from its official “launch date” on December 22, 2014, a mysterious new product line is generating genuine intrigue and debate among fans of 12-inch action figures who are eager to learn the answers to its many secrets. Officially and enigmatically dubbed “Project: HERCULES” by its creators at 1:6 accessories manufacturer,  Patches of Pride (PoP), the specific nature and potential usage of the new line remains largely unknown and has actually puzzled fans of the renowned company— for almost 3 YEARS.

You read that right. After some digging, reporters here at The Joe Report discovered that the origin of Project: HERCULES actually dates back to 2011, when PoP first released a free, daily, online photo-comic entitled, “A Joe a Day” (AJAD). According to PoP company rep, Mark Otnes, the figures featured in the strip were his 7 original, childhood GIjOEs that had been stored in his brother’s home for over 40 years. After they’d been returned to Otnes (that year) over Christmas, “Mark’s Magnificent 7″ were quickly reassigned as a time-travelling team of military heroes who join up with members of his Adventure Team and embark upon a cross-country road trip, all the while protecting the contents of The Commander’s mysterious briefcase, containing what is only known only as— “Project: HERCULES.”

In this frame from Mark Otnes' "A Joe a Day" photo-comic serial, the mysterious "football" briefcase contains the secrets and answers to the mysterious "Project: HERCULES." Unfortunately, the serial has not yet been concluded. (Photo: Mark Otnes)

What’s inside the “Football?” In this frame taken from Otnes’ “A Joe a Day” photo-comic serial, a briefcase known as the Commander’s “Football” containing top-secret materials related to the mysterious “Project: HERCULES” is removed from a team member’s backpack for examination. Unfortunately, the serial has yet to be concluded and the football’s contents remain unknown. (Photo: Mark Otnes)

While Otnes’ intriguing AJAD storyline has yet to be completed and hence, the exact nature and capabilities of Project: HERCULES are known to no other, it’s expected that the answers to many a fan’s questions will be revealed with the imminent release of these new PoP products. Suspense continues to build as the company’s “countdown” (to the product launch) continues, and a slow trickle of “sneak pics” make their way to eager fans trolling for clues over on PoP’s Facebook page (HERE) and/or VIP Customer Mailing List (HERE). With the release of each new tantalizing image, debate is stirred anew, resulting in heated conjecture among collectors, including the following:

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Renowned GIjOE collector and customizer, Angelo D'Annibale (Photo: Angelo D'Annibale)

Angelo D’Annibale

“I’m getting hopes up for some sort of helipad or jet pack. Can’t wait to see more!”Angelo D’Annibale

Kyle Knox (Photo: Kyle Knox)

Kyle Knox

“Driving me crazy! But I have an idea. A space capsule akin to NASA’s Orion.”
Kyle Knox

Lyle "Bigfoot" Button (Photo: Lyle Button)

Lyle “Bigfoot” Button

I was thinking some kind of unmanned drone, but now I’m not so sure.” —Lyle Button

Good ideas all, gentlemen! But we believe renowned GIjOE fan and collector, Scott Turnbull may have come closest to deciphering the various clues and “sneak pics” of Project: HERCULES with THIS intriguing supposition:

Scott Turnbill

Scott Turnbill

“Something tech-ish, I’m sure, which hits the sweet spots of my collections! Maybe a temporal experiment…”
Scott Turnbull

Bottom Line: We asked PoP’s secretive “Commander-in-Chief,” Mark Otnes, if he had any further comment regarding the upcoming Project: HERCULES, and he declined, citing his company’s official “news blackout” until December 22nd. Despite Otnes’ intransigence, we intend to forge ahead on this matter and promise to apprise our readership of any and all fresh intel as it becomes available. —Editor

Since last week, PoP has begun giving away free 1:1 scale "Project: HERCULES" t-shirts to lucky winners over on its fan page on Facebook HERE. (Photo: Mark Otnes)

FREE T’s! PoP has begun giving away free 1:1 scale Project: HERCULES “ground crew” t-shirts to lucky winners on its Facebook Fan Page. Wow! (Photo: Mark Otnes)

