Category Archives: New Products

2015 G.I. Joes Returning to 12-Inch Size as “Jumbo Vintage Figures” Made of “Durable Plastics”

This is GIjOE will look like in 1:6 scale (12-inches tall) in 2015. That's right, Gentle Giant's new "Rock 'n Roll" GIjOE is 12 full inches of twisted steel and sex appeal. Actually, according to the product description, he'll be made of "durable plastic." As to sexy...we'll let you be the judge. (Photo: BBTS)

This is what 12″ GIjOEs will look like in 2015. That’s right, Gentle Giant’s new “Rock ‘n Roll” GIjOE is 12 full inches in height, and according to the product’s official description, he’ll also be made of “durable plastic.” (Photo: BBTS)

With tongue firmly planted in cheek, let us proceed…

What a relief! At a time during GIjOE’s 50th Anniversary when fans of 12-inch figures had given up all hope and accepted the cold, sobering reality that Hasbro’s 1:6 scale Joes were now largely a thing of the past, a second toy company (under license from Hasbro) has picked up the beloved brand’s baton and announced plans to carry it on proudly, well into 2015. The company coming to the rescue of 12-inch collectors is none other than Gentle Giant, Ltd, and the first Joe out of their factory’s gates will be an all-new, 1:6 scale figure based on the vintage RAH superstar lovingly known as—Rock ‘n Roll.

Let’s take a look at the stats on this bad boy: He’s going to be a full 12″ tall by 5″ wide and 2″ deep (must’ve been working’ out). And based on the photos generously provided to us by online retail giant, Big Bad Toy Store (BBTS), we can also see that R&R will have at LEAST 10 points of articulation. Yes, you heard us right. TEN. Imagine all the poses!

You get 2 "look" choices as well! Either with, or without his helmet. Yes, it may be difficult to decide from so many options, but that's the FUN of these new 12-inch Joes! (Photo: BBTS)

Who’s that? With Gentle Giant Ltd’s new 12-inch Rock ‘n Roll GIjOE, you’ll have 2 exciting uniform options to choose from: with—or without—a helmet. Wild! (Photo: BBTS)

“Jumbo Joe” will be convenient, too. R&R’s clothes aren’t going anywhere, so you won’t have to worry about dressing him or changing outfits depending on assignment. In fact, since Gentle Giant isn’t offering any accessories or optional uniform sets for this new 12-inch line, you won’t have to remember to keep up with any new bothersome 1:6 gear. Phew! R&R’s also “loaded for bear” with a big, black, bi-podded machine-gun thingy, and two big, shiny GOLD machine-gun ammo bandoliers. The REALLY good news? He’ll never lose or run out of ammo, because both of those bandoliers are permanently fused onto his body. Now THAT’S thinking ahead, dude! For additional intel on these 2015 12-inch Joes, we once again sought the counsel of the good folks over at BBTS. Their official product description states:

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That's right, Gentle Giant's new "Rock 'n Roll" GIjOE is 12 full inches of twisted steel and sex appeal. Actually, according to the product description, he'll be made of "durable plastic." As to sexy...we'll let you be the judge. (Photo: BBTS)

Got Gun? Gentle Giant’s new “Rock ‘n Roll” may not have the best gun in the 12-inch universe, but he’s probably got the BIGGEST. Whoa! (Photo: BBTS)

“Inspired by the Hasbro vintage GI Joe A Real American Hero figure, Gentle Giant is proud to bring you the GI Joe Machine Gunner, Code Name: ROCK ‘N ROLL. One of the first figures released in the series that started in 1982, Rock ‘N Roll is now the FIRST figure in an ongoing series of jumbo vintage figures.”

Holy cow! Did we read that correctly? This is to be the FIRST in an ongoing SERIES of “jumbo vintage figures.” Can you imagine? There’s going to more, just like this one. BBTS goes on:

“Rock ‘n Roll was a surfer in Malibu prior to enlistment. He was also a weight lifter and played bass guitar in local rock bands. Is familiar with all NATO and Warsaw Pact light and heavy machine guns. Graduated: Advanced Infantry Training (Top of Class). Specialized Education: Covert Ops School.”

The view from the back is just as...exciting. Uh-oh! It looks like Gentle Giant's 12-inch Rock 'n Roll took an RPG directly in his back. OUCH! (Photo: BBTS)

The view from the back is just as…painful. Gentle Giant’s new 12-inch Rock ‘n Roll GIjOE apparently comes pre-injured. He’s got a wicked RPG hole right in the middle of his back. Ouch! (Photo: BBTS)

Does anyone need to know more? Surely fans around the world are already whipping out their credit cards and emptying their Paypal balances. Seriously, who can pass this new 12-incher up? If you still need more convincing, BBTS continues with this juicy bit of intel:

“Rock ‘n Roll is cunning but naive; forceful but shy. Possesses a strong sense of loyalty to his teammates and is sincerely concerned about their well-being. A man of honor and integrity who can be counted on to hold the line.”

