Monthly Archives: October 2013

Ebay Dealer Uses Subtle Sex-Appeal to Help Sell G.I. Joes, Assorted Toys & Vintage Collectibles

Tina "Smileygirl2012," a well-regarded GIjOE dealer on ebay, poses recently with a 12-inch Stormtrooper, wearing little more than her T-shirt and a smile. "Use the FORCE, Luke!" (Photo: Smileygirl2012)

Respected GIjOE ebay dealer, Tina “Smileygirl2012,” posed recently with a 12-inch Stormtrooper, while wearing little more than a T-shirt and a smile. “Use the FORCE, Luke!” (Photo: Smileygirl2012)

Tina is no "air-headed bombshell." Her ebay ratings boast 100% POSITIVE feedback and that she is "Top Rated Plus." Clearly, she is one smart woman dealer who knows EXACTLY what she's doing!

Clearly, Tina is no ordinary ebay bombshell. Her ratings boast 100% POSITIVE feedback and that she has achieved the coveted ranking of “Top Rated Plus.”

I’ve never seen a painted-head GIjOE that I didn’t think was HAWT!” —Tina, aka Smileygirl2012

Let the Double Entendres Begin

If the auctions on ebay are all starting to look alike and your eyes have begun to glaze over with disinterest, you should sneak a peek at the swingin’ sales page of one “Smileygirl2012” (found HERE). This free-wheeling female dealer has found an attention-getting way to increase sales and customer visitation to her auctions by adding some extra visual “oomph” to her listing photos: Good ol’ American SEX APPEAL!

Tina believes posing alongside the items in her ebay listings will make them—more appealing—to customers. Here she poses with a bodacious "rack" full of military miniatures for sale. (Photo: smileygirl2012)

Tina hopes that by posing alongside items in her ebay listing photos, it will help to arouse interest among customers and increase the size of her—business. Here, she poses with a “rack” full of military miniatures. Just LOOK at ’em. No, lower down, lower… THERE! See ’em now? Those toys are all for sale! (Photo: smileygirl2012)

Smileygirl’s real name is Tina (sorry fellas, last name withheld). Tina doesn’t possess an MBA, but at a time when many GIjOE dealers feel that ebay has grown limp and impotent (as an online sales portal), she believes she’s found an exciting new way to help promote or “firm up” her own business’ bottom line. In fact, Tina hopes the sales strategy she’s erected will quickly create a noticeable surge of new sales activity; thrusting the popularity of her listings upward and depositing profits directly into her—bank account. Over and over (and over) again. (pant—pant). Phew! <lighting cigarette> After using ebay’s “Mouse over image to Zoom” feature to carefully review her ample listings, we contacted Tina and asked her to discuss her unique ebay selling strategy. Was it arousing interest among GIjOE and toy fans? How does it feel to flirt with ebay’s codes of conduct? How much more of her personal—strategies—did she think she could reveal? She batted her eyelashes and replied coyly:

As long as Tina keeps her sexy product photos PG-rated, she's not likely to "arouse" the ire of ebay execs. Here, a very lucky Marine GIjOE (currently for sale) inches closer and closer to her—enthusiastic personality. Yeah, that's it. (Photo: smileygirl2012)

As long as Tina keeps her sexy product photos PG-rated, she’s unlikely to “arouse” the ire of ebay execs. Here, a very lucky Marine GIjOE (all 12-inches of him) attempts to move closer and closer to Tina’s large and outgoing—personality. Yeah, that’s it. (Photo: smileygirl2012)

I’ve been on eBay for almost 2 years and have really enjoyed buying and selling vintage toys (mostly with a vintage military theme, but I also have a soft spot for Care Bears). My boyfriend and I enjoy going to local swap meets here in Southern California. We only purchase what we enjoy, so if we don’t sell, we’re thrilled to hold onto our finds. We have a large vintage GIjOE collection (pre-Fuzz Head), a Marx playset collection, a 1960’s Matchbox collection, a space memorabilia collection, a Care Bear collection (that’s MY department) and a military die-cast collection. It’s all cool stuff!”

Tina even changes costumes when posing with different products. Here, shes dons a tight red "Robin" T-shirt and and pair of black-framed glasses (to simulate his mask) while holding up tiny figurines of Batman and Robin. (Photo: Smileygirl2012)

Tina even changes costumes when posing with different products. Here, shes dons a tight, red “Robin” T-shirt and a pair of black-framed glasses (to simulate his mask) while holding up tiny figurines of Batman and Robin.
(Photo: Smileygirl2012)

TJR: Tell us how you came up with the idea of inserting yourself into the photos in your listings.

“Well, professionally, I’m a model. So I just love being in front of the camera. Whether the shoot is tame, or more on the sexy side, I try to project part of my personality. And I really enjoy posing with toys, because they not only reflect the ‘little girl’ side of me, but there’s also something totally sexy about boys’ military toys (I grew up so jealous of my brother’s toys!). In fact, I’ve never seen a painted-head GIjOE that I didn’t think was HAWT!”

TJR: What future plans do have for your photos?

“Some of my most enjoyable, hobby-related shoots have involved me posing with choice pieces from friend’s collections. A few purchased the images and then created 12-month calendars. It’s nice to know that I can compete with 1960’s plastic!

The Stormtrooper and Joe give Tina one last hug before being packed up and shipped out to their new owners. (Photo: Smileygirl2012)

The Stormtrooper and Joe give Tina one last hug before being packed up and shipped out to their new owners. (Photo: Smileygirl2012)

TJR: Even your auction terms seem to be written with a subtly suggestive, or “sexy” message. How did you phrase it exactly?

“I take my Seller’s role very seriously and will work HARD to give you 5-star service. Any problems, please contact me and I will bend over backwards—literally, if necessary—to make things right. Oh! And I reserve the right to cancel the bids of ‘naughty’ ebayers.”

Bottom Line: Tina is a GIjOE dealer that fans will surely want to keep their eyes on. Next time you’re over on ebay, be sure to push the “watch this seller” button on a page belonging to Smileygirl2012. Our best wishes and thanks to Tina for her help with this article, and to Eagle-eyed TJR Field Reporter, Keith Mayo, for bringing this very <ahem> “important” matter to our attention.

