Monthly Archives: June 2013

New England and Central Illinois Divisions of GIjOE Collector’s Club host Meetings 6-30-13

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Members of the New England GIjOE Collector’s Club gather around to discuss their favorite topic at a recent club meeting in Providence, RI. (Photo: NEGCC)

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Proud logo of the NEGCC.

A quick glance at the TJR Events Calendar (see bottom of this page) reveals at least two divisions of the GijOE Collector’s Club are scheduled to host official club meetings tomorrow (June 30, 2012). First, the New England GIjOE Collector’s Club (NEGCC) is holding their regular monthly meeting at The Roots Cafe, 276 Westminster St., in Providence, RI (call Anthony @ 401-256-1321) for more info.

On the same day, the Central Illinois GijOE Collector’s Club (CIGCC) will be holding their own monthly meeting from noon to 5 pm at the home of member Ryan Tone, 1217 20th Avenue Way, East Moline, IL. It’s great to see two such active clubs continuing on, despite the recent disappointing convention in Indianapolis. For directions or additional information regarding the CIGCC meeting, we recommend you contact Ryan via email HERE.

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CIGCC members (from l to r) Brad Curry, Clayton Curry and Don Hanke discuss what’s really important in life: GIjOE! (Photo: Mark Otnes)

Bottom Line: There’s no better way to enjoy GijOE and the action figure hobby than by joining a collector’s club. If you know of any club that’s planning, holding or hosting an event, and would like for us to help you spread the word, please send Mark an email HERE and we’ll add your listing to our Events Calendar ASAP. It’s fun, it’s fast, and it’s FREE! Our best wishes to the members of the NEGCC and the CIGCC. Have a great meeting guys and gals, and…Go, JOE!

New figures from “Super System Toys” will be direct challenge to “M&C Toys” Powerteam Line

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The new figure sets from Super System Toys (SST) feature superb SA bodies, 3 pairs of interchangeable hands, realistic head sculpts, excellent uniforms and well-sewn equipment vests. The accessories are a somewhat mixed bag, but could provide nice “basic” customizing material. Right out of the box, these figures rate a solid ♦♦♦-diamonds, but with a price point of only $22, we have to bump ’em up to ♦♦♦♦ (out of 5). These are extremely good values for the money. (Photo: Super System Toys)

The REAL Winner of this entry-level “battle”  is YOU—the Collector!

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This closeup reveals a realistic headsculpt, superior to most of M&C’s Powerteam offerings. (Photo: Super System Toys)

Finally, some “fiscal relief” for cash-strapped fans of 1:6 scale: Super System Toys (SST) has just released an all-new line of affordable, super-articulated (SA), and uniformed figures. SST’s figures are a shot across the bow of all 1:6 scale producers, primarily “entry-level” M&C Toys, creator of the well-known PowerTeam World Peacekeepers line.

Unfortunately for M&C, SST’s new figures are clearly a notch above in quality, offering superior, super-articulated (SA) bodies and uniforms at the competitive low price point of only $21.99. We’ve seen other “lowball” producers try this market approach before, offering so-so figures with so-so headsculpts, rudimentary uniforms and a lot of “trade fodder” gear, all sold at a low price. Most collectors end up cherry-picking the best offerings and tossing the rest. But these new SST figures are much better, and raise the dollar value per quality equation significantly. Take a look at these closeups:

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We’re sure your experienced 1:6 eye can see that this is a VERY poseable SA figure, with easily exchangeable heads and hands. Outstanding! (Photo: SST)

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This desert MARPAT uniform is nicely detailed. Not perfect, but for the price, very well done! (Photo: SST)

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A picture’s worth a thousand words, and this one speaks VOLUMES. Wow! (Photo: SST)

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Three of the new SST figures currently available and their gear. (Photo: SST)

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Three more figures (one comes pre-wounded) complete the new line. (Photo: SST)

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Customizers will enjoy that SST’s high-quallity, inexpensive figures and uniforms open up an infinite arena for custom figures. (Photo: SST)

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Each new SST figure comes with THREE sets of hands, one in gloves. (Photo: SST)

Bottom Line: SST appears poised to take advantage of M&C’s (and Hasbro’s) current lull in the marketplace and may soon capture and dominate the lucrative “entry-level” segment of the action figure market. Just think about it…for about the price of 1 “top-of-the-line” Hot Toys or Dragon figure, you can pick up 5 to 10 of these new SST figures. If that sounds like a good deal to you, we recommend you patronize the trusted folks over at Cotswold Collectibles and/or Urban Samurai Toys, and… Happy Collecting!

