Author Archives: Mark Otnes

Hands Off!—In Unusually Blunt Email, President of G.I. Joe Collector’s Club Urges Attendees of JoeCon 2018 to be “Respectful of the Cosplayers” and Not Touch or Harrass Them “in Any Way”

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Do I need to tell y’all to take a “Time Out?”— GIjOE Club Founder and President, Brian Savage, found himself in an unexpected disciplinary role today, having to preemptively respond to online fan “banter” by reminding his own club’s members to (essentially) keep their hands to themselves and exercise “common courtesy” when encountering cosplayers at JoeCon 2018. Member reactions to Savage’s email plea/request/order(?) have ranged from bemused to bewildered. Is such a reminder REALLY necessary for the typically (VERY) well-mannered JoeCon attendees? Possibly. (Photo: Mark Otnes)

Today’s GIjOE club email was quite the surprise. Normally, club members receive ordinary “reminder” emails about sending in their dues or checking the club’s online store for “specials” and clearance sale items. But THIS time, members were being told not to touch or harass cosplayers. To exercise “common courtesy.” And to adhere to “family values.” What the..? Does such unseemly behavior ever go on at JoeCons? Not that we’ve ever seen. But according to Savage:

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SHOCKING!— One of the coolest vintage GIjOE cosplayers we’ve ever seen was this superb “High Voltage Escape” costume created and worn by a creative young fan at the 2012 JoeCon. Dig that mask and the the mesh suit. WOW. (Photo: GIJCC)

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“Hello GIJoeCon Attendees, We will be seeing you guys and gals in just a few days. It has come to our attention that through banter on the internet that some folks are not sensitive to what is going on in our society today. Please be RESPECTFUL of the CosPlayers at the show. They are not to be touched or harassed in anyway. Common courtesy dictates that you should ask to take their picture before you do so. In addition, remember that this is a family event and all costumes should be in accordance with family values. If you have a question about your outfit, the answer would be, find a different one. In addition, please remember that there are no prop weapons allowed. Thanks for being smart and thinking before you cause yourself and someone else embarrassment. See you soon!” —Brian Savage, GIJCC

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Hubba-Hubba-Hands OFF— Cosplayers, Scarlett Conn (l) and Sara Detrick (r), were more than happy to pose for our cameras at the 2015 JoeCon in Springfield, IL. They’d worked hard on their costumes, were proud of them, and rightly so. They were also volunteering their time as hostesses at the event. After we’d complimented them on their outfits and thanked them for adding to the FUN of JoeCon, we asked “Can we take your pictures, please?” The answer was “yes” and this is the shot. Good manners RULE! (Photo: Mark Otnes)

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Untold Hours of Hard Work— Building costumes such as this robot require hours and hours of hard work. If you have small children, please make sure they don’t jump on or pull on the parts of a cosplayer’s costume. The costumes may be fragile or break easily. It looks as if the dapperly dressed “Destro” was also working as “security” during JoeCon 2012— possibly for that cosplayer in the robot costume. Outstanding “teamwork,” you guys! (Photo: GIJCC)

Bottom Line: The fans we’ve seen and met at JoeCons, Joelantas, and other such Joe-related shows and events have always been some of the nicest, politest and most THOUGHTFUL individuals you’d ever HOPE to meet. Cosplayers too, are a talented, creative and DEDICATED segment of GIjOE fandom and deserve as much respect as anyone else at JoeCon. The sad news that some attendees may have been planning to exhibit less-than-courteous behavior towards ANYONE comes as somewhat of a shock. If you plan on attending JoeCon this year—we have an EASY assignment for you—if you see ANY of the sort of improper behaviors Brian has warned against above, PLEASE help the show’s organizers by notifying Brian, a JoeCon employee. or hotel security personnel. Even if this is the LAST-ever JoeCon, it’s important that fans continue to safeguard such shows for the reputation of all other FUTURE Joe-shows, their dealers and attendees. Remember, good manners are good for Joe-business—and thats GREAT for Joe fans!