Hot Toys Reveals Prices for New Batman & Robin

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Pre-orders are now being accepted by major online retailers for the new 1966 Batman and Robin 1:6 scale action figures being produced by Hot Toys (final prototypes shown above). Photo: Hot Toys

Attention all Bat-fans! Your wait is almost over! Fans of the 1960s classic TV show, Batman, and superhero fans and toy collectors in general, will ALL be happy to learn that the all-new, 1:6 scale Batman and Robin action figures from Hot Toys have been green-lit and the factories in China are busy producing them as we speak (see final samples above).

Bottom Line: According to the trusted online 1:6 scale retailer, Cotswold Collectibles, the price for Batman has been set at $205, and Robin at $190. We thought this exciting bit of Bat-news warranted a Bat-poll. Tell us what YOU think about these figures and their current retail prices:

Special Guest Editorial: “The Past, Present, and Future of the 1:6 Scale G.I. Joe Collecting Hobby”

Sharing GIjOE fandom with friends. That's what Joe shows and conventions are all about. Above, Matt Stevenson, Chet Peters and David Howard posed for this snapshot at Joelanta 2012. (Photo: David Howard)

Sharing with friends. That’s what Joe shows are all about. Above (l to r), “Mighty” Matt Stevenson, “Charming” Chet Peters and “Dashing” David Howard at Joelanta 2012. (Photo: David Howard)

A young David Howard playing with his Pygmy Gorilla Set and Mobile Support Vehicle. (Photo: David Howard)

A young David Howard plays with his new GIjOE Pygmy Gorilla Set and Mobile Support Vehicle. (Photo: David Howard)

“When we get together, we are all 8 years old again, if only for a few days. You can’t beat those days in my opinion.” David Howard, GIjOE Fan & Collector

Special TJR Guest Editorial
By David Howard, with an introduction by Mark Otnes

And now, for something completely different…

Today, we turn over the helm of the media juggernaut known as The Joe Report to the very capable auspices of editorialist-extraordinaire—David Howard. In “real-life,” Howard is a professional graphic designer/illustrator, and as a longtime member of the D/FW GIjOE Collector’s Club, he has achieved well-deserved fame and renown for creating the boxes and graphics used to promote that esteemed organization’s convention exclusive figures (for complete information, see Howard’s previous profile HERE). Today, he reflects back on his life as a GIjOE collector, discusses the current state of the 1:6 scale hobby, and ponders its uncertain future. Without further ado…Herrre’s David!

Like so many GIjOE fans, David Howard's fascination with the toy line began at an early age and would resurface with a vengeance in adulthood. (Photo: David Howard)

Like so many GIjOE fans, David Howard’s fascination with the world’s most popular toy line began at an early age and later resurfaced in adulthood. Here, he places a Pygmy Gorilla in a capture net in preparation for its transport back to Adventure Team HQ. (Photo: David Howard)

An example of one of the earliest "unofficial," fan-created, GIjOE show newsletters, created by NAME. (Photo: David Howard)

One of Eva Thompson’s unofficial, fan-created, GIjOE club newsletters. (Photo: David Howard) Click to enlarge.

The ‘Early Days’ Weren’t Easy

“I’ve been collecting GIjOE seriously ‘hardcore’ since 1985 or so, making me one of the hobby’s ‘old-school’ collectors, I guess. I grew up in a small, rural Texas town, graduated high school in 1983, and attended college near Dallas. That’s important, because had I not lived there, I would never have met Eva Thompson; a dealer and friend who was an early hobby/club/show promoter.” (see examples above and below)

This closeup of a page from Eva Thompson's newsletter reads like a long-lost "time-capsule" of GIjOE history, and reveals her editorial recap of one of the earliest D/FW-area fan gatherings, a convention held all the way back in 1990. WOW! (Photo: David Howard)

This closeup of a page from Eva Thompson’s newsletter reads like a long-lost “time-capsule” of GIjOE history, and reveals her editorial recap of one of the earliest D/FW-area fan gatherings, a convention held all the way back in 1990. Looks like they had a LOT of fun!  (Photo: David Howard)

“You have to remember that back then, there were no collector forums. Heck, there wasn’t even an Internet! We trudged to shows, flea markets and garage sales in an almost quixotic quest; just hoping for a GLIMPSE of GIjOE. The only connection we really had to other collectors were toy shows and copies of ‘Toy Shop’ magazine.”

An example of one of David's GIjOE-inspired fan artworks entitled, "Adventure by the Numbers." (Photo: David Howard)

One of David Howard’s GIjOE-inspired fan artworks entitled, “Adventure by the Numbers.” (Photo: David Howard) Click to enlarge.

GIjOE Fandom Today

“What’s the current state of the GIjOE-collecting hobby? Opinions may vary, but as for me, I’m not sure that the hobby has gone ‘downhill’ as much as it has changed. Change is to be expected with everything in life and hobbies are no exception. For example, shows are still around. Not as many maybe, but they still exist and are great fun to attend. Years ago, I only knew of a handful of other hardcore collectors. But today, thanks to the Internet and GIjOE-related forums, I know and communicate with many, many more. I’ve even made lifelong friends with a few that I would have never met otherwise.”

In a superb example of "Joe Karma," GIjOE fan and collector, David Howard, preproduces vintage packaging in limited quantites and offers them at cost to fellow fans in a very generous effort to, as he says, "give something back to the GIjOE community." (Photo: Mark Otnes)

In a superb example of “Joe Karma,” GIjOE fan and collector, David Howard, reproduces vintage packaging in limited quantities and offers them at cost to fellow fans in a very generous effort to, as he says, “give something back to the GIjOE community.” (Photo: Mark Otnes)

A Plethora of Product

“There has never been more great product to choose from in this hobby than there is right now—and for every budget. I can remember when there was ZERO 12″ product on store shelves. But look at all the stuff that has been produced in the last 20 years. A person can come into this hobby today, start a new collection, and there are endless forms his (or her) collection can take, including: Hasbro 12″ vintage, 12″ modern, 3 3/4″ vintage, 3 3/4″ modern, Sideshow, DID, 40th Action Man, or a combination of it all. And the level of detail and craftsmanship of these new items is 10-fold what it was 20 years ago (trust me, it is).”

An Explosion of Knowledge

The earliest know Joe book was this "GIjOE Value Guide" by Carol Moody (Photo: Hobby House)

One of the earliest known Joe reference books was the “GIjOE Value Guide” by Carol Moody (Photo: Hobby House) Click to enlarge.

