Monthly Archives: July 2014

Warner Bros. Confirms Release Date of 1966 “Batman” TV Series on Blu-Ray As 11-11-2014

Besides the discs, you receive some killer packaging, booklets, trading cards and a little replica Batmobile. The price is steep, but look for it to go down soon and shop around for the best deal. Go, Batman! (Photo: Warner Bros)

Besides the discs for all 3 seasons, you receive some killer retro Bat-packaging, bat-booklets, bat-trading cards and even a little replica Batmobile. Suggested retail price for everything is $200-260 on Blu-Ray and $150-200 for DVD. Yes, those prices are a bit steep, but watch for it to go down after a few months as sales kick in at major retailers, then shop around for the best possible “bat-deal.” (Photo: WB)

Cesar Romero created an unforgettable portrayal of Batman's arch-nemesis, the Joker, appearing in all 3 seasons of the show. (Photo: Warner Bros)

Cesar Romero created an unforgettable portrayal of Batman’s arch-nemesis, “The Joker,” appearing in all 3 seasons of the show. (Photo: Warner Bros)

Holy Official Release Date, Batman!

It’s almost here! As you may recall from our previous article (found HERE), the classic 1966 Batman TV series with Adam West, Burt Ward, et. al, is about to hit store shelves—after only 48 years! According to an official press release from DC Comics, rep Jay Cochran:

“For the very first time, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment (WBHE) is releasing the fan-favorite original 1960’s Batman TV Series starring Adam West as Batman and Burt Ward as Robin. On November 11, 2014, just in time for the holiday season, Batman: The Complete Television Series Limited Edition will hit shelves on Blu-Ray ($269.97 SRP). Batman: The Complete Television Series DVD ($199.70 SRP) and Batman: The Complete First Season ($39.98 SRP) will also be available. Additionally, The Complete Series will be released for purchase on Digital HD. This highly collectible set is one fans won’t want to miss!

Actress Yvonne Craig appeared in Season 3 as Barbara Gordon, aka "Batgirl." (Photo: Warner Bros)

Yvonne Craig starred in Season 3 as Barbara Gordon, aka “Batgirl.” (Photo: WB)

Batman: The Complete Television Series features all three classic seasons of the fan-favorite show spanning all 120 original broadcast episodes – completely remastered – as well as more than three hours of never-before-seen enhanced content including interviews with both Adam West (as Batman) and Burt Ward (as Robin). In addition to favorites West and Ward, the series featured a long list of notable guest stars and cameo appearances over the course of three seasons including Julie Newmar, Cesar Romero, Frank Gorshin, Liberace, Vincent Price, Burgess Meredith, Bruce Lee, Art Carney, Milton Berle, Sammy Davis Jr. and many more!

Comedian and impressionist extraordinaire, Frank Gorshin, created an unforgettable "Riddler." (Photo: Warner Bros)

Comedian and impressionist extraordinaire, Frank Gorshin, was STARTLING as the ridiculous “Riddler.” (Photo: Warner Bros)

Bringing the series’ vivid colors to life in stunning high-definition, the Blu-ray Limited Edition will be individually numbered, making the set a true must-have for both fans and collectors alike. The set will include sought-after premiums including: An exclusive Hot Wheels® Replica Batmobile, an Adam West Scrapbook – featuring never-before-seen photos from Adam’s own archives, 44 Vintage Trading Cards, an Ultraviolet Digital Copy of all 120 episodes
Episode guide – including a synopsis of all episodes, photos and a personal letter from Adam West to the fans!

Bat and CAT fans can't wait to see all 3 versions of Catwoman in high-definition Blu-Ray, ESPECIALLY the super-sexy actress/dancer, Julie Newmar. Me-OWW! (Photo: Warner Bros)

Bat and CAT fans can’t wait to see all 3 versions of Catwoman on the set’s high-definition Blu-Ray discs, ESPECIALLY the super-sexy actress/dancer, Julie Newmar. Me-OWW! (Photo: Warner Bros)

‘Fans around the world have been clamoring for this release for decades,’ said Rosemary Markson, WBHEG Senior Vice President, TV Brand Management and Retail Marketing ‘Warner Bros. Home Entertainment is beyond thrilled to make the caped crusader’s fans’ wishes come true by releasing Batman: The Complete Television Series to Blu-ray™, DVD and Digital HD for the very first time since the original 1960s program. Coinciding with the 75th Anniversary of Batman’s comic book debut, this is the ultimate holiday gift.’

And finally, Cochran’s press release described the many “extras” included with each 3-season set, revealing juicy “bat-intel” such as:

Hollywood's "heavy-hitters" such as Oscar-nominee Burgess Meredith were thrilled for the chance to "ham it up" on the ultra-campy, Batman TV series. (Photo: Warner Bros.)

