Matches for: “ornament” …

FLASH!——— Hallmark Announces Surprise October Release of a “50th Anniversary (Action Soldier) G.I. Joe” Keepsake Ornament For Christmas 2014

This closeup of the upcoming (limited-edition) "50th Anniversary GIjOE" keepsake ornament by Hallmark measures approximately 4.5"h. We assume the Action Soldier box graphics continue all the way around. FANTASTIC! (Photo: Hallmark)

This closeup of the upcoming (limited-quantity) “50th Anniversary GIjOE” keepsake ornament by Hallmark measures approximately 4.5″h and should be available in stores in time for Christmas 2014. Although it cannot be determined from this early photo, we assume the Action Soldier box graphics continue all the way around. HOO-ah! Happy 50th, GIjOE! (Photo: Hallmark)

Limited-Edition Ornament Is Not Listed in 2014 Keepsake Catalog

It may seem somewhat early to be thinking about Christmas 2014, but in this case, a little foreknowledge may not be a bad thing. As you’re probably well aware, Hallmark releases its annual Christmas tree ornament selection into stores well before the holidays, and also sells them from a printed catalog and variety of websites. However, what you may not know is that a handful of special ornaments are produced every year that are NOT advertised in the company’s catalog, greatly limiting their quantities and public awareness of their existence.

In addition, Christmas tree ornament collecting has developed into a growing hobby of its own, with a dedicated cadre of followers that—similar to GIjOE fans—belong to a variety of online fan clubs, forums, voluntary e-mail lists and other such enthusiast groups encouraged by Hallmark and other ornament manufacturers. Fortunately (for us Joeheads), one such “ornament enthusiast” also happens to be an ardent GIjOE fan and collector. She’s The Joe Report’s own “ace” Field Reporter, Raquel Castro, who generously filed the following EXCLUSIVE REPORT with our news bureau:

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“This year, Hallmark is releasing a 50th Anniversary GIjOE ornament on Saturday, October 4th, during its ‘Debut Weekend.’ Unfortunately, it is classified as a ‘limited-edition’ ornament, which means that there will only be about 6 ornaments available—per store. If your readers want one, they will have to be at a Hallmark store bright and early on that day! It costs $19.95 and is at the most 4.5″h.”

I am a Keepsake Ornament Club (KOC) member, so I can check Hallmark’s members-only website and receive special emails and newsletters about items like this. I also check yulelog.com which is a great resource for Hallmark collectors.” —Raquel Castro

Bottom Line: Once again, our ever-expanding web of Field Reporters has come through with some very juicy and exclusive GIjOE-related intel. Our sincerest thanks to Raquel Castro for this exciting and informative update. Finally, here are a few photos of some upcoming (mass-produced) Hallmark ornaments that may also be of interest to 1:6 scale customizers and diorama builders. Enjoy!

The "Pretty Pink Trike" keepsake ornament measures approximately 3"l x 2.5"h x 1.5"w and would make an ideal decor item for a 1:6 scale Christmas diorama. Love that chrome! And yes, the wheels turn. (Photo: Hallmark)

The “Pretty Pink Trike” keepsake ornament measures approximately 3″l x 2.5″h x 1.5″w and would make an ideal decor item for a 1:6 scale Christmas tree diorama. Love that chrome! And yes, its wheels turn too. (Photo: Hallmark)

Measuring almost 3" in diameter, this light-n-sound mini "Simon" game would look great sitting on a 1:6 scale table between two Joes. FUN! (Photo: Hallmark)

Measuring almost 3″ in diameter, this light-n-sound mini “Simon” game would look great sitting on a 1:6 scale table between two Joes. FUN! (Photo: Hallmark)

Here's another great "vintage" era background item that would add a lot of fun to any 1:6 diorama. This TV ornament plays the Brady Bunch (and ONLY the Brady Bunch) 24/7. HA! With lights and sound, it measures 2.75" h x 3"w. Marsha, Marsha, Marsha! (Photo: Hallmark)

Here’s another great vintage or Adventure Team-era background item that would add a lot of fun to any 1:6 diorama. This TV ornament lights up, plays the Brady Bunch theme song, and measures 2.75″ h x 3″w. Marsha, Marsha, Marsha! Good item for a mini Joe room, game room, or bedroom dio! (Photo: Hallmark)

This 1942 Harley-Davidson "Liberator" motorcycle would look AMAZING as a background (tabletop) model in any 1:6 scale diorama. It die-cast metal with wheels that turn, and measures 2"h x 4"l. Out-STANDING! (Photo: Hallmark)

This 1942 Harley-Davidson “Liberator” motorcycle would look AMAZING as a background (bookcase or floor) model in any 1:6 scale diorama. It’s made of die-cast metal with wheels that turn, and measures 2″h x 4″l. VRROOOM! (Photo: Hallmark)

1:6 Scale Baseball Caps and Related Sports Gear Revisited——Outfitting Your G.I. Joe For Game Day

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Vending Machine NFL Caps for GIjOE— These NFL team logo caps look great on any 1:6 scale action figure. Minor paint overspray can be easily touched up. (Photo: Bryan Mays) Click to enlarge.

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Play Ball! This closeup reveals the 1:6 scale MLB batting helmets produced by Rawlings—perfect for 12-inch GIjOEs. Go, RANGERS! (Photo: Mark Otnes)

If you’ve been with us since 2012, then you may recall that the first-ever article published HERE on The Joe Report was a short account regarding the discovery of a 30-piece set of 1:6 scale MLB baseball batting helmets at a local Dick’s Sporting Goods store in Champaign, Illinois. Manufactured by Rawlings, the tiny helmets (see at right) proved to be a huge hit with GIjOE kitbashers (and sports fans), and the article itself helped us to “kick off” the collaborative and informative nature of this beloved online blogazine.

Today, another faithful follower and “eagle-eyed TJR field reporter” helps us revisit that self-same first topic, reminding us of both past and present 1:6 scale sports headgear and jerseys, including some new hats that he found recently—in a vending machine. According to Bryan Mays:
“I love The Joe Report and how creative all the folks out there are, as well as all the great GIjOE history your blog has uncovered. Your TJR ‘Christmas List’ article a few years back (see HERE) really got me hooked, especially when I saw that photo of a GIjOE holding a toddler’s corn-popper Christmas ornament made by Hallmark. Right then, I knew that Joe Report readers were my kind of people! I wanted to drop you a line and see if you or your readers knew of any NFL gear (or even MLB or NHL for that matter) that would fit our 1/6th scale buddies. I am passing along what little I’ve learned on this subject as well, which admittedly, isn’t too much, but here we go:
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What Team Does YOUR Joe Support? Outfit your GIjOE sports fan with one of these new 1:6 scale NFL team caps found both in vending machines and websites online. Their quality may not be perfect, but with a little touch-up paint, the will be! (Photo: Bryan Mays) Click to enlarge.

A few years back, I bought several hats out of a vending machine that do fit 1:6 scale GIjOEs (see above). They are still available online (HERE) as ‘Premium Football Caps Vending Capsules.’ The hats themselves sometimes have a bit of paint overspray, but they were only $1 from that vending machine, so no biggie.
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Have it YOUR Way— These nifty 1:6 scale football player jerseys were distributed by Burger King a few years ago and can still be found numerous places online. Take care when putting these on your GIjOE however, as those neckholes can be very tight. (Photo: IMGUR) Click to enlarge.