“I still have the very first book that came out on the GIjOE hobby. It was a crude book by Carol Moody, with a few black and white photos and a LOT of badly drawn illustrations of GIjOE equipment and sets. But “Wow! ” I thought,”We have a book!” I laugh nowadays, when I think about how excited I was to get a copy of that thing.

Now we have hundreds of top-notch websites, chocked full of information, many great collecting books to choose from, and thousands upon thousands of talented individuals who are more than happy to share their talent, experience and wealth of knowledge through forums, videos, blogs and broadcast. Simply put, if you don’t have the information you need or want, you ain’t looking for it! Never has there been so MUCH great info out there on our hobby.”

Many Joeheads have begun to explore the "cosplay" aspect of GIjOE fandom, as David (r) and Greg Brown (l) demonstrated at a recent show. We especially like David's appropriately scaled GIJOE dogtag. Hilarious! (Photo: David Howard)

Many Joeheads have begun to explore the “cosplay” aspect of GIjOE fandom, as David Howard (r) and Greg Brown (l) clearly demonstrated at a recent show. We especially like David’s appropriately scaled GIJOE dogtag. Hilarious! (Photo: David Howard)

GIjOE’s Future—is FUN!

“Has the hobby evolved over the years? Yes. For better or worse? That depends on the individual. My personal outlook is that the glass is more than ‘half full.’ There are so many great shows that I can’t afford to go to them all now (JoeCon, Joelanta and smaller regional shows). I also have more collecting friends than I have ever had (in-person and online). There’s also more great product to choose from than ever before, and so many websites to read that I can’t keep track of them all. In fact, from time to time, I have to back off my collecting and acquiring due to money, work, or other interests. Despite the occasional lull, I find that GIjOE holds a special place in my heart, and always will. Collectors are kindred spirits from childhood, and when we get together we are 8 years old again—if only for a few days. And you can’t beat those days in my opinion.”

Bottom Line: Our thanks to David Howard for his continued contributions and reportage to The Joe Report. It’s clear that the GIjOE-collecting hobby has grown exponentially and has continued to evolve ever since it was first introduced back at 1964’s Toy Fair—almost 50 years ago. Joe’s childhood fans have now become adults, and their needs and wants may have changed, but the underlying affection we all share for GIjOE and its myriad offshoots remains as strong as ever. If you’d like to comment on David’s editorial, you can do so HERE.

Is Arkansas About to Become a “Joe-Free” State? Lone G.I. Joe Collector Declares He is Unable to Locate Enough Fans to Create a New (AR) Division

Longtime GIjOE fan, Douglas Kidd (hown above, posing with his first childhood GIjOE), has revealed to The Joe Report that he has been unable to locate any other collectors in the entire state of Arkansas. Kidd's goal for the past year has been to assemble enough fans to create a new "local division" of the official GIjOE Collector's Club. But as this date, he has had little to no luck. (Photo: Douglas Kidd)

Loyal GIjOE fan, Douglas Kidd (shown above, with his first childhood GIjOE), has revealed to The Joe Report that he has been unable to locate ANY other 1:6 scale Joe collectors in the state of Arkansas. Kidd’s goal for the last year has been to assemble enough fans to create a new “local division” of the GIjOE Collector’s Club. But as of this date, he has had no success. (Photo: Douglas Kidd)

One Man Does Not a Club Make

Has GIjOE fan, Douglas Kidd (60), become “The Omega Man” of GIjOE collectors in the State of Arkansas? According to Kidd, he’s been trying for over a year to locate other fans in the “Natural State” so as to form a new local division of the official GIjOE Collector’s Club. But luck hasn’t been with him. In fact, he’s had NO replies to his repeated public inqueries—whatsoever!

It’s difficult to believe GIjOE made so few inroads into the retail outlets of 1960s and ’70s Arkansas. Wasn’t the product line distributed evenly across the entire U.S? Or did Hasbro’s delivery trucks simply barrel through the region on their way to bigger, more lucrative markets? Kidd doesn’t know anything about that, but he does admit that he’s begun to feel he is indeed, “all alone in Arkansas.”

Curious about the possibility that some sort of GIjOE collecting “void” actually now exists in Arkansas, we asked Douglas to elaborate on his childhood experiences and memories of GIjOE, and to recount his frustrating and ongoing modern-day search for like-minded fans in 2013. According to Kidd:

“I received my first GIjOEs in 1965, a Soldier and a Marine. Back then, some of my friends also had ’em, so everybody played together. And I still have all my originals. I’ve posted on the general discussion forums that I really enjoy making dioramas, too. It gives a 60-year-old mind something to do. In fact, I’ve probably played more with my Joes at 59 and 60 than I did as a child. And I still enjoy the heck out of them! But now, even though I’m looking all the time for enthusiasts, I haven’t found anyone else still collecting in my area.”

Kidd's vintage GIjOEs are not boxed or locked-up in fancy display cases. Rather, they're simply out, about, and enjoying their freedom throughout his house. (Photo: Douglas Kidd)

Kidd’s vintage GIjOEs are not boxed or locked-up in fancy display cases. Rather, they’re simply out, about, and enjoying their freedom throughout his house. (Photo: Douglas Kidd)

We asked Douglas if he had ever been able to attend a GIjOE show or convention, so as to ask other fans about the possible whereabouts of fellow (Joe-collecting) Arkansans. He said:

“No, I haven’t been to any shows. I do wish I knew of some other collectors here locally. Actually, I know that SOMEONE in my same Zip-Code buys a lot of Joe-stuff off of ebay, because I’ve bid against him (or her) many times. Maybe someday we get together and I’ll have someone locally to share my toys and treasures with again.”

