Monthly Archives: December 2015

“The Joe Report” Continued to Add Subscribers and Break G.I. Joe Fan Readership Records in 2015

Our stats in 2015 were staggering. Everything trended higher and higher. Our most read article was an exclusive interview we held with Hasbro's own, Derryl DePriest. But that was only one of hundreds of new

Our readership stats in 2015 were literally staggering. Everything trended higher, with our most-read article being an exclusive interview with Hasbro’s own, Derryl DePriest (see HERE). (Graphic: WordPress)

Conquering the World— Shaded countries indicate where our readers resided in 2015. We're still working on ways to crack China's governmental censorship, Greenland's lack of humans, and the Middle East's fanatical dislike for action figures and toys in general. Oh well, onward and upward! (Graphic: WordPress)

Conquering the World?— In this official statistical map provided to us by WordPress, the shaded countries indicate where readers of The Joe Report resided in 2015. As you can see, other than North Korea, Afghanistan, Iran and Greenland, we’re doing VERY well! (Graphic: WordPress)

Bottom Line: We had a very good 2015—thanks to YOU, our loyal readers. Article publication was up. Reader comments were up. Overall viewership from fans in countries all around the world—was up, up, UP. We want to sincerely thank each and every one of you for your faithful subscriptions and insightful intel. Without your assistance, production of The Joe Report would not be possible. We’d also like to wish everyone reading this message a very healthy and Happy New Year in 2016. We’ll see you all again, next year. GO, JOE! —Sincerely, Mark Otnes, Editor of The Joe Report.

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How Much Larger Can Action Figures Get? New Darth Vader and Stormtrooper “Battle Buddies” Part of JAKKS BIG FIGS New “Colossal” (2:3) Scale

WHOA! How BIG can action figures get? This display at a Meijer store of the new 48" tall "Colossal" figure by Jakks is sure to stop traffic. (At least until the parents get a gander at the price tags. Ouch!) (Photo: Mark Otnes)

Almost Life-sized— This Star Wars toy display spied at a Meijer store in Urbana, Illinois, highlights two of the new 48″ tall “Colossal” figures by Jakks Toys. Their impressive height (seen in comparison to the shopping cart) is sure to surprise, maybe even STARTLE, some passing shoppers. (Photo: Mark Otnes)

We were in our local Meijer store in Urbana, Illinois, recently, when we happened upon a mid-aisle display of two of the largest and tallest action figures we’ve ever seen. Measuring in at a stunning 48″ (4 ft.) in height (what is that, 2/3rd scale?) the new Darth Vader and Stormtrooper figures were undeniably impressive and our jaws dropped appropriately (and obediently) as we approached.

Whoa, you're BIG! That's right kid, these new Jakks "Colossal Scale" figures will

Whoa, you’re BIG! That’s right kid, the new Jakks “Colossal Scale” Darth Vader figure will make you feel like a shrimp by comparison. It’ll also help to lighten your parent’s wallet—at $99 each. (Photo: Jakks)

After researching these guys further, we’ve learned they’re the forerunners of a new Jakks Big Figs “Colossal Scale” line that promises to bring really BIG figures into collector’s lives (as if our Joe Rooms weren’t packed enough already). And while they’re stiff and barely poseable, each figure does come with nicely detailed costumes, gear and/or weaponry, plus motion-sensitive electronics and sounds. Their almost life-sized dimensions too, provide exciting possibilities for further customization and enhancement by talented hobbyists. One such creative Dad has already cut up one of the stormtrooper figures so that its collective component parts could be fit onto his son’s body as a highly realistic costume. Out-STANDING work! (see video demonstration below).

This would make a great costume! That's right kid, as we now know, if you cut this toy up, children of a certain size can fit INSIDE the parts, making an astonishing stormtrooper costume. (Photo: Jakks)

This would make a great costume As we now know, if you cut this toy up, children of a certain size can fit INSIDE its parts, making for an astonishing stormtrooper costume (until he/she outgrows it). (Photo: Jakks)

Bottom Line: There are now Star Wars figures available in every size imaginable; from the smallest 1:18 scale figures to full 1:1 scale and everywhere in-between. Of course, these new (very) large Jakks toys are pricey ($99 suggested retail) and you’ll want to do some serious shopping online and elsewhere to ensure you find the best deal. The figures we found at our local Meijer were listed at $99, but after Christmas (if there’s any left) they’ll surely be marked down. Happy Hunting!

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G.I. Joe “Sighting” in a 1990 Episode of “Cheers”

Bottom Line: In this quick “Joe Sighting” discovered recently by our doggedly determined research staff (i.e. ME, with my feet up watching TV) during the popular NBC sitcom, Cheers, fans don’t get to see any GIjOEs per se, but the high volume of Barbie dolls on display throughout the bedroom (combined with Ted Danson’s suggestive comment) are all viewers need to imagine what Joe would be doing IF he was there. The scene takes place near the end of an episode entitled, “Loverboyd,” and originally aired in 1990 during Season 8 of the sitcom. Enjoy!

