Monthly Archives: October 2012

Customer’s “Sneak Pics” Prove Captain Action’s Loki, Thor & Dr. Evil Sets in Toys’R Us Stores NOW!

Great sneak pic of the new toys in the store. Check out Dr. Evil! (Photo: dive909)

Just a quick heads up to all of the Captain Action fans out there…

Ace undercover photographer, “Jim,” over on the Captain Action Fan Forum, recently released these hot new pics revealing that the long-awaited Captain Action Loki, Dr. Evil and Thor sets are showing up in his local Toys ‘R Us store. We knew they were becoming available online, but this is the first time we’ve heard of them appearing on shelves. According to Jim…

“Even though I had most of the costumes and sets as a child, I only remember going to the store once to purchase a Captain Action item.Being able to walk in the store yesterday and have a choice of 2 figures and 4 costumes was a special treat.I wanted to say thank you to Joe, Ed, Round 2 and everyone else behind the  scenes for making this possible!”

Okay…looks like these are on the BOTTOM shelf, everyone. Now you know where to look!
(Photo: dive909)

We heartily second your sentiments, Jim. And thanks for sharing your great “sneak pics” of the toys over on the forum. Keep up the great work, Ed and Joe! Let Justice Be Done!

G.I. jOE “Hurricane Spotters” Request Donations be made to American Red Cross to assist victims

Some of the storm-damaged homes yesterday in Connecticut. (Photo:

I was watching all the coverage of the damage and devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy today. Wow. With property damage estimates ranging as high as $20 billion dollars, its obvious Sandy will have a great impact upon the lives of millions of Americans for many months to come. If you’re able, please take a moment to contribute (any amount) to the American Red Cross HERE. Thanks! And all you Joeheads on the East Coast batten down your hatches and take care!

This Hurricane Spotter Team looks ready to pitch in and help. GO JOE! (Photo: Bill Ruperto)

Building a G.I. Joe Library With Books That Catalog, Parody, Fictionalize or Otherwise Extoll “America’s Movable Fighting Man”*

Vincent Santelmo’s “Official Identification and Price Guide” from 1999 is still a must-own for collectors and fans of GIjOE. It’s full of great information, closeup color photos and much more. (Photo: Krause Publications)

*OR: Everything you ever wanted to know about GIjOE books, but were afraid to ask…

Fans and collectors are busy creating them. Even more are buying them. They’re collected and arranged prominently on well-lit shelves in dens and offices throughout the world. But we’re NOT talking about GIjOEs here. We’re talking about BOOKS that have been written about GIjOE. Surprisingly, the amount of literature that’s been written and published about “America’s Movable Fighting Man” is quite extensive—and impressive.

Long before today’s modern RAH version, these vintage 1950s Korean War-era G.I. Joe comic books flew off of newsstands everywhere. Fortunately, these ultra-rare editions are now being professionally scanned and retouched for online digital viewing, preserving them for generations to come. (Photo: Ziff Davis Publications)

We’re talking about everything from pocket-sized pricing guides, to traditional and “photo story” comic books, official histories and “biographies,” fan-fictions and even serious academic studies and publications. A simple Google search quickly revealed dozens of titles, many of which have probably flown under your collecting “radar.” And while most of them are directly concerned with our favorite 12″ action figure, some are only coincidentally related, utilizing its popular name merely as a marketing ploy. Let’s take a look at some of the titles currently available…

GIjOE: The Story Behind the Legend (Photo: Chronicle Books)

GIjOE: The Story Behind the Legend
Don Levine and John Michlig, 1999

This delightful, hard-cover book details the earliest days of GIjOE’s creation by the people at Hasbro who did the actual work and includes numerous photos of the line’s earliest prototypes, not commonly available elsewhere. If you own only one book about the history and creation of GIjOE, this should be the one. It’s well written, superbly designed and a heck of a lot of fun to read! Display it proudly alongside your collection.

FUN FACTS: Originally packaged and sold with a reproduction “Masterpiece Edition” figure, this Don Levine classic was published with SIX different covers. In the spirit of “collecting them all,” many fans immediately went out and purchased all six of the (expensive) book and figure sets—just to get those different covers. <ahem>

The New Official Identification Guide to GIjOE (Photo: James DeSimone)

The New Official Identification Guide to GIjOE
Self-published by James DeSimone, 1993

While not perfect, this handy, magazine-style collector’s guide is full of helpful, full-color photographs showing all of the pieces contained in individual figure, vehicle and equipment sets. Since its publication, similar guides have come along and challenged, but never completely replaced, this unique book’s revered and important place in our hobby. My personal copy is well-worn and dog-eared from years of heavy use. New copies are getting scarce, so be sure to get one today over at Cotswold.

FUN FACTS: The last 4 pages of DeSimone’s book include photographs of rarely seen GIjOE products including an inflatable submarine and scuba diver, Picturama Rub-Ons, all of the kid-sized play gear and MUCH more.

GIjOE in World War II (Photo: Compass Point Books)

GIjOE in World War II
Sharon Cromwell, 2009

It’s not about a toy. It’s about the Real McCoy. This book is a wonderful account of America’s fighting man during WW2. Targeted towards youngsters, the publisher describes this hardcover thusly… “As the United Stated entered World War II, a large percentage of the U.S. soldiers, dubbed G.I. Joes, were drafted. Equipped only with the necessary items of survival, the G.I.s endured harsh conditions while fighting DEADLY enemies. From the beaches of Normandy to the jungles of southeast Asia, the G.I.s helped turn the tide of war.”

FUN FACTS: In addition to numerous, high-quality wartime photographs, there’s a section towards the end where “several pages are dedicated to GIjOE in U.S. Culture.” Sound like anyone we know? Regardless of your age, this GIjOE-related book sounds like a winner and is for sale HERE.