Douglas' beautiful vintage Desert Jeep still has the machine-gun ring, flagpole and spare tire. VVROOM! (Photo: Douglas Kidd)

Douglas’ vintage Desert Jeep still has its machine-gun ring, and spare tire. (Photo: Douglas Kidd)

Shelves full of vintage Adventure Team Joes await Doug's next assignment. (Photo: Douglas Kidd)

Shelves full of vintage Adventure Team Joes await Douglas’ next assignment. (Photo: Douglas Kidd)

Kidd's GIjOE collection appears to be mostly authentic Hasbro. (Photo: Douglas Kidd)

Kidd’s GIjOE collection is clearly well-loved and played with often. (Photo: Douglas Kidd)

It warms our hearts to see so much vintage geared-up and ready! (Photo: Douglas Kidd)

It warms our hearts to see so many vintage Joes geared-up and ready to FIGHT! (Photo: Douglas Kidd)

CHARGE!!!!! Take Hill 49, men! (Photo: Douglas Kidd)

CHARGE!!!!! Capture Hill 79, men! (Photo: Douglas Kidd)

Bottom Line: Despite appearances, it’s unlikely that Douglas Kidd is the last GIjOE collector in all of Arkansas. More likely, he’s just encountered a run of bad luck. Wouldn’t it be ironic if the person he’s constantly bidding against over on ebay turned out to be one of his long-lost, childhood “Joe buddies” who used to live nearby? Hmm… For his sake, we hope Douglas is able to build his new local club division in Arkansas. There’s no better way to enjoy the GIjOE hobby than by SHARING IT with friends. If you have any suggestions for “Kidd’s Quest,” please leave a comment HERE on The Joe Report or send Douglas an email HERE. He would LOVE to discuss the matter—with anyone!

1/6th UK Collectors Club Hosting “Welsh Action Figure Show” on October 27th in Chepstow, UK

Entrance to the "Severn Bridge Social Club" in Chepstow, UK. (Photo: Google Maps)

Entrance to the “Severn Bridge Social Club” in Chepstow, UK. (Photo: Google Maps)

ukshowposterPip-pip! Cheerio!
And all that sort of ROT!

Have you ever wondered where fans in the UK go to get a fix of their favorite 1:6 scale hero, “Action Man?” No? Well, we’re going to tell you anyway (HA). On Sunday, October 27th, they’ll be gathering “en masse” at the Severn Bridge Social Club in Chepstow, England, to attend “The Welsh Action Figure Show” (WAFS). The WAFS is an annual buy/sell/trade event that’s hosted by members of the UK 1/6th Collectors Club. Admission is only £2, and free parking is provided around the facility. Club rep, “Dandare01” posted the following intel:

“There is an action figure fair on Sunday, 28th October, 2012. It’s at the Severn Bridge Social Club, Chepstow, and starts about 09:30am for early birds at £5, and 10:30am for everyone else at £2. You can get breakfast and lunch too, all at a good price.

You can take figures, vehicles and dioramas to display, or enter the competition. In addition to the traders, I’ll be there with some 1/6th Armour. It would be great to meet some of you and to see your kitbashes, figures etc.Once again, Barry Pippens and Alan Hall will be there, so we should have access to the latest figures, plus various VAM and Dragon (DID etc…) dealers.”

Venue details:
Severn Bridge Social Club, Bulwark Road, Bulwark, Chepstow, Gwent, NP16 5JN, 01291 622980

This dealer's table at last year's Welsh Action Figure Show was full of NMIB figures. Bring money! (Photo: Dandare01)

Organizer Alan Dawson’s table at last year’s show. Tip: Bring money! (Photo: Dandare01)

Absolutely beautiful Dragon German tank in desert colors. BLIMEY! (Photo: Dare

Absolutely beautiful Dragon German tank in DAK desert colors. BLIMEY! (Photo: Dandare01)

Superb British Lorry with detailed paint-job and canvas top. Outstanding! (Photo: Dandare01)

Scratchbuilt 1-ton Land Rover with detailed camo paint and canvas top. Outstanding! (Photo: Dandare01)

Another dealer table full of 1:6 at the 2012 Chepstow show. (Photo: Dandare01)

Dealer Alan Hall of the “Modeler’s Loft “at the 2012 WAFS show. (Photo: Dandare01)

Stunning lineup of British soldiers and a (custom?) armored vehicle. (Photo: Dandare01)

21st Century Toys Bradley FV converted into a British Army Warrior. (Photo: Dandare01)

Another amazing British military vehicle spotted at the 2012 show. (Photo: Dandare01)

Scratch-built Jackal Patrol Vehicle at the 2012 show. WOW. (Photo: Dandare01)

Bottom Line: The 2013 WAFS show looks like it will be a great opportunity for Action Man, Dragon, and GIjOE fans to get together and share the “best of the best. A special THANKS to UK’s own, Alan Dawson, for his help with this article. ” Hmm…now where are our passports?

Was There An Intentional Typo Placed Into Every Episode (of Season 6) of TV’s “Hogan’s Heroes?”

In this closeup screenshot from a 5th season episode of "Hogan's Heroes," the unusual typo is clearly visible. For some reason, it was allowed to remain throughout the ENTIRE run of the show's final season.

In this closeup screenshot from a 6th season episode of Hogan’s Heroes, the unusual typo is clearly visible. For some reason, it was allowed to remain throughout the ENTIRE run of the show’s final season.

Editor’s Note: Not every story requires extensive coverage or in-depth analysis. Hence, our new series of “Quickies” will jump right to the “bottom line” and get to the point (if there is one). HA!

Bottom Line: While watching a 6th Season episode of “Hogan’s Heroes” recently, we noticed an unusual and humorous typo at the end of the episode (see screenshot above). Perhaps the title man had taken a cue from the show’s Sgt. Schultz character, and upon seeing his error, chose simply to say, “I see NOTHING!” We may never know if it all was done in jest or what, but Hogan’s Barracks Yahoo Group member, “NPS” offered up the following likely theory:

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 “The show was never known as ‘Hogan’s Horde.’ ‘Hogan’s Raiders’ was the working title while it was in development, but as we all know, it was produced only as ‘Hogan’s Heroes.’ Hogan’s Horde was probably just a tongue-in-cheek moniker that Ed Feldman developed for the copyright line. In reality, the rights to the show were owned by Bing Crosby Productions and CBS, and it didn’t really matter what he put next to the copyright date.”

Sgt. Hans Schultz (above) refused comment on the controversial misnaming of the show, saying only, "I hear nothing. I SEE NOTHING!" (Photo: familyguywiki)

Sgt. Hans Schultz of the Luftwaffe (shown in a press briefing, above), refused to comment on the controversial misnomer, saying only, “I see nothing. I KNOW NOTHING!” (Photo: CBS/familyguywiki)

G.I. Joe Character is the Heroic Lead in Pixar’s New “Toy Story of Terror” Special on ABC-TV; Short-Sightedness by Hasbro Prevents Credit.