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“New” G.I. Joe Collector Recreates Childhood Christmas Photo of Himself———40 Years Later!

Todd Thibedeau of Oak Lawn, Illinois, on Christmas morning, 1900. Forty years later, Todd would recreate this exact image—with GIjOE. (Photo: Thibedeau Family)

Remember When— A happy Todd Thibedeau of Oak Lawn, Illinois, poses with his all-new Adventure Team GIjOEs on Christmas morning, 1975. Some forty years later, Todd has recreated this exact image—with the exact same lineup of vintage AT GIjOEs. Out-STANDING! (Photo: Thibedeau Family)

Do you remember when you first fell in love—with GIjOE? For many Joe fans, it was undoubtedly around Christmas-time, many, MANY years ago. Exciting “adventure” commercials were aired on TV during Saturday morning cartoons, spurring desire for GIjOE’s latest incarnations and prompting consumer “action” (i.e. sales). Fueled by sugary breakfast cereals (Quisp, Capt. Crunch, etc.), children would glue eager faces to their television screens and literally drool over the latest and greatest toys being offered that holiday season. Now, decades later, one adult GIjOE collector has decided to recreate his own (very) special childhood memory (and moment) by reacquiring a specific list of Adventure Team-related figures, equipment and vehicles. According to a recent Facebook post by Todd Thibedeau of Oak Lawn, Illinois:

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“I’ve been collecting GIjOEs for a short period of time (less than a year) and my thanks goes out to Christopher Tucci for reintroducing me to my best childhood memories. When Chris asked what I was going to focus on in my collection, I was all over the place, as there is so MUCH out there.

One thing I did tell him, is that I wanted to get things that I had had when I was a kid. Once I had found this old picture (see me above) I realized that I had found my collecting ‘goal.’ The last item I needed to recreate that picture arrived in the mail today!

In my short time collecting GIjOE, I’ve already acquired WAY too much and am still ‘all over the place’ in my collecting habits. However, taking this new photo (see me again, below) has been 40+ years in the making is a definite pinnacle—so far. One more special thanks to ‘Commander Chris’ for helping me reacquire the AT vehicles needed for this picture.” —Todd Thibedeau, Oak Lawn, IL

This item-by-item recreation of Todd's childhood photo is an amazing demonstration of how GIjOE fans and collectors may age on the outside, but inside they're still all kids at heart. Out-STANDING! (Photo: Todd

Reunited for New Adventures Todd’s item-by-item recreation of his childhood Christmas photo demonstrates the sort of determination and affection GIjOE fans still hold for their favorite childhood toys. While they may be aging on the outside, inside, they’re still kids at heart! (Photo: Todd Thibedeau)

Bottom Line: Our sincerest appreciation to Todd Thibedeau for sharing these wonderful images with us today on The Joe Report. If you’ve been able to recreate a similar moment-in-time in your life, please send it to us so that we can share it with the entire GIjOE collecting community. Thanks!

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HO! HO! HO! 1:6 Scale G.I. Joe “Santa Hat”———Only $1!

A Perfect Fit— You couldn't ask for a better Santa hat for GIjOE. And this beauty only costs $1 at your neighborhood Dollar Store. Happy Holidays! (Photo: Mark Jones)

A Perfect Fit— You couldn’t ask for a better Santa hat for GIjOE. And this beauty only costs $1 at your neighborhood Dollar Tree Store. Happy Holidays! (Photo: Mark Landvick)

Keen, experienced and “trained” eyes are required to spot items that will work perfectly in GIjOE’s 1:6 scale universe. We’re talking about items that are not sold or marketed as 1:6 scale, but when viewed alongside 12″ GIjOE action figures, prove to be, as the British like to say, “spot on” for that purpose. One such superb example of this multi-purpose phenomenon comes to us today from “The Jones Boys” in beautiful Wauconda, Illinois. It’s a fuzzy 1:6 scale Santa Hat that, although it was designed, manufactured and sold with a cord and jingle bell to be worn as a “bell necklace,” its original purpose is quickly and easily forgotten as its “discoverer,” Mark Landvick, informs us:

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“We found these bell necklaces at the Dollar Tree and after carefully removing the glue connecting it to the bell, the hat fit ‘just right!’ We live in Island Lake, IL, the store is in Wauconda, IL. —Mark, Mickey and McGwire Landvick

The Mark Jones Family at the last GIjOE Convention. (Photo: Mark Jones)