We bet you didn’t know that R&R was naive AND shy. (We didn’t.) Naive, sure. But shy? C’mon, who knew THAT? Regardless, all this new insight into Gentle Giant’s new 12-inch GIjOEs just makes them more irresistible, right? Finally, BBTS reveals how this exciting new line of figures will be created:

“The GI Joe A Real American Hero Jumbo Figure line features reproductions of the original 3 ¾” figures, using digital scanning and outputting to create an exact replica, only larger. Each figure will be reproduced using roto and injection molding and will be made of durable plastics.”

This advertisement for Gentle Giant's new line of "Vintage 1:6 scale jumbo figures" promises to keep Joe at 12-inches, at least through 2015. (Graphic: Gentle Giant)

This advertisement for Gentle Giant’s new line of “vintage 1:6 scale jumbo figures” promises to keep GIjOE at his original size of 12-inches, at least throughout 2015. Yippee! (Graphic: Gentle Giant)

Bottom Line: Fans and collectors of 12-inch GIjOEs can now breathe easy. These new “jumbo vintage figures” are surely everything they’ve been asking for—and MORE (“durable plastics, YES!). And if you can’t wait until 2015, BBTS wants you to know that you can pre-order a R&R today—HERE. And guess what? They’re only $80 bucks each. Hurry—before they sell out!

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1:6 Scale E.O.D. Robot “BLOWOUT” Sale at Amazon

Joe prepares his new EOD robot for use in searching suspicious cars and packages. (Photo: Sean Huxter)

GIjOE prepares his new 1:6 scale EOD robot for duty. (Photo: Sean Huxter)

Sean Huxter, a 3D animation professional, is one of many fans dubious of Paramount's decision to convert their new GIjOE film to 3D. (Photo: Sean Huxter)

Sean Huxter, GIjOE fan and collector. (Photo: Sean Huxter)

Let’s jump straight to the Bottom Line: If you hurry, right now over on Amazon, you can find these cool little “Lunar Robotic Rovers” made by Wild Republic that look EXACTLY like the EOD bomb disposal robots used by the U.S. military. If you’re not already aware, EOD stands for “Explosive Ordnance Disposal.” Rather than risk the lives of servicemen, EOD personnel will send these little beauties into harm’s way, remotely controlling them from a safe distance to inspect suspicious cars or packages for hidden bombs and other booby-traps. Fortunately for GIjOE fans, Wild Republic’s lunar rovers double perfectly as 1:6 scale EOD ‘bots. As soon as we heard about this amazing offer, we jumped right on it and purchased 2 for ourselves—at $12 shipped. WOW!

Our sincerest thanks go out to eagle-eyed Field Reporter “Super” Sean Huxter for providing the exciting and timely intel on this nifty new item. Jump HERE NOW to order one for yourself over on Amazon. At these “BLOWOUT” prices, we recommend you pick up at LEAST two. OOHrah!

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The “Lunar Robotic Rover” from Wild Republic is a perfect 1:6 scale EOD ‘bot for GIjOE. (Photo: Amazon)

Captain Action Enterprises Rep, Joe Ahearn, “Feels the Frustration” of Fans and Replies to Critics

Admits “Nothing is For Sure” About the DC Line

In a lengthy and plain-talking response to regular and ongoing criticism regarding continued delays of 1:6 Captain Action products, Captain Action Enterprises (CAE) head, Joe Ahearn, admitted feeling “frustrated” and that negative comments on fan forums were getting to be “very wearisome.” Of course, the frustrations that fans and collectors feel regarding delayed costume sets, etc., is no secret (see previous article HERE), and after many months of silence on the subject, Ahearn wisely chose to address the subject yesterday. In his post to the CA fan forum, he stated:

Joe Ahearn, founder of Captain Action Enterprises (Photo: CAE)

Joe Ahearn, founder of Captain Action Enterprises (Photo: CAE)

We too, surely do feel the frustration about the timing of the Round 2 DC sets. According to the original plan, we should be making Wave 8 by now! A few of the guys out there tend to bash everything in public forums, and denigrate all the efforts we put into various projects, and that- frankly – gets very wearisome.

Getting on the cover of the Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide, for instance, is a HUGE deal. We’ll be in every comic shop front and center and in many bookstores. And they’ll be advertising that for the entire next year too. And by doing that, we’ll be right in front of the guys (for a year) who make the ordering decisions for the Round 2 sets.