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1:6 Scale “Wild Adventure” Hunting & Fishing Figures Available Online (Only) at Target.com

What a great headsculpt! Without doubt, this new face is among our favorites from this new "Wild Adventures" line. The figures are a tad taller than GIjOE, but the heads are approximately the same size and will work well beside the rest of your existing 12-inch figures. (Photo: Target)

It’s Turkey Huntin’ Time! This new face is one of our favorites from Blue Box’s new “Wild Adventure” action figure line. As usual, their figures are a tad taller than vintage GIjOEs, but the heads are approximately the same and will look good and work well alongside existing 12-inch figures. His camo clothing and hunting accessories are also very nice. Check out those turkey calls! (Photo: Blue Box)

blueboxtoyslogoAs we approach Christmas 2014, you may be wondering what new 1:6 scale products are available out there in “Toyland” that are both affordable and of high enough quality for you to give confidently as gifts to both children or adult collectors. Indeed, with Hasbro placing GIjOE into cold storage for the foreseeable future, fans of 1:6 scale have begun to worry that the only options remaining to them are the far more expensive, fragile, limited-edition “adult collectibles” produced by such firms as Sideshow and Hot Toys. But as Yoda would say, “There is another.” And it’s name—is Blue Box.

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Are You Lookin’ at Me? This bearded headsculpt is chockablock with potential. It even has a facial scar! We can easily imagine it being used as a pirate, terrorist or any other bad guy you could imagine. (Photo: Blue Box)

High-end action figures are typically more appropriate for “hands-off” static display use inside the safety of an adult’s glass-doored collectibles case than in typical “down-n-dirty” child’s play. They’re also out of the financial reach of many collectors (i.e. simply too expensive), forcing fans to turn their anxious eyes elsewhere, consider “cheaper” brands (Hello, Power Team?) or even other scales (Oh, the HORROR). Fortunately, such drastic measures may not (yet) have to be taken.

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This second bearded variation will give collectors a choice when casting characters in their next 1:6 diorama or photo story. This one is scar-free and also “slightly” less menacing looking. (Photo: Blue Box)

targetlogoWe’ve just learned that Target has partnered with Blue Box this holiday season to create and offer an excellent new line of 1:6 scale “Wild Adventure” action figures. Their theme is both non-military and non-superheroic, focusing instead on the classic All-American sporting pursuits of hunting and fishing. The catch? These new figures are only available online. You won’t be able to go out and pick them up at a nearby store and you can only purchase them from Target’s website, HERE. But that’s not so bad, right? The good news? They’re very affordable, versatile, chock-full of cool animals and accessories and offer great “bang” for your gift-giving buck. And, if you hurry, Target also has a special promotional offer going on now—shipping is FREE!

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Another redhead! This guy’s lip-color may be a tad dark, but the head is great, otherwise. So many possibilities! (Photo: Blue Box)

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He’s a Winner! We actually like the Bass Fisherman’s shirt more than his face. He also comes with a fish, trophy, pole, hat and sunglasses. (Photo: Blue Box)

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Package view of the Fisherman shows all the great gear you’ll receive. What, no 1:6 scale bass boat? (Photo: Blue Box)

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Package view of the Turkey Hunter. The turkeys are so-so. We recommend you pick up better ones. (Photo: Blue Box)

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Package view of the Bear Hunter. Really nice gear, unique tree-stand and bear paws. GRRRR! (Photo: Blue Box)

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Package view of the Deer Hunter. This one comes with a nice cross-bow and tree-stand, plus much more. (Photo: Blue Box)

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Quack! Quack! Quack! As this package view of the Duck Hunter reveals, this is the biggest of the 5 sets and will cost you $5 more. The dog is great, the gear and weapons are great. Plus, you get that cool “bad guy” headsculpt! (Photo: Blue Box)

"Pair of Bear Claws, Please!" Remember Newman coming into the Diner on Seinfeld? Well, that has nothing to do with this. HA (Photo: Blue Box)

“A Pair of Bear Claws, Please!” Remember Newman coming into the restaurant on Seinfeld and saying that? Well…that has nothing to do with these figures. HA (Photo: Blue Box)

Bottom Line: Despite their added height (approximately 1/2″ taller than GIjOE), these $17-$22 figures look to be wonderful additions to any 1:6 collection; or at the very least, future fodder for kitbashing and customizing. For a complete review and more pics of this line, we recommend you visit 1:6 guru Rudy Panucci’s, “PopCulteer Toybox” website found HERE. It’s GRRRRREAT! 