“Eagle-Eyed” Fans— The Mark Landvick Family at a recent GIjOE Convention. (Photo: Mark Landvick)

Can YOU See the 1:6 Potential? Sometimes you need to look carefully to spot the "hidden 1:6 scale treasure" sitting before you. Here's what the item looks like in the store. Simply remove the hat from the bell and your GIjOE can play Santa at this year's office or barracks party! (Photo: Mark Jones)

Can YOU Spot the Hidden 1:6 Potential? To become a true “1:6 scaler,” fans need to look beyond an item’s original purpose and discover its hidden 1:6 scale potential. For example, here’s what this item looks like in the store. After removing the hat, Joe can wear it to this year’s barracks Christmas party. HOOah! (Photo: Mark Landvick)

Joe looks GREAT in his new Santa hat (only $1!) (Photo: Mark Jones)

Joe looks GREAT in his new Santa hat (only $1!) (Photo: Mark Landvick)

Bottom Line: Our sincerest thanks go out to Mark, Mickey, and McGwire Landvick, aka “The Jones Boys,” for their keen-eyed, timely reporting of this excellent (and inexpensive) 1:6 scale accessory. Remember, the next time you’re browsing down the aisles of a Dollar Tree or other such “general” store, be sure to slow down and take a second, closer look at all of the tiny little objects hanging on those pegs. You never know what you’ll find. And, as this year’s holiday season (and the new year) progresses, we’re hopeful more fans of 1:6 scale will locate similar items and send in their own “field reports.” When they do, we promise to share them with you—on The Joe Report!

But wait, there's MORE! Mark created this wonderful Christmas scene with hats, a tree and even miniature gift boxes—all from Dollar Tree. Out-STANDING! (Photo: Mark Jones)

But wait, there’s MORE! Mark created this wonderful Christmas scene with the hats, a tree and even some miniature gift boxes—all from that Dollar Tree store. Out-STANDING! (Photo: Mark Landvick)

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Today’s Pearl Harbor Memorial Ceremonies Are Viewable Via Worldwide Live-Streaming Coverage

Of course, no Hollywood movie could ever truly capture the holocaust of events inflicted upon Americans during the actual surprise attack. (Photo: US Navy)

The Japanese surprise attack on American forces, Pearl Harbor, HA, Dec. 7, 1941. (Photo: US Navy)

Bottom Line: Watch LIVE coverage of today’s memorial ceremonies via THIS streaming video link.

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G.I. Joe “Dream-Worthy” Lanard Warehouse Sale Now Underway———Exclusively in Sugar Creek, MO

"GIjOE Dreams" can range from the fanciful to the farcical (Attack of the Giant Joes, anyone?). But one of the most common hopeful visions appears to be the simple "Wishful Thinker," where fans and collectors imagine the blissful (and unlikely) scenario of finding their favorite action figures back on store shelves and for sale again. (Keep dreaming, buddy.) (Photo composite: Mark Otnes)

“GIjOE Dreams” can range from the fanciful to the farcical; and one of the most commonly reported of these toy-related visions comes in the form of a “wishful thinker” scenario, wherein the collector imagines a blissful dream of discovering that his (or her) favorite toys have returned to store shelves and are once again available for sale. (Sigh… Keep dreaming, bud!) (Fantasy photo composite: Mark Otnes)

Is THIS Toy Heaven?— Blink and you might miss it. The plain-looking exterior of the Lanard Toy Store located in Sugar Creek, Missouri, belies the myriad toy treasures that await within, especially during its almost mythical, annual “Lanard Warehouse Sale.” (Photo: Google Earth)         Click to enlarge.

Have you ever dreamt about GIjOEs or other toys? You know the kind of dreams we’re talking about; wherein you’re walking down the aisle of a toy store and are delighted to discover all of its shelves jammed tight, floor-to-ceiling, with thousands of NEW action figures, vehicles and related equipment sets? Well, it turns out that such a collector fantasy has finally become—a REALITY.

We’re referring to a real-life toy sale held once a year inside the nondescript brick building of the Lanard Toy Store, located at 106 North Sterling Avenue in Sugar Creek, Missouri. Sugar Creek is a sleepy (yet magical) suburb of Kansas City, and until Christmas Eve, between the hours of 9AM and 6PM on weekdays and 12PM to 4PM on Saturdays and Sundays, the town’s tiny toy store will be jammed to its rafters with enough items to make every toy collector’s favorite fantasy come true. To learn more about this amazing event, we contacted Rob Buzan (of the famous Joeaday website found HERE) and he kindly wired us this exclusive intel:

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GIjOE fan, collector and expert, Rob Buzan, of joeaday.com. (Photo: Rob Buzan)

GIjOE expert, Rob Buzan, of joeaday.com. (Photo: Rob Buzan)

“I found out about this annual sale years ago (early 2000s) via various GI Joe message boards. Lanard had been producing the CORPS! line of action figures since 1986. Their original releases copied the 80s GI Joe line in construction style, marketing concept (individual characters with specialties and code names) and scaled vehicles. Over the years, their line evolved to include adventure, police and rescue themes and also introduced 12-inch figures (called the Ultra CORPS!) with cloth outfits.

