This week’s VPOTW was chosen purely for its entertainment value. Enjoy, and Happy New Year!
This week’s VPOTW was chosen purely for its entertainment value. Enjoy, and Happy New Year!
My memories of Doc Savage, “The Man of Bronze,” are, I’m sorry to say, fairly limited. Here’s what I remember without consulting Wikipedia: I recall Ron Ely (also TV’s “Tarzan”) in some sort of made-for-TV movie…and a 1970s Marvel comic magazine that came out soon after. I still have that issue laying around here somewhere.
I also remember Doc loving to wear all-white outfits that consisted largely of such “explorer gear” as pith helmets, riding pants, tall boots and vests that showed off his powerful arms and pecs. For some reason, he also had a really serious George Hamilton-esque tan (hence his “Man of Bronze” moniker) and carried a Mauser-type pistol…or maybe that was just the Rocketeer. Anyway…
Some of you may remember GHT’s 2012 rendition of The Shadow (aka Lamont Cranston). If they produce their 2013 Doc Savage figure at that same high level of quality, collectors are in for a real treat! Go Hero was very thankful to their customers in the press release, saying…
“Thanks for all the support in making 2012 a success! We are so happy to continue put out some first-ever products and buff some amazing retro properties. Also, what an honor to contribute to some incredible projects, toys, films, art and more. It is a great honor to work with so many amazingly talented folks. Just in case you did not catch the teasers & reveals we have had on our always entertaining Facebook Page, here are some sneak peeks of pulpy things in the works for 2013!”
Bottom Line: “Pulpy” is a good description of figures in the GHT line. The Shadow and Doc Savage are both heroic characters from the early days of radio shows and “pulp” magazines, which were hugely popular in the 1930s and 40s. The Doc Savage prototype teaser pics they sent along look very intriguing. We can’t wait to see these new figures in person!
“Good things come to those who wait.”
Despite a lengthy Google search, I was unable to find who, if anyone, is responsible for that ancient truism. However, I do know who to thank for the recent price reduction on the famous Operation Pegasus Bridge convention premium set—Brian Savage. Thank you, Brian! According to a recent club e-mail from Brian…
“Hello all you Club Members! Joe items now on CLEARANCE include:
2001 GIJoeCon Operation Pegasus Bridge Convention Set(1 pc) $110.00+shipping
2000 12″ GIJoeCon Exclusive Inchon Marine Figure (1 pc) $29.99+shipping
2012 3 3/4 Single Carded Figures (Snake Eyes, Firefly, Hazard Viper) 3 pcs $18.99 +shipping
2012 3 3/4 Single Carded Figures Wave 2 (Duke, Snake Eyes, Cobra Commander, Firefly, Cobra Viper, Hazard Viper, Cobra Trooper, Iron Grenadier) 8 pcs $49.99 +shipping
12″ Ultimate Paratrooper Figure (1 pc) $19.99 +shipping
2006 3 3/4 GiJoeCon Cobra’s Most Wanted Mercenaries Convention set (1 pc) $130+shipping. Thanks for your support! Brian”
The other stuff on that list is cool too, but the real standout value is the Pegasus Bridge set. Yes, members of the national club go back and forth on whether or not it’s worth it to pay the club’s annual dues, but when offers like this one come up, all is quickly forgiven.
Bottom Line: For $110 you’ll get 2 great vintage-style Joes with TONS of cool gear (LOVE that Brit anti-tank weapon). All great stuff. Quantities are limited, so if you’re interested, we recommend you go HERE.
We receive a lot of emails here at The Joe Report, but when a U.S. Army colonel wrote in recently, we sat up extra straight and paid very close attention—yes, SIR! Col. Rich Goldenberg, the Public Affairs Officer for the Joint Forces HQ – New York National Guard of the Albany, New York area, wrote in to tell us about a new GIjOE exhibit currently on display at the New York State Military History Museum. We’re always thrilled to hear such news, and affirmed we would help pass it on to the rest of the GIjOE community. According to the Colonel…
“Our New York State Military History Museum has added a rotating exhibit of GIjOE from a local collector here in upstate New York. Many thanks to Tearle Ashby from Ballston Spa for lending his collection, his time and many of his Mint-in-Box items now opened and on display in Saratoga Springs. This is actually the second time that Tearle has provided his collection for public display. During the holiday season of 2004, it was first shown to the public to great reviews. Thought that readers of the Joe Report might be interested!”
According to an advance press notice from readMedia, the exhibit is titled, “Toys and Tanks” and is intended as a temporary holiday display, officially opened to the public on Tuesday, Dec. 11 (yesterday). The notice went on to say…
“The display will be a two-part exhibit featuring rare and vintage 1960s and 1970s GIjOE figures and accessories from collector Tearle Ashby’s extensive collection and military model dioramas of New York National Guard units which fought in World War II from the exhaustively researched collection of retired New York Army National Guard Lt. Col. Paul Fanning. Both are Malta residents. The GIjOE section of the exhibit will include a video of period GIjOE commercials. A rare 1944 newsreel of the 27th Division in the Pacific will also be part of the exhibit.”