I also found that those Burger King NFL jerseys from about a decade ago (see above) do not work easily with 1:6 GIjOEs—at least not without some modification. Right out of the bag, their neckholes are simply not large enough to fit over Joe’s noggin. You’ll need to either enlarge the neckhole by stitching and sewing, or remove and reinstall Joe’s head in order to get the jersey to go on the figure.
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Higher Quality, But Untested— Have you tried these caps on a GIjOE? If so, we’d love to hear from you. They look GREAT! (Photo NFL store)

I’ve haven’t had time to test those the new NFL MadLids football team ballcaps (see at right), but they’re starting to hit Target stores now and look to be very detailed, even including a little New Era logo. I also haven’t tried any of those Upper Deck mini jersey offerings, neither NHL nor MLB. It is possible they will have the same (tight) neck issues as those Burger King ones. I’d be interested in hearing if any other Joeheads have tried them and/or if they know of any other ballcaps or sports jerseys that work well with 12″ GIjOEs. 
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How Great is THIS? Imagine all the action figures you could outfit with these great NFL “Mini Jerseys.” We’re not sure when they came out, or if they’re still available, but hopefully, they’ll easily fit onto GIjOE without any major modification. It’d be a shame to have to alter them. Of course, if you can yank off and replace your Joe’s head, then any tight neckhole problem is moot. If you know more about this exciting line, please write in. We’d love to hear from you. Thanks! (Photo: Upper Deck)

Happy holidays to all, and thanks again for putting out such a great site, Mark! I hope my article is enough on-topic to be of interest/help to you and to the rest of the 1:6 scale community that loyally follows The Joe Report.” Sincerely—Bryan Mays
Bottom Line: Our sincerest thanks and best wishes go out to Bryan Mays for his generous contributions to this article. We had not heard of (or seen) many of the items described above. It looks like its time for us to start searching the ‘net (and our local stores) again. Happy Hunting!
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You Can Build It———New 1:6 Scale “Nanoblock” (LEGO-Like) Sets Work Perfectly With G.I. Joes

Lanard Joe and young "Joey" spread out the base board of their new "Nanoblocks" set and begin to build the base of the Christmas tree, one block at a time. (Photo: Queli Castro)

Joe and “Joey” sit around the base board of their new “Nanoblocks” set and begin to assemble a 3-D Christmas tree sculpture, one tiny block at a time. Out-STANDING! (Photo: Queli Castro)

As this closeup reveals, the tiny Nanoblocks are spot-on PERFECT at 1:6 scale and work amazingly well with the tiny hands of this youthful Barbie child figure. (Photo: Queli Castro)

Tiny blocks for tiny hands—As this closeup reveals, the tiny Nanoblocks are spot-on PERFECT at 1:6 scale and work amazingly well with the tiny hands of this youthful Barbie child figure. (Photo: Queli Castro)

First of all… Happy New Year, Dear Readers!

We sincerely hope that 2016 proves to be a wonderful, happy, healthy and bountiful new year for you and all of your loved ones. We’d also like to wish you the very best in all of your future 1:6 scale collecting and customizing efforts, whatever they may be. Go, JOE!

As you well know, we here at The Joe Report are dedicated to tracking down and reporting the “best of the best” news stories regarding upcoming shows, products, activities, customs, dioramas, videos, “Joe sightings” in pop-culture and other 1:6 scale-related events. Despite our unrelenting vigilance, or perhaps because of it, we’re constantly being surprised, nay, delighted, whenever a new product or “find” is discovered and is found to (even unintentionally) work well within our ever-expanding 1:6 scale universe.

Equally surprising to us this time, our first such 1:6 scale “find” for 2016 has actually been on the market—since 2008(!)— but this is the first time that it’s ever even “registered on our radar” or been reported within our pages. News of this “new” 1:6 scale product known as Nanoblocks comes to us today from faithful TJR Field Reporter, Queli Castro, who files the following report:

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“Hello Mark, I hope you had a wonderful Christmas. I’ve been meaning to send you some photos but sometimes life conspires against me. A number of years ago, I discovered ‘Nanoblocks’ at Toys R US (TRU). I found them irresistible because it turns out that these micro-sized blocks are actually in 1:6 scale(!) and are perfect for use with our favorite action figure. I bought several of the ‘Sights to See’ series which are models of famous structures/buildings. HERE is a link to some of the sets on Amazon.”

Look at THIS! The tree is beginning to take shape. The trunk is done and Joe and Joey have begun adding the pine needles and ornaments. WOW! (Photo: Queli Castro)

Look at THIS! The Nanoblocks Christmas tree is beginning to take shape. The trunk is done and now Joe and Joey are adding the green pine needles and multi-colored ornaments. (Photo: Queli Castro)

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“Last year, I bought the Christmas tree set illustrated in my attached photos. I also posted these pics over on the Barbie Ultimate Chat board (found HERE) and Doll Divas (found HERE). As you can see, Joe and ‘Little Joey’ are having a lot of fun with their new ‘Legos.’ Take care and I look forward to reading your articles in 2016!”Queli Castro, Chicago, Illinois
What to Look For— Admittedly, the packaging for Nanoblocks is hardly "kid-oriented." No splashy colors or bright packaging. Rather, you might assume this was a box of christmas lights or tinsel and pass it by! (Photo: Queli Castro)

What to Look For— Admittedly, the poor packaging for Nanoblocks hardly appears “kid-oriented” and does little to spur sales. No splashy graphics. No bright colors. You’d probably pass this by without even a second glance. A serious repackaging effort is clearly called for here.  (Photo: Queli Castro)

Bottom Line: We’re not necessarily fans of Legos-type building blocks, so the fact that a miniature version had been created and has been around since 2008 doesn’t really surprise us. But the fact that this increasingly popular toy line also works perfectly with GIjOE and other 1:6 scale figures clearly makes them a welcome addition to our already bulging “miscellaneous” tub full of diorama supplies. Our sincerest thanks to “faithful fan,” Queli Castro for submitting today’s report and for all the wonderful supplemental photos. EXCELLENT photography, Queli! Remember… If YOU discover something that appears to be a natural (or even unnatural) “fit” within our wonderful 1:6 scale realm, please send news of it to us here at The Joe Report and we’ll share it with the world. Thanks!

Merry Christmas! Joe and Joey are clearly thrilled with the results of their efforts. It's amazing that these Lego-style blocks can be made at such a tiny scale. Out-STANDING! (Photo: Queli Castro)

Merry Christmas! Joe and Joey are clearly thrilled with the results of their efforts. It’s amazing that these Lego-style blocks can be made at such a tiny scale. Go, Nanoblocks! (Photo: Queli Castro)

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2002 G.I. Joe 10-Piece “Party Lights” Set Features “Real Action Detail” to Light Up Your Holidays!

Show us the Joe-Light! This new set of GIjOE-themed string-lights from "Partylights" is officially licensed by Hasbro and includes 4 soldiers, 5 logos, and 1 mini television. OOHrah! (Photo: ebay) Click to enlarge.

Show us the Joe-Light! This 2002 set of GIjOE-themed string-lights from “Brain Wave” was officially licensed by Hasbro and includes 4 soldiers, 5 logos, and 1 mini television. (Photo: ebay) Click to enlarge.

If you want to expand your string-lights or only want one of each, they're also sold in these basic 2-packs (no strings or bulbs). Simply snap them over an existing string-light and you're good to go. (Photo: ebay)

If you need to expand your string-lights or only wanted one of each, they’re also available in basic 2-packs (w/no strings or bulbs). Simply snap them together over any existing string-light and you’re good to go, Joe. (Photo: ebay) Click to enlarge.