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Now There’s 3, Sorry…4! Kohl’s and Big Lots Enter the Fray During 2014’s Escalating “War of the Wool,” Offering Their Own 1:6 Scale (Plus-sized) Sweaters for G.I. Joe———and a Santa Suit!

Fearless TJR Field Reporter, Ed Kozak, displays his mini-me GIjOE, complete with matching Santa hat and a suit coat now being sold at Kohl's Department Stores. (Photo: Ed Kozak)

Happy Holidays, Jolly Joeheads! Fearless TJR Field Reporter and GIjOE fan, Ed Kozak, holds up his mini-me Adventurer, complete with recently purchased mini Santa hat and suit coat (both now available at Kohl’s). (Photo: Ed Kozak)

Okay, this is getting ridiculous. In less than ONE week, we’ve received reports that up to FOUR major retailers are now offering slightly different variations of those 1:6 scale (plus-sized) sweaters, purportedly intended for use as “Christmas tree ornaments” or (get this) “wine bottle covers.” But of course, GIjOE fans all know how these items will REALLY end up being used—as fodder for kitbashing and figure customizations, ‘natch! In fact, the staff here at The Joe Report believes the manufacturers of these so-called, “War of the Wool” products, probably had good intentions all along (originally), but then something must’ve gone horribly awry at the factory and well…we can just imagine the sort of product strategy meetings that followed:

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“We need to sell a couple’a thousand gross of these cute (ugly) little Barbie/GIjOE Christmas sweaters. But our seamstresses in China kinda goofed on the sizes. Some are too short, some are too long, some are too small, some are too big. Ya know? What should we do? We’ve got freighter crates full of this stuff!” 

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“Now, now. Calm down. Here, have a little wine while we talk this ‘sitchiation’ over. Okay. How about this idea… Other than slightly shorter sleeves, this batch fits GIjOEs fine, right? Let’s just put little hangers inside ‘em, box ‘em up and ship ‘em off to Michael’s where they can call ‘em ‘Christmas ornaments’ or whatever the heck they want. I betcha they’ll still sell like hotcakes!”

(Stock photo: geekwidget)

Some SERIOUS thought went into these new miniature sweater products. You betcha! (Photo: geekwidget)

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“Mmm… I like your thinking, handsome. Sorta like ‘repurposing’ them into something else entirely, huh? That’s clever! And it’ll save our jobs, too. May I have some more of that wine, please? Thanks. (Sipping, she slowly slips one of the larger-sized sweaters on top of the long, thick neck of the wine bottle and then coyly eyes her muscular co-worker, saying…) Hmm… Couldn’t people just put these bigger ones on wine bottles—or something similar—and then Target could sell ‘em as, I don’t know, ‘wine bottle sweaters?’ What do you think?”

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“NOW you’re getting the idea, beautiful! The sillier the product idea the better. I’m sure we can find lots of ways to undress…er, unLOAD this stuff.” (and so on)

Intrepid TJR Field Reporter, Kyle Knox, suits up for another dangerous run into his local Kohl's department store in search of 1:6 scale sweaters and Santa suits. Ho-Ho-Yo, Joe! (Photo: Kyle Knox)

Intrepid TJR Field Reporter, Kyle Knox, suited up for another dangerous mission into his local Kohl’s department store in search of 1:6 scale sweaters and Santa suits. Ho-Ho, Joe! (Photo: Kyle Knox)

Fantasy scenarios aside, two more of TJR’s intrepid Field Reporters wrote in today to provide the serious intel and facts we so desperately require on this all-important topic. First, tough-as-nails Kyle Knox (shown at right) returned to base recently after a long “retail recon” and filed the following riveting report:

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“Kohl’s has some as well! I paused for a few seconds to look at them. My wife noticed I wasn’t with her after a few steps. She looked back and said, ‘I know exactly what you’re thinking, do you see one Joe would want?”