Hollywood’s “heavy-hitters” including 2-time Oscar-nominee, Burgess Meredith (aka “The Penguin”) were thrilled to have an opportunity to really “ham it up” on the ultra-camp, Batman TV series. (Photo: Warner Bros.)

“Batman: The Complete Television Series, also features more than 3 hours of all-new enhanced content and its Special Features include:

Hanging with Batman – A true slice of life in the words of Adam West.

Holy Memorabilia Batman! – A journey into the most sought-after collectibles through the eyes of three extraordinary collectors.

Batmania Born! – Building the World of Batman – Explore the art and design behind the fiction.

• Bats of the Round Table – A candid conversation with Adam West and his celebrity friends, chatting all things Bat ’66.

Inventing Batman in the words of Adam West (episodes 1 & 2) – A rare treat for the fans as Adam discusses his script notes on bringing Batman to life in the first and second episodes.

Na Na Na Batman! — Hollywood favorite’s stars and producers recount their favorite Batman memories.”

Hot Toys has already set the hearts of many Bat-fans to flutter with the recent release of their superb 1:6 scale Batman and Robin action figures. With the 1:6 classic 1966 Batmobile not far behind, collectors will have their hands full and wallets EMPTY. (Photo: Hot Toys)

Hot Toys has already set the hearts of many Bat-fans aflutter with the recent release of their superb 1:6 scale Batman and Robin action figures. And with the release of the 1:6 classic 1966 Batmobile not far off, collectors will soon have their hands full—and their wallets EMPTIED. (Photo: Hot Toys)

While the DVD set of Batman will have fewer extras, no toy Batmobile, and lower screen resolution, Bat-fans will nevertheless be delilirously happy with its superbly remastered episodes and lower sticker price (only $150 verus $200+ in Blu-Ray). (Photo: Warner Bros.)

While the DVD set of Batman will have fewer extras than the Blu-Ray version and lower screen resolution, Bat-fans will nevertheless be deliriously happy with its superbly remastered episodes and lower sticker price (approximately $150 versus $200+ on Blu-Ray). Holy, Bat-Savings! (Photo: Warner Bros.)

Bottom Line: Like millions of other Batman fans, the staff here at The Joe Report is chompin’ at the bit for these beloved discs (you can already pre-order them HERE). While we all wait anxiously for November 11th to arrive, enjoy this teasing Bat-Video:

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Captain Action Enterprises Rep, Joe Ahearn, “Feels the Frustration” and Replies to Critics

Admits “Nothing is For Sure” About the DC Line

In a lengthy and plain-talking response to regular and ongoing criticism regarding continued delays of 1:6 Captain Action products, Captain Action Enterprises (CAE) head, Joe Ahearn, admitted feeling “frustrated” and that negative comments on fan forums were getting to be “very wearisome.” Of course, the frustrations that fans and collectors feel regarding delayed costume sets, etc., is no secret (see previous article HERE), and after many months of silence on the subject, Ahearn wisely chose to address the subject yesterday. In his post to the CA fan forum, he stated:

Joe Ahearn, founder of Captain Action Enterprises (Photo: CAE)

Joe Ahearn, founder of Captain Action Enterprises (Photo: CAE)

We too, surely do feel the frustration about the timing of the Round 2 DC sets. According to the original plan, we should be making Wave 8 by now! A few of the guys out there tend to bash everything in public forums, and denigrate all the efforts we put into various projects, and that- frankly – gets very wearisome.

Getting on the cover of the Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide, for instance, is a HUGE deal. We’ll be in every comic shop front and center and in many bookstores. And they’ll be advertising that for the entire next year too. And by doing that, we’ll be right in front of the guys (for a year) who make the ordering decisions for the Round 2 sets.

To a lesser extent, the same thing applies to the Tonner Lady Action, the Captain Action Cat series and all the other projects. We can tell you that the first buyer at Toys R Us told us he saw the Sideshow CA statue and Moonstone series every Wednesday when he bought his comics…and that directly led to them buying in for Round 2.

So when some fans denigrated the SDCC panel because there’s no news – we tend to find that debilitating on a personal level. But hey, In a perfect world we would’ve absolutely had a Batman Prototype up there to show everyone.

As discerning fans, we’ve been defying the odds time and time again with the Round 2 sets. We’re proud to have been able to bring everyone major Marvel characters to add to their collections which was no small feat. Right now, no other company seems to be doing 1/6 scale, let alone classic Silver Age figures, and some of the experts – like the Mattel Barbie line, are faltering. (Sales down 15% vs.YA).

And Toys R Us, our lead retailer is struggling. They just had a big round of layoffs and another round is rumored. Round 2 as a company does a poor job at selling licensed toys into other big-box retailers, and beyond that we all know those retailers are having their own troubles.