GIjOE and Other Backyard Heroes (Photo: Schiffer Publishing)

GIjOE and Other Backyard Heroes
John Marshall, 1997

Mr. Marshall is clearly a product of the 1970s and the Adventure Team. This wonderful soft-cover book features a plethora of color photos, descriptions and insight. Marshall’s guide goes beyond GIjOE to cover Mego, Big Jim, Universal Monsters, Johnny West and even Star Wars figures before finally calling it quits. The photos alone make this book a definite “keeper.”

FUN FACT: One of the few books to include quality closeup photographs of rare ’70s figures such as The Lone Ranger, Archie, Battlestar Galactica, Space 1999, Electroman, Mighty Max, ROM, Buck Hunter and more!

GIjOE in France (Photo: Praeger Security International)

GIjOE in France: From Normandy to Berchtesgaden
J. E. Kaufmann, 2008

Another history book that prominently features the GIjOE name in its title and yet has little if anything to do with GIjOE the toy. This one is all about the REAL American Heroes who liberated France and Europe from Nazi domination. According to the publisher… This book chronicles the experience of the World War II paratroopers from their earliest days in training to final days of the war spent at Berchtesgaden. Relying heavily on memoirs, letters, and personal interviews with soldiers, this work highlights the rigors of training, the spectacle of combat, and the relief of survival and victory. Along the way, the book details the struggle faced by American G.I.s as they made their way through France. Ultimately, this is a very personal story about struggle and triumph, told by those who endured the hardship of combat.” Sounds like a good read. Available from Amazon HERE.

One of the oldest of its kind, the 1990 “GIjOE Value Guide” by Carol Moody is still available for sale online and features many useful photos and bits of information. Question #1…What’s up with that Man of Action’s hair? WHOA. Worst flocking job EVER? Purchase from Amazon HERE. (Photo: Hobby House)

Anne of Green Gables vs. GIjOE (Photo: ECW Press)

Anne of Green Gables vs. GIjOE
Allan Gould, 2003

It sounds like a boxing or wrestling match between two unlikely opponents. But in reality, it’s just the title of another book utilizing the name GIjOE; this time as the LARGEST word on its front cover. We haven’t read it, but by the publisher’s description, it’s clearly intended as a humorous book of lifestyle and political comparisons…“Was it better that our ancestors chose to migrate to Canada, or should they have gone to the U.S.? Snow and ice and high taxes? Or unaffordable health care, guns in kindergarten, and great weather? The Canadian Dream is to pay a serviceman in cash to avoid the GST, to go to Hawaii (if you live in B.C.), and to be able to move to the U.S. to make real dollars.”

FUN FACT: We discovered that you can buy a copy of Gould’s book for as little as 1 CENT(!) on THIS PAGE on Amazon. At that price, how will Mr. Gould will ever afford to move to the U.S?

The Collectible GIjOE (Photo: Courage Books)

The Collectible GIjOE
Derryl DePriest, 1999

I have to admit something right up front about this magnificent book. And that is—I’ve never read it. I’ve owned a copy for YEARS, but I simply can’t get past the stunningly beautiful “photographic artistry” of Curtis Fukada. (Sorry, Derryl). To me, it’s Fukada’s photography that MAKES this book so important (and so great). In stark contrast to DeSimone’s dim, utilitarian photos, each of Fukada’s sumptuous pictures are carefully planned, professionally staged and well-lit. The vintage GIjOEs depicted are stunning and nearly all are in mint condition. I’m sure DePriest’s text is great too. Someday, I hope to read it. (Damn you, Fukada! HA) Buy your copy HERE.

FUN FACT: If you can bring yourself to cut pages out of this oversized (9.5″ x 13″) coffee table book, many collectors have found that Fukada’s full-page color photos make OUTSTANDING framed mini-posters for a Joe Room. We suggest you buy an EXTRA copy just for that purpose!

Real American Heroes: The History of the GIjOE Franchise (Photo: Webster’s Digital Services)

Real American Heroes: The History of the GIjOE Franchise
SB Jeffrey, 2011

Here’s an interesting new addition for your GIjOE library. Author SB Jeffrey’s 2011 account of the GIjOE franchise is actually a compilation of a series of public domain articles from sources like Wikipedia and elsewhere. Think of it more as a sort of “Cliff Notes” guide to the GIjOE universe and you have a pretty good idea of what to expect. According to the publisher… “The content of this book primarily consists of articles available from Wikipedia or other free sources online. This book is about the history of the G.I. Joe franchise, from television to action figures. The book also discusses animated series, comics, toy lines, and movies.

FUN FACT: Of course, as longtime GIjOE fans and collectors, we’ve probably already read (or written) whatever is in this collection of articles. But I have to admit…that cover ROCKS! Available HERE.

The Ultimate Guide to GIjOE (Photo: Krause Publications)

The Ultimate Guide to GIjOE, 2nd Edition
Mark Bellomo, 2009

With a title like that, this 304-page behemoth MUST be good. To find out, I perused some of the 29 (and counting) reviews written on Amazon. As it’s geared towards collectors of the “Little Joes,” I probably won’t ever own this particular book, but according to S. Sander’s review found HERE“I didn’t even know about the 1st version, but I followed the development of the second edition with eagerness (even pre-ordered at Amazon). This edition features full-color pages with crisp photos and behind-the-scenes information compiled and written by a true collector. The images are close and sharp – the next best thing to having an item in your hands.

FUN FACT: The guide also includes “inside” info and tidbits from Larry Hama, who was the writer of the G.I. Joe Marvel comic books, creator of many 3 3/4″ characters and writer of the figure’s filecards.