We’re constantly amazed by Knox’s composure under fire. Keep up the good work, Kyle! Remember to keep your head down, buddy! Immediately after Knox’s report finished ticking off our teletype machine, a second eagle-eyed TJR Field Reporter, Ed Kozak (see photo at top of article), wrote in with his own amazing “silly sweater sighting.” To wit, Ed said:

“I was strolling through Big Lots today and saw this Santa suit set for $4. This is a bottle costume like those ugly Michael’s sweaters. I was quite surprised to see them there. Oh, I forgot to mention, they also have a Mrs. Claus outfit, also for $4. Fits GIjOE and GIJane perfectly, but they’ll need the waists to be cinched up a bit. My Joe needed something warm to wear, living south of Buffalo, NY. 

Ed Kozak's fuzzhead Joe was self-created, using techniques learned from 1:6 accessories company, Patches of Pride. Fuzzy faces need fuzzy hats too! (Photo: Ed Kozak)

Ed Kozak’s fuzzhead Joe was self-flocked. Fantastic job, Ed! (Photo: Ed Kozak)

I thought I would also mention one other tidbit of information about my Joe in the Santa Suit. He was actually a 40th anniversary Action Pilot that I custom flocked using the instructions from Patches of Pride (HERE). Awesome stuff! I always wanted to be able to flock my figures without all that machinery, in a nice and easy way. Thanks for the instructions. Have a great Thanksgiving. And thanks for the awesome Joe Report!”

We like the variety of choices being offered at Kohl's. That short, frilly Mrs. Santa outfit would look good on any 1:6 scale female figure's figure! You may need some red hot pants or tights to complete the outfit, but this is a great start! (Photo: Kyle Knox)

We like the variety of choices offered at Big Lots. That short, frilly Mrs. Santa miniskirt would look great on any 1:6 scale female figure. You may need some red tights to complete the outfit, but they’re a great start! (Photo: Kyle Knox)

Bottom Line: There seems to little shortage of these (almost) 1:6 scale sweater and mini-costume outfits this year. Of course we were being facetious about their origins, but their potential as 1:6 scale holiday costumes for GIjOE and Barbie is undeniable. Most will require minor adjustments here and there, but that’s a good excuse for you to practice your needle and thread skills, right? And, with each passing day, their availability at participating retailers nationwide seems to grow. So…get out there and getcha some! Editor’s note: Our thanks to trusty TJR Field Reporters Kyle Knox and Ed Kozak for their generous contributions to this article. You’re the BEST! —Mark :)

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In 2014’s “War of the Wool,” Target Releases Its Own Line of 1:6 Scale (Plus-Sized) Sweaters For 12-Inch G.I. Joe, Competing With Michael’s Crafts

In the latest salvo fired in 2014's "War of the Wools," Target's new "Wine Sweaters" are also ideal for use by GIjOEs and other 12-inch action figures (the bigger the better). (Photo: Laura Ann Ostermeyer)

In the latest salvo fired off in a 2014’s silly-sweater showdown, Target’s new line of “Wine Sweaters” are (almost) ideal for use by GIjOEs and other 12-inch action figures. (Photo: Laura Ann Ostermeyer)

GIjOE fan and "playscaler," Laura Ann Ostermeyer. (Photo: Laura Ann Ostermeyer)

GIjOE fan and “playscaler,” Laura Ann Ostermeyer (Photo: Laura Ann Ostermeyer)

In a surprising challenge to Michael’s Craft Store’s recent introduction of 1:6 scale Christmas sweaters, retailing giant, Target, has thrown down a “garment gauntlet” in response and introduced its own line of so-called,”wine sweaters.” These new sweaters provide even more holiday clothing options for your cold and shivering 12-inch GIjOEs, Barbies, and similar 1:6 scale action figures. Also, in an apparent nod to consumer complaints that Michael’s sweaters are a tad too short-sleeved, Target made its versions slightly larger overall, in what we’d call a 1:6 scale “plus-size.” According to TJR Field Reporter, Laura Ann Ostermeyer:

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“I have a Christmas sweater update. If folks want a bulkier sweater with longer arms, they may want to go to Target. They now have “wine sweaters” for $5 each. I had gotten them for one of my bigger figures and decided to try one on Joe (see photo below). They look okay. When I first went, they only had the red sweaters, but now they have them in green too.”