So, the short answer as respects DC is ‘nothing is for sure.’ This whole line was never supposed to happen, and then just about cancelled several times along the way. We were never supposed to secure the DC license and then we did. The comics were supposed to be cancelled and then we took a step up as Dynamite is now our publisher. And as you guys all know by now, there’s lot of things going on behind the scenes too.

We’re sorry that we didn’t have Round 2 Prototypes to share at the SDCC Contest Panel. We wish, probably more than anybody, because we put so much into this – that we were further along with Round 2 sets. But like the kids used to say ‘I’m not the boss of them’ (i.e. Round2). And we’re certainly not ‘the boss’ of the TRU buyer or the Diamond Buyer either.”

A prototype of the new "Lady Action" by (Photo: CAE)

A prototype of the new 1:6 scale “Lady Action” from Go Hero. (Photo: CAE)

“All we can assure you is that we’ll continue to put way too much time into Captain Action and that we too are excited to see more costume sets manufactured. We have not abandoned 1:6 scale by any stretch of the imagination. As you know we just announced our new Lady Action figure with Go Hero. Maybe it’s not what you were hoping for or maybe you are unable to afford a higher quality figure, but there are a lot of collectors out there who play in this world. If there wasn’t, Sideshow and Hot Toys wouldn’t be in business.

The world is rapidly changing in terms of retailing, television programming and manufacturing. It’s not 1967 now and never will be again, but you already know that. We do know that it is extraordinarily frustrating for many guys on this list, and especially collectors like Ed, who never had a Batman set as a kid. (He’s been called liar about that too, btw) and we can assure you it will be very frustrating for all fans everywhere with a very narrow definition of Captain Action as simply a 12-inch action figure. No property works that focused any more, and while we respect everyone’s right to like what they like, we’ll continue to work as hard as we can to expand the brand and make better things happen for Captain Action.

Right now, as you all are aware we are working hard on getting a Captain Action Animated Series off the ground. This will be a major game changer and greatly impact the things we will be able to do for the brand as a whole going forward and perhaps alleviate some of the product development frustrations by being able to work with bigger and better companies as we move forward. As always, we are thankful for the support we have gotten. —Best, Joe & Ed”

Bottom Line: ‘Nuff said! Thanks for the updates, Joe and Ed. Keep your spirits high and please keep collectors and fans informed regarding any further developments or intel in the world of Captain Action. Go, CAP!

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Brazilian “Fans of Falcon” Keep Spirit of 1:6 Scale Action Figure Alive With Release of 3 New Posters

There's nothing like professional GIjOE or "Falcon" posters to properly decorate your home. Surely your wife will approve! (Photo: Marcelo Santana)

Fans and collectors of Estrela’s “Falcon” GIjOEs will LOVE these 3 new posters commemorating each unique phase of the figure’s storied history (military, adventure, and sci-fi). (Photo: Marcelo Santana)

Never Give Up. Never Surrender!

While that rousing slogan was first made popular in the 1999 sci-fi classic, Galaxy Quest, it lately seems to reflect the die-hard attitude of thousands of frustrated Falcon fans living in Brazil. Falcon, as you no doubt recall from our previous article (HERE), was GIjOE’s exotic South-American cousin during the 1970s and ’80s, and is now as equally as revered and collectible as Action Man is to fans in the UK and Geyperman is to fans in Spain.

Falcon fans, meanwhile, remain undeterred by repeated (failed) efforts to revive the most famous creation of Estrela Toys, and have begun taking matters into their own hands. In addition to reaching out to U.S.-based Cotswold Collectibles, a second group of Falcon fans has invested its own time (and money) into producing a new line of Falcon-inspired promotional posters. According to exclusive “insider intel” we received recently from Brazil’s Marcelo Santana:

Marcelo Santana of Brazil (Photo: Marcelo Santana)

Marcelo Santana of StudioBrasilis, creator of 3 new decorative Falcon posters. (Photo: Marcelo Santana)

“Dear Joe Report—Your blog is an important reference for collectors of GIjOEs, Action Man and many other action figures. I visit often and read all the news that you post. For this reason I write to you today. Surely you know that here in Brazil the GIjOEs (Adventure Team, etc.) were renamed “Falcon” and re-released in 1977 by the toy manufacturing ‘Estrela’ and sold until 1985, when the line was discontinued. Unfortunately, since that time, fans have had no luck convincing Estrela to reissue Falcon as it was back in ‘the old days.’

Recently, a group of independent graphics professionals and myself decided to release an all-new, special series of 3 posters for collectors of GIjOE/Action Man/Falcon. Each poster in the set focuses on a different phase and characteristic of the Falcon line (i.e. the initial military phase, then adventure, and finally, futuristic/sci-fi).