GIjOE & Lillie
(Photo: New Leaf Press)

GIjOE & Lillie
Joseph S. Bonsall, 2003

This is a wartime novel written by a member of The Oak Ridge Boys musical group, Joseph Bonsall. Mr. Bonsall is a six-time Grammy award winner and Gospel Hall of Fame member who, when he’s not performing, writes books and lives on a 400-acre farm in Tennessee. Available HERE, the book also includes a foreword by Barbara Bush, and according to its publisher… “The 1944 D-Day landings preserved freedom all over the world and affected countless individual lives including G.I. Joe and his wife, Lillie. This story of patriotism, bravery abroad and at home, and most of all, deep commitment, sets in a gold frame the very essence of America.”

FUN FACT: There’s also a song called “G.I. Joe and Lillie,” as recorded by the Oak Ridge Boys, and it appears on their album entitled, “Colors.”

GIjOE: The Complete Story of America’s Favorite Man of Action (Photo: Chronicle Books)

GIjOE: The Complete Story of America’s Favorite Man of Action
John Michlig, 1998, with a foreword by Don Levine

This massive tome is an over-the-top, EXCELLENT follow-up to the first book co-authored by Levine and Michlig. In this oversized, coffee table book, every possible stop is pulled out. Photographs and illustrations are all full-bleed, full color, full-frame GORGEOUS. If you want to know something about the early days of GIjOE’s development, this is the book to own. It is simply superb in every way. You WILL own this book. Originally a $30 book, you can get a copy for only $6 over at Amazon HERE. Enjoy!

FUN FACT: You may have a heart attack when you see the 1970s GIjOE store display on p. 173. (’nuff said!)

Action Man Files (Photo: Watson-Guptill)

Action Man Files
John Michlig, 2001

First of all, will someone PLEASE explain to us why this book, a simple, 48-page paperback ranges in price from .48 cents to $256 dollars over on Amazon? Are you freakin’ kidding? We like Michlig’s work as much as anybody else, but $256 for a paperback? You can buy it for just .99 cents HERE. Weird! We love the cover art, but this is still just a book for kids. According to its publisher, the book is… “An official tie-in to Hasbro’s popular line of action figures and the Fox Kids animated series, this treasury contains Action Man characters, equipment, abilities and adventures for fans of all ages. 100 illustrations plus 3 posters.”

FUN FACT: Like we said, you can spend $256 for this book over on Amazon—OR get 256 copies of it for the same price at the other site. When you figure out why this is, please let us know.

Toy Wars (Photo: Diane Publishing Co.)

Toy Wars: The Epic Struggle Between GIjOE, Barbie and the Companies That Make Them
G. Wayne Miller, 2001

Here’s an engrossing account of the ongoing corporate battles between Hasbro and Mattel. According to the publisher… “Wayne Miller, an award-winning journalist and novelist, was granted unprecedented access to Hasbro. For five years, he sat in on design sessions, marketing meetings, and focus groups, and interviewed employees in every part of the company. He witnessed a major corporate restructuring; a hostile takeover bid by archrival Mattel; the collapse of a $45 million virtual reality game; and the company makeover of G.I. Joe, Hasbro’s flagship product and one of the most popular toys of all time.”

FUN FACT: Our favorite reviewer quote about this book is as follows: “Unlike the happy-go-lucky image of the toy industry shown in the movie “Big” starring Tom Hanks, the real toy industry is for adults-only and bears more resemblance to a killing field than a playground.” Ouch. Clearly an intriguing book fans of GIjOE would enjoy. We found a few copies for sale HERE,

The Official 30th Anniversary Salute to GIjOE (Photo: Krause Publications)

The Official 30th Anniversary Salute to GIjOE
Vincent Santelmo, 1994

It’s been a few years, but when it came out, I remember that fan response to this book was initially mixed, even tepid. It appears that it still is. This review on Amazon is fairly typical of a majority of collector’s impressions… “Basically an abridged copy of his “Complete Encyclopedia to GI Joe,” Vince fills this book with Hall of Fame figures and his own biased opinions. If you want good research, buy the book by John Michlig. If you want Adventure Team, buy John Marshall’s book. If you need something to hold up a wobbly table, wait until this shows up at the discount book store.”

FUN FACT: Thanks to Amazon, you can spend as little as $3.26 on this book to find out for yourself whether it’s “official,” or simply a support for your wobbly table.

Now You Know: The Unauthorized Guide to G.I. Joe TV and Comics (Photo: Norwegian Press)

Now You Know: The Unauthorized Guide to GIjOE TV & Comics
Lars Pearson, 2002

Here’s a WHOPPER of a book for fans of the 1980s’ GIjOE cartoons and comic books. Weighing in at 1.6 pounds and a staggering 336 pages, this book has EVERYTHING you’d ever want to know about those subjects. (Available for purchase HERE.) According to the publisher’s description… “The largest book on G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero ever written, this comprehensive and witty book is the ultimate guide to the G.I. Joe TV and comic book series, featuring story summaries, reviews, top ten lists and a heap of humorous categories on more than 100 G.I. Joe TV episodes. Also included: full coverage of all G.I. Joe comic series, a complete toy price guide and fact-filled appendices.”

FUN FACT: According to reviewer Jason Terrell, “If there were college courses dedicated solely to the subject of GI Joe and COBRA, this would be the one stop textbook on the subject and Lars Pearson would have the Doctorate in Joeology.”

Collectible Male Action Figures (Photo: Collector Books)

Collectible Male Action Figures
Paris and Susan Manos, 1989

Here’s a “Blast from the Past.” One of the first-ever guides featuring GIjOEs, this book will really take you back. Of course, by now, its information will strike you as severely dated and almost nostalgic. But how can you resist ANYTHING with a proud U.S. Navy Signalman GIjOE on the front cover? Look at him. Go NAVY! And since you can pick up a used copy for as little as .1 cent HERE, what’s the risk? GO JOE!
FUN FACT: According to Amazon, this book ranks “#3,336,447 in Books.” So…if you order one, maybe we can boost its rank up to #3,336,446!