First 1:6 Figures Based on 1960s “Batman” TV Show Receive Lukewarm Reception From Fans

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The cowl, cape and tights all have great kitbashing possibility if transferred to a different figure. But Ken’s boyish face and rail-thin bod make him too much of a “pencil-necked geek” to be Batman. (Photo: Mattel)

Holy, Missed Opportunities, Batman!

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“Hey, nice oven mitts there, Bat-dork! What’cha gunna do, pat me? Or bake a cake?” Ken’s lame gloves are an instant “toss” into any collector’s trade pile. Absolutely irredeemable. (Photo: Mattel)

As we reported earlier (HERE), Warner Bros. Consumer Products (WBCP) has begun licensing the likenesses of actors, characters, vehicles and props from the iconic 1960s TV show, Batman, and a flood of new “bat-merchandise” is expected to burst forth upon the marketplace soon.

Most bat-fans are already aware that highly detailed 1:6 scale action figures bearing the likenesses of Adam West, Burt Ward, etc. are being planned, and that a glorious 1:6 scale Batmobile will be released sometime in 2014 (see preview HERE), But what many may not know, is that industry leader Mattel has already jumped out in front of the competition and released two new Ken and Barbie dolls dressed as Batman and Catwoman, respectively.

For decades now, GIjOE fans have cast their watchful eyes on Mattel, envious of the company’s incredible business acumen and continued mastery of the “razor and blades” marketing strategy. While Hasbro’s misguided leadership allows the GIjOE brand to continue to languish, there’s little disagreement over the reasons behind Barbie’s ongoing retail success: Mattel’s management “just gets it.”

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This screenshot from the TV series, Batman, reveals how his cowl and cape should look. Mattel’s version is close, but overly simplified. (Photo: ABC)

The Dreaded “Pink Aisle Effect”

There’s a lot to be said for being first, but that doesn’t mean Mattel produces the best products. Barbies are clearly targeted to a younger, less discerning market (i.e. little girls) and a niche segment of adult collectors who rarely remove the toys from their boxes. The rest of us could care less.

In fact, most GIjOE collectors and customizers dread being near the “pink aisle” in a toy store and only venture down it when looking for “worthy bits” that might be useful in some future kitbash or custom project. We believe that’s the sort of attitude best applied when considering these two new dolls (yes, they’re dolls).

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Barbie’s vintage “giant forehead” noggin is ALL wrong for Catwoman, but most kitbashers would probably agree the catsuit, mask, necklace and ears are a good start for a custom figure. (Photo: Mattel)

Not “Purr-fect” by any Means

At first glance, in their cool retro-packaging, the familiar figures may get your heart to racing, but upon closer examination, the details of Mattel’s “Bats” and “Cats” prove disappointing. Predictably, Mattel has opted to retain the vintage head sculpts of its 1960s Ken and Barbie, rather than create new head sculpts based on Adam West or Julie Newmar (they’re leaving that to Sideshow and Hot Toys). To be blunt, Catwoman-Barbie’s not nearly as pretty as Newmar, and Batman-Ken looks positively ridiculous in Batman’s cowl (see at top).

But that’s not all. While kitbashers eagerly look forward to transferring the pair’s costumes to other 1:6 scale bodies, they will be saddened to discover the accessories are also sorely inadequate. Batman-Ken’s cowl is cut short at the neck, and his gloves, boots and utility belt are all trade pile fodder. Catwoman-Barbie fairs a little better. Her catsuit is skin-tight sexy and properly textured. Her ears, necklace and mask seem detailed enough for most purposes. But her gloves and boots are such undersized, simplified pieces that only a little girl will find them acceptable. Into the bin they go!

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Batman-Ken walks stiffly along thinking, “If only my arms or legs could bend!” (Photo: Mattel)

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Catwoman-Barbie’s hip-hugging gold belt is perfect. But those gloves have GOT to go! (Photo: Mattel)

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Ken will NEVER be Batman. A young Peter Parker, maybe? (Photo: Mattel)

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Ken’s boots weren’t made for walkin’. They were made for tradin’. HA (Photo: Mattel)

Bottom Line: Barbie fans and “buy ’em all” collectors will probably pick these up without a second thought, but most Joeheads and 1:6 scalers will likely pass, or at least wait until they go on clearance (as they always do). Hopefully, some creative customizers will cherry pick the best parts from each set and show the rest of us how these figures SHOULD look. To the Kitbashing Poles!