This closeup shows the wonderfully large size of the new Falcon posters. Out-STANDING! (Photo: Marcelo Santana)

According to Marcelo, this poster translates as “The real hero invites you to a new adventure.” (Photo: StudioBrasilis)

Our company, StudioBrasilis, is an independent project of a group of friends and creative pros who came together to develop ideas that focus on producing new products related to popular culture and our childhood. Cool and modern ideas. For the 3 Falcon posters, the creation was all mine, but based on research I conducted with Falcon collectors here in Brazil. They told me that, as happened in other countries where the GIjOE Adventure Team was produced, the Brazilian version had unique characteristics of its own which differed from the others (i.e. its packages, vehicles, clothing, accessories, etc.).

Therefore, our intention was to create something different that did not yet exist. We knew that a few years ago, a commemorative poster for Hasbro’s Adventure Team had already been released, but nothing like it had ever been made for Falcon. In fact, Falcon is one of the rarest versions of GIjOE in the world. Our 3 new posters fill that void (a little) by portraying specific moments in the history of Falcon.

This closeup show some of the "Future" Falcon figures that made the line so unique. (Photo: Marcelo Santana)

This closeup show some of the “Future” Falcon figures that made the line so unique. (Photo: StudioBrasilis)

Finally, we wanted the collector, when seeing the posters, to easily recognize the elements and characteristics present in each, so this was a job that required real research—and creativity. Collectors can frame the posters and decorate the walls of their living room, or hang them next to his (or her) collection of Falcons and GIjOEs.

Each poster measures 24 x 36 inches (60 x 90 cm), is professionally offset-printed in high-resolution on bright, glossy stock (frame not included), and will be available in a limited edition (ONLY 300 sets). We want everyone to also know that we are not affiliated with Estrela Toys or any other toy manufacturer. The 3 poster set is being sold on ebay HERE for $49,90 U.S. (with FREE shipping).” —Marcelo Santana, StudioBrasilis

Bottom Line: StudioBrasilis’ posters are a fine example of fans and entrepreneurs taking matters into their own hands while the brands actual creators (Hasbro and Estrela) continue to sit idly by on the sidelines. We’d like to thank Marcelo Santana and everyone else at StudioBrasilis for their fine work and wish them all the best in their Falcon-based endeavours. Hopefully, their poster sales will be successful enough to galvanize additional fan support for the proposed Cotswold/Estrela Falcon reissue effort we reported on earlier (HERE). While we wait for further updates on that project, if you’re still a “newbie” to the ways and wiles of Falcon, take a look at this classic Brazilian TV commercial we discovered recently over on YouTube. It just might whet your appetite!

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“First-Time” G.I. Joe Collector Creates Working 1:6 Scale USCG Helicopter———As His Ceiling Fan!

Holy Rotors, Batman! Imagine "flying" this stunning 1:6 scale USCG HITRON "Fast Attack" Littlebird helicopter INSIDE your home—with just the flip of a switch. For creator/customizer, Tom McMurray, that's now become a daily reality. Lower the rescue diver! Aye-aye! (Photo: Tom McMurray)

Semper Paratus! Imagine “flying” this stunning 1:6 scale USCG HITRON “Fast Attack” Littlebird helicopter INSIDE your home—with just the flip of a switch. For creator-customizer Tom McMurray, that dream is now a daily reality. Lower the Rescue Diver, Joe! Aye-aye, Sir! (Photo: Tom McMurray)


When we first heard that retired US Coast Guardsman and GIjOE “newbie,” Tom McMurray, had converted a beat-up, 1:6 scale 21stC Littlebird into a working, (fully electrified) USCG helicopter CEILING FAN, we knew immediately that fans around the world would want to hear all about it. After contacting McMurray, he graciously agreed to the following exclusive interview and also (very generously) provided us with these exclusive photos and video clips. Enjoy!


After completing the Littlebird’s custom paint-job and applying decals from Patches of Pride, McMurray begins work on the helo’s custom wiring and lighting. Out-STANDING! (Photo: Tom McMurray)

Tom McMurray (Photo: Suzanne McMurray)

Tom McMurray (Photo: Suzanne McMurray)

TJR: Congratulations on your superb 1:6 scale custom helicopter, Tom. Could you tell us first—what inspired you to take on such a challenging undertaking?

TM: “I was medically retired out of the U.S. Coast Guard (just shy of 40 years) as a Petty Officer 1st Class Port Security and Small Arms Instructor and wanted a project that would take time and represent my career. I wandered across a Littlebird over on e-bay. It was blue and not in very good condition. But over the following months, I picked up various parts one at a time and pieced it all together.”