When the small GI Joes switched from an o-ring design to a simpler swivel joint construction, Lanard followed suit. This style has continued as the standard, until ball jointed legs were introduced in 2015. Most every year, the overseas HQ sends a shipping container to the local warehouse. The stock usually includes items that are overstocked, old-stock, international, or even damaged stock that can’t be sold in stores. I’ve even found packaged samples and quality control samples over the years. The international variants are some of the most interesting items. Hope this helps you out. If your readers need any more info, let me know.” —Rob Buzanjoeaday. com

Sugar Creek and the Lanard Toy Store are only an 18 minute drive from Kansas City, MO. (Graphic: Google Maps)

A short drive to make your toy dreams come true— Sugar Creek and the Lanard Toy Store are only a quick (18 minute) drive from the heart of Kansas City, MO. (Graphic: Google Maps)

Bottom Line: Our sincerest thanks to Rob Buzan for his timely and informative reportage and for the wonderful “on the scene” video he also provided regarding this event (see below). Rob was one of the first to break the news regarding this exciting sale and has been reporting on it annually since 2010! He continues to provide the entire GIjOE collecting community with all the latest and greatest intel (especially fans of the smaller scale figures) and if you haven’t discovered Rob’s excellent website, we highly recommend you pay it (and him) a visit (HERE). For now… Enjoy Rob’s video:

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Can’t Wait For Joelanta? “First Time” Conyers Toy & Comic Show Slated For December 6, 2015

Conyers Toy and Comic Show Poster (Graphic: CTCS)

Official poster for the Conyers Toy and Comic Show (Graphic: Dutch Cummings)

GIjOE fan and collector, Marten Jallad (Photo: Marten Jallad)

Renowned GIjOE fan and vintage toy collector, Marten Jallad (Photo: Marten Jallad)

There’s still 3 long months before the hugely popular Joelanta show finally opens its doors once again in Atlanta, GA. <Yes!> But fortunately (especially if you’re having trouble waiting that long), fans in nearby Conyers, GA (only 27 minutes away) are now inviting collectors to attend their own “first time” toy and comic show this coming Sunday, December. 6th, at the American Legion Post 77. Organizers include two of the most trusted and reliable “veterans” of both Joelanta and GATS (the Great Atlanta Toy Show), Dutch Cummings and Marten Jallad. They hope to attract both buyers and sellers of vintage toys, comic books, games, action figures, dolls, trading cards and (according to Dutch’s poster) “a whole lot more!” Here are two comments from the show’s Facebook page:

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“I’ll be there with a TON of vintage toys, playsets, GI Joes and games. I’ve been collecting for 30 years and I’m about ready to cut it loose. This will be a big show so don’t miss it!”
Keel Heisler

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“Let’s get it off to a great start for our first event there and then we’ll see about growing it for next year!!” —Melanie Smith Cummings

An actual Huey helicopter mounted high off the ground greets visitors to the American Legion Post 77 in Conyers, GA. (Photo: ALP77)

Dust-Off! An actual Huey helicopter greets visitors to the American Legion Post 77 in Conyers, GA. The post will be the site of the Conyers Toy and Comic Show on December 6, 2015. (Photo: ALP77)

Show organizer, Dutch Cummings, of Phenix City, AL, peeks from behind a promotional postcard he designed for his upcoming toy show in Conyers, GA. (Photo: Dutch Cummings)

Show organizer, Dutch Cummings, of Phenix City, AL, peeks from behind one of the promotional postcards he’s designed for the upcoming toy show in Conyers, GA. (Photo: Dutch Cummings)

Bottom Line: This looks to be a great new event for GIjOE, comic book and vintage toy fans (residing in the Southeastern United States) to rally behind and support. And as for Joeheads who’ve grown tired of the year-long waits in-between Joelanta gatherings, this new show should provide THEM with ample opportunity to buy, sell and trade their collectibles. Admission is just $5 per person and ages under 5 are allowed in FREE with a paid admission. If you’d like to be a vendor (i.e., seller), and are interested in purchasing tables, email: msmelaniec@me.com. Tables are sold on a “first com/first paid” basis and we believe they’re already sold out, but there may still be a sort of “waiting list” for late vendors to get on (it never hurts to ask). Our best wishes to the organizers, vendors and attendees of this “first time” toy gathering in Conyers, GA. Go, Dutch and Marten!

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