UR Professor Researches G.I. Joe Collecting and the Internet’s Original “Sandbox” Newsgroup for An Upcoming Book on “Virtual Communities”

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Renowned University of Richmond professor (and toy collector) Dr. Joe Essid, works surrounded by assorted action figures from his extensive vintage toy collection. “The Action Man on the left was one that I helped my late mother-in-law complete.” Essid’s chapter on GIjOE collecting and the original online “Sandbox” newsgroup will appear in the new book, “Identity and Leadership in Virtual Communities: Establishing Credibility and Influence,” to be published in early 2014. (Photo: Joe Essid)

Academic research books are not typically known to “fly off bookstore shelves” or hover near the top of a best-seller list. Most are targeted and sold directly to libraries, academic institutions and a select group of fellow professors, while the remainder tend to linger unsold in boxes in warehouses, fading quietly away on Amazon or elsewhere. But ONE book appears set to buck that trend.

Although it hasn’t been published yet, an upcoming academic tome impressively entitled, “Identity and Leadership in Virtual Communities: Establishing Credibility and Influence,” is already generating significant pre-press excitement and wide-spread anticipation among an unexpected audience of non-academic readers—GIjOE fans and collectors.

The one, the only, Sandbox logo. (Art: Daryl Williams)

The one, the only, original USENET Sandbox logo. (Art: Daryl Williams)

Why all this sudden “Joehead” interest in some “dry as dust” academic publication? Two words: The SANDBOX. The new 15-chapter book will feature one very special chapter written by well-known GIjOE fan and collector, Dr. Joe Essid, who, as it also turns out, is a professor in the Departments of English and Rhetoric & Communication Studies at the University of Richmond in Virginia.

As a longtime fan of vintage toys such as GIjOE, Action Man, and Major Matt Mason, Professor Essid’s intimate knowledge of the subject matter, coupled with his academic background, made him an obvious choice for researching the history of the Sandbox. As longtime users of the Sandbox will recall, the ‘Box was an often contentious, but widely accessed place on the ‘net. As such, its historical significance and impact on the hobby of action figure collecting deserves to duely recorded and remembered.

Slated to “hit the stands” sometime in early 2014, Dr. Essid’s chapter in the book has GIjOE fans around the world looking eagerly around, wondering, “Will he mention ME? Is he going to talk about you-know-who? What about that famous flame-war I had with such and such?” Relax. To any worried ‘Boxer out there, Essid wants to reassure you that no one will be embarrassed, saying:

“My publisher asked that I not name names or even use online pseudonyms, but to change them all.”

This screenshot shows Google’s activity record for the discussion group alt.toys.gi-joe (aka “The Sandbox”) and its dramatic decline in use over the years as fans switched to more versatile forums. Click to enlarge.

In addition to collecting and writing about toys, Essid directs the Writing Center at the University of Richmond, writes op-ed, speculative fiction, and academic prose about technology in the classroom. We asked him about his life and his upcoming publication. Here’s what he had to say:

“I came to my project about the ‘Sandbox’ community from a long history with GIjOE. I’ve collected vintage figures since 1966, when my dad reluctantly bought me an Action Marine ‘doll’ from the local hardware store. Some of my fondest memories of that era involve Richmond’s downtown Sears store, where an elevator ride to the basement meant the slow revelation of the Joe section past the washers and dryers and Craftsman tools. I’d RUN over to see what was in stock each week!

Two decades later, by the time I went to grad school for a PhD in English, my childhood collection had dwindled. What remained were a Land Adventurer whose beard I’d shaved (very nicely; I build scale models too) and a Negro Adventurer. Thanks to my future mother-in-law, who collected Joes, ‘Boxer Gary Braswell and I resumed the collecting we had shared in our childhood. Gary and my wife’s mom are both gone now, as is Garry Douglas of London, who was interviewed by me in 2006, along with several other ‘Boxers, for my article.

At that time, an academic publisher wanted to put out an anthology about the stylistic and rhetorical strategies that online communities use. The Sandbox was then a USENET group, a real free-for-all of flame-wars, trolls, and “Good Joes” who helped newcomers to the hobby.

