Monthly Archives: January 2013

Trashed But Not Forgotten: “G.I. Joe Ephemera;” The Collection of Paperwork & Related Items

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GIjOE print advertising reached an undisputed zenith in the late 1990s with each inclusion in the outstanding FAO Schwartz catalogs. The photographers and designers at FAO clearly understood that GIjOE was an “ACTION Figure” and always strove to show him in motion or on a mission. This stunning, full-page masterpiece promotes the superb “Golden Knight” figure (an FAO exclusive), smartly depicting its highly detailed parachute in full deployment. An absolute STUNNER! (Courtesy: Mark Otnes Collection)

Most GIjOE ephemera collections began with the first four service manuals printed in the 1960s. Included with each figure and most of the equipment sets, collectors soon had more copies than they could ever use! (Courtesy: Robert Findlay Collection) Click to enlarge.

Most GIjOE ephemera collections began with the first four service manuals printed in the 1960s. Included with each figure and most of the equipment sets, collectors soon had multiple copies. (Courtesy: Robert Findlay Collection) Click to enlarge.

You had it—And threw it away.

An often overlooked aspect of GIjOE collecting is the accumulation of Joe-related paper materials, also referred to as “ephemera.” Somewhat different from amassing a collection of books (see previous article HERE), this category of collecting  includes a variety of “lesser” paper goods such as product brochures, instruction sheets, club newsletters, magazines, comic book ads, catalogs, posters, print advertisements, etc.—wherever GIjOE has appeared in printed form.

Also included with most figures, the ubiquitous “Boot Removal Sheets” came in different sizes and colors, providing helpful tips for removing stubborn footwear. Do YOU have a copy of the rare blue version?
(Courtesy: Robert Findlay Collection)

Let’s begin by admitting there’s NO WAY for any one person to know everything about GIjOE ephemera. As its name implies, most of it was intended only for short-term use, before being thrown away and forgotten. The reality is there’s simply been too many products created over too many years, in too many languages (and variations) to know about them all. “Lost” items are constantly discovered by collectors. It’s AMAZING how much material is out there!

Our goal in this article will simply be to discuss the more familiar examples of GIjOE ephemera; their origins, rarity and importance. From there, we’ll open the floor up to YOU, our readers, in hopes that you will suggest your own unique ephemera findings and/or their previously unknown variations.

The Origins of GIjOE Ephemera Collections

Fans of “Golden Age” ’60s and ’70s GIjOEs all began their ephemera collections as children. Instruction sheets, service manuals and GijOE club newsletters were regularly provided by Hasbro during those heady early years, and from 1964 to 1978, it was difficult NOT to accumulate a wide variety of printed Joe materials. Fans who came of age during the “Silver Age” of the ’80s and ’90s (aka the “Classic Collection and RAH Era”) enjoyed another avalanche of new products and related ephemera.

The next piece most fans added to their "Joe ephemera" collection (or used and mailed away) was most likely the club membership brochure. Note its many sizes and subtle variations. (Courtesy: Robert Findlay Collectiion)

The next piece most fans added to their “Joe ephemera” collection (or used and mailed away) was most likely the club membership brochure. Note its many sizes and subtle variations. (Courtesy: Robert Findlay Collectiion) Click to enlarge.

During both periods, ephemera-collecting fans will remember leafing through the full-color ads of their Sunday paper and coming across new GIjOE “store exclusives” advertised in Sears, JCPenney, Target or Walmart inserts. “I’m gunna keep this!” you may have wisely decided; perhaps if only to remind yourself to make a quick “Joe Run” later in the week. Then, months later, long after the advertisement’s usefulness had expired, instead of throwing it out, you decided to KEEP that piece of flimsy newsprint. Years later, those old ad are some of the rarest examples of GIjOE ephemera. If you saved them… Smooth move, EX-LAX!

Hasbro wisely inserted attractive, full-color product brochures into many packages to encourage future sales. Always a pleasant surprise, many kids would unfold them and tack them up as posters. (Courtesy: Robert Findlay Collection).

Hasbro wisely inserted attractive, full-color product brochures into many packages to encourage future sales. Always a pleasant surprise, many kids would unfold them and tack them up as posters. (Courtesy: Robert Findlay Collection).

The Catch-22 of Ephemera Collecting

Once a collector realizes all those little pieces of paper are a bona fide part of GIjOE’s “history,” it becomes a simple matter to get caught up searching for them. In no time at all, you find yourself scrapbooking every GIjOE ad, catalog, and brochure you can lay your hands on.

Foreign-based Joes such as Action Man, Geyperman and Action Joe are suddenly fair game. Some ephemera collectors even compile notebooks full of ’80s RAH trading cards and backing data sheets. It’s amazing what people will collect, store and archive.

To take a closer look at this burgeoning segment of GIjOE collecting, I enlisted the aid of fellow Joehead and vintage-fanatic, Robert Findlay. Together, we went through piles of various GijOE ephemera to search for a general representation of this category of collectibles. Here’s just a FEW of the examples we found:

Don't throw those envelopes! Today, one of the RAREST Joe "paper" is the original envelope the ORIGINAL GIjOE club used to send out membership packets. Their unique feature was the little window that showd the big plastic dogtag. The vast majority of these envelopes went right in the trash, leaving very few examples remaining for today's collectors. (Courtesy Robert Findlay Collection)

Don’t throw away those envelopes! Today, one of the RAREST of all GIjOE “papers” is the original envelope that the 1960s Hasbro GIjOE club used to send out their membership packets. Their most unique feature was the little window that showed a sneak preview of the big plastic dogtag inside. Of course, the vast majority of these envelopes went right in the trash, leaving very few remaining examples for today’s collectors. (Courtesy: Robert Findlay Collection)

