Monthly Archives: May 2015

Pin THIS! Tiny 1:6 Scale Clothespins for G.I. Joe

How small can we go? At (almost) 1:6 scale, you can fit quite a lot of these tiny clothespins in your hand. They're made of real wood and metal. They really work. And they look GREAT! Available in many arts-n-crafts stores including Michaels and Hobby Lobby. (Photo: Mark Otnes)

How small can we go? At (almost) 1:6 scale, you can fit quite a lot of these tiny clothespins in just one hand. And yes, they’re made of real wood, real metal, and they really work. And they look GREAT! Available now in many arts-n-crafts stores including Michaels and Hobby Lobby. (Photo: Mark Otnes)

Another quick heads-up for all you customizers of 1:6 scale dioramas out there. Intrepid TJR Field Reporter, James Long, wrote in to us today with some interesting intel and pics of, well, a rather ordinary household item. But what makes this particular “sighting” of interest to us (of course), is that the items in question are in 1:6 scale. And as we all know, customizers of 1:6 scale don’t care WHAT an item is; if it’s in 1:6 scale—we’re DEFINITELY interested!

In this closeup of the product recently found in Michael's, you can see that you'll receive 6 full-sized clothespins (give those to your children) as well as

In this closeup of the product Long found recently in Michael’s, you can see that you’ll receive 6 full-sized “glittery” clothespins (give those away to your kids) and 24 of the miniature (no glitter) versions in black, purple, orange and OD green. Keep those for your “Laundry Adventurer!” (Photo: James Long)

As you can tell by looking at these pictures, in this specific case, the items in question are—hold onto something—tiny wooden clothespins! Yes, we’re about to enter the exciting world of GIjOE doing his weekly laundry. What? You didn’t think his clothes washed themselves, did you? Perhaps if we called Joe a “Laundry Adventurer” or labeled his next mission “The Search for the Lost Socks,” it’d help make this product announcement a little more exciting. According to Long:

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“My wife and I were at Michael’s yesterday, and we spotted something that might make a good addition to your next article on 1:6 scale items and be useful as props for Joe dioramas—clothes pins! Okay, they’re actually just slightly larger than 1:6 scale, but they’re close enough that most people won’t complain. They come with some larger clothespins that aren’t of much use for Joe, but for $1.99 on clearance, I wasn’t going to argue!

It’s a Michael’s exclusive item (according to the back of the packaging) and as you can see in the attached photo (shown below, ed.), they work quite well. Yes, even GIjOE now has the drudgery of doing his laundry. Enjoy!” —James Long

James Long's "Laundry Adventurer" pins up some of his laundry at AT headquarters using his new clothespins. Go, JOE! What a hero! (Photo: James Long)

How’s it Hanging, Joe? James Long’s AT “Laundry Adventurer” pins up some of his laundry recently using the new clothespins Long found at Michaels. What a hero! (Photo: James Long)

Bottom Line: In the photo shown above, Joe’s new miniature clothespins appear to be in accurate 1:6 scale. And the fact that they’re not made of stiff (pink) plastic and that they’re fully functional makes them even more appealing to 1:6 scalers and diorama builders who wish to recreate this exciting…uh…dangerous(?)…looking scene. Anyway, Happy Hunting!

Joe prepares his new EOD robot for use in searching suspicious cars and packages. (Photo: Sean Huxter)

Joe’s EOD robot. (Photo: Sean Huxter) Click to enlarge.

WIN A FREE E.O.D ROBOT!

Here’s How: In this exciting TJR “Bonus Contest,” be the first person to guess EXACTLY how many of the 1:6 scale clothespins are being held in the hand in the photo at the top of this article and you’ll win the FREE 1:6 scale EOD Robot shown at right (GIjOE figure not included).

To enter, simply leave a comment to this article, here on The Joe Report, and when the first correct answer appears, we’ll announce the winner. Please limit yourself to one entry per day. If you don’t hear from us via email, feel free to try again the next day until a winner is named.

International fans are also welcome to participate. The (1) prize will be shipped to the (1) lucky winner completely free of charge. Best of luck to all. Ready? Go!!!!!!