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When he’s not teaching, researching, or writing about GIjOEs, Essid’s acting like one. Here, while outfitted in full ‘lumberjack gear’ including safety helmet, full-face shield, hearing protection, work gloves and boots, Joe uses his trusty chainsaw to “lay up some cords” for the Winter. Vrroom!
(Photo: Joe Essid)

Going back to that era, when Hasbro’s re-issues of 1:6 scale figures coincided with the rise of Internet access, was astounding. Real friendships got made: Garry Douglas gave my wife and me a five-star tour of his native London in 2009, and, since I know London well, Garry and I had a tipsy great time showing each other our favorite pubs! That would never have happened without The Sandbox.” —Dr. Joe Essid

Bottom Line: Essid’s new book may be a research text for academia, but longtime Sandboxers will surely know who’s “who” and what’s “what.” It should make for some very interesting reading. Our sincerest thanks to Dr. Essid for his generous assistance with this article. We wish you all the best success with your new book. Go, JOE (Essid)!

TJR What-If #1: “What if the Adventure Team Had Remained Closer to G.I. Joe’s Military Roots?”

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Customizer Wayne Faucher provided two possible answers to our “What-If” question with these outstanding custom Adventure Team figures. Would YOU have purchased this pair at retail if Hasbro had offered them? Abso-fricken YES. These guys are hardcore A-Teamers! (Photo: Wayne Faucher)

The Answer? It would’a been AWESOME!

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Don’t turn your back on this Joe. Wayne’s use of Adventure Team colors are spot on. Check out this figure’s yellow backpack! (Photo: Wayne Faucher)

In the first of our new series of “What If” articles, we ask the intriguing question, “What if the Adventure Team had remained closer to GIjOE’s military roots?” Indeed! What if Hasbro, instead of promoting Joe in his second iteration as a “peaceful adventurer,” had chosen instead to develop his new adventuresome persona more militarily?

Looking back, fans will recall that rising anti-war sentiment in the 1960s-70s prompted Hasbro to refocus GIjOE marketing strategy into non-violent themes and adventures. But for the purposes of this article, we’re not interested in rehashing the past; we’d rather investigate the essence of this “What-If” scenario: an alternate military Adventure Team timeline.

Fortunately, readers of The Joe Report LOVE a good challenge, and renowned collector/customizer, Wayne Faucher (see previous profile HERE) clearly felt that this one was too fun to pass up. Although he had never customized a GIjOE before, Faucher put his extremely creative mind to work on the problem, and in no time, had kitbashed two exciting solutions. According to Wayne:

“First, I came up with the guy in yellow. I used yellow, black and red as my only rules and just had fun with it. I tried to incorporate as many vintage style pieces as I could while supplementing with more modern bits. The grease guns, .45’s, knuckle-knives and uniforms are all from the 40th Anniversary line. Both figures also sport standard shoulder holsters.”

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This closeup of Faucher’s custom “AT Black Ops” figure reveals he’s armed to the teeth. Looks like the guy to call for a really hairy Aliens-style “bug hunt.” (Photo: Wayne Faucher)

“As things progressed, I wondered what the most ‘dangerous’ division of the Adventure Team might look like.  You know, the AT guys you don’t want to mess with. Maybe they’re ‘Black Ops,’ or something even deeper than that. Not ‘bad guys,’  just A-Teamers the regular guys don’t talk much about.”

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Faucher’s goldenrod-suited Joe is an absolute “badass.” Great choice to go with a vintage foreign headsculpt. And every other detail is PERFECT as well. Hello, Hasbro? (Photo: Wayne Faucher)

“If anyone’s interested in creating one of these goldenrod guys for themselves, here’s the ‘recipe’ for this dude: Starting at the top, that’s a vintage Action Man black beret I got for less than $5 off of Ebay. His glasses, boots and hands are from an old Dragon Thunderbird pilot. The figure itself is a Timeless Collection Australian Jungle Fighter redressed in a 40th goldenrod jumpsuit. 