You can't call yourself an "offical" fan of GIjOE without one of the original GIjOE club member certificates. Mine was on my wall until I became a teenager and finally took it down. D'oh! (Courtesy: Robert Findlay Collection)

You can’t call yourself an “offical” fan of GIjOE without one of the original GIjOE club membership certificates. Mine was tacked up on the wall in my room for 10 years until I became a teenager and finally took it down…and threw it away. D’oh! (Courtesy: Robert Findlay Collection)

Talk about RARE. The membership packet also included this super-cool iron-on transfer. I remember my Mom putting it on a white T-shirt which I wore out...and threw away. D'oh! (Courtesy: Robert Findlay Collection)

Talk about RARE. The membership packet also included one of these super-cool iron-on transfers. I remember my Mom putting it on a white T-shirt which I quickly wore out…and then threw away. D’oh! (Courtesy: Robert Findlay Collection)

Another "boring" paper item routinely tossed by most kids in the 1960s-70s, this ORIGINAL "welcome" letter from the Hasbro club is indeed a rare piece of ephemera today. Good luck trying to find one! (Courtesy Robert Findlay Collection)

Another “boring” paper item routinely tossed by most kids in the 1960s-70s, this ORIGINAL “welcome” letter from the Hasbro club is indeed a rare piece of ephemera today. Good luck trying to find one! (Courtesy: Robert Findlay Collection)

Early (original) examples of membership cards too, are now hard to come by. Sure, you can copy this easily, but it's not the same. (Courtesy: Robert Findlay Collection)

Early (original) examples of membership cards too, are now hard to come by. Sure, you can copy this easily, but it’s not the same. Psst! Hey, James Wuerfkin… We know where your card is, dude! (Courtesy: Robert Findlay Collection)

Of course, if you were born 10 years later, the Adventure Team Club was for you! Instead of a dogtag, you received one of these nifty AT pendants, plus the AT-version membership card. WOW! (Courtesy: Robert Findlay Collection)

Of course, if you were born 10 years later, the Adventure Team Club was more your speed. Instead of a dogtag, you received one of these nifty AT pendants, plus the AT-version membership card. Psst! Hey, Kevin Strattor, does this look familiar? (Courtesy: Robert Findlay Collection)

The Adventure Team era also saw an increase in the production of GIjOE mini-comics. Kids read these so many times, they wore them out! Reprints are available, but original copies in good condition are scarce. (Courtesy: Robert Findlay Collection)

The Adventure Team era also saw an increase in the production of GIjOE mini-comics. Kids read these so many times, they wore them out! Reprints are now available, but original copies in good condition are scarce.
(Courtesy: Robert Findlay Collection)

Vintage GIjOE brochures were so popular (and BIG) that many kids showed them off as posters. Check out this great Marine action! (Courtesy: Robert Findlay Collection)

Remember when toys featured ARTWORK that wasn’t created with Photoshop? Check out the superb paintings of Action Marines in this vintage brochure. Ooh-rah! (Courtesy: Robert Findlay Collection)

Newsletters, flyers and promotional handouts are all historically significant pieces of GIjOE ephemera. (Courtesy: Robert Findlay Collection)

Newsletters, flyers and promotional handouts are all historically significant pieces of GIjOE ephemera. (Courtesy: Robert Findlay Collection)

Instruction pamphlets were included with most Adventure Team equipment sets in the 1970s. Do you have them all? (Courtesy: Robert Findlay Collection)

Instruction pamphlets were included with most Adventure Team equipment sets in the 1970s. Do you have them all? (Courtesy: Robert Findlay Collection)

Helpful, colorful, and now...COLLECTIBLE. Oftentimes, the most commonly discarded items become the rarest. Look at this great AT instruction pamphlet. WOW! (Courtesy: Robert Findlay Collection)

Helpful, colorful, and now…COLLECTIBLE. Oftentimes, the most commonly discarded items become the rarest. Look at this great AT instruction pamphlet. WOW! (Courtesy: Robert Findlay Collection)

Original GIjOE product catalogs provide a wealth of information with their full-color closeup photographs showing all accessories and options for a given year. Reprints are available, but nothing beats an original copy. (Courtesy: Robert Findlay Collection)

Original GIjOE product catalogs provide a wealth of information with their full-color closeup photographs showing all accessories and options for a given year. Reprints are available, but nothing beats an original copy. (Courtesy: Robert Findlay Collection)

Instruction sheets were helpful for the first 10 minutes, then largely discarded. Did YOU keep them all? (Courtesy: Robert Findlay Collection)

Instruction sheets were helpful for the first 10 minutes, then largely discarded. Did YOU keep them all? (Courtesy: Robert Findlay Collection)

As we poured through the piles of Joe ephemera, we came across some most collectors have never seen before, including this obscure '70s ad for Super Joe's "Laser Communicator." Talk to Joe's dino-buddy with a beam of light. How cool is that? (Courtesy: Robert Findlay Collection)

As we poured through the piles of Joe ephemera, we came across a few that most collectors have never seen before, including an obscure ’70s ad for Super Joe’s “Laser Communicator.” Talk to Joe’s dino-buddy, Terron, with a beam of light. How cool is that? (Courtesy: Robert Findlay Collection)

Only collectors of "Super Joe" even know what this is; a

Yes, even fans of “Super Joe” were given a chance to belong to their OWN club. This is one side of the incredibly rare membership form you mailed in to join. (Courtesy: Robert Findlay Collection)

Don't forget all that foreign ephemera. It's just as much a part of GIjOE history as anything else. Some foreign catalogs of relatively obscure figures such as "Group Action Joe" in France, are the best evidence of sets and equipment most fans have long forgotten—or NEVER knew existed!