GIjOE fans will instantly recognize that Pixar's "Combat Carl" was patterned after a AA Classic Collection "blockhead" sculpt, with the simle addition of a Carl Weather's moustache. The vest appears to be a police-style vest with zipper, shotgun shells and 2 vintage style, silver grenades. (Photo: Pixar)

GIjOE fans will instantly recognize that Pixar’s “Combat Carl,” as depicted in the recently arired, 30-minute Halloween-season TV special, “Toy Story of Terror,” was clearly patterned after an AA Classic Collection GIjOE “blockhead” figure. Keen-eyed observers will also notice that GIjOE’s trademark facial scar has been omitted and that a Carl Weathers moustache has been added (see comparison photo of an actual GIjOE below). Carl’s vest appears to be a police-issued zip-up, complete with shotgun shell bandolier and 2 vintage WWII Army-style, silver “pineapple” grenades. HOOah! (Photo: Pixar)

A quick, 5-minute, kit-bashed, "Combat Carl" (minus the Carl Weather's moustache) reveals his origins were not too difficult to discern. (Photo: Mark Otnes)

A quick, 5-minute, kit-bashed, “Combat Carl” (minus the Carl Weathers moustache) reveals his origins were not too difficult for GIjOE fans to discern. (Photo: Mark Otnes)

The “Masters of Missed Opportunity” Strike Again

Imagine creating the world’s most popular toy; an iconic action-figure line enjoyed by millions of boys and girls around the world. Now imagine refusing to allow a major Hollywood film company the rights to use the name of your toy in a movie (thereby giving up millions of dollars worth of free advertising), SIMPLY because the storyline indicates that the toy will be blown up with a firecracker by one of the characters in the film.

Now—imagine, many years later, your toy is being portrayed as the heroic star of yet another top-notch Hollywood production. But because you STILL refuse to allow the filmmakers to use the toy’s name, you (still) get ZERO credit for having created it, and for its heroic portrayal in the new film. D’oh!

In this screenshot from the scene in Toy Story, Andy's evil neighbor, "Sid," prepares to blow up a 12-inch GIjOE with a firecracker. Because of Hasbro's objection and subsequent refusal to grant permission to use its GIjOE brand name, Pixar was forced to change the action-figure's name to "Combat Carl." One of the classic corporate blunders of all-time, Hasbro's decision would cost them untold amounts of free advertising.

In this screenshot from Toy Story, Andy’s evil neighbor, “Sid,” prepares to blow up a 12-inch GIjOE with a firecracker. Because of Hasbro’s objection and its subsequent refusal to grant permission to use the GIjOE brand name, Pixar was forced to rename the iconic action-figure “Combat Carl.” Hasbro’s decision would prove to be one of the classic corporate blunders of all-time, depriving the company of untold levels of free advertising.

What a HUGE missed opportunity! By now, your publicists, PR people, and advertising execs must all be pulling their hair out in frustration. Who are we talking about? Why, the “Masters of Missed Opportunity” themselves, of course—Hasbro. Would someone PLEASE stop the insanity?! The toy company’s board members must all be kicking each other’s backsides for what has to be one of the biggest “bonehead” corporate decisions of all time. How (and why) the suits at Hasbro repeatedly backhand such easy opportunities to promote GIjOE (and recruit a whole new generation of fans for their venerable toy brand) simply boggles the imagination.

In this screenshot, GIJOE, er...sorry..."Combat Carl" co-starred with the "Green Army Men" in a series of short Toy Story "bumpers," to be shown between TV programs.

In this screenshot, GIJOE, er…sorry…”Combat Carl” co-stars with Toy Story’s “Green Army Men” in a series of short “bumpers,” to be shown between TV programs.

“Combat Carl Never Gives Up.
Combat Carl FINDS a Way!”

In stark contrast to Hasbro’s lackadaisical handling of the GIjOE brand, Disney’s new “Toy Story of Terror” (TSOT), was a masterstroke of media manipulation and branding reinforcement. The latest in the beloved Toy Story canon, TSOT was a blissful return to American television of yore. For 30-minutes, fans could put their feet up, share the couch with loved ones of ALL ages, and enjoy a top-notch quality program—together—as a family.

The resulting “feel good” emotional impact of the show was immediate and powerful. No matter what your age, it made you want to get up, run out to a store, and BUY SOME TOYS! It’s a shame that most parents were probably hearing, “Mommy, can I get a Combat Carl?” instead of “Can I get a GIjOE?” If Hasbro isn’t careful, Disney’s “Combat Carl” brand could someday usurp Hasbro’s hard-won “GIjOE” brand awareness in the minds of many children.

In this screenshot from Toy Story of Terror, “Combat Carl” assumes command of the toys and helps lead them to safety. When “Little Carl” doubts they can do it, “Big Carl” reminds him to “Find a Way!”

Carl Weathers (shown above in "Predator"), provided both the physical inspiration and voice-talent for the latest incarnation of Pixar's "Combat Carl" action figure character. (Photo: 20th Century Fox)

Carl Weathers (shown above in “Predator”), provided both the physical inspiration and voice-talent for the latest incarnation of Pixar’s “Combat Carl” action figure character.
(Photo: 20th Century Fox)

Taking Charge and Getting it Done

If you haven’t seen Toy Story of Terror, all of the original film’s stars reprise their roles, including Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Don Rickles, Wallace Shawn and Joan Cusack. But this time around, the big news (for GIjOE and action-figure fans) is the addition of action-film superstar, Carl Weathers. You may remember Weathers as “Apollo Creed” from the Rocky film series, or as the treacherous CIA agent, “Dillon,” from the Schwarzenegger blockbuster, “Predator.” In Toy Story of Terror, Weathers absolutely steals the show by voicing the role of Combat Carl.

Yes, yes, we ALL know… Combat Carl is really a GIjOE. And as Joeheads remember (with a head-shake and an eye-roll), Pixar was originally going to call their Combat Carl character “GIjOE.” Can you imagine how great that would’ve been? It would’ve opened up a world of other opportunities for the filmmakers, such as the Mobile Support Vehicle, an ATV, etc. But sadly, Hasbro, in its short-sighted and limited wisdom, refused to grant Pixar permission. According to the official Pixar website:

In Pixar's Toy Story of Terror, the GIjOE-based character, "Combat Carl" was depicted in both scales. In this screenshot, the larger, 1:6 scale version, urges on his smaller buddy, reminding him that "Combat Carl Never Gives Up!"