To a lesser extent, the same thing applies to the Tonner Lady Action, the Captain Action Cat series and all the other projects. We can tell you that the first buyer at Toys R Us told us he saw the Sideshow CA statue and Moonstone series every Wednesday when he bought his comics…and that directly led to them buying in for Round 2.

So when some fans denigrated the SDCC panel because there’s no news – we tend to find that debilitating on a personal level. But hey, In a perfect world we would’ve absolutely had a Batman Prototype up there to show everyone.

As discerning fans, we’ve been defying the odds time and time again with the Round 2 sets. We’re proud to have been able to bring everyone major Marvel characters to add to their collections which was no small feat. Right now, no other company seems to be doing 1/6 scale, let alone classic Silver Age figures, and some of the experts – like the Mattel Barbie line, are faltering. (Sales down 15% vs.YA).

And Toys R Us, our lead retailer is struggling. They just had a big round of layoffs and another round is rumored. Round 2 as a company does a poor job at selling licensed toys into other big-box retailers, and beyond that we all know those retailers are having their own troubles.

So, the short answer as respects DC is ‘nothing is for sure.’ This whole line was never supposed to happen, and then just about cancelled several times along the way. We were never supposed to secure the DC license and then we did. The comics were supposed to be cancelled and then we took a step up as Dynamite is now our publisher. And as you guys all know by now, there’s lot of things going on behind the scenes too.

We’re sorry that we didn’t have Round 2 Prototypes to share at the SDCC Contest Panel. We wish, probably more than anybody, because we put so much into this – that we were further along with Round 2 sets. But like the kids used to say ‘I’m not the boss of them’ (i.e. Round2). And we’re certainly not ‘the boss’ of the TRU buyer or the Diamond Buyer either.”

A prototype of the new "Lady Action" by (Photo: CAE)

A prototype of the new 1:6 scale “Lady Action” from Go Hero. (Photo: CAE)

“All we can assure you is that we’ll continue to put way too much time into Captain Action and that we too are excited to see more costume sets manufactured. We have not abandoned 1:6 scale by any stretch of the imagination. As you know we just announced our new Lady Action figure with Go Hero. Maybe it’s not what you were hoping for or maybe you are unable to afford a higher quality figure, but there are a lot of collectors out there who play in this world. If there wasn’t, Sideshow and Hot Toys wouldn’t be in business.

The world is rapidly changing in terms of retailing, television programming and manufacturing. It’s not 1967 now and never will be again, but you already know that. We do know that it is extraordinarily frustrating for many guys on this list, and especially collectors like Ed, who never had a Batman set as a kid. (He’s been called liar about that too, btw) and we can assure you it will be very frustrating for all fans everywhere with a very narrow definition of Captain Action as simply a 12-inch action figure. No property works that focused any more, and while we respect everyone’s right to like what they like, we’ll continue to work as hard as we can to expand the brand and make better things happen for Captain Action.

Right now, as you all are aware we are working hard on getting a Captain Action Animated Series off the ground. This will be a major game changer and greatly impact the things we will be able to do for the brand as a whole going forward and perhaps alleviate some of the product development frustrations by being able to work with bigger and better companies as we move forward. As always, we are thankful for the support we have gotten. —Best, Joe & Ed”

Bottom Line: ‘Nuff said! Thanks for the updates, Joe and Ed. Keep your spirits high and please keep collectors and fans informed regarding any further developments or intel in the world of Captain Action. Go, CAP!

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Brazilian “Fans of Falcon” Keep Spirit of 1:6 Scale Action Figure Alive With Release of 3 New Posters

There's nothing like professional GIjOE or "Falcon" posters to properly decorate your home. Surely your wife will approve! (Photo: Marcelo Santana)

Fans and collectors of Estrela’s “Falcon” GIjOEs will LOVE these 3 new posters commemorating each unique phase of the figure’s storied history (military, adventure, and sci-fi). (Photo: Marcelo Santana)

Never Give Up. Never Surrender!

While that rousing slogan was first made popular in the 1999 sci-fi classic, Galaxy Quest, it lately seems to reflect the die-hard attitude of thousands of frustrated Falcon fans living in Brazil. Falcon, as you no doubt recall from our previous article (HERE), was GIjOE’s exotic South-American cousin during the 1970s and ’80s, and is now as equally as revered and collectible as Action Man is to fans in the UK and Geyperman is to fans in Spain.