Don’t forget all the foreign Joe ephemera out there. It’s just as much a part of GIjOE’s history as anything else. Foreign catalogs such as this one featuring “Group Action Joe” in France, are often the best remaining evidence of these obscure figures, uniform sets, and equipment. (Screenshot: delcamp)

And don't forget GIjOE "knockoffs!" For ephemera collectors, the more obscure, the better. This rare advertisement for the (in)famous GIjOE-knockoff, "Fighting Yank," reveals just how ambitious their plan to copy GIjOE actually was. Very informative old ad!

Don’t forget all of the GIjOE “knockoffs.” And for ephemera collectors, the more obscure, the better. This rare vintage advertisement for the now infamous GIjOE-knockoff, “Fighting Yank,” reveals just how ambitious the Yank’s plans to copy Joe actually were. Fortunately(?), the Yank was taken to court by Hasbro, declared a real dud—and was yanked from the stores! (PGD Inc.)

Major department store catalogs are also a good source of old GIjOE ephemera. This spread in a 1966 JCPenny catalog reveals a new line of "Combat Man" uniform sets the store had produced in an attampt to "piggyback" on GIjOE's burgeoning popularity. (File source unknown)

Major department store catalogs are also a good source of ephemera. This spread in a 1966 JCPenny catalog reveals a new line of “Combat Man” uniform sets the store had produced in an attempt to “piggyback” on GIjOE’s burgeoning popularity. Old catalog pages like this are a great information source when trying to identify pieces of suspected “knockoff” gear or uniforms. (JCP Inc.)

Another outstanding example of GIjOE advertising, this half of a 2-page spread in an FAO Schwartz catalog depicts an exciting scene with exclusive F-15 pilots. WOW. (Courtesy: Mark Otnes Collection)

Another outstanding example of GIjOE advertising, this half of a 2-page spread in an FAO Schwartz catalog depicts an exciting scene with exclusive F-15 pilots. WOW. How could you EVER have thrown this in the recycle bin? (Courtesy: Mark Otnes Collection)

Die-hard collectors consider any appearance of GIjOE in print is an occasion worth remembering. Here, the MP Joe is looking sharp in another JCPenny catalog. (Courtesy: Mark Otnes Collection)

Die-hard collectors consider any appearance of GIjOE in print, TV or film to be an occasion worth remembering. Here, the MP Joe is looking sharp in another JCPenny catalog. Heck, that helicopter looks good too. Did YOU buy one? (Courtesy: Mark Otnes Collection)

Here’s one of the best “general audience” ads EVER created for GIjOE. It’s unusual because Hasbro rarely advertises their toys in adult-oriented publications. But because of Joe’s wide-ranging appeal, they made an exception and placed this superb full-page ad in the April 24, 2000 issue of TIME magazine. If you can find an original copy today…GRAB IT! It’s another important piece of GIjOE history. (Courtesy: Mark Otnes Collection)

Another example of the rare full-color ads used to promote GIjOE in the late '90s. At that time, Hasbro's "Classic Collection" line was a brisk seller in stores. (Courtesy: Mark Otnes Collection)

Another great example of the rare full-color ads used to promote GIjOE in the late ’90s through early 2000. At that time, Hasbro’s “Classic Collection” line was a brisk seller in stores, and many adults were setting up their new figures in much the way they are shown in this ad. Look out for that white tiger, Joe! (Courtesy: Mark Otnes Collection)

Even ads and catalog pages showing vehicles made for 1:6 scale figures are considered as a type of GIjOE ephemera. This nice page from a JCPenny catalog shows a Jeep, Helicopter and the elusive YF-22 from Fairlandtoys. (Courtesy: Mark Otnes Collectioin)

Even ads and catalog pages showing vehicles made for 1:6 scale figures are considered to be a type of GIjOE ephemera. This nice page from a JCPenny catalog shows a Jeep, Helicopter and the elusive YF-22 from Fairlandtoys. (Courtesy: Mark Otnes Collection)

Convention exclusives also come with their own unique GIjOE ephemera, such as this superb mini-comic featuring artwork by Scott McCullar. (Courtesy: Mark Otnes Collection)

Convention exclusives also come with their own unique GIjOE ephemera, such as this superb mini-comic featuring artwork by Scott McCullar.
(Courtesy: Mark Otnes Collection)

Small instruction sheets are regular casualties of the recycling bin, yet many were even educational. This one contained history of confederate flag! (Courtesy: Mark Otnes Collection)

Small instruction sheets have always been regular casualties of the recycling bin, but many are even educational. This one contained history of the confederate flag included with the Robert E. Lee figure.
(Courtesy: Mark Otnes Collection)

Yes, even tiny items such as this ticket stub to a GIjOE movie, can be considered as collectible Joe ephemera. Do YOU have one? (Courtesy: Mark Otnes Collection)

Yes, even tiny items such as this ticket stub to a GIjOE movie, can be considered as collectible Joe ephemera. Do YOU have one?
(Courtesy: Mark Otnes Collection)

Ah, the "power of print." Some ephemera is just too cool-looking to toss out. The vintage "Counter-Intelligence Manual" is one of those items. Superb! (Courtesy: Robert Findlay Collection)

Ah, the “power of print.” Some ephemera is just too cool-looking to toss out. The vintage “Counter-Intelligence Manual” is one of those items. Superb! (Courtesy: Robert Findlay Collection)

We can hear you now…”What about all those Andy and George comic book ads from the 1960s? And how about those ‘Your Mom Threw Them Away’ types of posters?” Yes we know there are MANY more pieces of Joe ephemera out there. Much more than we could ever hope to list here.