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Cool Flea Market Find: Breyer’s “Molly the Mule”

It's easy to imagine Joe or Johnny West getting into a heated tug-of-war with a decidedly defiant

Joe tries to calm Molly down— It’s easy to imagine Joe (or Johnny West) getting into a heated tug-of-war with a decidedly defiant “Molly the Mule” from Breyer. Imagine the possibilities! (Photo: Mark Otnes)

The original

This closeup of another original “Molly the Mule” shows it came in a basic brown and black color scheme. Excellent paint job! (Photo: kismetkennel)

Get UP, Girl! Just a quick heads up to notify you about a cool scale animal discovery made this past weekend at the 3rd Sunday flea market located in Bloomington, IL. As fans of 1:6 scale already know, Breyer horses, despite all of their wonderful qualities, are a tad undersized for most of our purposes at 1:6 scale. They’re actually typically sculpted at about 1:10 scale or so, but that’s not a hard and fast rule. Occasionally, the company puts out creations that can easily “blur the line” of acceptability between the two scale universes and look perfectly appropriate when posed alongside GIjOEs or Johnny West figures. For example—“Molly the Mule!”

This wonderfully painted blond version of Molly was recently spied over on ebay. (Photo: ebay)

This wonderfully painted blond version of Molly was recently spied over on ebay. (Photo: ebay)

Molly is a superbly sculpted and uniquely posed, “balking” beast of burden. It requires very little imagination to accept her use at 1:6 scale. If you don’t know much about mules or donkeys, you should know they come in a wide range of sizes (and colors) and are used for a variety of tasks. The smaller breeds were—and still are—used to pull children’s wagons and serve as canyon and/or mountain-climbing pack animals. Medium-sized mules (like ol’ Molly, here) are most often seen pulling fruit-n-vegetable vendor’s carts or farm plows. The largest mule breeds are typically harnessed together into teams for pulling heavily laden wagons. To me, Molly seems like a dead-ringer for those medium-sized breeds. That makes her appropriate for use in a wide variety of dioramas, all the way from the Old West to WWII European villages. YES!

This spotted version was found for sale online, still in its original box. Superb! (Photo: ebay)

This spotted version of “Molly” was found for sale online in its original box.  (Photo: ebay)

Bottom Line: My slightly nicked Molly the Mule will require a little TLC, but once restored, she will be a wonderful addition to my growing collection of diorama-ready animals. I only paid $5 at the flea market for her, but when I later researched Molly online, I found you can still pick up new ones on ebay and elsewhere for between $25 and $200 (depending on its year and version). Molly was apparently very popular, because she’s been remade in many different colors and patterns. You’ll have a wide choice depending on your preferences (and budget). I can’t wait to touch up my own brown-n-black Molly and add some real leather reins and rigging to her as well. Happy Hunting!

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Marvel Comics Inker and Master 1:6 Customizer, Wayne Faucher, Sells 1-of-a-Kind Custom G.I. Joe Adventure Team “Commando” on Ebay for $325!

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Wayne Faucher, renowned inker for Marvel Comics, created this superb 1:6 scale “Adventure Team Commando” custom GIjOE, and quickly found an eager buyer for it on ebay, where it sold for $325. (Graphics: Wayne Faucher) Click to enlarge.

This closeup of Faucher's custom AT

This closeup of Faucher’s custom AT “Commando” reveals top-notch quality and attention to detail. (Photo: Wayne Faucher) Click to enlarge.

We saw this listing on ebay recently and had to report on the outstanding opportunity it had afforded to fans of famed Marvel Comics inker, Wayne Faucher. It wasn’t for one of the artist’s inked masterpieces, but rather, for one of his most renowned 1:6 custom creations—the “Adventure Team Commando.” According to ebay:

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“Not long ago, DC/Marvel artist and avid 1/6 collector, Wayne Faucher, created the Adventure Team Commando line for his own personal collection. He wondered what GIjOE might have looked like if Hasbro had decided to maintain and extend Joe’s military theme through the Adventure Team era. This was the second member of that fantasy Team: The “Tough Guy” Black Ops Adventure Team Commando. He’s the guy the rest of the Adventurers seldom mention. Mysterious and lethal, his missions are shrouded in a world of top-secret darkness.”

The custom box created by Wayne Faucher also represents the top-level of customizing quality. Out-STANDING! (Photo: Wayne Faucher) Click to enlarge.

