Category Archives: New Products

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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FLASH!——— Hallmark Announces Surprise October Release of a “50th Anniversary (Action Soldier) G.I. Joe” Keepsake Ornament For Christmas 2014

This closeup of the upcoming (limited-edition) "50th Anniversary GIjOE" keepsake ornament by Hallmark measures approximately 4.5"h. We assume the Action Soldier box graphics continue all the way around. FANTASTIC! (Photo: Hallmark)

This closeup of the upcoming (limited-quantity) “50th Anniversary GIjOE” keepsake ornament by Hallmark measures approximately 4.5″h and should be available in stores in time for Christmas 2014. Although it cannot be determined from this early photo, we assume the Action Soldier box graphics continue all the way around. HOO-ah! Happy 50th, GIjOE! (Photo: Hallmark)

Limited-Edition Ornament Is Not Listed in 2014 Keepsake Catalog

It may seem somewhat early to be thinking about Christmas 2014, but in this case, a little foreknowledge may not be a bad thing. As you’re probably well aware, Hallmark releases its annual Christmas tree ornament selection into stores well before the holidays, and also sells them from a printed catalog and variety of websites. However, what you may not know is that a handful of special ornaments are produced every year that are NOT advertised in the company’s catalog, greatly limiting their quantities and public awareness of their existence.

In addition, Christmas tree ornament collecting has developed into a growing hobby of its own, with a dedicated cadre of followers that—similar to GIjOE fans—belong to a variety of online fan clubs, forums, voluntary e-mail lists and other such enthusiast groups encouraged by Hallmark and other ornament manufacturers. Fortunately (for us Joeheads), one such “ornament enthusiast” also happens to be an ardent GIjOE fan and collector. She’s The Joe Report’s own “ace” Field Reporter, Raquel Castro, who generously filed the following EXCLUSIVE REPORT with our news bureau:

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“This year, Hallmark is releasing a 50th Anniversary GIjOE ornament on Saturday, October 4th, during its ‘Debut Weekend.’ Unfortunately, it is classified as a ‘limited-edition’ ornament, which means that there will only be about 6 ornaments available—per store. If your readers want one, they will have to be at a Hallmark store bright and early on that day! It costs $19.95 and is at the most 4.5″h.”

I am a Keepsake Ornament Club (KOC) member, so I can check Hallmark’s members-only website and receive special emails and newsletters about items like this. I also check yulelog.com which is a great resource for Hallmark collectors.” —Raquel Castro

Bottom Line: Once again, our ever-expanding web of Field Reporters has come through with some very juicy and exclusive GIjOE-related intel. Our sincerest thanks to Raquel Castro for this exciting and informative update. Finally, here are a few photos of some upcoming (mass-produced) Hallmark ornaments that may also be of interest to 1:6 scale customizers and diorama builders. Enjoy!

The "Pretty Pink Trike" keepsake ornament measures approximately 3"l x 2.5"h x 1.5"w and would make an ideal decor item for a 1:6 scale Christmas diorama. Love that chrome! And yes, the wheels turn. (Photo: Hallmark)

The “Pretty Pink Trike” keepsake ornament measures approximately 3″l x 2.5″h x 1.5″w and would make an ideal decor item for a 1:6 scale Christmas tree diorama. Love that chrome! And yes, its wheels turn too. (Photo: Hallmark)

Measuring almost 3" in diameter, this light-n-sound mini "Simon" game would look great sitting on a 1:6 scale table between two Joes. FUN! (Photo: Hallmark)

Measuring almost 3″ in diameter, this light-n-sound mini “Simon” game would look great sitting on a 1:6 scale table between two Joes. FUN! (Photo: Hallmark)

Here's another great "vintage" era background item that would add a lot of fun to any 1:6 diorama. This TV ornament plays the Brady Bunch (and ONLY the Brady Bunch) 24/7. HA! With lights and sound, it measures 2.75" h x 3"w. Marsha, Marsha, Marsha! (Photo: Hallmark)

Here’s another great vintage or Adventure Team-era background item that would add a lot of fun to any 1:6 diorama. This TV ornament lights up, plays the Brady Bunch theme song, and measures 2.75″ h x 3″w. Marsha, Marsha, Marsha! Good item for a mini Joe room, game room, or bedroom dio! (Photo: Hallmark)

This 1942 Harley-Davidson "Liberator" motorcycle would look AMAZING as a background (tabletop) model in any 1:6 scale diorama. It die-cast metal with wheels that turn, and measures 2"h x 4"l. Out-STANDING! (Photo: Hallmark)

This 1942 Harley-Davidson “Liberator” motorcycle would look AMAZING as a background (bookcase or floor) model in any 1:6 scale diorama. It’s made of die-cast metal with wheels that turn, and measures 2″h x 4″l. VRROOOM! (Photo: Hallmark)