If you’re interested in joining the search, you can find photos of a multitude of other pieces in various price guides and GIjOE books, but none of them are ever going to be 100% complete. It’s simply impossible for any one source to show them all!

Well then, you may ask, where does GIjOE ephemera collecting end? It doesn’t! But if the producers of TV’s “Hoarders” ever ring your doorbell, peer in your windows, and see a 10-foot high pile of precariously balanced Joe papers in your livingroom…it may be time for you to slow down a bit.

Bottom Line: GIjOE ephemera may be trashed, but it will NEVER be forgotten, thanks to the borderline-hoarding nature of many GIjOE collectors. If you think of any more categories or unique examples of “Joe papers,” please leave a comment here on The Joe Report for other collectors to read. Who knows? Your tip may lead to the next great GIjOE ephemera discovery!

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First Pics! JoeCon 2013 12″ Exclusive 2-Figure Set

Man of Action in his "Stealth Jumpsuit" from the upcoming "Secret Mission to Dragon Island" JoeCon 2013 exclusive. (Photo: GIJCC)

Man of Action in his “Stealth Jumpsuit” from the upcoming “Secret Mission to Dragon Island” JoeCon 2013 exclusive. (Photo: GIJCC) Click to enlarge.

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It’s highly unusual for a 12″ GIjOE figure to be given a complete name and identity. But meet “Mr. Sebastian Gorman, CEO of Terron Industries,” the obvious bad guy of the 2-figure “Secret Mission to Dragon Island” exclusive. (Photo: GIJCC) Click to enlarge.

In apparent retaliation for yesterday’s “preemptive strike” by the organizers of Joelanta, the GIjOE Collector’s Club has just released TWO intriguing “sneak pics” of their own. The club’s upcoming convention exclusive for collectors of 12″ figures has been called “Secret Mission to Dragon Island,” and the new photos reveal the names, headsculpts and basic outfits of the two-figure set.

The first figure is a somewhat “droopy-eyed” Man of Action fuzzhead SA figure, dressed in an all-black jumpsuit with a parachute pack, helmet, goggles and boots. The second, dubbed “Mr. Sebastian Gorman, CEO of Terron Industries,” features a so-so bald headsculpt, complete with “Mr. Spock” pointed eyebrows, white lab coat cut in sort of a ’60s “Nehru jacket” style (shades of Dr. Evil), black pants and boots. Initial reviews are mixed…

“Joe looks very tired. I’m still wondering why the Club used the 40th head sculpt to create their SA head. The droopy eyes make the figures look like they’re sad and sleepy.” —Redmao

“Would love to have just the head. I could use a Joe that looks stoned/drunk.” —GIjOEBill

“I think the figures look great.” —JChayes01

“Not too bad, but I want to see more of the complete set.” —Gordon

Bottom Line: Fasten your seatbelts, Joeheads. As this year’s “Battle of the Joe Cons” continues, we have no doubt the good folks at Joelanta and JoeCon Indy will be pulling out all the stops to create the best sets—with fans being the winners!

Sneak Pic of Joelanta 2013 Exclusive Released!

The mystery Joe in this first teaser photo from the organizers of Joelanta leans back as if to say, "I know something you don't know!" (Photo: Joelanta 2013)

The mystery figure in this first teaser photo leans back as if to say, “The truth’s out there…SOMEWHERE.” (Photo: Joelanta 2013)

The good folks masterminding the 2013 edition of Joelanta have just released the first sneak pic of this year’s exclusive figure set. The photo shows a fuzzhead GIjOE modeling a black and white Hawaiian-style leisure shirt with some kind of “Alien head” or “Voodoo Skull” type of design. Further intel provided by Scott aka “GIDefender”on the Trenches forum revealed…

“I heard whispers that this year’s set would have something to do with Area 51 or Roswell. Since I received this image from Buddy tonight, I am beginning to think that the Alien’s may have landed—or may be coming to a show near you in the near future!”

Bottom Line: Past Joelanta exclusives have always been very popular, but are produced in limited quantities, so if you want to “lock yours down,” we recommend you jump over to THIS PAGE NOW. Will it turn out to be some sort of “Alien Adventurer?” Stay tuned! Further intel coming soon!

The Joe Report Reaches Another Milestone!

100000views

WOW! You’re blowing our minds here at The Joe Report! In less than a year, we’ve received over 100,000 “views,” averaging over 400 per DAY. Thanks again to everyone who enjoys reading TJR, and for making it such a success. You’re all the BEST!

Fans Help Determine Origin of 1965 G.I. Joe Display Originally Thought to Have Been at ’65 Toy Fair

The so-called, "1965 GIjOE Toy Show Display" sparked a lot of interest when it first appeared on ebay in 2011. (Photo:

The intriguing “1965 GIjOE Toy Show Display” sparked great interest—and some confusion—among fans when it first appeared for sale on ebay back in 2011. (Photo: Chris Voegelin)

What a difference one word can make.

Closeup examination of the five figures confirmed that they are indeed vintage 1960s figures in correct uniforms and equipment. However, props such as the telephone pole and wires, plus this fragile-looking ladder are clearly handmade. (Photo: Chris Voegelin)

Closeup examination of the five figures confirmed that they are indeed vintage 1960s GIjOEs with authentic uniforms and equipment. However, some of the props, such as the telephone pole with wires, and this fragile-looking wooden ladder, are clearly handmade, non-Hasbro items.
(Photo: Chris Voegelin)

Was it built to be a toy “FAIR,” toy “SHOW,” or toy “STORE” display? That is the important, defining question. The answer, which may never be substantively proven without official Hasbro documentation or first-person, “I built it” testimony, makes a world of difference in the value of a recently uncovered, somewhat offbeat, one-of-a-kind GIjOE collectible.