This early test revealed exterior running lights and spotlights working perfectly. Interior lighting would also be added, illuminating the ‘Bird’s instrument panel and cockpit. (Photo: Tom McMurray)

TJR: How long did this project take you to complete?

TM: “I started in December of 2013 and finished it in July of this year (2014). I have close to 400 hours altogether put into this project. The hardest part was getting the stripes on the Littlebird to be exactly 67 degrees (as required by the Coast Guard). The painting pattern is correct and was used on an experimental chopper by HITRON for fast attack on “Go-Fast “ (drug-smuggling) boats down in Florida.”


The longer you look, the more custom details you see! (Photo: Tom McMurray)

TJR: After completing the helo’s tricky (and beautiful) paint-job, what did you work on next?

TM: “Well, as you can see, the exterior utilizes a waterslide USCG decal set (found HERE) that I picked up from Patches of Pride (PoP), and the cockpit uses one of their “Complete Cockpit Conversion Kits” (found HERE). I then further modified the instrument cluster and all of the gauges by drilling small holes behind the decals and then giving each gauge its own colored led light, sealed in behind it.”


Great closeup showing Tom’s disassembled cockpit firewall and the addition of new decals, a fire extinguisher, custom helmet paint, seat cushions, etc. Great improvements! (Photo: Tom McMurray)

TJR: That clearly elevated your Littlebird to a higher level. What else did you add?

TM: “If you look closely at the photo below, you’ll see that the pilot has a small laptop mounted on the console, and both of the interior spaces are lit by a red LED for night-vision. I also added all of the required exterior lights, a working high power spotlight and a working FLIR lamp underneath. The ‘float’ is required on any USCG chopper that works off the coasts, so I hand-fabricated that. Also, the .50 cal Barrett on the port side is mounted on a stanchion built into the deck. Finally, I cut all of the windows down halfway except the main hatch, which I mounted in the opened, rescue position.”


Peek into the finished cockpit and you’ll go GA-GA over all of its details, back-lit gauges, and additional 1:6 scale props such as flight charts and maps. Stunning work, Tom! (Photo: Tom McMurray)

TJR: You’ve impressed us enough already, but here’s where your story gets REALLY interesting. Tell us about converting your 1:6 scale USCG Littlebird helicopter—into a ceiling fan.

TM: “To mount it to the ceiling fan, I filled the upper engine compartment with a 2-part epoxy and let it dry around the threaded accessory lamp-post. Then, I took the lamp section off of the bottom of the fan, filled the extra cover with epoxy, attached it to the main fan motor with screws and let the finished project sit supported on top of a 10-ft ladder overnight to cure. My wife, the electrician, the contractor (that had just finished the room) and myself, all had our fingers crossed when I lit-‘er-up. Voila! SHE FLIES!!!! And not a shudder or vibration.”

Holy Rotors, Batman! Imagine "flying" this stunning 1:6 scale USCG HITRON "Fast Attack" Littlebird helicopter INSIDE your home—with just the flip of a switch. For creator/customizer, Tom McMurray, that's now become a daily reality. Lower the rescue diver! Aye-aye! (Photo: Tom McMurray)

The accuracy and realism of Tom’s working ceiling fan helicopter are striking. (Photo: Tom McMurray)

 TJR: Tell us about your interest in GIjOEs and 1:6 scale vehicles. What else have you created?

TM: “Believe it or not, these are the first GIjOEs I have ever owned. Honestly! As you can see, I made a lot of changes, but after 37 years in the Coast Guard, I didn’t need much help. And now, I’m looking for my NEXT project. Thanks for all the parts, decals and help Mark.” —Tom McMurray


At night, Tom’s “heroic helo” creates a colorfully realistic light show. COOL! (Photo: Tom McMurray)


Tom’s custom-mounted .50 cal Barrett sniper rifle can stop a high-speed boat with one well-placed shot through the engine block. Out-STANDING! (Photo: Tom McMurray)


Another view of Tom’s USCG Littlebird in action. (Photo: Tom McMurray)


Lowering a Rescue Diver down with Tom’s custom harness and pulley system. (Photo: Tom McMurray)


The realistic lighting on Tom’s custom helo makes for exciting “night-ops” action. (Photo: Tom McMurray)


At rest, you can see that the blades of Tom’s fan were also custom painted to perfectly simulate the rotors of a real USCG HITRON helicopter. Amazing work, Tom. Congratulations! (Photo: Tom McMurray)

Bottom Line: McMurray’s 1:6 scale custom Littlebird helicopter is one of the most impressive we’ve ever seen. His attention to detail and accuracy reflect his many years of experience and service in the Coast Guard, and his inspired conversion of a typically static-display model into a working ceiling fan is truly remarkable. Our sincerest thanks to Tom for his service to our country and for his generous contributions to this article. Enjoy a video of Tom’s helicopter in action:

UPDATE 12/17: Here’s a new video on YouTube from Joe Burlas showing how to connect the 21stC Littlebird helicopter to a ceiling fan. Thanks so much for your help, Joe!