Bottom Line: As GIjOE’s 50th Anniversary year draws to a close, fans are still looking for something…ANYTHING, to help them celebrate their favorite action heroes over the holiday season. Except for a very brief showing of 50th commemorative ornaments sold at select Hallmark stores, there has been very little to report. Fortunately, we think we’ve found a fairly cheap solution that could make many Joeheads happy again. Do you remember a set of fairly cheap string-lights created back in 2002 by the now-defunct “Brain-Wave” party-lights company? Well, a LOT of those sets are still around, still unopened, and still unsold.

Twelve years after their debut, many unsold sets are now finding their way back onto the secondary market, and the prices are still very reasonable (just $14 to $17 per set, typically). If you’ve never picked one up before, this might be just the thing to raise your “Joe Spirits” this Christmas. They can be used to decorate a space in your office, light up a Christmas tree or even provide some vintage logo illumination for a “Joe Room” display case. Remember, they’re available two ways: as a 10-piece set (see photo above) and in small “light cover” 2-packs (see photo at right). We did a quick search and found both versions for sale over on ebay (today), but as with all GIjOE-related product-hunts, patience and persistence are watch-words to live by. Good luck and Best Wishes!

The back panel of the package reveals how the lights are strung together. Pretty cool! (Photo: ebay)

The back panel of the package reveals how the GIjOE lights look once they’re strung together and lists other toy brands that Brain Wave produced. Pretty cool! (Photo: ebay) Click to enlarge.

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Now There’s 3, Sorry…4! Kohl’s and Big Lots Enter the Fray During 2014’s Escalating “War of the Wool,” Offering Their Own 1:6 Scale (Plus-sized) Sweaters for G.I. Joe———and a Santa Suit!

Fearless TJR Field Reporter, Ed Kozak, displays his mini-me GIjOE, complete with matching Santa hat and a suit coat now being sold at Kohl's Department Stores. (Photo: Ed Kozak)

Happy Holidays, Jolly Joeheads! Fearless TJR Field Reporter and GIjOE fan, Ed Kozak, holds up his mini-me Adventurer, complete with recently purchased mini Santa hat and suit coat (both now available at Kohl’s). (Photo: Ed Kozak)

Okay, this is getting ridiculous. In less than ONE week, we’ve received reports that up to FOUR major retailers are now offering slightly different variations of those 1:6 scale (plus-sized) sweaters, purportedly intended for use as “Christmas tree ornaments” or (get this) “wine bottle covers.” But of course, GIjOE fans all know how these items will REALLY end up being used—as fodder for kitbashing and figure customizations, ‘natch! In fact, the staff here at The Joe Report believes the manufacturers of these so-called, “War of the Wool” products, probably had good intentions all along (originally), but then something must’ve gone horribly awry at the factory and well…we can just imagine the sort of product strategy meetings that followed:

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“We need to sell a couple’a thousand gross of these cute (ugly) little Barbie/GIjOE Christmas sweaters. But our seamstresses in China kinda goofed on the sizes. Some are too short, some are too long, some are too small, some are too big. Ya know? What should we do? We’ve got freighter crates full of this stuff!” 

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“Now, now. Calm down. Here, have a little wine while we talk this ‘sitchiation’ over. Okay. How about this idea… Other than slightly shorter sleeves, this batch fits GIjOEs fine, right? Let’s just put little hangers inside ’em, box ’em up and ship ’em off to Michael’s where they can call ’em ‘Christmas ornaments’ or whatever the heck they want. I betcha they’ll still sell like hotcakes!”

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Some SERIOUS thought went into these new miniature sweater products. You betcha! (Photo: geekwidget)

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“Mmm… I like your thinking, handsome. Sorta like ‘repurposing’ them into something else entirely, huh? That’s clever! And it’ll save our jobs, too. May I have some more of that wine, please? Thanks. (Sipping, she slowly slips one of the larger-sized sweaters on top of the long, thick neck of the wine bottle and then coyly eyes her muscular co-worker, saying…) Hmm… Couldn’t people just put these bigger ones on wine bottles—or something similar—and then Target could sell ’em as, I don’t know, ‘wine bottle sweaters?’ What do you think?”

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“NOW you’re getting the idea, beautiful! The sillier the product idea the better. I’m sure we can find lots of ways to undress…er, unLOAD this stuff.” (and so on)

Intrepid TJR Field Reporter, Kyle Knox, suits up for another dangerous run into his local Kohl's department store in search of 1:6 scale sweaters and Santa suits. Ho-Ho-Yo, Joe! (Photo: Kyle Knox)

Intrepid TJR Field Reporter, Kyle Knox, suited up for another dangerous mission into his local Kohl’s department store in search of 1:6 scale sweaters and Santa suits. Ho-Ho, Joe! (Photo: Kyle Knox)

Fantasy scenarios aside, two more of TJR’s intrepid Field Reporters wrote in today to provide the serious intel and facts we so desperately require on this all-important topic. First, tough-as-nails Kyle Knox (shown at right) returned to base recently after a long “retail recon” and filed the following riveting report:

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“Kohl’s has some as well! I paused for a few seconds to look at them. My wife noticed I wasn’t with her after a few steps. She looked back and said, ‘I know exactly what you’re thinking, do you see one Joe would want?”

We’re constantly amazed by Knox’s composure under fire. Keep up the good work, Kyle! Remember to keep your head down, buddy! Immediately after Knox’s report finished ticking off our teletype machine, a second eagle-eyed TJR Field Reporter, Ed Kozak (see photo at top of article), wrote in with his own amazing “silly sweater sighting.” To wit, Ed said:

“I was strolling through Big Lots today and saw this Santa suit set for $4. This is a bottle costume like those ugly Michael’s sweaters. I was quite surprised to see them there. Oh, I forgot to mention, they also have a Mrs. Claus outfit, also for $4. Fits GIjOE and GIJane perfectly, but they’ll need the waists to be cinched up a bit. My Joe needed something warm to wear, living south of Buffalo, NY. 

Ed Kozak's fuzzhead Joe was self-created, using techniques learned from 1:6 accessories company, Patches of Pride. Fuzzy faces need fuzzy hats too! (Photo: Ed Kozak)

Ed Kozak’s fuzzhead Joe was self-flocked. Fantastic job, Ed! (Photo: Ed Kozak)

I thought I would also mention one other tidbit of information about my Joe in the Santa Suit. He was actually a 40th anniversary Action Pilot that I custom flocked using the instructions from Patches of Pride (HERE). Awesome stuff! I always wanted to be able to flock my figures without all that machinery, in a nice and easy way. Thanks for the instructions. Have a great Thanksgiving. And thanks for the awesome Joe Report!”

We like the variety of choices being offered at Kohl's. That short, frilly Mrs. Santa outfit would look good on any 1:6 scale female figure's figure! You may need some red hot pants or tights to complete the outfit, but this is a great start! (Photo: Kyle Knox)

We like the variety of choices offered at Big Lots. That short, frilly Mrs. Santa miniskirt would look great on any 1:6 scale female figure. You may need some red tights to complete the outfit, but they’re a great start! (Photo: Kyle Knox)

Bottom Line: There seems to little shortage of these (almost) 1:6 scale sweater and mini-costume outfits this year. Of course we were being facetious about their origins, but their potential as 1:6 scale holiday costumes for GIjOE and Barbie is undeniable. Most will require minor adjustments here and there, but that’s a good excuse for you to practice your needle and thread skills, right? And, with each passing day, their availability at participating retailers nationwide seems to grow. So…get out there and getcha some! Editor’s note: Our thanks to trusty TJR Field Reporters Kyle Knox and Ed Kozak for their generous contributions to this article. You’re the BEST! —Mark 🙂

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Attention, Christmas Shoppers: Don’t Forget to Buy G.I. Joe a New Sweater For The 2014 Holidays!

