Monthly Archives: November 2015

G.I. Joe’s “#1 Fan,” James DeSimone, Announces Dec. 6 Show in Burbank, CA Will Be “Our Last”

DeSimone's magnificent self-published guide to vintage 12-inch GIjOEs has become required "reading" for all Joeheads. (Photo: James DeSimone)

DeSimone’s magnificent self-published (1994) guide to collecting vintage GIjOEs has long been required “reading” for fans. (Photo: James DeSimone)

In a blunt and slightly mournful official press release, famed GIjOE historian, author and collector, James DeSimone, announced that his upcoming December 6th toy sale being held in Burbank, CA “will be our last GIjOE Show.” The sad announcement shouldn’t come as a surprise to readers of The Joe Report. Most of you already know that, for decades, DeSimone has been hosting GIjOE and vintage toy collecting shows in major cities on both the east and west coasts; and that most recently (primarily for health reasons), he’d begun hosting them closer to his home in California. In our last article on DeSimone’s evolving story (see HERE), we reported that he was steadily selling off his vast, personal collection, both at toy shows and during one “final auction.” Now down to the very last pieces, he intends on going out with a positive attitude, declaring the event will be:

“Our last GIjOE show. Come say good-by to your friends…and buy some Christmas gifts. Come have a fun time with your fellow collectors!!!” —James DeSimone, CA

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We reached James recently at his home in California, and he generously provided some additional and exclusive behind-the-scenes intel re: this announcement. answering the following questions:

"GIJOE's #1 Fan," James DeSimone (Photo: James DeSimone)

“GIJOE’s #1 Fan,” James DeSimone (Photo: James DeSimone)

TJR: Can you tell us why this will be the LAST James DeSimone GIjOE and vintage toy collecting show?

malecommentJD: “It’s simply too much for me to handle, Mark.”

TJR: What are your plans for the future, then?

JD: “I want to spend what time I have left, traveling. I’ve been to over 1,000 cities, all 50 states, and 44 countries on 6 continents. I have just over 200 days of cruising (on the high seas) so far, with a goal of 366.”

TJR: Is there any place you’re still hoping to visit?

JD: “I am working on going to Antarctica.”

TJR: Is there anything further you’d care to share with GIjOE fans and collectors at this time?

JD: “I still have lots of loose, common, 1964 GIjOE combat equipment for sale. Spread the word!”

TJR: Will do. Thanks again for everything. Take care and best of luck with the show!

JD: “Thank you for your support and concern, Mark.”

Ramada Inn, Burbank, CA (Photo: Ramada Inn)

Ramada Inn, Burbank, CA (Photo: Ramada Inn)

Bottom Line: As always, we wish Mr. DeSimone all the best and a “Bon Voyage” in all his future travel and life adventures. If you’re able to attend, here are all the other details for his upcoming and “final” GIjOE Toy Show: Sunday, Dec 6, 2015. Place: Ramada Inn Hotel, 2900 San Fernando, Burbank, CA. Early Bird admission is at 7AM for $10. General admission is $5. Spaces with NO tables (bring your own table) are $50 each and you can paypal: batkave@hotmail.com.

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TV Comedy, “Family Guy,” Parodies ’80s Animated G.I. Joe PSAs With Mexican Character, “G.I. Jose”

We’re not exactly sure HOW in today’s world of super-sensitivity and political correctness, that some forms of harmless advertising characterization, comedic parody and/or ethnically derived humor suffers from endless public protest, while other examples seem to escape unnoticed and/or untouched. This baffling lack of consistency is a double-standard that confounds non-PCers who cling to endangered senses of humor and common sensical abilities to discern the difference.

The Frito Bandito character as it appeared on a sack of Fritos Corn Chips. (Photo: Frito-Lay)

The Frito Bandito character as it appeared on a sack of Fritos Corn Chips.

One memorable example often cited occurred in the 1960s, when Frito-Lay created its lovable and popular advertising icon dubbed, “The Frito Bandito.” In terms of appearance, the character sported an oversized sombrero and crossed bullet bandoliers and was clearly patterned after actor Alfonso Bedoya in his unforgettable portrayal of “Gold Hat” (a Mexican bandit leader) in the 1948 film, “The Treasure of the Sierra Madre.” Like Bedoya, the Frito Bandito spoke with a Mexican accent (voice-acted by comedy legend, Mel Blanc) and the character’s advertising campaign was primarily targeted at children in a series of print ads, store displays, product packaging and of course, animated TV commercials. In the spots, the bandito’s demeanor was VERY friendly, decidedly gentle, and wholesomely upbeat. As might be expected, he became very popular among children (and parents) and sales of the company’s snack chips soared.