Here’s what we do know:

The item in question is a GIjOE figure display or “diorama,” built to show five GIjOEs in various action poses. It contains one each of the four original figures, plus an extra sailor who has been assigned “Signalman” duty (as a SeaBee?) repairing a telephone line.

By most accounts, fans and collectors seem to agree that this is indeed a vintage, 1960s-era display (of some type), and that closeup analysis of the figures confirm they are vintage 60s types and that their uniforms are of vintage 60s production. The display itself is undoubtedly a handcrafted construction made out of old materials including wood, wire, a printed backdrop, and assorted other items. No modern materials (made later than 1965) appear to be present.

The other sailor is taking the hard way to cross a creek he could simply step over. HA (Photo: Chris Voegelin)

The display’s second sailor is definitely taking the hard way to cross a creek he could easily just step over. HA (Photo: Chris Voegelin)

The problem is, it’s been almost 50 years since the display was constructed and there is no official documentation attached to it to confirm its true origins. So where did this thing come from? At first, current owner, Chris Voegelin, was only able to provide vague, tantalizing, technical tidbits in his 2011 ebay description, saying…

“We have at auction a very nice, hard to find and one of a kind 1965 G.I.Joe Toy Show Display. This display is handmade of all types of many types of materials. The main base is made of wood and plywood. The stones are styrofoam and the rocks are cork. All of the Joes are wired to the base. The back and sides are paper litho over plywood. The base is 39″ long, 20″ deep and 21″ high. The red G.I.Joe sign looks authentic Hasbro. All of the figures are T.M. Joes and are in excellent condition.”

Closeup of the vintage Army figure working on the telephone pole. (Photo: Chris Vogelin)

Closeup of the vintage Army figure. (Photo: Chris Voegelin)

Intriguing… But most of Voegelin’s description was already evident from the photos. The key phrase that REALLY got fans interested came next, when Voegelin revealed…

“I purchased this from a toy dealer friend about ten years ago who bought it from a Hasbro ex-employee. The dealer was offered $10,000 for this in the late eighties! I have no written documentation on this piece.”

WOW. Now we were getting somewhere! But “no written documentation?” That’s not good. Without some sort of official verification from Hasbro or a trusted Hasbro employee, $10,000 would definitely be an unrealistic price for this item. But… It is a unique display. And it is old. And it does feature 5 very minty, vintage GIjOEs! Clearly then, it’s worth something—but not even close to $10K.

Side view of the display shows an old style "faux pine" paper litho pattern that looks correct to the period. (Photo: Chris Vogelin)

Side view of the display shows an old style “faux pine” paper litho pattern that looks correct to the period. (Photo: Chris Voegelin)

Fans Debate the Display’s Origins

Most GIjOE collectors will instantly spot the problems with this logo. (Photo: Chris Voegelin) Click to enlarge.

Most GIjOE collectors will instantly spot the problems with this logo. (Photo: Chris Voegelin) Click to enlarge.

(Editor’s note: At this point in our story, Voegelin’s word-choice of Toy “SHOW” is unintentionally replaced with Toy “FAIR” in a well-meaning online post. This word change may seem subtle to non-fans, but it makes a HUGE difference to collectors.)

Over on the Trenches forum, a fan who had seen the display on ebay and was wondering what other collectors thought about its purported origins, mistakenly used the word Toy “FAIR” when asking:

“I found an auction that claims to be a 1965 Hasbro Toy Fair Display. I’m not saying it is or isn’t, but I am curious what other collectors think about it. I’m most curious about the logo. It’s no G.I. Joe logo that I’ve ever seen, but I could see it as one that Hasbro might have considered. I find it most curious that it does not have any trade mark or copyright indicated.

Other things I find odd: Why 5 Joe’s instead of 4? Why are only 3 hair colors represented?  Why are 3 of them laying down, rather than upright and dynamic? All things considered, there’s not a lot of accessories either. For being in the military, they sure are doing mundane things.

Seems to me that if this was a Toy Fair display those are all specific things Hasbro would have wanted to feature. The display doesn’t exactly scream “Fighting man from head to toe.”  Thoughts? Especially on that logo?”

Graphic Designer and Illustrator extraordinaire, David Howard, poses with a few of his reproduction and custom GIjOE boxes, plus posters and related artwork during the recent Joelanta 2012 show in Atlanta, GA. (Photo: Mark Otnes)

Graphic Designer and Illustrator extraordinaire, David Howard, poses with a few of his reproduction and custom GIjOE boxes, plus posters and related artwork during the recent Joelanta 2012 show in Atlanta, GA. (Photo: Mark Otnes)

To GIjOE collectors, there’s a BIG difference between a Toy “Show” and a Toy “Fair.” Suddenly, Voegelin’s “1965 Toy Show Display” had been blurred into a 1965 Toy FAIR display. The consensus from other fans was mixed, but then respected GijOE collector, David Howard, chimed in with his own specific insight…

“I can say with absolute certainty that the display shown was not the 64 toy fair display. How do I know? I had this discussion with Sam Speers at one of the Joe Cons, RI I think.

At the Con, I asked Sam about the display. He said it was a huge display, about 8′ x 12′ and had at least 25 – 30 figures on it. They were set up in poses based on some of the info in the military’s actual training manuals. He even mentions some of the details in a letter in one of the reference books that has been published.