Action Joe: The Story of the French GIjOE (Photo: Histoire and Collections)

Action Joe: The Story of the French GIjOE
Erwin le Verbier, 2004

Okay, show of hands please…Who of you out there even knew there was a “French GIjOE” named “Action Joe?” Mm-hm. Thought so. Well then, this book ought to be quite the eye-opener for a lot of Joe fans who thought they knew it all. Jump HERE to order a copy, Monsieur.
FUN FACT: Apparently, the book’s original French text wasn’t translated very well. According to one review… “Although the photos and the contents are absolutely incredible, it is really unfortunate that a publisher would allow such a poorly translated book to hit the market. If you are fluent in French, I strongly recommend purchasing this book in its original format. But English-speaking buyers beware!!

Action Man: The Real Story (Photo: Cairo Cafe Publications)

Action Man: The Real Story
Kevin King, 2000

While we’re on the subject of foreign GIjOEs, how about this fine hardcover book? I’ve owned a copy of this gem for many years and constantly refer to it whenever my fellow collectors have any questions regarding the “British GIjOE.” In many ways, Action Man went on to surpass GIjOE in many of his uniforms and other details. This book covers (in perfect English) AM’s various figures, uniforms and vehicles. You’ll be stunned (and jealous) to see all the great stuff our “friends across the pond” were able to pick up at Harrod’s. This is another must-own book for your growing “Joe library.” Order your copy HERE.

FUN FACT: This UK book also covers the amazing line of Cherilea vehicles and the very obscure, but very cool knock-off brand: Tommy Gunn!

12-Inch Action Figures (Photo: Historie Collections)

12-Inch Action Figures
Jean Marie Mongin, 2004

This is an excellent book for fans who enjoy creating and photographing hyper-realistic 1:6 scale figures and dioramas. It’s chocked full of clear, full-color closeups, tips and other helpful information. If making figures look like “museum pieces” is your thing, this is a book you’ll enjoy having around. Available HERE. According to the publisher… “This is the first of a new sub-series of full color graphic books depicting everything from uniforms to aircraft types, in minute detail with many variants. Illustrated throughout in full color, this will be an essential book for the modeller and hobbyist.”

FUN FACT: There are two other books in this growing series; one on German Fallschirmjager paratroopers, and another on US Airborne.

The Complete Encyclopedia to GIjOE (Photo: Krause Publications)

The Complete Encyclopedia to GIjOE, 2nd Edition
Vincent Santelmo, 1997

This book is MASSIVE and weighs in at a whopping 480 pages—but we LOVE IT! It’s chocked full of photos, backstories, comic ad reprints and other interesting tidbits of GIjOE history and information. The printing quality is just average, some of the facts and content are questionable and all of the pricing information is now outdated and irrelevant, but who cares? Other books may be better, but this one deserves a place on your “Joe library” shelf. Oh, by the way…Santelemo’s estimated value of a White Tiger set in 1997? ($245). Order HERE.

FUN FACT: All 10 of the vintage “Andy and George” comic book ads are reprinted in the back; a feature unique to this particular book and helpful as a “visual guide” when searching for the originals.

The Complete Encyclopedia to GIjOE, 3rd Ed. (Krause Publications)

The Complete Encyclopedia to GIjOE, 3rd Edition
Vincent Santelmo, 2001

Santelmo’s third time at bat “struck out” with many die-hard GIjOE fans. For unknown reasons, the author decided to recreate some of the prototypes shown in this edition, leading to irritation and confusion among collectors as to what was real and what had been “faked.” The misrepresentation of material (intentional or not) made the 3rd edition of Santelmo’s “Encyclopedias” one version many fans were in no hurry to pick up. Available HERE

FUN FACT: With 592 pages, this tome weighs in at a staggering 3 POUNDS and remains the longest and heaviest GIjOE book ever published.

Warman’s GIjOE Field Guide
(Photo: KP Books)

Warman’s GIjOE Field Guide
Karen O’Brien, 2006

This handy-dandy little “pocket guide” is a fan favorite amongst GIjOE collectors, and the reasons why are obvious. It’s REALLY small (4.25″ x 5.25″ x 1″). It’s full of great color photos (over 700!). And it covers many of the vintage, RAH, and HOF figures. Of course, it doesn’t cover everything, but for a small pocket guide, it’s pretty sweet. Available HERE.

FUN FACT: If the photos seem familiar, check the fine print: “All images courtesy of Vincent Santelmo.”

Collectible Action Figures (Photo:

Collectible Action Figures
Susan Manos, 1995

Six years after her first guide,“Male Action Figures” (shown above), Susan “Hands of Fate” Manos released this updated version repeating her effort to cover a variety of brands in one book. According to one review… “This book provides information and pictures on a few lines that may be hard to find elsewhere (i.e., Big Jim and The Six Million Dollar Man), but there is no mention of Star Wars and very little about Mego. I did enjoy going through this book ONCE; but I haven’t found the need to open it again.”

FUN FACT: Manos’ 2nd attempt is only $2.64 HERE.

Collecting & Completing Your GI Joe Figures and Accessories (Photo: Cardillo Publishing)

Collecting and Completing Your GIjOE Figures and Accessories
James DeSimone, 2008

DeSimone returns to the GIjOE guide business with this 118-page book that is obviously geared towards collectors of the smaller, 3.75″ GIjOEs. It follows the same approach as his highly lauded guide for 12″ vintage figures, but reviews are mixed due to its less-than-stellar printing. Nonetheless, most collectors find it to very helpful when attempting to complete their collections.

FUN FACT: In a HILARIOUS typo, Amazon describes the book this way… “In this book, the first in an upcoming series, Luigi and his Fiat travel from Italy to America and are not sure they want to stay until they are steered on a fun ride through the historical city.” HA!