Falcon fans, meanwhile, remain undeterred by repeated (failed) efforts to revive the most famous creation of Estrela Toys, and have begun taking matters into their own hands. In addition to reaching out to U.S.-based Cotswold Collectibles, a second group of Falcon fans has invested its own time (and money) into producing a new line of Falcon-inspired promotional posters. According to exclusive “insider intel” we received recently from Brazil’s Marcelo Santana:

Marcelo Santana of Brazil (Photo: Marcelo Santana)

Marcelo Santana of StudioBrasilis, creator of 3 new decorative Falcon posters. (Photo: Marcelo Santana)

“Dear Joe Report—Your blog is an important reference for collectors of GIjOEs, Action Man and many other action figures. I visit often and read all the news that you post. For this reason I write to you today. Surely you know that here in Brazil the GIjOEs (Adventure Team, etc.) were renamed “Falcon” and re-released in 1977 by the toy manufacturing ‘Estrela’ and sold until 1985, when the line was discontinued. Unfortunately, since that time, fans have had no luck convincing Estrela to reissue Falcon as it was back in ‘the old days.’

Recently, a group of independent graphics professionals and myself decided to release an all-new, special series of 3 posters for collectors of GIjOE/Action Man/Falcon. Each poster in the set focuses on a different phase and characteristic of the Falcon line (i.e. the initial military phase, then adventure, and finally, futuristic/sci-fi).

This closeup shows the wonderfully large size of the new Falcon posters. Out-STANDING! (Photo: Marcelo Santana)

According to Marcelo, this poster translates as “The real hero invites you to a new adventure.” (Photo: StudioBrasilis)

Our company, StudioBrasilis, is an independent project of a group of friends and creative pros who came together to develop ideas that focus on producing new products related to popular culture and our childhood. Cool and modern ideas. For the 3 Falcon posters, the creation was all mine, but based on research I conducted with Falcon collectors here in Brazil. They told me that, as happened in other countries where the GIjOE Adventure Team was produced, the Brazilian version had unique characteristics of its own which differed from the others (i.e. its packages, vehicles, clothing, accessories, etc.).

Therefore, our intention was to create something different that did not yet exist. We knew that a few years ago, a commemorative poster for Hasbro’s Adventure Team had already been released, but nothing like it had ever been made for Falcon. In fact, Falcon is one of the rarest versions of GIjOE in the world. Our 3 new posters fill that void (a little) by portraying specific moments in the history of Falcon.

This closeup show some of the "Future" Falcon figures that made the line so unique. (Photo: Marcelo Santana)

This closeup show some of the “Future” Falcon figures that made the line so unique. (Photo: StudioBrasilis)

Finally, we wanted the collector, when seeing the posters, to easily recognize the elements and characteristics present in each, so this was a job that required real research—and creativity. Collectors can frame the posters and decorate the walls of their living room, or hang them next to his (or her) collection of Falcons and GIjOEs.

Each poster measures 24 x 36 inches (60 x 90 cm), is professionally offset-printed in high-resolution on bright, glossy stock (frame not included), and will be available in a limited edition (ONLY 300 sets). We want everyone to also know that we are not affiliated with Estrela Toys or any other toy manufacturer. The 3 poster set is being sold on ebay HERE for $49,90 U.S. (with FREE shipping).” —Marcelo Santana, StudioBrasilis

Bottom Line: StudioBrasilis’ posters are a fine example of fans and entrepreneurs taking matters into their own hands while the brands actual creators (Hasbro and Estrela) continue to sit idly by on the sidelines. We’d like to thank Marcelo Santana and everyone else at StudioBrasilis for their fine work and wish them all the best in their Falcon-based endeavours. Hopefully, their poster sales will be successful enough to galvanize additional fan support for the proposed Cotswold/Estrela Falcon reissue effort we reported on earlier (HERE). While we wait for further updates on that project, if you’re still a “newbie” to the ways and wiles of Falcon, take a look at this classic Brazilian TV commercial we discovered recently over on YouTube. It just might whet your appetite!

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1:6 Scale “Big Rack” Deer Antlers [Video Review]

Bottom Line: Following “hot on the hooves” of yesterday’s review of Shedz’ new 1:6 scale “Wild Boar Skull,” our good friends over at the Patches of Pride Video Channel on YouTube have just released another new video detailing a related product. This time, it’s a 1:6 scale (white-tailed deer) miniature trophy mount called, the “Big Rack.” (No easy sex jokes, please. HA) This cool new item has AT outdoorsman diorama potential written all over it. And as PoP’s description reads:

“Your 1:6 scale ski lodge, hunting shack, or log cabin diorama won’t look complete without an awesome set of 1:6 “Big Rack” deer antlers mounted up on the wall (or over the front door outside). Get the POINT? If not, don’t worry, this majestic miniature display has 14 of them (points, that is)!” —Mark Otnes, PoP Video Channel

1:6 Scale “Wild Boar Skull” [Video Review]

Bottom Line: If you’re a GIjOE collector or 1:6 scaler who’s ever built even the simplest of dioramas, then you can understand how the never-ending search for appropriately scaled props, furniture and other items can quickly become an all-consuming passion for many fans. Fortunately, Joeheads are also known to be a dedicated and close-knit bunch, and whenever a newly discovered 1:6 scale item appears in stores or online, we’re typically quick to share and spread the good news to others. In this case, a 1:6 scale “Wild Boar Skull” has been successfully “tracked down” and it has fantastic diorama potential. For a hands-on look at this new piece, we recommend the 2-minute VIDEO review recently posted over on the Patches of Pride Video Channel. Enjoy!

You’re Never Too Old———70 Year-Old Retired Man “Getting Over Bout of Cancer” By Creating 1:6 Scale Miniature Dioramas For Fun and Profit

Mini dorama and display stand creator, Joe Hodge, mans his booth at Joelanta 2014. A quick glance at his products reveals superb craftsmanship. (Photo: Mark Otnes)

Mini diorama and display stand creator, Joe Hodge, mans his booth at Joelanta 2014. A quick glance at his products reveals surprising and superb craftsmanship with myriad details. (Photo: Mark Otnes)

Joe Hodge (70), stood with his hands on his hips, squinting with an inquisitive eye as he studied the crowd milling around him. He was behind his dealer’s table at Joelanta 2014, manning a booth full of his expertly assembled, hand-crafted, hand-painted and “ready-to-use” 1:6 scale miniature diorama scenes, all the while watching, waiting and wondering about the fans passing by.

“Hmm…This is a strange crowd,” he mumbled, to no one in particular.

Hodge knows crowds. He can read them like a book. He’s had a lifetime of experience selling to all sorts and sizes, from all around the country. After a stint in the Marine Corps, he worked over 40 years as a professional jacket embroiderer, creating custom-embroidered “show jackets” for owners and fans of collector cars and hot rods. He’d travel from one car show to another on the nation’s busy “car show circuit,” setting up huge dealer tents displaying an array of colorful jackets and then busily embroider elaborate designs of cars, logos and custom names, all made “while you wait.”

Nowadays, Hodge is supposed to be fully retired. But on this weekend, he’d decided to travel from his home in Fountain End, SC to attend the world’s famous Joelanta GIjOE and action figure show in Atlanta, GA, hoping as he said, “to earn a little spending money.” Joe also had some more “personal” reasons for being there. According to Hodge:

“I getting over a bout of cancer. I decided to start making these miniature 1:6 diorama scenes to keep my hands busy. The hardest thing about making ‘em is finding a reliable source of materials. I’m always looking for good wood, styrofoam and other supplies. Sure, I’ll go to Hobby Lobby for the basics, and sometimes I find things at florists and hardware stores, but it’s a challenge! But all it is, is a hobby. I’m not getting rich doing this.”

As I was about to walk away, Joe stuffed his business card into my hand and said, "Here's how to reach me. I don't have a website, and I doubt I ever will!" (Photo: Mark Otnes)

As I was about to walk away, Joe stuffed his business card into my hand and said, “Here’s how to reach me. I don’t have a website, and I doubt I ever will!” (Photo: Mark Otnes)

Intrigued by his story, I studied Hodges “stands” for a while longer and realized that they were ideal for anyone wanting to set up a mini-diorama scene that didn’t require much space on a display table or shelf. Imagine working days or weeks on a custom figure. What do you do with it then? Box it up? Put it in your attic? No! Either PLAY with the blasted thing or DISPLAY it proudly on one of Hodge’s excellent mini-diorama stands! Clearly sensing my thoughts, Hodge lamented today’s fans, saying:

People and kids today don’t want to PLAY with their toys anymore. But let me tell you—I’ve been playing with toy soldiers ever since I was a child—and I STILL play with ‘em!” 

Bottom Line: Joe’s work is top-notch. And his personal example is very inspirational. We’re thrilled to see someone of his age still actively connected with the fun and creativity of the 1:6 scale hobby. Hopefully in the future, there will be thousands of similar “toy soldier” fans still playing with and customizing their 1:6 scale action figures—well into their 80s, 90s and beyond! Finally, if you’d like to contact Joe to place an order, remember that he doesn’t have a website, so you’ll need to pick up the telephone and call him on his old-fashioned “land line.” Remember those, buck-o?

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