Oh, man. This 1:6 scale sweater's so bad—it's GREAT! Check out your local Michael's craft stores. They're being sold as ornaments on little hangers for just $ (Photo: Laura Ann Ostermeyer)

Ho-Ho-Hilarious! This 1:6 scale sweater looks so bad—it’s GREAT! Perfectly sized for all 12-inch action figures, it’ll make an ideal “bad sweater” for your GIjOE. Available at Michael’s art supply stores NOW. They’re sold as Christmas ornaments and come with little hangers, $6. (Photo: Laura Ann Ostermeyer)

Every year about this time, our festive “Field Reporters” begin sending in notices of a variety of intriguing 1:6 scale “finds” (i.e. miniature accessories, objects and even clothing items) that are ideal for use with GIjOEs. The first such report to come in over our teletype machine came to us today from “Lucky” Laura Ann Ostermeyer. Laura’s keen eye for finding 1:6 scale items helped her spy this “so bad it’s great” 1:6 Christmas sweater, complete with a 1:6 metal hanger for sale at a local Michael’s crafts and art supplies store. Laura filed the following report with us this evening:

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Field Reporter for The Joe Report, Laura Ann Ostermeyer (Photo: Laura Ann Ostermeyer)

Field Reporter for The Joe Report, Laura Ann Ostermeyer (Photo: Laura Ann Ostermeyer)

“Hi guys and gals! On one of the fashion doll Facebook places, someone mentioned that Michael’s had some small knit Xmas Sweaters. I stopped by on my way home from work—and they had some! They ring up at $5.99 but you can get a 50% off coupon for any one item on either your smart phone or online. So… for around $3 it’s a fun holiday sweater for Joe and any other 1/6th pals.”

Bottom Line: Thanks for your alert “heads up” on this 1:6 scale holiday item, Laura. We know where we’ll be motoring off to tomorrow. If anyone else out there finds anything that would make a great gift for our 12-inch buddies, please write in and let us know. Thanks. Ho-Ho-Ho! And Merry Christmas!

It looks even worse (in a good way) when you put it on your Joe. Now he's a sure standout at your next Christmas party! (Photo: Laura Ann Ostermeyer)

Yikes. This 1:6 scale sweater from Michael’s looks even worse (in a good way) when you put it on your Joe. Now he’s a sure standout at your next 1:6 Christmas party! (Photo: Laura Ann Ostermeyer)

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New 1:6 “Odds-n-Ends” You Can Find in Stores NOW!

It's tiny. It's nicely detailed. It's in 1:6 scale. And it's NOT PINK. This "retro TV" began its life as a keyring, but we removed that hardware and plan on putting in a guard shack diorama, maybe as a monitor or something the guard watches when things get dull. Either way, it'll be PERFECT! (Photo: Mark Otnes)

It’s tiny. It’s nicely detailed. It’s in 1:6 scale. And it’s NOT PINK. This “retro TV” may have begun as a lowly keychain, but we quickly removed that unnecessary hardware and plan on putting it in a guard shack diorama, maybe as a monitor or something for him to watch before falling asleep and being tied up by our Navy SEAL strike team. It’s PERFECT. And so is the cost—only $3.99! (Photo: Mark Otnes)

This closeup shows the TV's scale in relation to a 12" GIjOE. Sweet! (Photo: Mark Otnes)

This closeup shows the TV’s scale in relation to a 12″ GIjOE. Sweet! (Photo: Mark Otnes)

Cheap. Cool. Collectible!

It’s always fun to report on new 1:6 scale “finds,” whether they’re big or small, cheap or expensive, mass-produced or custom-made “one-of-a-kinds.” Whatever they may be, if they fit into our ever-expanding “1:6 universe” of action figures, vehicles and related diorama props, we want to know about them. And we know YOU do too! Fortunately (for our wallets), today’s particular finds are all available for under $15, most for much less, and all of them are currently and conveniently available in both brick-n-mortar retail stores—and online.

We’ll begin with a Retro TV Keychain (shown in the photos above and at right). You can see that once the kechain’s hardware has been removed, it looks just like a nice little 1:6 scale b&w TV, complete with realistic light and sound effects—simply perfect for GIjOE! The company that created this item (Kikkerland) is based in Europe in the Netherlands, and during a recent trip to nearby Norway, we found it available in stores located throughout Bergen and Oslo. Ours was purchased here in the U.S. at Waterloo Records in Austin, Texas, but you can also order them online HERE. Finally, Patches of Pride (PoP) has created a new “2-minute review” video about the TV, so you can see and hear its effects before buying:

The style and design of this hand-held movie camera would be right at home in any diorama from the '40s to the '70s. After that, movie cameras faded quickly as video cameras took their place. This camera is a great candidate for additional customization including paint details and decals. (Photo: Mark Otnes)

This hand-held movie camera by Kikkerland would look right at home in any 1950s-’70s 1:6 scale diorama. It’s also a great candidate for customization, including paint details, decals, etc. (Photo: Mark Otnes)

GIjOE: Signal Corps Photographer

Cameras are not often produced in 1:6 scale; hand-held movie cameras even less so. Dragon created a superb WWII movie camera for one of its high-end German “propaganda” figures, 21st Century Toys made a series of carded 35mm SLRs as an equipment pack, and Hasbro produced a wrist-strapped Hasselblad for its ’60s Mercury astronaut and a Signal Corps photographer’s equipment carded set for their ’90s Classic Collection line. Mattel has even produced a fairly nice (pink) movie camera with a tripod a few years back for Barbie. But a 1:6 scale movie camera for GIjOE? That’s been a rather rare item to track down—until now.

Keychain manufacturer Kikkerland strikes again! This time, it’s their Movie Camera Keychain, most likely patterned after the sturdy Kodak “Super-8s” of the 1950s-70s. When the keychain’s hardware has been removed, you’re left with a perfect 1:6 scale prop for GIjOE. It includes authentic sound and light effects, fits perfectly in Joe’s kung-fu and gung-ho gripped hands, and enables him to “shoot” some dangerous white tigers and pygmy gorillas on his next safari adventure. Of course this time, he’s going to be shooting them all—with FILM. We found our camera at the same Waterloo Records store in Austin for $3.99, but it’s also available online HERE. Take a look:

1:6 Scale Trash and Recycling Containers

What’s an Adventure Team to do with all of its outdated Skull Island maps and other trash? Why, throw it all out, of course. But to do so properly requires 1:6 scale trash and recycling containers, right? Right! Well, thanks to eagle-eyed Field Reporter, Andrew Garrison, there’s now hope for all of our messy Adventure Team headquarters. In a post left recently on the Trenches fan forum, Garrison announced an exciting new discovery that can help our Joes “clean up their act,” saying :

“I didn’t see this listed here—yet. I picked these up at Dollar Tree today. I’d seen them posted elsewhere and figured some Trenchers might like a heads up on these.”—Andrew Garrison

Absolutely PERFECT 1:6 scale trash and recycling containers (actually pen and pencil holders) can now be found at most Dollar Stores nationwide. A great big, "THANKS" to Andrew Garrison for first spotting these and then kindly supplying this photograph. (Photo: Andrew Garrison)

Absolutely PERFECT 1:6 scale trash and recycling containers (actually pen and pencil holders) can now be found at many Dollar Tree stores nationwide. And of course, they’re just $1 each! (Photo: Andrew Garrison)

The containers are a tad on the fragile side, so we don’t recommend dropping them on hard floors. But they’re the perfect size for Joe and their colors and graphics would look great in any 1:6 scale office, kitchen or headquarters diorama. Thanks for the “heads up,” Andrew!