Looks like Joe and Barbie have put on a few pounds this holiday season. Either that, or their new sweaters from Target are just a tad too big. Call the tailor! (Photo: Laura Ann Ostermeyer)

Too much stuffing? Looks like Joe and Barbie have already put on a few pounds this holiday season. Either that, or their new sweaters from Target are a tad too big. Quick! Call a tailor! (Photo: Laura Ann Ostermeyer)

Bottom Line: We agree with Laura’s assessment that Target’s sweaters, while featuring better sleeve lengths, have added too much material in the waist and chest area. After all, if GIjOE’s been able to stay trim for 50 years, why should we make him look overweight now? A simple alteration in the back will help snug up these new “plus-sized” sweaters so they look great. Thanks, Laura!

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Attention, Christmas Shoppers: Don’t Forget to Buy G.I. Joe a New Sweater For The 2014 Holidays!

Oh, man. This 1:6 scale sweater's so bad—it's GREAT! Check out your local Michael's craft stores. They're being sold as ornaments on little hangers for just $ (Photo: Laura Ann Ostermeyer)

Ho-Ho-Hilarious! This 1:6 scale sweater looks so bad—it’s GREAT! Perfectly sized for all 12-inch action figures, it’ll make an ideal “bad sweater” for your GIjOE. Available at Michael’s art supply stores NOW. They’re sold as Christmas ornaments and come with little hangers, $6. (Photo: Laura Ann Ostermeyer)

Every year about this time, our festive “Field Reporters” begin sending in notices of a variety of intriguing 1:6 scale “finds” (i.e. miniature accessories, objects and even clothing items) that are ideal for use with GIjOEs. The first such report to come in over our teletype machine came to us today from “Lucky” Laura Ann Ostermeyer. Laura’s keen eye for finding 1:6 scale items helped her spy this “so bad it’s great” 1:6 Christmas sweater, complete with a 1:6 metal hanger for sale at a local Michael’s crafts and art supplies store. Laura filed the following report with us this evening:

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Field Reporter for The Joe Report, Laura Ann Ostermeyer (Photo: Laura Ann Ostermeyer)

Field Reporter for The Joe Report, Laura Ann Ostermeyer (Photo: Laura Ann Ostermeyer)

“Hi guys and gals! On one of the fashion doll Facebook places, someone mentioned that Michael’s had some small knit Xmas Sweaters. I stopped by on my way home from work—and they had some! They ring up at $5.99 but you can get a 50% off coupon for any one item on either your smart phone or online. So… for around $3 it’s a fun holiday sweater for Joe and any other 1/6th pals.”

Bottom Line: Thanks for your alert “heads up” on this 1:6 scale holiday item, Laura. We know where we’ll be motoring off to tomorrow. If anyone else out there finds anything that would make a great gift for our 12-inch buddies, please write in and let us know. Thanks. Ho-Ho-Ho! And Merry Christmas!

It looks even worse (in a good way) when you put it on your Joe. Now he's a sure standout at your next Christmas party! (Photo: Laura Ann Ostermeyer)

Yikes. This 1:6 scale sweater from Michael’s looks even worse (in a good way) when you put it on your Joe. Now he’s a sure standout at your next 1:6 Christmas party! (Photo: Laura Ann Ostermeyer)

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Too Racy For G.I. Joe Fans? Photographer Blurs Boundaries Between Fashion Photography and Pornography With New (Self-Published) Book

Art? Porn? A little of both? It's always been in the eyes of the beholder. (Photo: Tony Kelly)

Art, porn, or a little of both? As always, the answer rests in the eyes of the beholder. (Photo: Tony Kelly)

We debated long—and hard—about the appropriateness of this image on The Joe Report. Eventually, we came to the conclusion that it would barely squeak past the censors and went ahead with it. What do you think? Is the new book by fashion photographer, Tony Kelly, too much for

We debated long and hard about the appropriateness of this image appearing on The Joe Report (and our apologies to any readers who are offended). Eventually, we came to the conclusion that it would barely “arouse” the ire of today’s ‘net-censors and went ahead. (Photo: Tony Kelly)

Utilizing 1:6 Scale G.I. Joes As Props in Sexually Explicit Pics—Is It Going Too Far—Or Is It Simply An Adult “Artistic Interpretation” of Hasbro’s Iconic Action Figure?