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UK’s Action Man Day 4 Toy Show Recap & Review


Action Man fans browse the plentiful offerings for sale at the 2014 Action Man Day 4 toy show in North Weald, UK. Click on photo to see our exclusive “GigantaPic” enlargement. (Photo: Daniel Smart)

To gain further insight into how citizens of the UK celebrate and commemorate their country’s beloved 1:6 scale hero and icon, Action Man, we recruited two of our best overseas “Field Reporters” in Daniel Smart and compatriot Brian Crowe and asked each of them to file an independent recap and review of the Action Man Day 4 toy show held recently in North Weald. We begin with the show’s organizer Smart, who provided us with the following exclusive intel:

“Can I first say that I LOVE The Joe Report(!) and am truly honoured that you are interested in the Action Man Day that I host here in the UK. My name is Daniel Smart. I am married to my beautiful wife Charlotte and we have 4 lovely children. By day, I am a solicitor (Lawyer). But by night, I’m an Action Man collector.  I’ve been a collector of Action Man pretty much all my life, but became serious in collecting about 20 years ago.”


Action Man fan and collector, Daniel Smart, holds up the promotional flyer he created for the Action Man Day 4 show as he poses alongside (some of) his outstanding collection at home. (Photo: Daniel Smart)

“With the advent of the Internet, I soon found my way onto forums, but was saddened by how a particular forum was uninviting and often remarked negatively towards people’s collections, especially those of the new collector. It was so bad, that I decided to set up a new forum that would welcome all collectors of Action Man, GIjOE and any other 1/6th scale figures. With the aid of two good friends of mine, Darral Rabone and Damian Cole, the Action Man Mobile Ops (AMMO) forum was born (see HERE).”


Smart’s collection is displayed and protected within superb display cabinets from ARGOS (in the UK). The cabinets have glass doors which open easily and keep everything dust-free. (Photo: Daniel Smart)


AM dealer, Stephen May, waits for customers during AMD4. (Photo: Daniel Smart)

“Soon after, the forum we left hosted their own Action Man Day. But again, it was only really open to its members, which again, we felt very sad about. That was when our Action Man Day was born. We thought, what if we held a day totally for Action Man, GIjOE and all his 1/6 cousins  and open it to the public? Well, at the first Action Man Day I hosted, I offered totally FREE tables to all sellers and we just crossed our fingers. What a day! It was totally packed with buyers and sellers. Bob Brechin (the chief designer at Palitoy) even came to sign anybody’s cherished Action Man new and childhood items.”


Sarah Sturdy was selling vintage Action Man figures and equipment, as well as numerous AM coffee mugs, photos, posters and related pieces of artwork. Outstanding! (Photo: Daniel Smart)

“Since that first show, I am amazed at how it’s grown, from 8 sellers at our first to 26 at our latest one. In fact, the editor of a very big collecting magazine here in the UK (Rob Burman) was so blown away by the event, that he asked me to write an article about Action Man. It’s now become a regular column that runs the month before each event takes place and the money I receive from writing the articles helps fund—the NEXT Action Man Day!”


Action Man dealer, Alan Hall, had a table overflowing with great things to buy. (Photo: Daniel Smart)


I would also like to add that after hosting this great event I was lucky enough to be asked by James May (a ‘Top Gear‘ TV show presenter) to donate and take part in an upcoming ‘Toy Stories’ documentary to be aired on TV here in the UK in the Autumn (Fall) of 2014. I can’t say too much about this show, but I donated my own childhood 1966 painted-head Action Man figure to break the sound barrier and maybe even get launched into space. I was warned he may not make it back from the mission but what another great mission for the greatest Action Man that ever lived!”


Action Man and GIjOE shows are all about the browsing. (Photo: Daniel Smart)

“I am so humbled by how much support I receive each year and it’s a pleasure to host such a wonderful day that seems to make so many people happy. I shall continue to host these days and already I’m planning something very special for the November Show. Please keep an eye on the AMMO forum and ALL other Action Man outlets!”
Daniel Smart, AMD4 Organizer, UK


Barry Pippen of Pippen’s Toys, UK is a popular and frequent visitor to the U.S. Here, he “holds court” with his customers over in a corner of the AMD4 show. Psst! Hey, Barry! That AM mine-sweeper would command a hefty price tag here in the ‘States. See if it’ll fit in your carry-on bag! (Photo: Daniel Smart)

Brian Crowe, Action Man Collector, UK. (Photo: Brian Crowe)