You couldn't get any more ON SCALE  than this superb 1:6 scale bassoon. Absolutely PERFECT in terms of detail, quality and size. Currently $12.50 in most musical instrument stores. (Photo: Mark Otnes)

You couldn’t get any more ON SCALE <snicker> than this superb 1:6 scale bassoon. Absolutely PERFECT in terms of detail, quality and size. Currently $12.50 in most musical instrument stores. (Photo: Mark Otnes)

Play it Again, Joe…

We love musical instruments that are scaled to fit GIjOE. Over the years, we’ve collected a wide variety of 1:6 scale guitars, drums, trombones, flutes, trumpets, clarinets, pianos and even a harp, for our 1:6 musicians.

This year, during the holiday shopping season, we were browsing in a musical instrument store when we came across a tiny instrument we’d never seen (in 1:6) before, a stunning, absolutely SPOT-ON 1:6 scale bassoon made of real wood and metal parts. It rang up at a pricey $12.95, but the instrument’s materials and quality made it well worth the cost, in our opinion. The bassoon’s size is perfect for Joe, and its color, keys, etc. all look correct. Although the bassoon was originally an ornament, according to the store manager:

“They’re available all year-round, because they make great gifts for birthdays, graduations, and other occasions.”

By “other occasions,” we’re not sure if he was thinking about 1:6 scale GIjOE band concerts, but that’s undoubtedly what thousands of customizers and diorama builders around the world are likely considering. Regardless, remember that despite the holidays being behind us now, your chances of still finding these little beauties in the stores are, as musicians like to say, “SOLID, Jackson!”

This closeup of Joe's new 1:6 scale bassoon reveals extraordinary fit, finish and detail. Any requests for Bach or Beethoven? (Photo: Mark Otnes)

This closeup of the new 1:6 scale bassoon reveals incredible craftsmanship and detail. (Photo: Mark Otnes)

Miniature Huey Helicopter Hallmark Keepsake Ornament

There are many miniature versions of the Huey helicopter out there, but this particular one caught our eye over the Christmas holidays, and we thought we’d pass it on. As always, Hallmark ornaments are exceptionally well made, and this honey is no exception. It’s made of metal, except for the flexible plastic rotors and landing skids. Its paint job is superb and even includes sharp little ARMY lettering on each side of the tail boom. Put one in your GIjOE’s “war room,” office, barracks, or conference room, and it’ll look GREAT. Hey, Joe deserves some toys of his own, right?

Joe loves helicopters, and the Hallmark Keepsake Huey is one of his favorites! We found this one on sale for $15, normally $17. But you can probably find it online for even less. Happy Hunting! (Photo: Mark Otnes)

Joe loves helicopters, and the Hallmark Keepsake Huey is one of his favorites! We found this one on sale for $15, normally $17. But you can probably find it online for even less. HOO-ah! (Photo: Mark Otnes)

Bottom Line: The search for 1:6 scale props and accessories never ends, so we’ll continue to pass on any new items that come across our desks here at The Joe Report, as well as any fresh “intel” from trusty Field Reporters such as Andrew Garrison. Good luck and Happy Hunting!

Christmas 2013 “Stocking Stuffers”———All-New 1:6 Scale Accessories———Available in U.S. Stores Now!

Raquel Castro's assorted Ken dolls model 3 of the new 1:6 scale Christmas scarves now available at all Target stores. (Photo by )

“Playscale Miniaturist” Raquel Castro used her assortment of Ken dolls to model three of the six new 1:6 scale Christmas scarves, currently available at most Target store locations. (Photo: Queli)

A closeup of Target's new "Drink Scarf Set" containing 6 holiday-patterned 1:6 scale scarves, perfect for GIJOE, Action Man and yes, Barbie! (Photo: Queli)

A closeup of Target’s new “Drink Scarf Set” containing 6 holiday-patterned 1:6 scale scarves, perfect for GIJOE, Action Man and yes, even Barbie! (Photo: Queli)

THIS JUST IN…THIS JUST IN…

We love receiving hot tips from our ever-growing pool of dedicated and keen-eyed 1:6 scale TJR “Field Reporters.” This time, intrepid investigator and moderator of the famous “In the Pink” Barbie forum, Raquel Castro, sent us the following breaking intel which should set many of you scrambling for your car keys and credit cards. Here’s what Raquel had to say:

“Dear Mark, I have been reading The Joe Report for some time now and I really enjoy it. I’m a dedicated ‘playscale miniaturist’ and am always interested in finding new ‘minis’ for my 1:6 scale dolls. Just recently, I found these miniature Christmas scarves at Target in their seasonal section (the one with all the paper plates and cups).”

The other three scarves look great on these Barbies. Imagine them on your GIjanes and Joes! (Photo: Queli)

The other three Target scarves look great on these Barbies. Imagine them on your GIjanes! (Photo: Queli)

“I apologize that there are no Joes in any of my photos. I wasn’t thinking in terms of your blog when I took them. I’ve never sent The Joe Report any photos before because I’ve always felt that my 1:6 scale ‘finds’ were more geared toward Barbies and not GIjOE action figures. However, from now on, I will let YOU and your readers decide if something I find is ‘Joe-worthy’ or not. Thanks again for your wonderful blog. Keep up the good work and have fun with Joe!”

What are you getting YOUR 1:6 "hotties" for Christmas this year? It's a no-brainer that she'd love all four of these superb copper ornaments, including a skillet, collander, baking pan and jell-o mold. Out-STANDING quality! (Photo: Queli)

These four new copper cookware Christmas tree ornaments are now available from Williams-Sonoma and include a skillet, colander, baking pan and jello mold. MUCH better than your old cheap, pink plastic kitchenware. Eh, Barbie? Imagine how the cooks working down in GIjOE’s “Mess Hall” will react when they see THESE miniature metal masterpieces. Mmm, GOOD! (Photo: Queli)

Don't forget: The miniature cookware are being sold at William Sonoma as ornaments. You may not see them on shelves and may need to look in tree displays to find them (or buy them online). (Photo: Queli)

The miniature cookware are being sold as Christmas tree ornaments, but have far greater 1:6 potential. (Photo: Queli)

Real Copper 1:6 Scale Cookware

In addition to the nifty 6-pack scarf set, Raquel sent in photos of some beautiful miniature copper cookware in PERFECT 1:6 scale. As is often the case this time of the year, the cookware is actually being sold as Christmas tree ornaments, but fans and collectors of 1:6 scale will want to pounce on these four new pieces for use in their next food-related diorama. Imagine the realism they’ll bring to a mess hall, general store, or camping diorama. Too cool!

Bottom Line: Our sincerest thanks to TJR field reporter, Raquel Castro, for her keen and quick “heads-up” regarding these exciting new 1:6 items. Be sure to pick up a 6-pack of mini-scarves the next time you’re in Target, or some of those superb copper cookware ornaments in Williams-Sonoma (also available online HERE). Happy hunting!