That is why I asked him when we visited, because the book said he spearheaded the project for the fair. They even used real large rocks, dirt, etc. from his yard in the display. He said they wanted it to be as realistic as possible to how a boy would play in the yard with Joe.

Even without that personal knowledge and conversation I would have said that it probably wasn’t it. The logo head is some kind of cartoon and if you look at all the prototypes Hasbro did back in the day the logo always has the soldier or marine head in the words, even when hand painted, never some kooky looking cartoon image.

The USAF figure is either fishing or just laying down on the job. Either way, the posing of these figures leaves a lot to be desired. (Photo: Chris Voegelin)

The USAF figure is either crawling under that wire obstacle, or just laying down on the job. Either way, the posing of these figures leaves a lot to be desired. (Photo: Chris Voegelin)

Being in the business of marketing/advertising myself I wouldn’t think Hasbro would have ever gone to Toy Fair with their logo being misrepresented like that on a project this huge. This is indeed a display made by hand but not ‘the’ original display. I have been interested in rebuilding that display for myself for a number of years now if I can only find some real tangible photos or drawings. Still neat to look at though and is obviously a vintage display of some sort. Like Roy said, it may have been a Mom and Pop toy store display.”

Finally, I contacted Voegelin myself and asked him if the display (originally listed on ebay at $2,500) had ever been sold and if he had any further information he could provide for this article. He replied that no, it had not been sold, and that…

“It looks professionally made and has a faint 1965 mark on the base. I wish I had a pic of it at a show.”

We have a high-resolution version of this photo file and searched it carefully for any signs of writing or symbols and found nothing. (Photo: Chris Voegelin)

We have a high-resolution file of this photo and searched it carefully for any signs of writing or symbols but found nothing. (Photo: Chris Voegelin)

An odd pose for a flame-throwing Marine. Perhaps he's a "Tunnel Rat" in Vietnam? (Photo: Chris Voegelin)

An odd pose for a flame-throwing Marine. Perhaps he’s a “Tunnel Rat” in Vietnam? Also note his center tank is missing. (Photo: Chris Voegelin) Click to enlarge.

Bottom Line: There is little doubt that the famous (and very large) 1964 Toy Fair display was disassembled and trashed after the show and is therefore lost to fans forever. It is also CONCEIVABLE that for the 1965 Toy Fair, Hasbro decided to utilize smaller, more manageable tabletop displays such as this one. But this one’s odd logo, poorly posed figures and overall amateurish construction make it a long shot that it had ever been produced by Hasbro.

MOST LIKELY, this display was created by an “artistic someone” working for an east coast “brick-n-mortar” toy store for use in a display window. But for now, the mystery lives on. If you’re interested in purchasing this unusual display, Chris is still accepting offers and you can reach him HERE.

Creators of “Jabba’s Palace” Toy Called “Racist”

Creators of the “Jabba’s Palace” Lego set have been declared racist by the TCCA. It has not been determined if the TCCA declaration of racism extends to Star Wars creator George Lucas or the artists and set designers of Lucasfilm. Jar Jar Binks has refused to comment. (Photo: Lego)

The Hagia Sophia museum in Istanbul, Turkey is indeed beautiful. Copying any of its architectural styling is considered to be racist by the TCCA. (Photo: Google)

The Hagia Sophia Museum in Istanbul, Turkey is indeed beautiful. Originally built by the Romans as a Christian church, it was later used as an Islamic mosque and is now a secular museum. It has recently been learned that copying any part of its architectural styling is considered to be racist by the Turkish Cultural Community of Austria.

Perhaps you thought the recent Django figures controversy was a lot to do about nothing. Well, now toymaker Lego has been accused of racism for producing a child’s building block set that, when fully assembled, creates a Star Wars building. Yes, you read that right. A BUILDING. If you mistakenly believed that toy buildings couldn’t be offensive to anyone, then you’ll be surprised to learn otherwise in the recent article published in the UK Telegraph, which announced…

“Lego has been accused of racism by the Turkish community over a Star Wars model that supposedly resembles one of Istanbul’s most revered mosques. The anger was provoked by “Jabba’s Palace”, a model from Lego’s Star Wars product range based on the series of Star Wars films.

Austria’s Turkish community said the model was based on Hagia Sophia mosque in Istanbul and that the accompanying figures depicted Asians and Orientals as people with “deceitful and criminal personalities.” The Turkish Cultural Community of Austria (TCCA) released a statement calling for Lego to apologize for affronting religious and cultural feelings.”

The "offensive" Jabba the Hut and other figures from the Jabba's Palace playset. (Photo: Lego)

The “offensive” Jabba the Hut and other figures from the Jabba’s Palace playset. (Photo: Lego)

In a surprising addtion, the TCCA declared that the “accompanying figures” of outer space aliens that resemble Asian or Oriental human beings are also racist. Lego fans may be further interested to learn that “Austria’s Turkish community” has a great dislike for one of Star Wars most popular characters, Jabba the Hut. As the Telegraph article reveals…

The terrorist Jabba the Hutt likes to smoke a hookah and have his victims killed.’ It is clear that the ugly figure of Jabba and the whole scene smacks of racial prejudice and vulgar insinuations against Asians and Orientals as people with deceitful and criminal personalities.”

lego_logoLego has since replied to the TCCA, denying any known link between the fictional Jabba’s Palace on the fictional planet Tatooine, and any real, existing structure on any real planet, including Earth. Lego public relations manager, Katharina Sasse, said of the controversy…

“The Lego Star Wars product Jabba´s Palace does not reflect any actually existing buildings, people, or the mentioned mosque,” she said. “The Lego mini-figures are all modelled on characters from the movie. We regret that the product has caused the members of the Turkish cultural community to come to a wrong interpretation, but point out that when designing the product only the fictional content of the Star Wars saga were referred to.”