Tomarts Encyclopedia & Price Guide to Action Figure Collectibles, Vol. 1: A-Team Thru G.I.Joe (Photo: Tomarts Publishing)

Tomart’s Encyclopedia & Price Guide to Action Figure Collectibles, Vol. 1: A-Team thru GIjOE
T.N. Tumbusch, 1996

Never one to be left out of the toy guide biz, Tomarts Publishing regularly releases updated editions of these price guides, and tries to include practically every action figure ever made in each one. I’m not sure what edition they’re up to now, but here’s the cover of volume #1, by TN Tumbusch. Price guides like these are derided by many collectors, but according to this review… “If you are a collector of action figures or just want to know how much the G.I. Joe you played with when you were a kid is worth. This book is for you.”

FUN FACT: The older the guide, the less it costs. This particular one cost $37 new, but you can buy a used copy on Amazon for only $6.

Action Figures of the 1960s (Photo: Schiffer Publishing)

Action Figures of the 1960s
John Marshall, 1998

This book LOOKS like it would be fun to own—and it is! I own a copy of this wonderful, full-color book and can recommend it to you without any reservations. The wonderful closeup color photos come from a variety of sources, but together, they work perfectly to illustrate each category. Mr. Marshall and his photography “assistants” did a superb job compiling this enjoyable guide. Available HERE.

FUN FACT: Includes photos of GIjOE, the Zeroids, James Bond 007, Johnny Hero, Johnny West, Captain Action, Man from UNCLE, Lost in Space, Major Matt Mason, Moon McDare and many others!

GIjOE Graphic Novel (Art: Larry Hama)

GIjOE RAH Comic Books and Graphic Novels
Larry Hama, et. al, 1980s-today

In the last 3 decades an immense amount of new comic-related fiction has been created starring, featuring and evolving an ever-growing universe of GIjOE-based characters. The most popular of these works continue to be those of talented storytellers and artists like Larry Hama. It would be impossible to list all of this type of material, so we’ll leave the enjoyment of that sort of research up to YOU.

Well, there you have it! The list of GIjOE-related books continues to grow. Remember, books make terrific Christmas gifts and there’s no better time than the holiday season to start building your own “GIjOE Library.” You’ve got some reading to do!

New “What’s in the Box?” Video Series Examines G.I. Joe Fan Reactions When Receiving Packages

A screenshot from the opening credits of the new video series, “What’s in the Box?” (Photo: Mark Otnes)

A screenshot from WITB episode #1 reveals the video’s first-person, “You are There” style, enabling the viewer and the person opening the box to discover what’s inside at exactly the same time. (Photo: Mark Otnes)

The debut of an intriguing new series of short videos entitled What’s in the Box?” (WITB) was recently announced during a press conference held at the international headquarters of Patches of Pride (PoP) in Urbana, IL. According to the company’s spokesman, staff members <cough> will regularly be filmed opening packages they’ve received in their morning mail to be broadcast—LIVE on tape—to a worldwide audience on the PoP YouTube Channel.

EPISODE 1 of the new series, entitled, “Box #1,” has already been posted. We’ve watched it and it clearly recognizes a “universal excitement” exists between GIjOE, Action Man and Geyperman collectors, AND that there is a definite “thrill of discovery” accompanied with the delivery and arrival of ANY box or package. Without giving the contents of Box #1 away, an official press release states…

“Whenever a package arrives, it’s human nature to get excited. Indeed, almost immediately, our minds begin to race with questions: ‘What’s in it? Is it a GIjOE? Is it a window-carded equipment set? Maybe it’s a surprise box of Joe Karma from a fellow Joe buddy!’

Well, whatever’s inside, during each episode of the new WITB video series, fans will get to be RIGHT THERE, watching the package being opened for the first time. They’ll get to look in, find out, and SHARE the discovery of the contents with the recipient. It’ll be thrilling!”

Many researchers believe it is our shared experiences of childhood WONDER and anticipation, most typically experienced during the ritual act of opening gifts we’ve received on Christmas or birthdays, that makes opening packages AS ADULTS such an exciting and enjoyable activity. (Photo: Sears Roebuck & Co.)

Series’ creator, Mark Otnes agreed, and summed up the origins of the new WITB series this way…

“I realized that whenever a new package arrived at my house, my heart would begin to race as I imagined that it must have something fun or exciting inside. To me, that feeling reminds me of childhood birthdays or Christmas mornings all over again! Of course, half of the time, when a package finally arrives, I’ve forgotten whatever it was I originally purchased or ordered, so it’s almost ALWAYS a mystery until I open it up. I’m sure I’m not the only one that’s happened to.”

Obviously, the thrill of opening packages is more than just some sort of childhood “nostalgic flashback.” It’s a unique phenomenon shared by millions of people worldwide, each with his (or her) own unique perspective. But whatever the reasons, we look forward to future installments of the series and the fun and excitement of finding out…“What’s in the Box?” Watch EPISODE 1

Post-Event Recap: Photos and Review of 2012’s Dallas-Ft. Worth “G.I. Joe & Action Figure Show”

GIjOE fans and collectors doing what we do best at the recent GIjOE show in Carrollton, Texas—Lookin’, Buyin’, Tradin’, Sellin’ and Talkin’ JOE! (Photo: DFW GIjOE Collector’s Club)

Sometimes the simplest ways are the most effective, as this bold sign taped to the side of a member’s SUV clearly shows. Good thinking! (Photo: DFW GIjOE Collector’s Club)

Occasionally, our ever-expanding pool of intrepid “Field Reporters” makes our work here at The Joe Report all too easy. In this particular case, “Mighty” Michael Milstead of the DFW GIjOE Collector’s Club provided us not only with great photos, but also an extensive, well-written review of the recent GIjOE show held in the Dallas-Ft. Worth “Metroplex” area. Milstead’s insightful, first-person account reveals intriguing details that we could have never have provided without his assistance. Here then, is his report…

“The DFW GI Joe and Action Figure Show was long overdue. I note that because the DFW GI Joe Collectors Club finally stepped out of the shadow of simply sponsoring numerous annual conventions and instead hosted a convention all our own. What a whirlwind of activity these past months of planning and advertising have been. Whew!”