Filipino “Master of Metal,” Jonathan De Guzman, Creating Vehicles, Weapons & More———In 1:6 Scale

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Expert tinsmith, die-maker and metalwork artisan, Jonathan De Guzman, takes a break recently in his workshop in the Philippines. De Guzman’s work has evolved from creating tiny Christmas tree ornaments to fabricating intricate 1:6 scale vehicles, weapons and accessories. (Photo: Jonathan De Guzman)

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OUCH. As with many great artists, De Guzman has had to sacrifice for his art and livelihood. But unlike Van Gogh’s intentional ear amputation, De Guzman lost the tips of the fingers on his left hand in a “power press machine accident.” Regardless, he continues to produce the world’s greatest metal miniatures in 1:6 scale. (Photo: Jonathan De Guzman)

Artisan (noun)
1: A skilled manual worker who makes items that are functional or strictly decorative. Artisans practice a craft and may through experience and aptitude reach the expressive levels of an ARTIST.

An Artisan Becomes an Artist

A few months ago, eagle-eyed TJR Field Reporter, Kent Williams, alerted us to an incredibly talented, “up-and-coming” customizer in the 1:6 scale hobby: Jonathan De Guzman. After reviewing a wealth of online information regarding De Guzman’s work, we noticed the phrase “master of metal” was repeatedly used to describe him. We’re happy to report that his unique sobriquet is well deserved. From his origins as a “tinsmith and die-maker” in the Philippines, the humble De Guzman has since evolved into something much greater and his fame continues to spread around the world. According to Field Reporter Williams:

“I’m sure readers of The Joe Report will enjoy learning about this awesome custom scratch-builder and his 1:6 scale, all-metal masterpieces. I first heard about him over in the pages of Fine Scale Modeler Magazine (FSMM) of all places. I thought they were more interested in the smaller scale 1/24 to 1/72 scales, but I’m not going to argue with their decision to feature Jonathan’s work!”

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Jonathan’s workshop and tools are simple and basic, while the customs he creates are anything but. Here, an old, tattered chair sits next to his well-used drill-press, waiting patiently for “The Master” to return. (Photo: Jonathan De Guzman)

From Humble Origins…

Intrigued, we contacted De Guzman in his workshop in the Philippines and he confirmed that indeed, he is “a tinsmith making seasonal ornaments for export, and a die-maker for press machines.” Okay. That’s all well and good. But Jonathan’s skills clearly elevate him above such simplistic description. Whether he realizes it or not, he truly is an ARTIST of the highest caliber. Jonathan’s chosen medium is metal, and HE—is its master.

…To Worldwide Acclaim

Word of Jonathan’s expertise continues to spread among fans and collectors of 1:6 scale, but it’s only a matter of time before other groups, businesses and organizations learn of him as well. In fact, ANYONE interested in commissioning miniature museum-quality vehicles, equipment or weaponry will find his abilities highly intriguing.

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You see what he sees. De Guzman’s ordinary tools include a hammer, pliers, soldering iron, etc. There are no secrets behind Jonathan’s success. Only hard work and great skill. (Photo: Jonathan De Guzman)

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A sampling of De Guzman’s superb miniature swords in perfect 1:6 scale. (Photo: Jonathan De Guzman)

We asked Jonathan to tell us a little more about himself and how he works:

“Please pardon my not-so-good-English. Thank you for looking at my work. I really appreciate that. I’m 37 years old and known as ‘Fullmetal’ on the various online fan forums. I am a ‘mold and die-maker’ by trade, and am also scratch-building scale models. All of my custom works are produced on commission based on an hourly rate. I work with the help of machines such as press drill, angle grinder, soldering iron, scissors, files, and sets of pliers and cutters. I use tin, brass, steel, aluminum and steel plates for my medium, sometimes adding wood, acrylic plastics and anything else that can be found in my backyard or at the junk shops here. I use lead solder and ordinary welding for assembly.”

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A closeup of De Guzman’s new 1:6 scale “Humvee Gunner’s platform.” (Photo: Jonathan De Guzman)

With his busy 1:6 scale customizing business, we wondered if Jonathan ever had free time to enjoy the very hobby he was now working in, and he replied:

“I am not a collector myself (for now), but I’m trying hard to become one! And I don’t keep copies of my work, aside from the excess that Sir Dave and I haven’t sold yet. By the way, ‘Sir Dave’ (Davinator65 on OSW and SSF forums) is my Korean friend. He is the one who helps me sell my customs. He is also the one taking commission works for me, as I am not so good in English. In fact, I am having nosebleeds here (lol).”

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De Guzman’s children happily pose next to his first 1:6 scale masterpiece, a Vietnam-era M113 CAV armored personnel carrier. The all-metal beauty was quickly snapped up by a happy collector in Spain for $4,000 plus shipping. WOW! (Photo: Jonathan De Guzman)

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This view of Jonathan’s M113 reveals a rear loading ramp for troop access. (Photo: Jonathan De Guzman) Click to enlarge.

The Universal “Language”
—of EXCELLENCE

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Jonathan produced THREE of these astounding Simba APC vehicles at 1:32 scale. When he was all done, the process had so drained him that he swore off working at that small of a scale for good. (Photo: Jonathan De Guzman) Click to enlarge.

Despite any language difficulties, De Guzman’s work speaks volumes by itself. Perhaps his most famous 1:6 scale custom to date is also the first one he ever made, a Vietnam-era M113 ACAV armored personnel carrier (see photo above). Sold for a whopping $4,000 + shipping, the all-metal masterpiece remains something fans around the world regard with awe and respect. We asked Jonathan for a quick rundown on the M113 and any other custom 1:6 vehicles he’s produced in recent years:

“The very first scale model I built (believe it or not) was the all-metal 1:6 scale M113 ACAV. I started by buying a 1:72 scale Tamiya model kit as reference. I’ve also ventured into 1:35 and 1:16 scale customs, making tank sprockets and a set of three 1:35 scale Simba APC vehicles used by the Philippine Army (view all photos of the Simba build process by going HERE).”

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The view of Jonathan’s M113 reveals a fully finished interior with a wealth of details, all hand-crafted (no robot welders or computers) out of solid metal. THIS, my friends, is art. (Photo: Jonathan De Guzman)

“After all that hard work on the 1:35 scale Simbas, I felt really exhausted and decided 1:16 and 1:35 scale model building was too small and hard for me. I no longer accept commissions in that scale. After I posted photos of the 1:6 scale M113 on the OSW forum, response was so strong, it confirmed my future was in 1:6.”

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Inside the M113, there’s plenty of room to arrange 1:6 scale troops. (Photo: Jonathan De Guzman)

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Even the deck plates of the M113 utilize the correct scale pattern. (Photo: Jonathan De Guzman)

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A top-view looking down through the gunner’s station. Stunning! (Photo: Jonathan De Guzman)

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The treads, sprockets and wheels were ALL hand-made and then painted and weathered by Jonathan. Absolutely amazing work from stem to stern! (Photo: Jonathan De Guzman)

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Exotic PKM tripods, Russian night-scopes and custom ammo cans like these require the skills of a true artist such as Jonathan De Guzman in order to pull it all off correctly. Remember—it’s ALL hand-made! (Photo: Jonathan De Guzman)

1:6 Perfection Isn’t Cheap

Creating intricate custom works in metal is an expensive proposition and commands top-dollar prices from serious collectors. So we wondered about De Guzman’s customer base and whether or not if, during these tough economic times, such expensive commissions were difficult to obtain. Jonathan replied:

“To be honest, in the beginning, it was really tough. Only one man, Enrique Royo Pastor, from Spain, was buying my customs. Business has grown significantly since then, but if I am given any opportunity in your article to thank someone, other than David Park, I would like to thank Enrique, and of course, all of the great members of the OSW, SSF and OSP forums.”