Coming up next week: Marine biologists announce their boycott of Spongebob Squarepants toys, declaring that the new Squidward and Plankton action figures “smack of racial prejudice and vulgar insinuations against sea creatures as lifeforms with deceitful and criminal personalities.”

JoeCon 2013 Exclusive Figure Sets Announced

Logo art for the "Secret Mission to Dragon Island" JoeCon 2013 12" exclusive. (Graphic: GIJCC)

Logo art for the “Secret Mission to Dragon Island” JoeCon 2013 12″ exclusive. (Graphic: GIJCC)

If you wanted to know more about the upcoming JoeCon 2013 before deciding whether or not to attend, a recent club press release detailing the convention’s entire schedule of activities, special guests and exclusive figure sets is now available in one convenient PDF file that you can download from their website.

Of course, the big news we’ve been waiting for is information on the new club exclusives! Fortunately, as with all of its previous conventions, the national GIjOE Collector’s Club hopes to accommodate the interests of all fans by releasing two different sets simultaneously. For fans of full-sized, 12″ GIjOEs, there is a new Adventure Team set dubbed “Secret Mission to Dragon Island.” (Joe loves those islands!). And for fans of the 3.75″ RAH “Little Joes,” there will be a new set called “Night Force: Nocturnal Fire.” Photos of the two sets have yet to be released, but details about their contents are also listed in the PDF file. In brief, here’s what each set contains:

Secret Mission to Dragon Island

Included in this 12” two figure set: Super Articulated G.I. Joe; Stealth Jumpsuit, Jump Helmet; Jump Goggles; Jump Boots; Parachute and Pack; Tuxedo Jacket, Tuxedo Pants; Dress Shirt; Bow Tie and Cumberbund; Dress Shoes; Disguise; Chemical Vial and Pistol.

Super Articulated Villain; Nehru Jacket; Dress Pants; Nehru Shirt; Dress Shoes; Chemical Suit; Belt; Chemical Boots, 2 Chemical Suit Hoods; 2 Pairs of Chemical Gloves; and Laser Rifle.

Logo art for the upcoming “Night Force: Nocturnal Fire” JoeCon 2013 exclusive figure set. (Graphic: GIJCC)

WOW! This sounds like a KILLER set! A Nehru Jacket? Chemical Suit Hoods? A Tuxedo? Holy, Jame Bond! Just imagine what the box art must look like. We can’t wait to see some pics of this one!

Night Force:
Nocturnal Fire

Includes: Charbroil, Hit & Run, Muskrat, Psyche-Out, Repeater and Spearhead with Max (NEW Bobcat). The Cobra Demolitions Team is ready to take on any obstacle that gets in their path of destruction. Led by the mysterious Cobra Mortal, he employs Cobra Letal and the deadly saboteur Crimson Asp (NEW female character). Their specialized troopers include: Cobra Frag-Vipers x 3, Cobra S.A.W.-Vipers x 3. Each of these great teams comes with their classic weapons, accessories, figure stands and file cards in this exciting fifteen figure boxed set.

Whoa! 15 FIGURES? This set is bound to become a HOT collectible among fans of the RAH figures. Whichever GIjOE-size you prefer (and many fans collect BOTH), these convention exclusives sound like they’ll make AWESOME new additions to your Joe Room. For complete information on convention activities and attendee packages, go to THIS PAGE, then click on the “Information” button and download (or preview) the free PDF file. Go, JOE!

(Graphic: GIJCC)

Django Update: Figures To Be “Discontinued”

Already sold out in many parts of the U.S., the controversial Django Unchained action figures will soon be even harder to find since they have now been officially "discontinued" by their manufacturer. (Photo NCEA)

Already sold out in many parts of the U.S., the controversial Django Unchained action figures will soon be even harder to find since being officially “discontinued” by the manufacturer. (Photo NECA)

In a new development to our aforementioned Django Unchained action figures article. a recent AP story reports that the controversial figures will be “discontinued.” Since they’ve already been produced, we’re not sure if that means they’ll be removed from shelves and destroyed, recalled from retailers, or simply not made again in the future. It’s hard to determine what, if any impact, this will have on sales of the toy line. According to the AP article:

“The Weinstein Co. has asked a toy maker to discontinue a line of ‘Django Unchained’ action figures after receiving complaints that they were offensive. ‘Django Unchained’ is a violent mix of spaghetti Western and blaxploitation genres about a freed slave (Jamie Foxx) who becomes a bounty hunter. Civil rights groups argued that the toys trivialized the horrors of slavery. Toy maker NECA did not immediately respond to a request for comment.”

Don't worry. There's always the next Tarantino toy line to look forward to! (Photo: Frontrowfuture)

Don’t worry! There’s always the next Tarantino toy line to look forward to! (Photo: Frontrowfuture)

So. There you have it. Whether you support the decision or not, imagine if you were one of the toy’s creators; one of the graphic artists, sculptors, costume designers or publicists who worked (probably for many months at least) on producing the line. How would you be feeling about now? Confused? Embarrassed? Outraged?