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“Never complain. Never explain. Welcome to the world of Tony Kelly Photography.” —Tony Kelly

What do you get when a fashion photographer combines an obvious passion for the female form with—1:6 scale GIjOE action figures? Well, if you’re Dublin-born Tony Kelly, the results are compiled into his newly self-published book entitled, “Tony’s Toys,” and feature page upon page of glossy, full-color photos depicting nude and semi-nude female pulchritude, all carefully posed with numerous 12-inch GIjOEs (and other figures) in a variety of humorously compromising positions. Attention Parents: It’s important to note, that despite this book’s use of children’s toys as subject matter, it is an adult-oriented photo album that is definitely not intended or appropriate for viewing by children. On the other hand, some (over 18) adult collectors of GIjOE-related paraphernalia may actually enjoy Kelly’s new tome and (may) even consider plunking down the approximately $75 he’s requesting in order to add it to their personal “Joe-Libraries.” Of course, that depends entirely on a given fan’s personal collecting preferences and his or her tolerance threshold for this sort of adult-oriented “reading material” (i.e., This book’s not for everybody).

This is coming off! Even Joe's 8-inch cousin, "Big Jim"  gets in on the action in Kelly's new book. This is one of the few pics we can show here. Others are too explicit (sorry). (Photo: Tony Kelly)

Even Joe’s 8-inch cousin, “Big Jim” gets in on the action in Kelly’s new book. Unfortunately, this is one of the few pics from the book we can show. Most are simply too explicit. (Photo: Tony Kelly)

The ideal male body? Art historians largely regard Michaelangelo's "David" (1501) as the world's greatest statue of a male body. Yet, despite its obvious superb artistic achievement, conflicting morals and viewpoints regarding nudity prevent many from appreciating its undeniable perfection as a work of art. (Photo: Wikipedia)

Art historians and experts agree Michaelangelo’s “David” (1501) is one of the greatest sculptures ever created, if not THE greatest. If Kelly added a couple of GIjOEs to this shot, would it bother you? Or amuse you? (Photo: Wikipedia)

As it has always been throughout human history, the ever shifting sands of morality and tolerance of nude imagery has ultimately rested within “the eyes of the beholder.” Ever since the earliest creations of African and Asian erotic “fertility art,” ancient Greco-Roman sculpture and Renaissance era through modern-day paintings (and most recently, photographs), all works featuring nudes as their subject matter have routinely been regarded BOTH as art, and/or derided as “filth” (or even worse). Today, more than ever, with the inexorable infiltration of nude imagery into modern-day advertising, television and everyday pop culture items such as comic books and video games, works such as Kelly’s new photo book will continue to probe the level of current public acceptance for materials that “blur the lines” between what is considered adult-oriented art, or—to put it simply—prurient pornography.

Are GIjOEs Too “Grown Up” Now?

As collectors of 1:6 scale action figures know all too well, the once simple world of “America’s Movable Fighting Man” has increasingly become “infiltrated” by a growing number of adult-themed, “sexy” female action figures, many now with hidden joints, “life-like” rubber skin, interchangeable breasts (DD anyone?) and even anatomically-correct female features once considered off-limits, such as nipples and…well, you know the rest. Collectors of this adult-niche of the 1:6 hobby can also purchase a wide variety of sexy, adult lingerie (for the figures, HA), items previously seen only in Victoria’s Secret stores or in old Frederick’s of Hollywood catalogs. Of course, today’s Barbie fans can also purchase similar 1:6 scale “intimates,” and the preference for such risqué outfits again, rests entirely within an individual’s collecting prerogative and personal preferences. Despite the limitations of such 1:6 products (i.e. they’re not intended for use by children), this emerging adult-market segment appears to growing steadily and surely.