Now, some 50 years later, Frito’s lovable snack icon appears only on lists of TV characters deemed (by some) to be “offensive.” Very sad. But what about “G.I. Jose;” a new character occasionally shown on TV’s, Family Guy? Despite a less-than-flattering portrayal of an hispanic male (gut sticking out from t-shirt, illiterate advice, etc.), the character has generated little public outcry. This inconsistency of reaction is bound to confuse many who strive to be politically correct in “all things.” Regardless, fans of 3.75″ GIjOEs will find G.I. Jose especially amusing, as his spots parody ’80s GIjOE PSAs that were once routinely shown during Saturday morning cartoons.

An unknown driver in his customized G.I. Jose van. (Photo: The Huffington Post)

Magnifico! An unknown driver in his customized “G.I. Jose” van. (Photo: The Huffington Post)

Bottom Line: Regardless of where you fall on the ever-moving lines of political correctness, parody, and acceptable ethnic humor (see related article HERE), it appears that SOMEONE out there really likes Family Guy’s newest character (see his photo above). Go, G.I. Jose!

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Another Adult-Themed “Joe Sighting”———G.I. Joes (and Barbies) Feature Prominently in European TV Commercial For———Ahem———”Tulipan Condoms”

GIjOE fan and collector, Carin J. Reddig (Photo: Carin J. Reddig)

GIjOE fan and collector, Carin J. Reddig (Photo: Carin J. Reddig)

It used to take years for GIjOE fans to track down a particularly rare or unusual TV, film or video clip related to their favorite 12″ (or 3.75″) action figure. But now, thanks to the growth of subject matter being cataloged over at Google and YouTube, such a search can sometimes require only seconds. Regardless of when this particular “Joe Sighting” was found, we want to give credit where credit is clearly due, and that is to intrepid TJR Field Reporter, Carin J. Reddig, of California. In a short Facebook comment first posted by Reddig, she warned those who might be offended by this (1999) European TV commercial’s adult subject matter, stating:

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“We’ve seen a few commercials that use Barbies and GI Joes. I have never seen this one before… my apologies in advance!” —Carin J. Reddig, CA

Bottom Line: Our sincerest thanks and congratulations to Carin for reporting this latest addition to fandom’s growing collection of Joe Sightings. Stay tuned for: The father’s impression of why his son plays with Barbies is shattered by the boy’s hilarious dream sequence at the end. Too Funny!

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Eddie Murphy’s Raunchy “Fart Game” w/ G.I. Joe

Eddie Murphy acts out how he used to play with his GIjOE in the bathtub during his famous "Fart Game" routine in this screenshot from the 198 stand-up film, Delirious.

Playing With GIjOE— Eddie Murphy acts out how he used to manuever his GIjOE in the bathtub while playing “The Fart Game” in this screenshot taken from his 1983 film, Delirious.

It’s time for some irreverent ’80s humor with one of our favorite comedians, Eddie Murphy. As you well know, here at The Joe Report, we’re interested in documenting and sharing all pop-culture references, movies, television programs and videos that include our favorite 12-inch action figure—GIjOE—and today’s find is one of the more unusual that we’ve come across.

Interestingly, this particular “Joe Sighting” is one in which GIjOE is never actually shown. Rather, our hero only appears in Murphy’s hilariously juvenile imagination; specifically, within a raunchy recollection of a childhood game that (as a child) he once played in the bathtub. He dubs this activity, “The Fart Game.”

Bottom Line: In his (1983) “Delirious” stand-up film, Murphy recounts how GIjOE played an important (and insertable) role in the aforementioned “game.” But take heed, the clip includes adult language and content which may not be appropriate for all ages—even though it’s about GIjOE!

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By Asgard! 1:6 Scale Mjölnir (Thor’s Hammer) Now Available at Hobby Lobby Craft Stores

This packs a WHOLLOP— Here's what the Thor hammer keyring looks like in the store. It's bagged in cello which makes it a tad difficult to see, but the backing card has some holographic rainbow coloring to help you find it among all the other tiny

This packs a WHOLLOP— Here’s what the Thor hammer keyring looks like in the store. It’s bagged in cello which makes it a tad difficult to see, but the backing card has some holographic rainbow effects to attract your eye and help you find it among all the other items up by the register. (Photo: Mark Otnes)

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Like it Says— Jack “King” Kirby drew this panel in an old Thor comic book, revealing the legendary inscription imposed by Odin. (Art: Marvel Comics)

Are YOU worthy? According to Asgardian legend, only “he who is worthy” should be able to lift Thor’s hammer. Thankfully, that restriction doesn’t apply to an absolutely superb mini-replica now available in your friendly neighborhood Hobby Lobby (and we assume, other) stores located across the U.S. While picking up some crafting supplies last night, our art staff stumbled upon this stunning miniature version of Thor’s beloved “Mjölnir,’ and was delighted to discover that it was both a keyring—and—in perfect 1:6 scale.