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We can’t imagine how Jonathan makes tiny 1:6 scale sunglasses. WOW! (Photo: Jonathan De Guzman)

With Friends, Anything is Possible.

Jonathan’s friend, David Park, took the opportunity to chime in with his own opinions of De Guzman’s work, saying:

“I met Jon when he was trying to sell his M113. He wanted money very badly, and was offering to sell his M113 for a mere $2000. I said I would help, and long story short, we ended up selling it for $4000 + shipping. Later, he showed me some weapons he had made in 1:6 scale and I was impressed. I remembered a collector in Spain. He bought several of the weapons and we became friends. His name is Enrique Pastor. Anyways, Enrique bought all of the weapons Jon had made. He was the sole clientele for almost a year. Then slowly, other commissions started to come in, and then more and more. Now, Jon is fully booked-up out to about 2~3 weeks. Jon is a great guy and a great friend. Thank you so much for writing an article about him. You could not have found a better guy to write about!”
As hard as it is to comprehend, this superb samurai sword, scabbard, display rack, machine gun and magazines were ALL made by hand. According to De Guzman, "The scabbard is made from wood, cut to shape by a saw, then cut in the middle for the blade. I cut a piece of wood that lays with the pattern of the scabbard, then glued it and used an angle grinder to shape it. Then, I used files and sandpaper to make it all smooth." (Photo: Jonathan De Guzman)

Superb weapons in miniature even include this samurai sword, scabbard, and display rack. According to De Guzman, “The scabbard is made from wood, cut to shape by a saw, then cut in the middle for the blade. I cut a piece of wood that lays with the pattern of the scabbard, then glued it and used an angle grinder to shape it. Then, I used files and sandpaper to make it all smooth.” (Photo: Jonathan De Guzman)

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Jonathan’s ultra-realistic harpoon gun in perfect 1:6 scale (Photo: Jonathan De Guzman)

Jonathan's amazing all-metal 1:6 scale ammo cans. (Photo: Jonathan De Guzman)

Jonathan’s amazing all-metal 1:6 scale ammo cans. (Photo: Jonathan De Guzman)

Although rescuers were too late for this poor Joe, Jonathan's superb all-metal rescue stretcher is an exact miniature duplicate of the real thing. (Photo: Jonathan De Guzman)

Although rescuers were too late for this poor Joe, Jonathan’s superb all-metal rescue stretcher is an exact miniature duplicate of the real thing. (Photo: Jonathan De Guzman)

De Guzman's intricate, all-metal 1:6 scale wheelchair with oxygen bottle and bell. (Photo: Jonathan De Guzman)

De Guzman’s intricate, metal/leather/rubber 1:6 wheelchair w/ oxygen bottle and bell. Can you IMAGINE the level of skill required to create this beauty from scratch? (Photo: Jonathan De Guzman)

All-metal, fully-functional 1:6 scale rescue tripod. (Photo: Jonathan De Guzman)

All-metal, fully functional 1:6 scale rescue tripod. (Photo: Jonathan De Guzman)

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Even simple props like a 1:6 scale crutch look better made of real metal. (Photo: Jonathan De Guzman)

There are no better 1:6 scale nunchuks made anywhere in the WORLD. (Photo: Jonathan De Guzman)

Jonathan’s 1:6 scale nunchuks made of real metal and wood. (Photo: Jonathan De Guzman)

Jonathan's superb 1:6 scale rendition of Han's deadliest claw from the film, "Enter the Dragon." (Photo: Jonathan De Guzman)

Jonathan’s superb 1:6 scale miniaturization of Han’s deadliest claws from the film, “Enter the Dragon.” (Photo: Jonathan De Guzman)

How about a massive, 1:6 scale jail or prison cell for the "worst of the worst?" (Photo: Jonathan De Guzman)

How about a 1:6 scale jail or prison cell for the “worst of your worst?” (Photo: Jonathan De Guzman)

If you have a 1:6 scale cannabilistic serial killer you need to transport, what better way than with one of Jonathan's outstanding, all-metal human "dollies?" Don't forget the fava beans! (Photo: Jonathan De Guzman)

If you have a 1:6 scale cannibalistic serial killer in need of transport, what better way than with one of Jonathan’s outstanding human “dollies?” Don’t forget the fava beans! (Photo: Jonathan De Guzman)

Highly realistic machete weapons at perfect 1:6 scale. (Photo: Jonathan De Guzman)

Highly realistic machete weapons at perfect 1:6 scale. (Photo: Jonathan De Guzman)

1:6 scale club billy club, ready for a RUMBLE! (Photo: Jonathan De Guzman)

With Jonathan’s superb custom 1:6 scale metal billy club, your Joe’s will soon be ready to RUMBLE! (Photo: Jonathan De Guzman)

Bottom Line: Jonathan De Guzman’s all-metal 1:6 scale customs are probably the best available anywhere in the world today—bar none. Yes, some items can seem expensive, but the actual cost per piece varies greatly depending on the amount of work involved. For what you get, his work is actually priced very reasonably. Remember, this sort of custom product is all created by hand, and upon completion, each unique work becomes an instant (and valuable) collectible.

Mark these words: As time goes by and Jonathan’s fame and popularity inevitably spreads, we can foresee the day (very soon) when Jonathan’s rates will begin to rise. So, if you have a custom 1:6 project in mind for the Master of Metal, it would be wise to “get in line” sooner than later. Ordering seems to be a fairly informal process, and either Jonathan or David can help you through the steps involved. Our thanks to “eagle-eyed” Field Reporter Kent Williams, and to Jonathan’s friend and assistant, David Park, for their help producing this article. And our sincerest wishes for a rewarding 1:6 scale career to Jonathan De Guzman. We look forward to seeing his next great masterpiece! Contact Jonathan via email HERE. Or contact David HERE.

10 New 1:6 Scale Props and Accessories You Can Find Online or in Stores Near You———Right Now!

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FIND #1: It’s “Joe vs. Joe” during a tense game of Chinese Checkers. This outstanding 1:6 scale prop features 3-D marbles that are actually painted and permanently fixed into position, so you don’t have to worry about losing them. Highly detailed, it’s sold as a Christmas tree ornament, and is available year-round in Christmas specialty stores nationwide. (Photo: Mark Otnes)

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FIND #2: While out looking for 1:6 scale game ornaments, keep your eyes peeled for this superb Checkers set. Like its Chinese cousin, the tiny 3-D game pieces are painted and permanently affixed to the board, so you’ll never lose them, making it a quick and easy set up. (Photo: Mark Otnes)

Are you in need of a
1:6 Scale “Quick Fix?”