In a scene all too familiar to attendees of GIjOE shows and conventions, fans must wait patiently outside the venue before the doors are finally opened. (Photo: DFW GIjOE Collector’s Club)

“This inaugural convention was held on Saturday October 6th in Carrollton, Texas at the First Christian Church of Carrollton. The doors opened early Saturday morning to a day that promised to be both cold and gray with threatening skies. Thankfully the forecasted rain held off, and as promised, Joe and his action figure friends were out in full force to spend their Saturday pass at the show.”

Fans also had the opportunity to join the ever-growing ranks of the DFW club. Just step right up and “enlist.” It’s as easy as that! (Photo: DFW GIjOE Collector’s Club)

“The show itself consisted of more than 18 dealer’s featuring items from every era since Joe’s inception in the mid 1960’s. If Joe wasn’t your “thing” he was kind enough to bring his brethren with him as every major and minor category of 12” and 3 3/4” figure were present. Whether it was a 1/18th scale aircraft carrier or a 1/6th scale Jeep you could find it at this show, and if you couldn’t, then you probably didn’t need it!” 

Whether you’re a fan of the big or little Joes, any sighting of the ultra-rare USS Flagg aircraft carrier will get your heart-a-racing. This one came with the even rarer original BOX!
(Photo: DFW GIjOE Collector’s Club)

“I know for a fact that hundreds of Joe’s, assorted action figures, and vehicles found new homes as I watched attendees carry them out by the literal arm loads. In one particular case it took a dolly to get the ENORMOUS boxed GI Joe Defiant out the front doors!”

Fans of all ages were thrilled to see so many cool items for sale at the show. The only problem they had was in deciding WHAT to buy without blowing their “Joe budget!” (Photo: DFW GIjOE Collector’s Club)

“The DFW GI Joe and Action Figure Show was a HUGE success. I would like to thank all of you that attended and supported our very first show. I also want to thank all of the vendors that participated in the show as well as the members of the club for which none of this would have been possible.”

Club member’s stood out with their bold, graphic, club T-shirts. Imagine walking around in one of these. That’s a great way to get the “message” of GIjOE out! Other clubs, take notice. This is how it’s done! (Photo: DFW GIjOE Collector’s Club)

“Over the past few days I have read numerous posts pertaining to feedback concerning the show and all of them have been extremely positive. If you missed this year’s show you missed an excellent one! I have it on good authority, and you’re reading it here first, that the DFW GI Joe and Action Figure Show will return bigger and better in 2013. Thank you all again for your support!” —Michael L. Milstead

Good friends, good times and GIjOE. That’s what it’s all about! (Photo: DFW GIjOE Collector’s Club)

Superb work, Michael. You thanked us for our support, and we thank YOU for your report! But that’s not all, Joeheads! In another informative account of the day’s proceedings, ace field reporter Keith Holmes provides us with these additional insights…

“It might appear egotistical of me to declare the show a success, but, if you look at the scope of what we were trying to accomplish, you can see why I think it was a success:

1. Have a show sponsored by the DFW GI Joe Collectors Club in 2012. We did this within 3 months with a zero budget!

2. Sell 23 vendor tables. We sold 26 tables!

3. Raise funds to pay the church for the use of the building. We met our goal and paid in full!

4. Make the dealers happy enough to come back for another show. The majority of the dealers I talked to said they would come back and participate in another show.”

In just this one shot, you can see TONS of great stuff. There’s some artillery pieces, an MSV, a Training Tower and much more. Mamasita! (Photo: DFW GIjOE Collector’s Club)

“I felt that this last goal was one of the most important. Having attended many shows over the years, I’ve noticed that it takes only one bad show to scare dealers off for the next couple of years.We tried our absolute best to minimize risk and costs to the dealers.

I’ll be following up with the dealers here shortly on what they liked about the show and what they didn’t. There were a few dealers that I didn’t talk to and would like to get their feedback on the show.

It’ll be several months before location and dates are established and locked in for 2013 show. We’ll do our best to incorporate the best features of our original location and expand those things that will make the show even more enjoyable next year. We look forward to seeing you again next year!”—Keith Holmes

Man-o-man! Fans had so much great stuff to choose from! There’s a minty-fresh 5-Star Jeep, some High Altitude Infiltrators, a 1:6 Hummer and a Love Bug Beetle, the list of “Joe-goodies” goes on and on. Look at all that great stuff! (Photo: DFW GIjOE Collector’s Club)

Sounds like everyone had a great time and the DFW club has garnered some very valuable show-hosting experience. We can’t wait to hear what their plans are for 2013. Congratulations, DFW Club members on a job VERY well done!

Austrian “Air Adventurer,” Felix “Bulletman” Baumgartner, Breaks Sound Barrier During “Fantastic Freefall” at Mach 1.24———833.9 mph!

Felix Baumgartner gives a snappy salute to reporters before embarking on his record-setting, high-altitude jump on Oct. 14th, 2012. (Photo: Red Bull)

Chuck Yeager was the first man to fly faster than the speed of sound on October 14, 1947, in the Bell X-1 rocket plane. (Photo: USAF)

As you undoubtedly already know by now, on Sunday, October 14, 2012, Austrian daredevil and skydiver, Felix Baumgartner made aerospace history by breaking the sound barrier without an airplane and setting high-altitude ballooning and human freefall airspeed records. As fate would have it, his record-breaking attempt would take place on the same day as USAF test pilot Chuck Yeager’s momentous flight in the Bell X-1 rocket plane, over 65 years ago. Clearly, Oct. 14th is a day for making history!