Whichever Thor figure you own and have at home, you’ll likely want to replace his hammer with this one. It’s fantastic! The detail is simply breathtaking.

Quite a handful— Despite it's diminutive size, the all-metal hammer is quite hefty (and handsome). (Photo: Mark Otnes)

Quite the handful— Despite its diminutive size, Thor’s hammer is quite hefty. (Photo: Mark Otnes)

First of all, it’s made of actual metal. It also features tiny Norse rune writing around the top and includes a real leather strap at the end of the handle. Without a doubt, this mystical miniature mallet will make a wonderful upgrade to any Thor figure and would serve equally well as a background detailing item for your 1:6 scale superhero dioramas. Despite the hammer’s metallic construction, our gung-ho gripped GIjOE had no trouble holding it aloft. Costwise, you’re only looking at $7.99, so we must say,”Prithee, thou canst beat that lowly sum!” And yes, “Thou couldst carry thine keys on it, as well!”

Forsooth—Here are some more photos:

More good news— The hammer isn't just an ordinary looking tool. It was carefully styled and copied from the one in the Marvel films (as this sticker confirms). (Photo: Mark Otnes)

More good news— This 1:6 scale hammer isn’t just an ordinary tool. It was carefully styled and copied from the ones used in “Avengers: Age of Ultron” (as this sticker confirms). (Photo: Mark Otnes)

Step One— Remove the unneeded keyring and other hardware. Be sure to use TWO needlenose pliers to open the ring and not hurt the hammer. (Photo: Mark Otnes)

Careful Now— After you’ve unpacked the hammer, remove the unneeded keyring and clip hardware. Be sure to use TWO needlenose pliers to open the ring and not hurt the hammer! (Photo: Mark Otnes)

Here's what you'll receive— After you've removed the rings and clip, your hammer will be ready for use. (Photo: Mark Otnes)

Here’s what you’ll receive— Absolutely superb craftsmanship! (Photo: Mark Otnes)

It's Detailed at the Top— We can't read this without a microscope, but it's surely the motto written in runes, right? (Photo: Mark Otnes)

It’s Detailed at the Top— We can’t read this tiny inscription without a microscope, but it’s surely the “worthy” motto written in Norse runes, aye? Simply wonderful details. (Photo: Mark Otnes)

Any strong Joe (with tight joints) should have no trouble hoisting Thor's mighty hammer high. (Photo: Mark Otnes)

King Arthur, Who?— Any strong GIjOE (with tight shoulder joints) should have no trouble hoisting Thor’s mighty hammer high. Our test subject had no problem. Lightning bolts, anyone? (Photo: Mark Otnes)

Bottom Line: This cool miniature will make a great addition to your 1:6 scale collection and costs only $7.99 at Hobby Lobby. If there’s any problem, it’s that our store had only 3 in stock. That seems to indicate they may not last long. So… Get off your lay-z-boy and go shopping, Earthling!

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G.I. Joe “Classic Collection” Artist Releases New Military Art Calendar For 2016 Holiday Season

This will BLOW YOU AWAY— Can you imagine a better way to decorate the wall of your Joe Room than a new 2016 calendar from famed GIjOE artist, Larry Selman? Out-STANDING! (Photo: Mark Otnes)

This will BLOW YOU AWAY— Can you imagine a better way to decorate the wall of your Joe Room than a new 2016 calendar from famed GIjOE artist, Larry Selman? Out-STANDING! (Photo: Mark Otnes)

Bottom Line: Heads up, GIjOE and military history fans! A great new 2016 calendar has recently been released by Classic Collection artist extraordinaire, Larry Selman, just in time for this holiday shopping season. Much to our surprise, Selman sent us a free sample (THANKS, Larry!) and we have to tell you, it is freakin’ AWESOME! What better gift can you give a Joehead (or loved one) than a calendar ($20) that’s chocked full of iconic GIjOE packaging artwork? And who better to purchase one from than the artist himself? Here’s the link to get one for YOUR Joe Room. Enjoy!

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SHOCKER! “G.I. Joe” Cop Intentionally Misleads Investigators, Stole From IL Youth Program, Commits Suicide and “Extensive Criminal Acts”

Lt. Joseph

No Hero— Lt. Joseph “G.I. Joe” Gliniewicz (now deceased) in his squad car. (Photo: Tom Ahern)

Bottom Line: Ouch. What a sad and pathetic story. However, despite its depressing outcome, we felt compelled to report the latest findings regarding the Illinois police officer nicknamed “G.I. Joe” and the unsettling realities of his actions. Make sure you have some Tums or Alka-Seltzer on hand before you read THIS gut-wrenching story over on the Chicago Tribune website.

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