In Pixar’s Toy Story of Terror, the GIjOE-based character, “Combat Carl” was depicted in both scales. In this screenshot, the larger, 1:6 scale version, urges on his smaller buddy, reminding him that “Combat Carl never gives up!”

“In the DVD commentary for Toy Story, John Lasseter mentions that he had actually wanted to use a G.I. Joe in the film, but Hasbro was upset that they were going to have Sid blow it up and wouldn’t let them use it.”

Bottom Line: It’s obvious to anyone with a pair of eyes that Combat Carl is GIjOE, 100%, through and through. From the tip of his Classic Collection “blockhead” noggin’, to the soles of his rubber boots, he represents a massive missed opportunity for infinite product and brand expansion. For Hasbro’s poor handling of GIjOE in this regard, we give them our lowest rating of ZERO diamonds. For Pixar’s handling of Combat Carl and the new Toy Story of Terror, we give them our highest, 5-diamond rating (♦♦♦♦♦). If you haven’t seen it, BUY IT when it becomes available. It’s worth every penny!

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“The End is Near?” Not So Fast———Fan Attendance “Over Double” Last Year’s at Recent G.I. Joe and Action Figure Show in Dallas/Ft. Worth, Texas

Greg Brown and other members of the DFW GIjOE Collector's Club prepare their dealer booths before the opening of the 2013 GIjOE and Action Figure Show in Carrollton, TX. (Photo: DFWGCC)

Greg Brown and other members of the DFW GIjOE Collector’s Club prepare their dealer booths before the opening of the 2013 GIjOE and Action Figure Show in Carrollton, TX. (Photo: DFWGCC)

"We Can Do It!" This little "Joehead" sports a nifty Cobra tattoo and the kind of "can do" spirit found in most fans of the world's most popular toy. Go, JOE! (Photo: DFWGCC)

“We Can Do It!” This little Texan seemed determined to ‘keep the spirit of GijOE alive’ by flexing a nifty Cobra tattoo at the recent show. (Photo: DFWGCC)

Action Figure Fans Gather in “Big D”

At a time when famous GIjOE collectors seem to be selling off everything that isn’t nailed down, and turning once overstuffed “Joe Rooms” into empty spare bedrooms and echoing basements, a club in the Dallas/Ft. Worth region has shown that interest in collecting “America’s Movable Fighting Man” and his action figure friends, is far from over. In fact, the truth appears to be exactly the opposite.

According to DFW GijOE Collector’s Club rep, Michael Milstead, their  “GIjOE and Action Figure Show,” held recently in Carrollton, TX, was wildly successful, proving that collectors in that part of the country are in no hurry to leave their beloved hobby. Rather, interest in all sorts of action figures appears to be on the upswing in the Lone Star State. In another exclusive provided to The Joe Report, Milstead happily revealed the following “post-show” insider-intel:

Even Queen Amadala made an appearance at the D/FW show, sporting one of the most elaborate headdresses we've ever seen. WOWZA! (Photo: DFWGCC)

Expanding the show’s offerings to include other action figures was enough to elicit a visit from this Queen Amidala cosplayer who sported one of the most elaborate headdresses we’ve ever seen. WOWZA! (Photo: DFWGCC)

“An item I didn’t mention over on Facebook was that attendance for this show was over DOUBLE what our turn-out was for last year’s inaugural show! We had a fantastic turn-out this year, so the club was EXTREMELY pleased. We even had reports from dealers stating that this “was one of their best shows EVER, sales-wise.”

For the show to have been such a success in terms of attendance and sales, there must’ve been a LOT of buying and selling going on in that dealer room. Surprisingly, according to the in-depth, post-show “wrap report” written by Milstead, the size of the show turned out to be MUCH larger than anyone had anticipated. In his report, Milstead revealed:

“Without a doubt, on September 21st, 2013, action figure excitement was in the air. The show ended up being FOUR TIMES LARGER than the previous year’s inaugural show, with four times as many vendors (34 in all)!”

Many dealers at the 2013 DFW GIjOE and Action Figure Show were family-run, such as this one which was operated by a father-son team. (Photo: DFWGCC)

Many dealers at the 2013 DFW GIjOE and Action Figure Show were family-run affairs, such as this Father-Son operation. You know they made memories that’ll last a lifetime! (Photo: DFWGCC)

This is what it's all about. At the show, a father points to some toys while explaining some little American history to his son. You can buy the toys, but you can't buy such precious moments. (Photo: DFWGCC)

This is what it’s all about. At the show, a father points to a toy while recounting some American history to his son. You can buy the toys, but you can’t buy these precious moments. (Photo: DFWGCC)

What Makes a Successful GIjOE Show?

The DFW show’s success was undeniable. Many believe that the club’s generous admissions policy had a lot to do with the event’s growth in popularity and higher attendance. Milstead concurred, saying:

“As a collector, I’ve become fatigued by many of the shows’ escalating and exorbitant ticket prices. The nice thing about OUR show is that we held the ticketing cost down to $5 per person and only $10 for a family admission. Additionally, we wanted to honor the Boy Scouts, Military, Police, Firemen and Law Enforcement personnel by allowing those good folks into the show for FREE as a show of ‘thanks’ to the community and for their service.”

Vintage, Modern, Repro, Knock-off. It was all for sale at the 2013 DFW Show. Drool! (Photo: DFWGCC)

Vintage, Modern, Repro, Knock-off. It was all for sale at the 2013 DFW Show. Drool! (Photo: DFWGCC)

As shows grow in size and popularity, so do the opportunities for fun photo ops and other activities for all ages. Check out these incredibly detailed Star Wars cosplayers. Outstanding! (Photo: DFWGCC)

As shows grow in size and popularity, so do the opportunities for fun photo ops and other activities for all ages. Check out these incredibly detailed Star Wars cosplayers. Outstanding! (Photo: DFWGCC)

There’s more to the D/FW show’s popularity than just its low ticket prices. As Milstead reminds us:

It’s extremely important to mention that this show is planned, staffed and supported wholly by the local DFW GIjOE Collector’s Club members (and their spouses who allow us to come out and play!). This show is a labor of love and we’re in it for the LOVE of the hobby and the collectors. This show truly is by the fans for the fans.”