Bottom line: If you’re a GIjOE fan or collector and live anywhere on the East Coast, this sounds like a great road trip the whole family would enjoy. Hop in your car, go see a great Joe collection and help support the U.S. Army National Guard’s outreach efforts in that part of the country. If you’d like to learn more about Tearle Ashly, the Poststar wrote a terrific interview article about him HERE. Congratulations, Tearle. Best of luck with the exhibit. And thanks again for the intel, Colonel. Go, JOE! Go, ARMY!
Let’s face it, your Joe is probably as clueless as you are when it comes to buying presents for his family…
And Barbie’s no help either. She thinks of her hunky, action hero husband as a “take charge” kind of guy who can handle any sort of situation—even the family gift shopping. So with a flip of her platinum-blond hair, she’ll glance over her shoulder, smile at Joe and declare, “You handle it please, dear. I’m taking another bubble-bath.”
“Hmph!” your Joe would surely retort. “AGAIN with the bubble-baths?” Oh well, while women may be hard to figure out, there’s one thing your 12″ fighting man knows for sure: if there’s nothing under the tree for Joe Junior to open on Christmas morning, there’ll be no visits to Barbie’s dream bedroom—for quite a while.
TIP: This year, don’t wait until the last minute.
If your Joe is like most men, he probably avoids going shopping like the plague, and will be waiting until Christmas Eve before making a last-minute dash to the mall on a frantic search for gifts. Fortunately for him (and you!), the staff here at The Joe Report put their heads together and came up with some really great gift ideas for this holiday season. For example…
1:6 Scale Skateboards
You’ve probably walked right by these little beauties dozens of times. They’re widely available in Walmart, Meijer and Toys ‘R Us and range from about $5 to $10, depending on the store and time of year. We recommend you take a moment to really look at the new line of Tech Deck “longboards.” These 1:6 scale skateboards are the most suited for use with GIjOE and are available in 10 different trim versions. Hang Ten!
1:6 Scale Golf Clubs and Golf Bags
These are sharp! How about getting your Joe a new set of golf clubs (pens) in a nice, miniature leather golf bag? These are now widely available on the ‘net. Simply google “golf bag pen holder” and watch all the entries come up. We found prices ranging from about $12 to $25, depending on the style and whether or not the 3 pens were included.
They’re available in many sizes, colors and materials, so take your time looking around. Some versions we found even come with the little attached handcart, with flip-out tires and a pole handle to help Joe wheel it around his 1:6 scale golf course (in your IMAGINATION).
We especially like the versions offered by Paradise Pen (see photo at right). Next time Barbie decides to have the girls over for one of their lengthy hair-styling sessions, you know it’ll be time to…Hit the links, Joe! FORE!
Hallmark Keepsake Ornaments
It may surprise you, but many of those famous Hallmark Keepsake ornaments work equally well in 1:6 scale dioramas. Simply remove their hanging eyelets and you can set them up around your Joe’s Christmas tree. How fun would that be? Here are some of the most likely candidates…
1943 Ford GP Willys Jeep Ornament
This is a no-brainer! Hallmark did an amazing job on this Jeep ornament. You’ve GOT to get one of these for little Joe Junior. What a mini-motoring masterpiece. $15 from Hallmark HERE.
Mr. Staypuff Ornament
Who doesn’t love Mr. Staypuff? He’s adorable and always has that “Happy Holidays” look about him. Plus, iconic advertising figures like this always make good diorama fodder. $17.95 HERE.
John Deere Riding Mower Ornament
Another great prop that would look good in any 1:6 scale Christmas diorama. We’re not sure of its exact size, but Junior would surely love to play with this! $14.95 HERE.
Lionel Train Set 3-piece Ornament
The cool thing about this Lionel train set ornament is that you get all THREE of them for one money, the engine, caboose and box car. Take a look at the closeup photo. You won’t believe how detailed these little guys are. Set ’em all up like they’re going around the tree and Junior Joe will go bonkers on Christmas morning! $19.95 HERE.
Fisher-Price Corn Popper Ornament
This is a childhood classic. Most of us pushed these around the house as toddlers, listening to the “pop, pop, pop” sound of the little plastic balls. What fun! Now Joe can give one to his little Joe. And get this…IT REALLY WORKS! Just like the original, 1:1 scale version. $12.95 HERE.
Cessna Skyhawk Airplane Ornament
This sharp Cessna Skyhawk ornament will remind you of those bygone days when your Dad put one of those big ol’ gas-powered Cox airplanes under the tree. Remember? Kids came from all around the neighborhood to watch you fly that thing, round and round on Christmas morning. $14.95 HERE.
1936 Ford Fire Engine Ornament
Big red firetrucks are one the most iconic Christmas gifts ever. This highly detailed beauty would look great in your “toy pile” diorama and really get the eyes to watering. $14.95 HERE .
Fisher-Price Two-Tune TV Ornament
Another American classic toy. This would look great in your diorama sitting right next to that Fisher-Price corn popper ornament. And yes, it has a little sound chip in it that plays the same music you remember from the original. Isn’t technology cool? $17.95 HERE.