Builders of 1:6 scale dioramas are always on the lookout for new props and accessories. No matter what the item’s original purpose, if it fits into our marvelous miniature creations, we’re definitely interested. If you’re such a collector-customizer-creator and the current dearth of “official” 1:6 scale merchandise has you feeling a little down, we want to help you out. Here then, are a variety of new “1:6 finds” that you can pick up online and at stores near you:

1:6 Scale Games

Games are always good items for dioramas. They help create an instant scene (see photos above) or work equally well as background “fodder,” helping to establish a mood in any scene or environment. The first two finds we’d like to recommend are a pair of Christmas tree ornaments. They’re actually little sculptures of games, made of a dense plastic that closely resembles painted wood, are highly detailed and ready to use. The tiny marbles and checker pieces are all part of the sculpts, so you’ll never lose them. Simply toss the ornament hooks, place the games into a diorama scene and you’re done! A nice contrast to all the plastic-n-sticker keychain games out there. Price: $7 each. Rating (out of 5): ♦♦♦

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FIND #3: At 1:6 scale, this wrench features superb details and is spot-on perfect. Sold as a keychain in most hardware stores. Remove the rings and it’s ready for use. (Photo: Mark Otnes)

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FIND #4: These metal pliers make a great 1:6 scale tool. Use ’em as is, or add a little paint to their handles for more visual  “oomph!” Either way, they’re GREAT! (Photo: Mark Otnes)

1:6 Scale (Keychain) Tools

Let’s face it. Whether 1:1 scale or 1:6 scale, you can never have too many tools. If you’re not aware of these already, you need to know about a new series of hardware store keychain mini-tools (see wrench version above) currently available in stores and online. We can’t show them all here, but each tool is cast in solid metal and features superb details. So far, we’ve seen an ax, wrench, hammer, screwdriver, power drill and pliers. Great for GIjOEs. Price: $4 each. Rating (out of 5): ♦♦♦

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FIND #5: While these Apple laptop pocket mirrors are a tad over-sized, once they are set up with a figure they manage to look pretty convincing. We recommend you cover the mirror with some detailed computer graphics to complete the effect. (Photo: Mark Otnes)

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A little smaller than a deck of cards, but a little larger than 1:6 scale, these attractive Apple laptop pocket mirrors open up to reveal a detailed keyboard and mirrored screen. (Photo: Mark Otnes)

(Almost) 1:6 Scale
Apple Laptop Pocket Mirrors

We stumbled across these on the internet. They’re little mini-mirrors for women’s purses that are made to resemble an (almost) 1:6 scale Mac laptop computer. At first glance, they seem too big to use with GIjOE, and probably are if you’re a perfectionist. But open one up, set it on a table next to a Joe and it looks pretty darn good! We were pleasantly surprised how quickly it “fooled the eye,” and we’re sure creative customizers out there will quickly cover the mirror with a nifty high-tech computer graphic, furthering the laptop illusion even more. They’re a tad pricey, but that ultra-detailed keyboard and Apple logo make it a superb prop for any diorama. Price: $10+. Rating (out of 5): ♦♦♦

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FIND #6: The Coca-Cola Ice Bucket Christmas Tree Ornaments are in PERFECT 1:6 scale and features finely detailed logos, realistic-looking ice cubes, real metal handles and 13 bottles of “ice-cold” Coke. This is a “must-have” for any 1:6 scale party or picnic diorama. (Photo: Mark Otnes)

1:6 Scale Coca-Cola Ice Bucket Christmas Tree Ornament

It pays to check out that Christmas tree ornament aisle, you never know WHAT you’ll find. For example, these outstanding 1:6 scale Coca-Cola ice bucket ornaments were originally released a few years ago, but they must’ve sold really well because they’re back in stores again for Christmas 2013—and it’s only July! These beauties are perfectly sculpted, painted and detailed with professional decals. There are even two metal handles on either side to pick it up with. Remove the tiny eyelet screw from the center bottle and it’s ready to use in any diorama. Highly recommended, but we advise that you wait until they’re on sale and snag one (or more) at half-price! Price: $15. Rating (out of 5): ♦♦♦♦

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FIND #7: These American Beauties by Mayberry Street Miniatures are in perfect 1:6 scale. Mmm…Aurora likes ’em too! (Photo: Mark Otnes)

1:6 Scale Flowers for
the Love in Joe’s Life

This next find might fly under the radar of many 1:6 collectors because the subject matter may seem too…”girly.” But when we discovered them hanging on a peg at our local Hobby Lobby, we knew we’d have to pass them on. These superb miniature roses are part of a line of miniatures made by Mayberry Street and are intended for use in 1:12 scale doll houses. However, we noticed that the flowers were actually oversized for that purpose and would look more “at home” in a 1:6 scale setting. Each bouquet comes with 10 roses, assorted greens and a shiny porcelin—not plastic—vase. A great gift for any 1:6 scale sweetheart. Price: $7. Rating (out of 5): ♦♦♦♦

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FIND #8: This Adventurer can’t believe his good fortune. This superb 1:6 scale globe features razor-sharp “old world” historic maps. Now he can search for that long-lost treasure! (Photo: Mark Otnes)

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Don’t forget to browse those museum gift shops! (Photo: Mark Otnes)

Every Adventurer Needs a Globe!

Finding a good miniature globe can be difficult. Oftentimes, they’re either too big, too small, have a big coin slot in the top, or are, well, too “tacky.” But we think we’ve found the answer to this vexing problem.

On a recent trip to the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield, Illinois, we were “navigating” our way through their gift shop when we came upon this little all-metal gem. A superb 1:6 scale “old world” globe (pencil sharpener).

Its detailing is striking for its size (just look at the photos), the materials are excellent (“antiqued” copper) and the globe graphics are sharp and solid. Place it anywhere in your AT Commander’s office and watch his eyes light up! Price: $8. Rating (out of 5): ♦♦♦♦

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FIND #9: This miniature lantern from Mayberry Street is appropriate for a multitude of uses at 1:6 scale. (Photo: Mark Otnes)

A Lantern For Every Occasion

When the power goes out, Joe will always need a trusty flashlight or a 1:6 scale lantern. Problem solved! Go back to that same “girly” aisle at Hobby Lobby and pick up one or two of these sharp little red lanterns. Again, they appear to have been mistakenly marketed as something for use in 1:12 scale doll houses, but (fortunately for 1:6ers) are actually much closer to 1:6 scale. They’re all-metal and painted bright red and glossy black. The glass portion has some sort of bubble in it, but that doesn’t detract from it in the slightest. Not perfect, but a very versatile prop that you can use in any number of eras and/or dioramas (even German WW2 bunkers). Price: $4. Rating (out of 5): ♦♦♦

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FIND #10: It may seem silly to get excited about a 1:6 scale toy trash can, but we actually think this one ROCKS (especially after you get rid of that ugly packaging wrapper). (Photo: Mark Otnes)

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Ignore the packaging! At first glance, we had trouble imagining this “Trash Pack” puzzle was much of anything. But if you look beneath its ugly shrink-wrap packaging, there’s a brand-new, shiny metal trash can in perfect 1:6 scale just waiting to be used in your next diorama! (Photo: Mark Otnes)

Real Metal 1:6 Scale Trash Can

Finally, when Joe wants to clean out the barracks, he wants a full-sized, 1:6 scale trash can. And all those cheap, undersized, plastic versions just won’t cut it anymore. Wa-LAH! We have the answer once again. Head on over to Toys ‘R Us online (or a brick-n-mortar store) and pick up one of these “Trash Pack” jigsaw puzzles. Tear off the wrap-around label, give the puzzle to some deserving little one, and give the shiny, 1:6 scale metal trash can to your hard-working GIjOE. The “Trash Pack” logo is embossed on one side, but that’s easily solved by turning it around. Price: $10. Rating (out of 5): ♦♦♦

Bottom Line: In a time when “official” 1:6 scale products are on the wane, collectors and customizers have to rely more on their intuition and imagination. All of these products are widely available, both on the internet and in a variety of brick-n-mortar stores nationwide. Happy hunting!