The DFW Show also held custom figure, diorama and vehicle contests. Victory! (Photo: DFWGCC)

The DFW Show also held custom figure, diorama and vehicle contests. Victory! (Photo: DFWGCC)

If nothing else, GIjOE shows (when run as well as this one) do a lot to help “pass the torch” of fun and play to the next generation. Milstead concurred with this point, saying:

“Personally, I’ll never forget the little boy who came in with his father. Upon seeing the inside of the exhibit hall, the little boy let out a loud and very long “wooooooow.” It was a magical moment for that little boy (to say the least) and it pretty much made my day as well!”

A big hall + a lot of dealers + a lot of fans = a LOT of fun—for everyone! (Photo: DFWGCC)

A big hall + a lot of dealers + a lot of fans = a LOT of fun—for everyone! (Photo: DFWGCC)

Of course, such success tends to breed even MORE success. Fans and happy dealers are already asking if there will be a third show soon in the D/FW area. Milstead’s club isn’t saying much about that yet, but he did offer the following bit of tantalizing intel:

“Officers of the club will be meeting to decide that issue very shortly. If and when a third show happens, the format may be expanded
—to 2 full days!”

This dealer had plenty of 3.75" Joes on hand for those who love the 1980s, RAH "Little Joes." Check out that USS Flagg! Go, JOE! (Photo: DFWGCC)

This dealer had plenty of 3.75″ Joes on hand for those who love the 1980s, RAH “Little Joes.” Check out that USS Flagg! What a cool toy. Go, JOE! (Photo: DFWGCC)

Bottom Line: GIjOE shows are fun for the whole family, and it’s great to see that any Joe show held 50 years after the toy’s introduction is still able to pack in the fans and DOUBLE the event’s attendance after only one year. This show’s organizers and the members of the D/FW GIjOE Collector’s Club have a LOT to be proud of. Congratulations, to everyone involved, and a special thanks to Michael Milstead for his contributions to this article. Go, DFW Club!

John T. Marshall, Renowned Author of “G.I. Joe and Other Backyard Heroes,” Stuns Fans With Plans to Sell-Off His Entire G.I. Joe Collection

Author and "Joelebrity," John T. Marshall, has announced he intends to sell-off all of his GIjOEs on his Facebook page. (Photo: John T. Marshall)

Renowned toy book author and “Joelebrity,” John T. Marshall (49), recently announced intentions to sell-off his entire GIjOE collection, starting on Facebook and then on ebay. (Photo: John T. Marshall)

Marshall's book, "GIjOE and Other Backyard Heroes," shows many of the vintage items to be included in the sale. (Photo: Schiffer Books)

Marshall’s book, GIjOE and Other Backyard Heroes, shows many of the vintage items to be included in the sale. (Photo: Schiffer Books)

“Joelebrities” Lining Up—to Sell-Off

In an exclusive announcement made to The Joe Report yesterday, esteemed and respected GIjOE fan, collector, expert, and author, John T. Marshall (NJ), has announced his intentions to sell-off his ENTIRE vintage (and famous) GIjOE collection. It was the second such announcement made this month by a noted “Joelebrity.” Earlier this month, a similar announcement was made by the son of the ailing GIjOE superfan and collector, James DeSimone.

Is this the start of some sort of “sell-off” trend among collectors of vintage toys and GIjOEs in particular? Or is it purely a coincidence that two such famous Joeheads would go down the same “dark path” at the same time? (Hum the Twilight Zone theme music here) We contacted Mr. Marshall and he graciously agreed to the following interview:

Comic Book Hero Toys by John T. Marshall (Scheiffer Books)

Comic Book Hero Toys by John T. Marshall
(Schiffer Books)

TJR: Thanks for taking the time to speak with us today, John. Could you tell us WHY you’re having this big sale?

“The truth is, I’m a TERRIBLE collector. I get restless and I like to ‘flip’ collections. GIjOE, then superheroes, then movie memorabilia, then back to GIjOE again.”

TJR: How will you conduct this sale? Through ebay, a local auction company, or…?

“It was only when I rejoined the GIjOE collector community (via Facebook) that I saw the love and dedication—and expertise—that fans have for all things Joe. That’s when I knew that anything I had of real rarity or value should go to you guys—where it will ALWAYS be appreciated for the fantastic stuff that it is. So…I’m selling and offering it to the GIjOE community on FACEBOOK first.”

Collecting Monster Toys by John T. Marshall (Schiffer Books)

Collecting Monster Toys by John T. Marshall (Schiffer Books)

TJR: When will your big sell-off begin and how will you handle it?

“The sell-off began on October 14th and will include EVERY collectible object in my possession. Primarily, loose and packaged vintage GIjOE stuff. I’m previewing it all on my Facebook page called,’ John T. Marshall’s Vintage Adventure Figures’ HERE and members of that page can (and have) submitted offers. Any collectors who aren’t members are encouraged to join the page. Anything left on January 1st will go up on eBay.

Action Figures of the 1960s, by John T. Marshall (Schiffer Books)

Action Figures of the 1960s by John T. Marshall
(Schiffer Books)

TJR: And your goal on ebay will still be a complete “sell-off?

“EVERYTHING will go. I have decided that collecting things simply takes too much time away from my creative projects. As I stare down the big 5-0, I’m very aware of how quickly time is passing and I feel like I’ve not been as productive as I could’ve been in the last few years.”

TJR: Once you’ve sold-off all of your GIjOEs and toys, will you be writing more books?

“Once in a while I get asked by my publisher for book ideas, but I feel that the Internet has become the great repository of information on collectibles. I have joined many toy-related Facebook pages and there are many collectors who are walking reference guides. I thought I knew everything, but after a few months on Facebook, I realize I only know ALMOST everything!”

The DVD cover of "Slammerella," an independent film by John T. Marshall (Photo: John T. Marshall)

The DVD cover of “Slammerella,” an independent film by John T. Marshall (Photo: John T. Marshall)

TJR: Will you be working on creating more comic books then, or…?

“Probably not comics, but movies DEFINITELY. I tried my hand at filmmaking a few years ago and made a micro-budget comedy called Slammerella. I’d never expect anyone to pay to see it (if anything, just the opposite) but it’s pretty decent for a first try and very well acted. Several of the people in it went on to much bigger things.”

TJR: Sounds great! Any final words for your fans in the GIjOE collecting community?