The custom box created by Wayne Faucher also demonstrates his mastery of top-level customizing quality. Out-STANDING! (Photo: Wayne Faucher) Click to enlarge.

WOWEE-WOW-WOW! What a cool back-story and description. It’s truly a shame Hasbro won’t put even HALF the effort (as demonstrated in Faucher’s customs) into creating new 12-inch GIjOEs. If they even came CLOSE to such excellent concepts, they’d have had no trouble selling them out to rabid collectors in a matter of days. The auction’s description goes on to say:

“In addition to the fully equipped figure, this set also comes with a custom coffin box (designed and built by Wayne Faucher), an original pencil sketch on a certificate of authenticity (drawn and signed by Mr. Faucher) and an 11×17 Adventure Team Commando print. This is the second in a series of AT Commando characters and a one-of-a-kind art piece. Depending on how well received this piece is, he may do more. Or not. This could be your only opportunity to obtain a duplicate of a custom directly from his collection.”

The COA, the 11

All For One Money: The winner of the auction received a hand-drawn and autographed COA, an 11″ x 17″ print, and the figure with a custom coffin box as shown above. WOW! (Photo: Wayne Faucher)

Faucher's amazing AT

Faucher’s amazing AT “Commando” prepares to send some serious lead downrange in this closeup taken by the creator. BRRRRRAPPPP!!!! (Photo: Wayne Faucher) Click to enlarge.

SO EXCITING! We can only keep our fingers crossed that Wayne believes the selling price of this set ($325) to be “well received” and that he might consider creating MANY more just like it. The description concluded thusly:

“This figure is a perfect amalgam of vintage GIjOE militaria and Adventure Team fantasy. He comes fully loaded with a vintage style Hasbro grease gun, 2 grenade launchers (vintage style and modern), Lebel pistol (with shoulder holster) a knuckle-knife and a custom dyed vintage style Backpack. He’s dressed in a vintage style Hasbro AT jumpsuit (custom dyed), black beret (with custom AT flash), black ammo belt with canteen and cover, and a custom death’s-head armband.  He also features knee/elbow pads, gloved hands, custom boots, micro AT dog tag, and aviator sunglasses. All Hasbro pieces (including the figure )are from the 40th Anniversary GIjOE or Action Man lines.”

Wayne Faucher poses in his home studio recently with a couple of his custom figures.

Wayne Faucher takes a moment in his studio to pose with a couple of his superb 1:6 scale custom figures. (Photo: Wayne Faucher) Click to enlarge.

Bottom Line: We originally showed Faucher’s superb AT Commando figure in an article published back in 2013 (see HERE). His life in comics has clearly given him keen creative insights that dovetail neatly and professionally into the realm of action figure customization. Now, some two years later, the dream of owning one of his 1:6 masterpieces has become a dream come true for one anonymous and VERY fortunate collector. It’s exciting too, to know that customizers like Faucher continue to push the GIjOE evolution envelope in this manner. Fantastic work, Wayne!

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Heads Up, Action Man Fans———2 Upcoming Shows To Take Place (Within 1 Week of Each Other) in 2 Village Halls (Only 2 Hours Distant) in the UK!

Action Man—Is HERE! Fans of all things Action Man gather 'round a dealer's table to search for 1:6 scale treasure during last year's VAME 4 toy show in the UK. (Photo: vame.freeforums.net)

Action Man—Is HERE! Fans of all things Action Man browse dealer tables at last year’s VAME 4 show in the UK. VAME 5, will be held on D-Day, June 6, 2015. BE THERE! (Photo: vame.freeforums.net)

Michael Acton, UK Action Man fan and collector (Photo: Michael Acton)

Michael Acton, UK Action Man fan and VAME Meet 5 organizer (Photo: Michael Acton)

Short 2-Hour Drive on the M1 Enables UK’s Action Man Fans to Gather at 2 Big Shows

Surely, Action Man fans living in the UK must realize how lucky they are whenever they glance at this year’s toy show calendar and see what’s coming up for them in the next 4-5 weeks: TWO big shows are being held at TWO separate village halls, only a short, 2-hour drive apart!