Are they coming—or going? In another photo that barely squeaked by our editorial staff, a group of nude Joes seem to trying to decide something. Either that, or they've just been "birthed" by the unknown woman. What do YOU think is going on? (Photo: Tony Kelly)

Are they coming—or going? In another photo that barely squeaked by our editorial staff, a group of nude Joes seems to be trying to decide…something. Either that, or they’ve just been “birthed” by an unknown woman looking at her fingernails. What do YOU think is going on here? (Photo: Tony Kelly)

Kelly travels the world to complete assignments for various fashion and adult magazines. (Photo: Tony Kelly)

Kelly travels the world to complete assignments for various fashion and adult magazines. (Photo: Tony Kelly)

Kelly’s experience photographing nude and semi-nude women for high-fashion magazines and adults-only fare such as Playboy, has prepared him well for this first book project, but as might be expected, any book full of naked women posing with GIjOEs and other children’s toys is bound to strike a sensitive nerve with some. Indeed, there are always going to be fans who feel such imagery is demeaning or insulting to women. Others will take a more blasé view and point out that such “shocking” images are merely an attempt by the artist or photographer to stir up public reaction and (hopefully) boost sales of their products. Finally, there will also be fans who find this whole subject much ado about nothing, laughing at all the fuss and folderol.

Not surprisingly then, once news of Kelly’s book was released on the internet, it didn’t take long for Facebook’s GIjOE fan boards to “light up” over this topic. After the usual back-n-forth sexual banter and “nudge-nudge” innuendoes had been made, some male GIjOE collectors wanted to know how their female counterparts felt about all this, and we too, were curious how GIjOE collectors of ALL stripes and types regarded this relatively unusual use of their favorite childhood toy. Predictably, opinions varied widely, but one female fan, Xio Vasquez, was quick to voice her concerns about the sensitive material and the fact that some (male fans) in the the male-dominated Sandbox Facebook group appeared to be discussing the topic too casually, stating:

Get the Point? It's amazing what a long pair of perfect legs and 2 scuba GIjOEs can do. Or is it? (Photo: Tony Kelly)

Get the Point? It’s amazing what a pair of perfect legs and 2 scuba Joes with spearguns can do to…Oh, never mind, we’re too busy lookin’ at those gams! (Photo: Tony Kelly)

womancomment

Honestly? As a female collector? I’d like to say I’m feeling pretty alienated and weirded out by all of it. It’s… Honestly, it’s pretty much the pickle on the crap sandwich that collecting has become for me. I’d like to think that I don’t personally ask for much, and hardly anything in a public space, but figures in general that look practical or cool. What I get instead, turns out to be a myriad of military figures, which I have no problem with at all, and then an over-sexualization of female figures, both mass produced and custom. And I can deal with this. Grit my teeth and bear it. Make my own custom ladies who are badasses and cool-looking myself. Yes, I have to sluck through a marshland of PVC and latex-clad ladies with no aesthetic or practical value in order to find some gems, but hey! At least there ARE gems. But now there’s this (Kelly’s book). It’s a strange, niche fetish being advertised in a group that I thought was supposed to be wholesome and, well, anything but… THIS. I’m really not sure how to describe it. But I honestly expected a lot better than this kind of display from a bunch of adults. And yes, we may all play with toys, but we really are all adults here. It isn’t the fact that it (an ad for Kelly’s book) was posted at all. It’s the fact that it’s being advertised and encouraged, really. Discussing prices of how much a real woman costs, like she’s an actual toy to be bought, used, and discarded or traded once boredom sets in. I’m not really sure this is a group that I’m gonna fit in with if this is the kind of talk that’s had. Sorry if this seems harsh or humorless, but it’s the truth, and someone’s gotta say it, I think.”