Long before Baumgartner’s leap into history, another hero made his own successful leap—onto toy store shelves around the world. The Air Adventurer’s “Fantastic Freefall” set remains one of the most popular GIjOE sets ever made. (Photo: atdaily)

In the comic “Fantastic Freefall,” GIjOE was forced out of his burning jet aircraft. By contrast, Baumgartner chose to jump from a perfectly good balloon and capsule at over 43 miles up. WOW! (Photo: atdaily)

Baumgartner’s pressure suit and capsule would make an exciting new set for GIjOE. Hello, Hasbro? (Photo: Red Bull)

The parallels of Baumgartner to the Air Adventurer, the 1970s-era Adventure Team, and everyone’s favorite flying friend, Bulletman  are obvious and unmistakable. His “need for speed” and “can-do,” risk-taking attitude exemplifies the best of everything we admire and imagine about our 12″ heroes. If you missed any of the big show, here are some YouTube screenshots taken during the broadcast of that momentous event. Enjoy!

Crew members prepare to inflate Baumgartner’s balloon with helium in the early morning hours. (Photo: Red Bull)

The fabric of Baumgartner’s balloon was “10 times thinner than a sandwich bag.” Any rip or tear during its preparation and inflation would have ended the mission immediately.
(Photo: Red Bull)

Filling the balloon with exactly the right amount of helium required time, expertise and LUCK. (Photo: Red Bull)

Baumgartner walking to the capsule in a pressurized suit similar to the ones created by NASA for their Mercury and Gemini astronauts. (Photo: Red Bull)

In a scene reminiscent of GIjOE’s Mercury space capsule, Baumgartner studies his controls and readouts before the ascent. (Photo: Red Bull)

Baumgartner’s capsule was held securely with a large crane until the balloon achieved sufficient buoyancy to lift it into the sky. (Photo: Red Bull)

Members of the ground crew cheer as the balloon and capsule are safely away.
(Photo: Red Bull)

There were many tense moments during the flight as Baumgartner and the ground crew repeatedly went over checklists and procedures. (Photo: Red Bull)

Ever fearful that things could go horribly wrong and that they were about to broadcast a man jumping to his death, Red Bull’s “Mission Control” kept its fingers tight on the editing buttons. When Baumgartner’s helmet began to fog up and he declared, “This is very serious,” audio between Felix and the ground crew was cut from the public broadcast. Moments of silence followed as they worked on the helmet problem (with little success). It was obvious that if things looked like they were going badly, plans had been made to cut the audio and even “go to black” on the video. Fortunately for all concerned, the fogging of his helmet visor did not prevent Baumgartner from completing the jump and audio was eventually restored.
(Photo: Red Bull)

Baumgartner’s capsule during the ascent. Look at the altitude! (Photo: Red Bull)

Red Bull even set up a roomful of “Mission Control” observers, reminiscent of NASA and other space agencies. (Photo: Red Bull)

Nearing its highest altitude, the balloon expanded dramatically, dwarfing the tiny capsule suspended below it. At this point, bursting became a real threat and it became imperative to get Baumgartner out and onto the jump platform as soon as possible.
(Photo: Red Bull)

While waiting for the capsule to depressurize, Baumgartner sounded as if he was getting tense and anxious, clearly concerned that the capsule hatch was not going to open on time. When it finally did, the hatch opening revealed a startling view of space and the stratosphere to Baumgartner and his world-wide audience. (Photo: Red Bull)

Baumgartner stepped out, said a few words and jumped. During his jump, he would break the sound barrier falling at over 833 mph! (Photo: Red Bull)

In a scene familiar to any GIjOE fan who’s ever attended a parachute drop, after recovering from an out-of-control spin, Baumgartner free-falled until his chute finally opened and he glided safely back down to Earth. (Photo: Red Bull)

Baumgartner’s mother and family members cheered when his chute opened and he made it back down safely. (Photo: Red Bull)

After touching down, friends and crew members retrieve Baumgartner in the New Mexico desert. This aerial shot was probably taken by a helicopter filming the event for a BBC documentary to be released early next year. (Photo: Red Bull)

When asked by reporters for a comment about Baumgartner’s record-breaking jump, a bemused Bulletman simply replied, “Heck, I break Mach-1 every morning for breakfast. What’s the big deal?” (Photo: cmderinchief)

Take a look at the photo above. Doesn’t Baumgartner look like a GIjOE action figure standing there? I wonder who will be the first talented customizer out there to create a 1:6 scale version of this scene? Or to build a custom recreation of his amazing capsule?

Of course, the Defenders of Bulletman will say this is nothing new to them. After all, many rifle bullets travel at 1,924 miles per hour. But still, you gotta give this Baumgartner guy his props. He’s got GUTS!

We certainly do live in amazing times. Just when you think you’ve seen everything, something WILD and exciting like this comes along. We want to wish Mr. Baumgartner all the best in his future endeavours and “derring-do” exploits.

Go, Felix! GO, JOE! Okay, let’s see those customs. Time to get busy, Joeheads!

GIjOE Collector’s Club “Warehouse Clearance Sale” Plagued by Store Shutdowns and Ongoing Customer Email and Software Problems

Dissatisfied Collectors Growing Weary of Repeated “Issues”

The club has posted this sign outside their headquarters to warn oncoming collectors.

