Exclusive to The Joe Report…
Big news today from Pawtucket, RI. Apparently, regressive market conditions have finally prompted the “Big H” to, as they say, “get their head back into the game.” Press releases just received over our teletype machine reveal that the toy company has some “exciting news for fans and collectors” of their (once) prominent trademark brand, GIjOE. Something about a new line called the “American Aces.” Intrigued, I called up my long-time friend and Hasbro rep, Larry Livingood, to get his take on current and upcoming developments. What he told me was quite enlightening:
“Well, 2011’s declining sales and 2012’s layoffs were a big wake-up call for us. So we decided to start eavesdropping in on a few of those “fan forums” to see what collectors were actually saying. We found a few sites where all these GIjOE collectors hang out. And MAN… over at one of ’em, I think it was called the “Trenches,” they’ve been lambasting us over the coals for years! Did you know about this? Anyway, we had no idea there were so many die-hard GIjOE fans out there. Imagine, being a “fan” of a TOY? And they were making all these great suggestions for new products, improvements to our toy lines, you know, good stuff! They’re like free, consumer focus groups. If only we’d been listening earlier! Just think of all the great stuff we could’ve been making all these years.”
Larry’s frankness caught me completely off guard. I asked him if Hasbro had learned anything from all of that online fan chatter and whether or not they had any plans to actually act on any of it. Surprisingly, he started to relate some very interesting information regarding the near future of GIjOE. Here’s what he said…
“Oh, yeah. It turns out there’s a really large fan base out there for the GIjOE line. I have to admit, I thought all the interest in military or adventure dolls had died out years ago. I mean, for decades we’ve been pouring boatloads of money into stuff like “My Little Pony” or whatever, thinking that was what everyone wanted. And NOW we find out that there’s been all these grown men and women all over the world who for YEARS are still buying and collecting GIjOEs. Some of ’em are even forming little clubs in their communities. Imagine that! Organizing a entire club…just for a TOY. Well… all this has been quite an eye-opener. Especially for me.”
Again, Larry’s level of candor truly surprised me. So I thought I’d press him even further and asked exactly what Hasbro planned to do about all this new/old customer information. That’s when he dropped these major bombshells on me:
“Well, we were going to announce all our new plans for GIjOE at Toy Fair this year, but chose instead to push out all our new 10-inch figure stuff first. You know what I’m talking about? These hard plastic, stiff, barely movable figures from the new movie that are both too small AND too big to fit in with any existing collection? It’s all a shame too, because I REALLY liked the job our art boys did on those head sculpts of Bruce Willis and The Rock. They’re dead on!
Anyway…once all that stuff’s been blown out on clearance…We’re going to be releasing two new exciting Toys ‘R Us exclusives. The first will be the introduction of a new ‘GIjOE American Aces’ line of fully 1/6th scale aircraft, pilot ladders, ordnance trailers with bombs, etc. And it’ll all break down into about 4 simple pieces to fit into smaller boxes and assemble in just about a minute. We’re making it all out of that real durable, flexible plastic, like our Bofers 40mm guns. Remember those? Man, those things were built tough.
We thought we’d start off with a cool Korean War-era Sabre Jet. We’ll follow that with the Bell X-1 ‘Glamorous Glennis.’ Remember that cool-looking orange rocket plane that Chuck Yeager flew when he broke the sound barrier? And, in addition to these new planes and things, we’re also bringing out some new American Aces action figure sets. The first will be a collector’s set of the original “Mercury 7” astronauts. You should see this! I’ll send over a pic. Got it? Great. Cool, huh? Each will have dead-on head sculpts of the seven men and lots of unique accessories. It’s bigger than any GIjOE set we’ve ever made.
We also learned from those forums that fans love the original 1960s box art design the best and that they loathe our modern plastic “clam shell” packaging with all its twist-ties, etc. Well, guess what? We’re going back to the classic 1960s style “Red Box” design you see in that photo. I think fans will flip out when they see this new retro stuff. It’ll go right in with their existing vintage collections, no problem. Tell you what Mark, I’ll send you over another pic of that new Sabre Jet. Wait til you see it!”
Bottom Line: Wow. I was left speechless by all of Larry’s great news. Clearly Hasbro was finally, actually, LISTENING to all of the world’s devoted GIjOE fans. What a breakthrough this new line promises to be. Start counting your pennies, Joeheads. On this first day of APRIL, we’d be FOOLS to miss out on these new sets! 😉
(Editor’s Note: The above article is of course (sadly), a complete fabrication, and was written purely as entertainment for readers of The Joe Report on April Fool’s Day, 2012. We apologize for any raising of hopes that Hasbro might actually be doing anything so ambitious and exciting for GIjOE.)