Because of greater distances and higher costs here in the United States, attending multiple shows each year is much more difficult for fans, both logistically and financially. It’d be a dream come true (for fans in the U.S.) to have to only drive 2 hours to attend such great events.

Fortunately for fans in the UK, they’ll be able to attend BOTH the Action Man Day 5 event scheduled for May 31st in the Village Hall in North Weald; then (only a week later) take a leisurely 2-hour jaunt up the M1 to the equally popular VAME Meet 5 being held in the Quorn Village Hall in Leicestershire (see map below).

A short drive up or down the M1 enables Action Man fans to easily gather at TWO big shows. WOW! (Map: Google Maps) Click to enlarge.

Would YOU drive 2 hours to see Action Man? Heck, yeah! A short drive up or down the M1 enables UK Action Man fans to easily gather at TWO big shows in 2015. WOW! (Map: Google Maps) Click to enlarge.

We asked VAME Meet 5 representative, Michael Acton (see his photo above the map), if he had any more intel on the upcoming show being held in Leicestershire and he kindly replied:

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Bob Brechin

Palitoy Chief Designer Bob Brechin holds up a vintage Action Man he’d just autographed for a fan. Brechin worked at Palitoy between 1967-1984, primarily on the Action Man and Star Wars lines. (Photo: Sierra1)

“It’s being held on 6th June 2015, in Quorn (near Loughborough), in Leicestershire UK. It is just a few miles from Palitoy’s main base in Coalville. There is more detail on the VAME website HERE if you’re interested. The show is more of a social event than the usual commercial toy fairs and is shaping up to be the biggest yet. It is actually the longest-running Action Man event left in the UK now, having been held every year since 2011!

This year, we expect to have several of the original Action Man/Palitoy design team reunited, including Chief Designer Bob Brechin (above), with the Leicestershire museum service bringing local material on the history of Palitoy, a jaw-dropping display of ultra-rare carded pieces recently discovered (and heading to auction soon), plus the regular Action Man displays by VAME members of rare pieces, customs and (of course) lots of vintage Action Man (and GIjOE) to buy and trade.

There will also be a BBC TV crew filming (for part of a documentary on Palitoy) as well and we will be taking the opportunity to discuss plans to mark the 50th Anniversary of Action Man’s UK launch, which comes up in 2016. This is all subject to confirmation nearer showtime, so please check our website for the latest show intel. It’s shaping up to be the best one yet!” —Michael Acton

The official poster for VAME Meet 5 is cleverly patterned after a vintage AM accessory card.

The official poster for VAME Meet 5 is cleverly patterned after a vintage AM accessory card. With FREE admission and FREE parking, how could you NOT attend? (Graphic: Michael Acton) Click to enlarge.

Quorn Village Hall, UK (Photo: Google Maps)

The Quorn Village Hall will be the site of VAME Meet 5, on June 6, 2015. (Photo: Google Maps)

One week prior to VAME Meet 5, Action Man fans will also gather northeast of London on May 31st for Action Man Day 5, in North Weald, Essex. Non-UK readers of The Joe Report are already familiar with that show (see our coverage of last year’s event HERE) and are rightfully envious of all the enjoyable activity we’ll miss. Organizer Daniel Smart had this to say about VAME Meet 5:

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Daniel Smart, UK Action Man collector (Photo: Daniel Smart)

Daniel Smart, UK Action Man collector (Photo: Daniel Smart)

“With many thanks to Clive (Clivvers) for his outstanding skills on this fantastic poster (see below), I am pleased to announce that Action Man Day 5 is now to be held on 31st May, 2015. Start saving your pennies, because this is the biggest and BEST one in the country and already we are nearly fully booked with all the regulars and a few new sellers. Be there or be elsewhere wishing you were there. All welcome, as usual. Entrance at 9.00AM. Kiddies are FREE!” —Daniel Smart

Action Man Day 5 Official Poster (Designed by Clivvers 2015)

Action Man Day 5 Official Poster (Designed by Clivvers 2015) Click to enlarge.

Bottom Line: It’s wonderful to see that the spirit of Action Man collecting is alive and well in the UK. And it’s equally wonderful to learn that two big shows will be conveniently located within reasonable driving distance for all of the fans who wish to attend. Best of luck, mates! Go, Action Man!

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