The knee and elbow pads were all found on ebay as well. The walkie-talkie is from a 21st Century Fireman and the backpack is from a 21st Century Brush Fireman. The web belt is the (mysteriously) black belt from the Timeless Green Beret set. All in all, a pretty simple bash and it doesn’t look half bad. Enjoy!” —Wayne

Bottom Line: As alternative AT timelines go, this one holds a lot of potential. Of course, Hasbro eventually returned Joe to his military roots in the 1980s with the introduction of the 3.75″ RAH figures. But imagine if Hasbro possessed just HALF the creative genius and imagination of a Wayne Faucher; imagine what COULD be done in the name of 12″ GIjOE. <sigh> Oh well, thanks again to Wayne for all of his input and submissions. You go, Wayne!

Eternal Con 2013 “Pop Culture Expo” To Be Held Saturday, June 15th in Garden City, New York

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Dealers of GIjOE and other toys will be selling their wares at the Eternal Con 2013 Pop Culture Expo, this Saturday, June 15th, in Garden City, NY. How could ANYONE pass this up? (Photo: Eternal Con 2013)

Talk about Ambitious!

logo5The mammoth Eternal Con 2013 (EC13), taking place this Saturday in Garden City, NY, has clearly been modeled after its more famous West Coast cousin, the San Diego Comic Con. “Inspired” is more like it. For complete information on the extensive list of EC13’s events, guests, contests, toy dealers, etc., we highly recommend you visit their excellent pre-show website found HERE. Bottom Line: Be there! Be there! Be there!

Real-Life “Adventure Team” Succeeds in Raising Downed WW2 German Bomber From Ocean Floor

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This painting shows how a recently recovered Dornier Do-17 bomber would have appeared before being shot down by RAF fighters during WW2’s “Battle of Britain.” (Artwork: hyperscale)

Search for Last Dornier Do-17

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Diving in the depths of the ocean and raising massive WW2 aircraft from the bottom is no easy task. It requires a strong, determined team of men, and serious high-tech diving gear. (Photo: RAF Museum)

Rugged, muscular crewmen wearing yellow reflective vests and hard hats work to assist deep-sea divers (clad in black rubber suits) with heavy compressed air tanks and bright yellow pressure helmets. To the eyes of any GIjOE, Action Man or Geyperman fan, this exciting scene seems VERY familiar. But no, this isn’t an action figure fantasy or 1:6 scale diorama. It’s a real-life adventure!

The daring men we’re referring to are not action figures, but an authentic, modern-day “Adventure Team,” comprised mostly of British deep-sea salvage divers and support crewmen. Their mission? To raise the sunken fuselage of a WW2 Dornier Do-17 bomber—the LAST one known to exist in the world—and return it England.

Welcome to the English Channel, aka “Göring’s Graveyard”

Originally loaded with thousands of pounds of high-explosives, the fearsome German warplane never managed to complete its deadly mission to destroy targets inside England. Instead, riddled with bullets by RAF fighters during the “Battle of Britain,” the bomber belly-landed onto a beach and then sank 50 ft to the bottom of the English Channel.

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One of the divers rests for a moment before going back down to the wrecked bomber. His diving gear can weigh almost 200 pounds and standing on deck for long periods can be difficult. (Photo: RAF Museum)

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Remains of the bomber’s fuselage arranged on the deck of the salvage ship. (Photo: RAF Museum)

After 73 years resting (and rusting) on the ocean floor, the world’s last-remaining Do-17 was gently raised with massive cranes, placed gingerly on the deck of the salvage ship and taken back to the very land it had once been sent to destroy.

Bottom Line: The Do-17’s air crew had been accounted for as POWs in Canada, so this particular plane was determined by the British government not to be “a war grave.” Permission was granted for its recovery, and what remains of the bomber will be displayed at the Royal Air Force Museum in London. For additional photos and information, we recommend you visit the RAF Museum website found HERE.

Holy, Sticker Shock! 1975 NRFB “Magnum Power” G.I. Joe Uniform Set Sells For Record $13,200.00

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This is what $13,200 worth of GIjOE equipment looks like. The eye-popping auction price of this Magnum Power set shocked many fans, prompting such intellectual reaction as, “WTF?!” (Photo: jelibeli)

Final price stuns Experts

Saturday, June 8th, 2013, was a red-letter day for GIjOE and ebay. An unprecedented sale of a NRFB Magnum Power uniform set fetched a whopping total of $13,200 for its seller in one of the most noteworthy GIjOE sales EVER. The set in question is truly a beautiful piece. It is obviously in very nice condition and has somehow remained unopened and unused since its date of manufacture. Surprisingly, the seller kept his description very simple, almost blasé, saying only:

“For sale is a 1975 Hasbro GIjOE Magnum Power Adventure set. This set contains: jacket and pants, magnum rifle with 3 removable scopes, map and case, binoculars, bullet-proof vest and walkie-talkie. The contents are obviously in like-new condition. The packaging shows signs of wear. It would be considered fair to good condition.”