Student Teacher Barbie Ornament
Of course, Joe has to pick up a gift for Barbie too. But instead of the usual diamond rings he always buys her, why not get a nifty miniature replica of her, looking just like she did before they were married and she was still, as they say, “mint-in-the-box?” <chortle> $19.95 HERE.
Hobby Lobby “A Tree for Me” Miniature Tools
Ace Field Reporter, Bryan Tatum, wrote in recently to share some intel about a new set of inexpensive 1:6 scale tools he found over at Hobby Lobby. Sure, you can spend $100 or more on those miniature museum pieces put out by ZC and sold by Cotswold Collectibles HERE, but if you’re on a tighter budget (and who isn’t these days?) you may want to check out these new ones over at Hobby Lobby. According to Bryan…
“Bob The Woodsman loves The Joe Report! I wanted to tell you about my newest purchase from Hobby Lobby. I can always use new tools, so I was very excited to see these. You get 2 nice wrenches, a hammer and saw (though the saw is a tad on the small side) and a nice new corded drill. They’re 50% off this week. For you city folks, that means this entire set was only $2.50.”
Editor’s note: Wow! Sweet deal, Bryan. Thanks for sharing the information and photos!
Sears Craftsman Miniature Tools
Finally, thanks to Eagle-Eyed Reporter, Christopher88 who gave us a heads up on these cool tools over at Sears. According to his intel…
“Thought this might be interesting for the vehicle guys and some crossover AT application here. The lawnmower and toolbox might be smallish, but the engine in the lawnmower might be salvageable for something else. The chainsaw looks very detailed and approximately 1/6th scale. Looks like they are priced at $9.99. For those near a Sears, might be worth a look.”
Bottom Line: “Oh, alright,” your Joe grumbles, grabbing the keys to his 5-star Jeep. “I’ll be back in about an hour. I guess. With SOMETHING!” Barbie giggles back, “Okay, hon. You do that. After my tub, I’ll be trying on disco dresses for 4 hours.”
Poor Joe. Oh well, some of these gift ideas are available all year round. Others, like the Hallmark ornaments are seasonal and only available for a short time. We say, if Joe really wants something, he should get it now. But keep in mind, after Christmas, all remaining stock is typically cleared out at half-price or LESS. So, if you can get Joe to go out shopping AGAIN, he may be able to pick up some great deals. Happy Hunting!
Just when you thought you’d seen it all, along comes another amazing customizer. Or, as in this case, a group of THREE amazing customizers, Javier Rodriguez, CesarRodriguez and Esteban Goyanes. The talented trio hails from northern Spain and are all master craftsmen. In a very short time they’ve built a solid reputation among collectors for their realistically detailed 1:6 scale steel and aluminum replicas of military weapons, vehicles, rockets and aircraft.
We asked these “maestros of metal” to tell us more about themselves, their business plans and the masterpieces they produce. Here, in an exclusive interview with The Joe Report, is what they had to say…
“We are a small workshop located in the north of Spain, composed of three friends with high skills in machinery, welding and design. We specialize in building one-of-a-kind custom projects and are very proud of our craftsmanship and attention to detail.
Every model we build is handcrafted from real materials, mainly carbon steel for the tanks and aluminum for the planes. We can work on any scale from 1:6 to 1:16, and over the last few years, we’ve been involved in some exciting and unique projects for selected collectors and museums including V1 and V2 Flying Bombs, Me 262 jet fighter, King Tiger Tank Porsches turret, Normandy Bunker (made from real concrete), and rare FH18 and PAK 43 German howitzers.
Right now, it’s all still a sideline business that we’re working at part-time. We don’t even advertise. But during the last few years, we’ve managed to gather a list of loyal customers who are willing to deal with our turnaround times. We don’t have a business name either, but next year we’re planning to introduce ourselves with a new website and start working on projects full-time.”
Clearly, even without an official business name or website, these guys are going to be very successful. Regardless of their lack of self-promotion, they’ve been able to convince a growing clientele to plunk down serious money and wait for indeterminate periods for their orders to be created. Obviously, the word has gotten out that they’re talented AND dependable.
Of course, you can’t create a business in a vacuum. We asked them what they’re doing to contact and stay in touch with past and future customers…
“We used to visit the main military trade show in Spain (twice a year) and we participate actively on the biggest Spanish language 1:6 scale forum, www.agrupacion1seis.com. Lately, we’ve been working for several military museums in Spain also.”
What are you working on now? Any other plans for the near future?
“We are now finishing up a unique 1/6th scale Jadgpanzer IV L70 made from real steel and next year we are planning to introduce a unique German T34.”
What’s the best way for future customers to get in touch with you?
“We currently accept orders from EU and USA and can be reached by email at email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org Please feel free to reach us for any question. All the best from Spain! —Javi”
Editor’s note: Thanks for all the information, Javi. We wish you and your friends the best of luck and good fortune with all your future endeavours!
Here some more “behind-the-scenes” photos of various works in progress…