Brian Crowe, Action Man Collector, UK. (Photo: Brian Crowe)

And Now, For Someone Completely Different…

For a second perspective on the recent AMD4 show in North Weald, we turn the helm of The Joe Report over to the reportage of respected Action Man fan, expert and collector, Brian Crowe (also of the UK). According to Brian’s unique view from the “Crowe’s Nest:”

“This now twice-yearly event has replaced what was known as the ‘Cheshunt Shows,’ which (in their day) were excellent for buying, selling and generally meeting up. They stopped as there seemed to be a tailing off of attendees and the costs of hiring a hall were rising. So, for a couple of years, people in the southeast were bereft of any type of show However, some members of AMMO were determined to revive a regular show and hence ‘Action Man Day’ at North Weald was born.”


The spacious hall in North Weald was perfect for this year’s AMD4 event. (Photo: Brian Crowe)

“The atmosphere at these events is one of camaraderie and a genuine interest in not only Action Man but also other 1/6th scale figures as well. There is a mixture of commercial sellers such as Alan Hall, Barry Pippen and CBToycollectables, to just genuine collectors of Action Man who have either their collections up for grabs or have amassed boxes of ‘stuff’ and want to sell it on.”


Both loose and boxed figures were available. And look at all those sled-dogs! (Photo: ammoman)

“You can pick up fully kitted-out figures for very reasonable prices, bodies (both vintage and 40th) for you to kit out yourself, or there are (my favourite) ‘Rummage Boxes’ full of odds-n-ends in varying condition ready for you to use in your own customizations.”


After setting up for the AMD4 show, dealers then play a waiting game whilst customers carefully and deliberately choose from thousands of tempting items for sale. (Photo: Brian Crowe)

“Apart from the buying and selling, there is the opportunity to meet old familiar faces and also new ones from the various forums. You can swap tips, chat about your projects and collections over a cup of tea and toast, while posing for the odd photo as well. It is not often we get the chance to meet up like this and although you can have really good chat and knowledge sharing on forums, there is nothing like a real world face-to-face meeting. Hats off to the organisers of this event and may it long continue!” —Brian Crowe, UK


Brand-new, MIB figures were neatly arrayed and available for sale. DROOL... (Photo: Brian Crowe)


The AMD4 show was so popular, another is already planned for November! (Photo: ammoman)


Buying, selling, or simply chatting about Action Man with your mates—It’s ALL good! (Photo: Brian Crowe)

Bottom Line: What a wonderful show! After reading this, there’s bound to be a great deal of jealous fans here in the U.S. and elsewhere around the globe, but we wish those who organize and attend these “Action Man Days” in the UK all the best. <sigh> And our special thanks to Daniel Smart and Brian Crowe for their generous contributions to this article. Go, Joe! Go, ACTION MAN!

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Renowned Network News Producer For CNN, ABC & CBS, Now Works As a Freelance PR Consultant, Greets Returning Troops & Collects G.I. Joes!


40 year-old PR consultant and former network television producer, Carter Yang, poses alongside a US Navy fighter plane strapped to the deck of the USS Intrepid in New York City. Yang worked 18 1/2 years for CNN, ABC and CBS News producing stories on aviation, transportation and homeland security. Today, Yang freelances his talents, welcomes troops returning from overseas, lives with his family in Washington, D.C. and collects—GIjOEs! (All photos courtesy of Carter Yang, exclusively for The Joe Report)



Yang waits as astronaut Jim Reilly gets his microphone adjusted prior to a STS-121 “Return to Flight” CBS News broadcast. Yang produced the segment LIVE from Kennedy Space Center in Florida. (Photo: Carter Yang)

Former TV “News Hound” Now Searching For 1:6 Scale GIjOEs

By Mark Otnes, 7-6-2014
Editor, The Joe Report

Carter Yang loved the high-pressure life of a network TV news producer. During his 20-year tenure in the profession, he’s written, covered and produced countless news stories for CNN, ABC and most recently, CBS News. While he’s not an on-camera personality or anchorman, Yang’s commanding role as producer has nonetheless made him very well-known in his field. And, as might be expected, his high-profile job also put him in contact with famous aviators and heroes of the U.S. space program. Carter works primarily in Washington, D.C., but he’s also been sent to the Kennedy Space Center in Florida (NASA), to the scene of various aircraft disasters and wherever else the day’s news requires. He’s even ridden aboard Air Force One! Clearly, traveling around the world and reporting on history-making events is exciting. But heads up, Joe fans… What really gets Carter’s adrenaline flowing is— GIjOE!


This impressive array of glass display cases from IKEA reveals Yang’s collection spans many generations, from vintage ’60s figures to ’90s Classic Collection and beyond. Superb! (Photo: Carter Yang)

Fortunately, we were able to catch up with the hard-charging Yang recently, and he kindly consented to the following brief interview about his exciting life, career and (of course) die-hard interest in collecting “America’s Movable Fighting Man.” Enjoy!