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A fully dressed Magnum Power seems stunned by the final price of his distinctive camo outfit. “13 Gs? Really?. I knew I looked good, but WOW!” (Photo: Paul Nordstrom)

When the gavel came down on the final bid, fans over on the Trenches forum were shocked by the set’s ultimate selling price. Initial reactions were predictably short and swift:

“Freaking nuts!” —GIjOEBill

“Insane!” —Fishbulbs

Once the dust had settled, other fans jumped in and offered their own, more contemplative viewpoints:

“Like anything, it’s worth what a person is willing to pay for it. I have to assume a buyer willing to pay this kind of price must already have about everything else in his collection. I mean, I can’t imagine this being a ‘starter piece,’ y’know? Like the Air Security piece, I’m glad to see these things surface every once in a while. It’s good to know they’re still out there!” —Wayne

“This is the ONLY known packaged copy of this set in private hands. The repros that the Club put out were based on two sets found in the Hasbro archives. Before those were found, no one had seen a packaged Magnum Power set since the 1970s! Is it worth the money? Not to me. But if you’re a super-mega-high-end collector, this is one of those GIjOE Holy Grails. It will be interesting to see if this price brings any more sets out of hiding.—Escapecar

“If I didn’t have 3 kids to put through college, I would have considered it myself. An amazing piece and an amazing price! Hope both the seller and buyer are happy.” —BarryK

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This screenshot captures a moment in ebay and GIjOE history that fans will not soon forget.

Bottom Line: NRFB vintage GIjOE sets are scarcer than hen’s teeth. Whenever one is found it’s news. Whenever one sells for this much dough, it’s BIGGER news. Congratulations to both the buyer and seller. You’re now a part of GIjOE history!

New Jersey-Based G.I. Joe Fan to Appear on Episode of Canadian Television’s ABC Show, “Collectors”

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This is the playful photo that caught the eye of a Canadian TV producer of ABC’s TV show, Collectors; netting GIjOE fan Neil Uricoli an upcoming appearance on the show. (Screenshot: GIjOE Collections)

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Mel Brooks presides over a meeting as the Governor in a scene from Blazing Saddles. (Photo: Warner Bros.) Click to enlarge.

“It’s Good to be the King!”

The quote above was originally uttered by legendary comedian, Mel Brooks, but it captures the feeling of serene contentment one gets when reaching the highest level of personal achievement and/or authority. As Louie XVI in “The History of the World,” Brooks was practically omnipotent; groping women and imbibing at will. As a goofy Governor in the film “Blazing Saddles,” he plotted against the citizens of Rock Ridge while fooling around with his bodaciously bosomed secretary. Whatever the role (for Mel), it was always good, “to be the King.”

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Neil Uricoli’s collection also contains articles of NASA memorabilia. (Photo: Neil Uricoli)

How’s this for a Segue?

But what does Mel Brooks have to do with GIjOE? Well, in our own clumsy way, we’re trying to make an analogy about fame and power and how it all might co-exist in our odd little world of GIjOE collecting. After all, who wouldn’t like to be considered a collecting “King?” Of course the reality is, for most of us “lowly” GIjOE fans, the highest level of collecting achievement or authority we hope to aspire to is the creation (and presiding over) of our own “Joe Rooms.” Indeed, a well-appointed Joe Room, with its collection prominently on display, can be a great source of pride and accomplishment for any fan. In fact, until recently, possessing such a room was considered to be the height of successful GIjOE collecting. But wait! We’ve discovered that now…there’s MORE.

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This closeup reveals Neil’s superb figures arranged in exciting poses. (Photo: Neil Uricoli)

Neil Uricoli’s Coup

coup: noun, 1.a highly successful, unexpected stroke, act, or move; a clever action or accomplishment.