GIjOE fan and collector, Xio Vasquez (Photo: Xio Vasquez)

GIjOE fan and collector, Xio Vasquez (Photo: Xio Vasquez)

Xio’s views were typical of many women, but we also expected to hear from female fans who weren’t bothered by advertisements for Kelly’s book or its risqué content. And we were right. First, we heard from our own intrepid “Field Reporter,” Carin Reddig (a well-known collector and customizer of GIjOEs) regarding her thoughts on Kelly’s book. She replied:

GIjOE fan and collector, Carin Reddig. (Photo: Carin Reddig)

GIjOE fan and collector, Carin Reddig. (Photo: Carin Reddig)

womancomment“Wow. Ha-ha. Some of them (the photos in Kelly’s book) are kind of clever. I don’t see myself buying it (the book), but I can certainly see how it might appeal to some Joe collectors. Definitely not at all offended though. He should do a sequel using male models—and Barbie’s!”
Carin Chromie Reddig
Intrigued, we asked another long-time action figure fan and customizer, Laura Ann Ostermeyer (also a trusty TJR Field Reporter) for her opinions regarding Kelly’s book and the 1:6 scale hobby’s recent increase of the marketing and sexualization of action figures in general. She kindly responded:
GIjOE fan and "playscaler," Laura Ann Ostermeyer. (Photo: Laura Ann Ostermeyer)

GIjOE fan and “playscaler,” Laura Ann Ostermeyer (Photo: Laura Ann Ostermeyer)

womancomment“Although I haven’t had an opportunity to see the entire contents of Tony Kelly’s book, I have been amused and intrigued by the images seen on-line. Groups of GIjOEs and other action figures checking out nude pinup girls in a variety of poses—even getting ‘up close and personal’ in a few shots. I am actually more interested hearing what other people think of them—probably due to my background and having studied anthropology and having majored in it in college. Sitting back and watching others weigh in and seeing what makes them tick is fascinating.

Am I offended? Especially, since I am female? No. It takes a lot to offend me. I grew up in Hollywood, CA, in the 1970s and saw many interesting things. I worked in the entertainment industry and also was around a lot of different art. I also am an artist myself, so to me, this is just another form of art. The human body is a work of art. Action figures and doll bodies are works of art. Meshing them together to create new and interesting images and stories—this too is a work of art. My only wish was that Bettie Page could have been around for one of Tony Kelly’s GIjOE photo shoots. That would have been really cool to have had 2 very classic American icons together for something fun!” —Laura Ann Ostermeyer
Marketing on the Move! Clearly, Kelly knows how to increase public awareness of his new book: hire a billboard truck and drive all over Hollywood! (Photo: Tony Kelly)

Marketing on the Move! Clearly, Kelly knows how to increase public awareness of his new book: hire a billboard truck and drive all over Hollywood! (Photo: Tony Kelly)

No longer a Toy? Phicen's new life-like 1:6 scale female action figures feature "assets" never imagined before. (Photo: Phicen)

No longer a Toy? Phicen’s new life-like 1:6 scale female action figures feature “assets” never before imagined. (Photo: Phicen)

Bottom Line: For most GIjOE fans, deciding whether to purchase Kelly’s book or any of the new high-end, ultra-realistic, anatomically-correct, female action figures (such as the one from Phicen, shown at right) are easy take-it-or-leave-it decisions. These products are clearly not for everyone and their high costs helps make the decision easier for many. Regardless of your opinions and personal purchasing preferences, please feel free to leave a comment to this article. We’d love to hear from you! Finally, here are a few more opinions to get you thinking:

malecomment

“I gotta side with Xio on this one. Sexualized figures, as ‘absurd’ as they may be, are frankly just juvenile, in my opinion. I know some collectors enjoy such things, but I find them quite awkward. I don’t care if other people collect them, I don’t care if they showcase them here (on the Facebook Sandbox) or elsewhere–I just turn away from the stuff (and I’m renowned for having my own ribald sense of humor, too).” —Ken Davis

malecomment

“The sheer absurdity of the project (Kelly’s book) amused me, but I can see how it could offend women. My wife just rolled her eyes at it, but she knows me and understands that I’m not sexist, just absurdist.” —Rudy Panucci

malecomment

“I like military figures and have no interest in scantily-clad 1:6 scale females (only 1:1 females). I will say the book has pictures offensive to some, but at least they are doing more with 1:6 Joes than Hasbro is currently doing.” —Greg Page

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