Yang with Apollo 11 astronaut, Buzz Aldrin, in the CBS News Washington Bureau, 2010. (Photo: Carter Yang)

Interviewing  (and Collecting!) Real American Heroes

TJR: Thanks so much for taking time out today for this interview, Carter. You’re quite well-known already, but for those readers of The Joe Report who may not have met or heard of you, please tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do for a living. It’s all so fascinating!

CY: “I’m flattered and I’m happy to have this opportunity to share my love of GIjOE with you and your readers! I love The Joe Report! I was born in New York City, but have lived in the Washington, DC area since 1995. I’m a forty-year-old freelance public relations consultant and a former network television news producer. I’ve worked in television news for nearly 20 years, first at CNN, then at ABC News, and then at CBS News, where I was the network’s Aviation and Transportation Producer.

In that role, I produced numerous transportation-related stories for the ‘CBS Evening News‘ and other broadcasts. I’ve covered everything from presidential campaigns to plane crashes to Space Shuttle missions for CBS News and, as a lifelong military aviation enthusiast, I’ll never forget the first time I flew on Air Force One while covering the White House with ABC News in the mid-’90s.”


Yang sits “on set” as he helps check an on-camera position in preparation for a 2006 “remote broadcast” from the Johnson Space Center in Houston, TX. (Photo: Carter Yang)


Out of their boxes and on display— Yang’s extensive collection of GIjOE action figures and related books, vehicles, etc., are all nicely arranged and displayed on shelves for all to see and enjoy. (Photo: Carter Yang)

TJR: Tell us about your interest in GIjOEs. When did you start collecting?

CY:I grew up playing with 3 3/4″ GIjOE figures, but I’ve been collecting the 12″ figures since Hasbro started making them again in 1991 and I’m proud to say I have nearly every one made since then, along with a handful from the ’60s and ’70s. I’ve loved 12″ Joes ever since my mother bought me a pair of footlockers and 3 vintage Joes at a flea market for just $60 when I was a kid. They quickly became my favorite toys.”

TJR: Cool! But why did GIjOEs become your “favorite toys?” What special meaning do they hold for you?

CY: “My father served in the US Marine Corps Reserves, I have many friends who have served in the military or are serving now, and my family and I volunteer with ‘Operation Welcome Home Maryland’, which greets service members returning from overseas deployments as they arrive at Baltimore Washington International. So I’ve always had immense respect and appreciation for our Armed Forces. That is why collecting GIjOE has always been such a passion for me.”


Carter holds 5 year-old daughter, Elise, as they wait to greet returning U.S. soldiers during a recent “Operation: Welcome Home” event held in the Baltimore International Airport. (Photo: Carter Yang)

TJR: Could you tell us about one of your favorite stories or news events that you covered?

CY: “As for my favorite stories, one of them was certainly US Airways Flight 1549, the so-called, ‘Miracle on the Hudson,’ which was not a miracle at all, but rather a feat of brilliant airmanship by the plane’s pilots. It was an incredible aviation story. Most of the high-profile aviation stories I covered before and since were tragedies, but that was one with a happy ending. Here’s a link to the piece that I produced on the flight after CBS News obtained the air traffic control audio recordings from the flight a few weeks after the incident.

TJR: WOW. That was an amazing story. Did you ever meet the pilots of that flight?

CY: “Here’s a picture of me with First Officer Jeff Skiles attached and, although I never met with him in person, I later worked with Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger after CBS News hired him as a consultant.”


Yang and First Officer Jeff Skiles, the co-pilot of US Airways 1549 (the “Miracle on the Hudson” flight) at Reagan National Airport in 2009. (Photo: Carter Yang)


This bunch of Classic Collection figures stands (or kneels) “at the ready” in Carter’s Joe Room. What a great line-up! (Photo: Carter Yang)

TJR: Just a few final questions: Do you ever go to GIjOE shows? That photo of you on the flight deck of the USS Intrepid reminded me of the national GIjOE convention held there years ago. Were you able to attend? And are you a member of any GIjOE clubs? I’m sure other fans in your area would LOVE to meet up with you in person!

CY: “I’m afraid not. I’ve always wanted to go to a Joe Con, but I’ve never managed to make one. I have been a member of the GIjOE Collectors Club in the past, and have ordered quite a number of items from their store, but my membership has lapsed and I’m not an active member at the moment.

Bottom Line: Our sincerest thanks to Carter Yang for his generous cooperation and contributions to this article. Do you have a question for Carter about his collection, career or a specific news story? If so, please leave your comments HERE. Thanks!

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