Does your connection with a toy line that’s been publicly defamed as “offensive and trivializing” forever mark you with a scarlet ST for being a “slavery trivializer?” Will all your hard work end up in the “ash bin of toy history?” Or, will the Django line become even MORE famous and collectible due to its impending rarity? While you ponder those questions, enjoy watching this (silly) short video…

New Django Unchained “Slavery” Action Figures Join Ranks of Other Controversial Toys

The six new Django Unchained action figures are creating a controversy among collectors and others. (Photo: NCEA)

The controversial, 8″ tall Django Unchained action figures. (Photo: NECA)

A new line of action figures based on the film, Django Unchained, is creating some negative press for the film’s director, Quentin Tarentino, the toy makers NECA, and their partner, the Weinstein Company. The figures in question are 8″ tall and depict characters who were either slaves or slave owners in the film. Critics of the new figures have deemed the toys “inappropriate” and are asking for their complete removal from the market. According to a recent AP article…

We were outraged,” said Najee Ali, director of the advocacy group Project Islamic Hope, upon learning of the figures. “We feel that it trivializes the horrors of slavery and what African-Americans experienced.” Ali also called the action figures “a slap in the face of our ancestors.”

Of course, such toy-centric controversies are not unprecedented. GIjOE fans with long memories will recall that Hasbro expected to receive similar heat for its 1960s “Soldiers of the World” line. The line consisted of a French Freedom Fighter, British Soldier, Australian Soldier and Russian Soldier, PLUS two more figures which were WW2 Axis enemies, a Japanese Imperial Army Soldier and a German Wehrmacht Soldier.

Despite fears by executives at Hasbro, the sale of a WW2 German "Stormtrooper" action figure failed to generate any significant public outcry. In fact, the figure and its excellent accessories would go to be one of the most popular sets ever produced. (Photo: Profiles in History)

Despite fears by executives at Hasbro, the sale of a WW2 German “Stormtrooper” action figure failed to generate any significant public outcry. In fact, the figure and its excellent accessories would go on to become one of the most popular sets ever produced. (Photo: Profiles in History)

In his book, “GIjOE: The Complete Story of America’s Man of Action,” author John Michlig reveals there were some tense deliberations about the German figure early on at Hasbro:

“Merrill Hassenfeld’s brother, Harold, made a strenuous objection to the inclusion of a German storm trooper, arguing that no company—especially one with the Jewish heritage of Hasbro—should commemorate this purveyor of brutality.”

The controversial "Mad Bomber" action figure by 21st Century Toys. (Photo: ebay)

The controversial “Mad Bomber” action figure by 21st Century Toys. (Photo: ebay)

As we know, despite their trepidations, all of the foreign soldier figures were produced and are now held in the highest esteem by collectors. Perhaps it’s a sign of the modern world’s more “politically correct” sensitivities, but back then, the Japanese and German figures drew very little objection from the public. In fact, according to Michlig…

” Neither the media nor the retail buying community ever brought up the issue.”

The Adolph Hitler action figure w/box. (Photo: fastupfront)

The Adolph Hitler action figure w/box. (Photo: fastupfront)

GIjOE has always needed a wide variety of “bad guys” to fight. Without Nazis or COBRA, Terrorists or Mad Bombers, Joe would just be sitting around his headquarters (not very heroic or interesting). Over the years, most of the “worst of the worst” of humanity have been produced and sold as action figures—yes, even Adolph Hitler.

The "Terrorist" action figure by 21st Century Toys was widely decried for the public after 9/11, but remains very popular with collectors. (Photo: ebay)

The “Terrorist” action figure by 21st Century Toys was widely decried by the public, but remains very popular with collectors. (Photo: ebay)

And then there were the accidental, tampered with and unintendedly misused toys. Remember the foul-mouthed Bratz and Barbie dolls? Or the infamous Breast-Feeding Doll? How about Harry Potter’s Vibrating Broomstick? WHEEE!!! These “controversial toy” lists can go on and on.

Bottom Line: In a free-market, capitalistic society, products will always be made to meet diverse consumer tastes and preferences. But manufacturers can’t please everyone and they know that. They know that each new product is a gamble and the chips will fall where they may. “Good toy, bad toy, inappropriate toy,” that sort of judgement ultimately rests in the eye of the beholder. When someone doesn’t like something, they don’t buy it. The public “votes” with their pocketbooks, and their voice is heard loud and clear.

TJR Reader’s Poll #2: The GIjOE Club Newsletter

The official GIjOE Collector’s Club newsletter has undergone many changes over the years, generating both praise and derision from club members. (Photo: Mark Otnes)

We love it. We hate it. We don’t give a hoot about it. GIjOE fans have long had mixed feelings about the official GIjOE Club’s monthly newsletter. In recent years, news of the 3 3/4-inch “little Joes” has clearly dominated the publication, as collectors of 12-inch “big Joes” see their diminishing coverage as a sign of wasted space and missed opportunity.

Many fans have argued for years that the fees paid as membership dues would be better spent producing more of the club exclusives, such as this excellent reproduction Talking Soldier. (Photo: GIGCC)

Many fans have argued for years that the fees paid as membership dues would be better spent producing more of the club exclusives, such as this excellent reproduction Talking Soldier. (Photo: GIJCC)

Is there a middle ground that can found? Should changes be made? Or is the newsletter already providing a perfect balance of the old and the new? Viewpoints vary from fan to fan, and no official club polls have been held to determine actual membership opinion.

Here at The Joe Report, we feel it’s high time GIjOE fans held a poll to help the club determine the facts. How do YOU feel about the club newsletter? Is it a waste of your membership dues? If you could, what would you change? You can post such comments to this article (see link, above left.)

Should the club divide the newsletter into two versions? Or is it time the club finally went “paperless” and eliminated it altogether? Perhaps to use the income from membership dues elsewhere? What do you think?

Please cast your vote today, and leave any additional comments or suggestions for the club attached to this article where they can see and read them easily. Hopefully, this poll will help the club better understand the current wishes of its 2013 membership. Sound off NOW!