Despite all the hype and hoopla surrounding the GIjOE Collector’s Club’s big “warehouse clearance sale,” as of the time of this article (Tuesday, Oct. 16th), the club STORE is closed and not responding to repeated attempts by customers to gain entry or place orders. Obviously, there are some serious software issues going on at club HQ. The link provided by them is also misdirecting to the Transformers store closure notice. It’s all very confusing! According to Brian Savage

“Please be aware that there is an issue with both club stores in putting items on sale. You will find all of the items going on sale in the clearance section. However, the store software is glitching on giving them a sale price. We are working with the software company on this.” —Brian

Yikes. After the big credit card scam forced the club store to go offline earlier this year (for months) they have been struggling to sell their merchandise conveniently or reliably. It appears those difficulties are ongoing and have not been fully resolved.

As of today, customers are still reporting difficulties receiving club emails, accessing the club store, viewing discounted product prices, etc. It’s really been a “train wreck” of a sale for all concerned.

Undoubtedly, these problems continue to hurt the club financially and its employees must surely be feeling their own frustration levels rising personally. For now, all anyone can do is counsel patience on all sides. There seems to be little else we can do!

New 1:6 Scale Record Player Plays Music by Elvis

Here’s a shot of the record player in the open-faced cardboard package as you’ll see it in the store. Happy Hunting! (Photo: Mark Otnes)

So, I was in our local Meijer store yesterday, picking up some healthy snacks <ahem> (no, really) and was wandering down one of their “seasonal” aisles (they’ve already put out stuff for Christmas!) when I discovered this little gem…

It’s a perfect, 1/6th scale phonograph (ornament) that’s modeled after the popular fold-out, portable record players from the 1960s and ’70s. It’s made by “Santa’s Best” and is absolutely superb!

It’s made of VERY durable plastic and features a backlit photo of Elvis that lights up as it plays REAL Elvis music and get this…the turntable actually goes around! The only thing I noticed was that the metal hold-down arm should go over the spindle, not behind it. But that’s a sign that the people who made this…don’t know how a phonograph works. HA
$17.99 in Meijers stores now. (See VIDEO)

G.I. Joe Collector’s Club Big Annual “Warehouse Clearance Sale” Monday, Oct. 15 Thru Nov. 1, 2012

The astounding “Unknown Heroes of WWII” 2004 club exclusive set remains a “must have” for every GIjOE collector. But the question remains, will it be one of the items put on sale starting this Monday? Visit their site HERE to find out! (Photo: GIjOE Collector’s Club)

Calling all Joeheads!

In what has become an annual “feeding frenzy” for GIjOE collectors worldwide, the international G.I. Joe Collector’s Club has announced that it will hold its once-a-year “Warehouse Clearance Sale” beginning this coming Monday, October 15th through November 1st. In an official club email sent out to current members, club rep, Brian Savage, provided the following information about this year’s big event…

“Hello all you Club Members! We are currently preparing for our annual warehouse clearance sale. We need to move a lot of items to get ready for the FSS figure program.

 We have marked down some items that have never been on sale before, and found additional inventory from past sets that were held back in case of damage to orders.

Today we are putting items into both stores (clearance section for the marked down items) and on Monday we will turn on the clearance prices. Some of these prices are very spooky so don’t miss out as the sale ends 9am CST on Nov. 1st. Thanks for your support! —Brian”

Round 2 Secures DC License; Superman & Joker Sets for Captain Action To Debut Summer, 2013

A set for Superman is already being planned as this intriguing prototype package attests. Up, up, and AWAY! (Photo: Toygodd)

In a stunning announcement made today, Captain Action’s (CA) manufacturer, Round 2 (R2), revealed that the company had recently secured the licensing rights to characters created and controlled by DC Comics. Already producing products from the Marvel Comics universe, this exciting development opens up a whole new roster of comic book characters for the growing, increasingly popular CA line. In an exclamation point-riddled declaration over in Yahoo’s CA fan forum, R2’s head-honcho, Ed Catto enthusiastically declared…

“We thought you guys might enjoy the little DC announcement! Summer 2013, First 2 releases– Superman and The Joker! This year’s build a figure (in 2 waves) — AQUAMAN! Nuff’ Said!”

In this closeup of a package mock-up for an upcoming CA Batman set, assorted DC Direct parts and simple cardboard cutouts are used to indicate the amount of uniform and equipment planned. (Photo: Toygodd)

Each set contains bits and pieces to complete additional sets including Hawkeye and Aquaman. Cool! (Photo: Toygodd)

Captain Action devotees are already chomping at the bit for their own favorite DC characters. CA Fan, Al Hartman, was quick to voice his support, but also to remind fans that they’re just looking at sample or “concept” packages…

“Great news! But don’t expect the final product to look like what they  are showing at NYCC. Those are obviously mockups using pictures of the DC Direct 13″ figures, because it’s WAY too early for them to have any real prototypes to show. I hope we see variations like Curt Swan Superman, Byrne Superman, Carmine Infantino Batman, etc… I’m hoping to see a licensed official George Reeves set, and an Adam West set someday…One can always hope!”

Indeed. And it appears our hopes are actually becoming reality. R2 continues to ride the crest of a creative wave, providing nostalgic fans and collectors with EXACTLY the sort of “retro-toys” they crave. In fact, fans of comic books, GIjOEs, Captain Action and superhero-based 1:6 scale action figures will ALL be paying close attention to this developing situation. Stay tuned for additional information as it becomes available!

The new Dr. Evil figure will be in stores soon. Dig that silver suit!
(Photo: Toygodd)

Thor’s evil brother, Loki, is due to “brood” in toy stores soon. (Photo: Toygodd)

YES! More SUPERB Jack “King” Kirby artwork! Thor looks ready to FLY off of toy store shelves! (Photo: Toygodd)

A package mock-up for a Wolverine set reminds fans there’s many more exciting Marvel sets to come. ARRRRRR! (Photo: Toygodd)

A mock-up package for one of the most highly anticipated CA sets ever…IRON MAN! It will be interesting to see how R2 handles all of his armor. To be done right, this set would require many separate plastic pieces. (Photo: Toygodd)