G.I. Joe Cosplayers Creating “Girls of the Finest” 2015 Calendars to Benefit “Wounded Warriors”

The world's most beautiful GIjOE/Cobra cosplayers will soon combine their considerable talents in an all-new 2015 calendar called, "Girls of the Finest." All proceeds will benefit the "Wounded Warriors Project." (Photo: The Finest)

The world’s most beautiful GIjOE/Cobra cosplayers are combining their considerable talents to create a 2015 calendar called “Girls of the Finest” to benefit the Wounded Warriors Project. (Photo: The Finest)

Actress/model, Veronica Orosco, strikes a pose as "The Baroness" in her cosplayer costume. Orosco and other beautiful "femme fatales" will soon grace the pages of a new 2015 GIjOE/Cobra cosplay calendar, proceeds of which will go to benefit the "Wounded Warriors Project." (Photo: Veronica Orosco)

Actress/model, Veronica Orosco, strikes a pose as “The Baroness” in her cosplayer costume. Orosco and other beautiful “femme fatales” will soon grace the pages of a new 2015 GIjOE/Cobra cosplay calendar, proceeds of which will go to benefit the “Wounded Warriors Project.” (Photo: Veronica Orosco)

Another Example of  How “The Power of Joe” Extends Far Beyond Personal Collecting

It’s a simple plan. Perhaps that’s why it’s proving so successful. GIjOE cosplayers from around the world are recruiting the most beautiful of their costumed forces to create a sexy, new “Girls of the Finest” calendar for 2015. They plan to sell the instant collectible to fans and collectors (who will immediately hang them in their Joe Rooms) and then donate all of the proceeds to the Wounded Warriors Project, a highly reputable charity organization dedicated to assisting injured U.S. military service members. We first heard of this superb example of “Joe karma” from actress and model, Veronica Orosco, herself a longtime fan and GIjOE cosplayer:

“Hello Mark, My name is Veronica Orosco, aka ‘The Baroness’ of the GI Joe Fighting 788th. If you’re unaware, the 788th is a regional garrison of ‘The FINEST‘ (the premier GIjOE/Cobra costuming club in the world). In honor of the 50th anniversary of GIjOE, all the different cosplayer garrisons across the US have decided to put together a limited-edition “Girls of the Finest” Calendar with all of the proceeds benefitting the Wounded Warriors Project. We’re very excited about this, and are trying to spread the word to as many different fan pages, groups, etc., to help us raise funds to get these calendars out to GIjOE fans! I am GIjOE proud and am very honored to be a part of this amazing calendar to benefit our nation’s Wounded Warriors!

What a GREAT idea! We had never heard of “The Finest” before (see their website HERE), but quickly discovered that its members are well-organized and making full and capable use of the power of the internet; utilizing social media, YouTube, and popular fundraising websites to create awareness and interest in their project. Take a look at the enjoyable, professional and humorous video created for their page on the indiegogo website HERE.

51oLm3PgDIL._SY300_Orosco went on to point out that fans could also visit a new page on Facebook set up exclusively for the 2015 calendar HERE and that The Finest further described the Wounded Warriors GIjOE/Cobra calendar fundraising project in a press release, stating:

“If you’re reading this, you’re probably a big fan of GIjOE. So are we! We’re the women behind the Girls of The Finest 2015 calendar. The 50th anniversary of GIjOE is here, and we wanted to do something special to celebrate this milestone. Trust us, this is no ordinary ‘pin-up’ calendar. We are passionate about the characters we portray and we want to reflect the passion of the GIjOE fandom. All of your favorite female characters (plus a few twists on classic characters) will be portrayed here—12 months of our amazing female coplayers photographed exclusively for this calendar.”

This recently released image proudly announced that the upcoming calendar project has already been fully funded. In addition to proceeds from the sale of the calendars, all additional funds collected on the indiegogo website will also go directly to the "Wounded Warriors Project" charity. (Photo: The Finest)

This recently released image proudly announced that the upcoming calendar project has already been fully funded. In addition to proceeds from the sale of the calendars, all additional funds collected on the indiegogo website will also go directly to the “Wounded Warriors Project” charity. (Photo: The Finest)

Bottom Line: This is another great example of how “The Power of Joe” is extending beyond mere personal collecting, helping others in need. Already funded and underway, the idea for the Girls of the Finest calendar is clearly a popular one (especially among fans and collectors of the 1980s RAH/Cobra line) and we see no reason why this method of fundraising can’t be repeated over and over again for other purposes (Hello, Cody Lane Foundation?). If you’re interested in picking up a copy while simultaneously contributing to the Wounded Warriors Project, go HERE and… Go, JOE!

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