That’s right. It turns out there is now an “ultimate” level of GIjOE collecting that’s even higher than possessing your own Joe Room; and that is…appearing on a major network television show…IN your Joe Room! While not the first fan to be heralded in such a way (James DeSimone, Derryl DePriest and John Michlig immediately come to mind), Neil Uricoli (NJ), is about to become the most recent one to achieve the lofty fame and status of: “Celebrity GIjOE Collector.”

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The use of photographic backdrops provide more visual “punch.” (Photo: Neil Uricoli)

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The longer you look, the more you see. It’s amazing how much is in this one photo. What a superb collection! Imagine seeing it in HD on your TV. You will—this Fall!  (Photo: Neil Uricoli)

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Yes, they really DID exist. Neil Uricoli’s ultra-rare Tom Hanks GIjOE is still Mint-in-the-Box and enjoys an honored place amongst his collection. According to Neil: “I purchased this on eBay a few years back. I had heard of them, but never saw one before stumbling upon this one. It was produced back in 1999, but pulled from production after Dreamworks decided such a ‘for sale collectible’ was not in sync with the seriousness of their movie Saving Private Ryan. About a dozen prototypes (in boxes) were sent to Steven Spielberg and to Dreamworks. A couple a hundred more were handed out as a special gift to guests during a private screening of the film in 1999. That’s it! All of the others were destroyed. The Tom Hanks GIjOE was never available at retail. I’ve also heard that there were a few thousand produced where Hasbro switched out the head and used them as the GIjOE Collectors Club Normandy Invasion Ranger. I’m not sure of their value, but there is one on eBay for $15K right now. Besides that one, mine and the one I saw on the web with a Tom hanks autograph, that’s it…as far as I know.” (Photo: Neil Uricoli)

Becoming a “King of Collecting”

Playfully nicknamed “The Jersey Giant” on his GIjOE Collections webpage (found HERE), Neil’s superb collection caught the eye of an ABC Canadian television producer and the rest will soon be television history. According to Neil:

“In the years since I submitted my photos and bio to the GIjOE Collections website, my collection has grown by quite a bit. I now have several more figures and sets as well as the scarce and rare Tom Hanks “Saving Private Ryan” “Captain Miller” (see sidebar, ed.). I have enjoyed being part of the GIjOE Collections site and have shown it to many a friend.

A Canadian TV producer was perusing the site and came across my page’s opening photo titled, “ATTACK OF THE JERSEY GIANT.” I was contacted by that person, interviewed, and am now to be featured on a CTV show called “Collectors.” They just finished filming the episode yesterday and I was told it will air sometime after September, 2013.”

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This closeup reveals Neil Uricoli’s ultra-rare Tom Hanks figure is indeed NRFB. (Photo: Neil Uricoli)

Bottom Line: This is truly exciting news, not just for Neil, but for the entire GIjOE community. Whenever a Joehead receives such media recognition, we should all spread the word immediately. Congratulations, Neil! And it’s wonderful that you were “discovered” over on the GIjOE Collections website. We’ve been urging fans to post their collections there for years.

Editor’s note: If you haven’t done so already, we highly recommend you visit the GIjOE Collections website and submit your own collection. Adding it to the site is easy, FREE, and who knows? Someday you (or it) may end up on TV. Just ask Neil Uricoli…It’s GOOD to be the King!

TJR Providing FREE “Calendar Event Modules” to GIjOE Collector’s Clubs & Toy Show Organizers

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Screenshot of a sample “Calendar Event Module” now offered as a free service by The Joe Report to all collector’s clubs and toy-related organizations.

We rarely talk about ourselves, but in this case…

Just a quick note to alert readers of The Joe Report that we’ve recently begun offering FREE “Calendar Event Modules” (see sample at right) in our popular TJR Calendar (located bottom of this page). In the past, we’ve listed whatever events happened to come across our desks, but after being prompted by a few readers to include more, we’ve decided to expand our calendar listings accordingly.

SO… Heads up, Joeheads, Captain Actioneers, etc! If you know of any upcoming meetings, shows, or other toy-related events, please notify us here at The Joe Report by EMAIL so that we can add them to the official TJR Calendar. Each module features an automatic “countdown” to your event, helping to build excitement and anticipation.

Bottom Line: One of our goals here at The Joe Report is to increase public awareness of all GIjOE and toy-related activities. It is our hope that these free calendar modules will provide fans with a quick “heads up” regarding all upcoming events. Let’s hear from you, your club, or your organization today. And… Start your Countdown!