“As passionate as I am about vintage toys, I simply cannot juggle career, family, filmmaking AND collecting GIjOEs. So collecting had to go. But I will ALWAYS love vintage toys and I intend to stay as active as I can on the Facebook boards, with my usual mix of arcane knowledge and cheap jokes!”

Bottom Line: So there you have it, Joeheads. Two famous GIjOE collectors are now selling off their entire collections—at the same time. One due to health concerns, the other due to mid-life crisis and career wanderlust. We wish them both the best, but remember… If you want to nab some of Marshall’s famous Joe-swag, you’ll need to start by “liking” his Facebook page first. Whatever’s left after the initial run-through, will then go over to ebay. Good luck and Happy Hunting! Our best wishes and thanks to John T. Marshall for his contributions to this article. 

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Nostalgic “Retro-Advertising” Increasingly Being Used to Target Adult Toy Collectors

While the bright colors and superheroes depicted will surely interest children, the "retro-graphics" incorporated into this new ad from Round 2 and Captain Action Enterprises, will likely appeal more to adults who fondly remember seeing similar ads in the pages of comic books back in the 1960s. (Photo: CAE)

While this advertisement’s bright colors and superheroes will surely interest children, its “retro-graphics” will more likely appeal to adults who fondly remember seeing similar ads in the pages of 1960s comic books. Other than its incorrect use of the feminine word “bevy,” this ad ROCKS! (Photo: CAE)

This new ad introduces the new Iron Man and Wolverine uniform sets, utilizing the same "retro" feel of previous CAE and R2 advertisements. (Photo: CAE)

This new Captain Action ad introduces the Iron Man and Wolverine uniform sets and utilizes “retro” type styles and graphic design . (Photo: CAE)

Selling Toys to Big Boys

It’s a quiet day at home, and you’re casually flipping through the pages of a toy magazine or idly clicking through websites on the internet. Suddenly, you stop and stare. It doesn’t have to be for long. Just long enough to think, “Hmm, there’s something about this ad…I really like it! I’m gunna have to get me one of those!” You don’t realize it, but at that moment, your subconscious ramblings have made you an advertiser’s DREAM.

Indeed, before turning the page of your magazine, or clicking out of the website, that aforementioned ad has somehow managed to make a connection with you; an all important “impression” that advertisers hope and pray for. Somehow—the ad has managed to fire your imagination, stir you to action, and spur you to reach for your wallet. Success!

How did this sudden transformation come about? Only moments earlier, you were innocently living your life, not thinking about buying anything. But now—you must buy. The reasons for your attitude change are fascinating to consumer researchers, and when it comes to selling toys to adults (especially grown men), the answer is increasingly proven to be “retro advertising.”

Sometimes "retro graphics" are used to spur sales of long dormant brands such as the venerable 1960s "Slinky" toy. It's plain, cardboard box with one-color line art illustrations stir childhood memories and invoke a simpler era of play. (Photo: James Industries)

Retro-graphics don’t have to brash and “loud” to be effective. Sometimes they’re simple and understated, such as those used to spur sales of a long dormant brand such as the 1960s “Slinky” toy. It’s plain, cardboard box with vintage, one-color, line art illustrations, immediately stir childhood passions and invoke memories of a simpler time of play. (Photo: James Industries)

How (Good) Retro-Advertising Works

There’s something familiar about a good retro-advertisment. Depending on the decade being mimicked, its graphics can be bright and bold, or muted and subtle. Regardless, they remind us of something we’ve seen before. Something that made us happy—once before. If poorly executed, they can come off as cynical attempts to manipulate our emotions. But if well done, they’ll tug at our ol’ heartstrings and ‘twang” our nostalgic nerve centers. You WILL want to buy whatever it is they’re selling!

Recently, we’ve been seeing a lot of ads (and toy packaging) that are graphically influenced by the styles and designs of the 1950s and ’60s. Back then, the products being promoted were targeted exclusively to children (primarily young boys), and so the graphics and artwork used were bold, colorful and eye-catching (just what kids like to see). Nowadays, advertisers hoping to reignite memories of those days are creating ads and packages designed along similar lines—but targeted primarily to adults. Just look at Captain Action and his cohorts (see ad at top)! Biff! Bang! WOW!

Even arch-rival Mattel understands the powerful influence of nostalgic packaging. Its new "Batusi Batman" SDCC exclusive would be just another plastic batman without the amazing "TV set" packaging it's contained within. This is one of those occassions when the box is actually cooler than the toy! (Photo: Mattel, batblog)

Mattel clearly understands the powerful influence of nostalgic, retro-packaging. Its new “Batusi Batman” would’ve been just another plastic batman figure without all the amazing “TV set” packaging surrounding it. This is one of those occasions when the box is cooler than the toy! (Photo: Mattel, batblog)

One of the best "general" publication ads EVER for GIjOE. This one appeared in TIME magazine in 199

You couldn’t get much more blatantly nostalgic than this magazine ad for Hasbro’s 1990s line of Classic Collection GIjOEs. (Ad: Hasbro)

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)

While not a typical “retro-adverstisment,” here’s another example of the nostalgic magazine ads used to promote GIjOE in the late 1990s. (Ad: Hasbro)

At first (and even second) glance, this "Andy and George" ad is a dead-ringer for the ones produced by Hasbro in the 1960s to promote GIjOE in comic books. However, this superb example of retro-advertising was created by Dreams & Visions to promote their own line of "Sgt. Rock" GIjOE clones. Simply outstanding! (Art: Dreams & Visions)

At first (and even second) glance, this superb “Andy and George” ad is a dead-ringer for the ones originally produced by Hasbro in the 1960s to promote GIjOE in comic books. However, this modern example of retro-advertising was actually produced in 2004 by Dreams & Visions Toys to promote their own line of “Sgt. Rock” GIjOE clones. Simply outstanding! (Art: Dreams & Visions Toys)

Bottom Line: Today’s well-crafted, nostalgic toy ads and packaging make adult toy collectors feel good again whenever they see them. And of course, that’s what their creators were hoping for. CAE’s current retro-advertising for Captain Action is a prime example of this strategy, and it shows that they hope to hit the bulls-eye (market segment-wise) and prove that the most effective way to reach adult collectors is by aiming squarely for their nostalgic “FUN bone!” Ow! What was that?