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Clint Walker, Television & Film Star, Dead at 90

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“The Big Man”— Actor Clint Walker as he appeared in The Dirty Dozen (1967) (Photo: MGM)

At Ease, Private Posey— For fans of GIjOEs, vintage ’50s-’60s TV cowboys, and the WWII action movie genre, the recent announcement of the death of Hollywood’s “Big Man,” actor Clint Walker, was truly sad news. According to his obituary in yesterday’s New York Times (edited for length):malecomment

“Clint Walker died on Monday in Grass Valley, CA. He was 90. His death, at a hospital, was confirmed by his daughter, Valerie Walker, who said the cause was congestive heart failure. Mr. Walker appeared in the ‘The Dirty Dozen’ and other movies, but he was best known for ‘Cheyenne,’ seen on ABC from 1955 to 1963.

‘Cheyenne’ was among the first television series produced by Warner Bros., and it had the lavish look of a big-screen movie. As shooting of the show’s first season began, Mr. Walker confessed to the crew that he did not have a great deal of experience on horseback. He later recalled the response: ‘You’ll either be a good rider, or a dead one.’ ‘There were a few times I wondered which one it was going to be,’ he said.

Many episodes of ‘Cheyenne’ called for Walker to be shirtless, revealing a bodybuilder’s 48-inch chest and a 32-inch waist in onscreen moments that, while maybe not essential to the plot, helped make the handsome, blue-eyed Mr. Walker a star. At 6 feet 6 inches, he was tall not only in the saddle; one reporter joked that ‘he has snow on his shoulders six months of the year.’ 

His size forced him to restrict his movements to stay within camera range, which could be a challenge during onscreen fistfights. But he pressed for more of those. ‘I feel action is what I owe the public,’ he once told an interviewer. ‘When I see a hero yak-yak-yakkin’ I lose all interest.’

He was appearing on ‘Cheyenne’ when he began making films, including ‘Fort Dobbs’ (1958), with Virginia Mayo. Howard Thompson, reviewing that movie for The New York Times, called him ‘about the biggest, finest-looking western hero ever to sag a horse, with a pair of shoulders rivaling King Kong’s.’

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In ‘The Dirty Dozen,’ released in 1967, he played the meek Samson Posey alongside a crew of hardened military convicts — played by Jim Brown, Charles Bronson, Donald Sutherland and others — who were recruited for an assassination mission behind German lines during World War II. His last film was Joe Dante’s ‘Small Soldiers’ (1998), about high-tech toy soldiers that go on a rampage, in which he had a voice role along with some of his ‘Dirty Dozen’ co-stars. 

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Don’t Push Me!— Walker’s tense face-off with tough-guy Lee Marvin in this scene from The Dirty Dozen was one of the most memorable moments in the film. As Marvin continued to push and taunt the gentle giant, Clint’s mounting rage was palpable. He had a knife. Marvin was unarmed. What would happen next? Audiences were transfixed. This was EXCITING STUFF! (Photo: MGM)

Mr. Walker came close to dying in a freak accident on a ski trip in 1973 when he stumbled and a ski pole pierced his heart. He survived and recovered quickly. He worked as a port security guard and a nightclub bouncer, and then as a deputy sheriff providing security at the Sands Hotel in Las Vegas, NV. It was there that the actor Van Johnson suggested that he explore acting. Mr. Walker would later recall thinking: ‘I’m not going to get that far carrying a gun and a badge. It doesn’t pay that well. If you make movies, you make some pretty good money — plus, the bullets aren’t real!'”

Bottom Line: Rest in Peace, Mr. Walker. Happy Trails, Cheyenne. We will miss you!

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Stayin’ Alive With POWER— Customizer Gary Stair Creates Unique “Iron Kid” Action Figure Featuring Chest-Mounted Arc Reactor and “Light-Up Action”

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Meet “IRON KID”— Gary Stair’s exciting new 1:6 custom figure features a custom silver suit and an “Arc Reactor” installed in its chest that REALLY lights up. Out-STANDING work, Gary! (Photo: Gary Stair)

Here’s another quick-n-cool custom figure idea from the VERY fertile mind of renowned 1:6 scale customizer, Gary Stair. Gary describes his latest—unique—creation thusly:

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Toy collector and customizer, Gary Stair, PA. (Photo: Gary Stair)

“Hey Mark, I had another idea—You remember those little ‘mini LED’ lamps? The ones we found at The Dollar Store? Well, I just found another use for them, one that that I think the other readers of The Joe Report might enjoy knowing about. We all need little lights that are easy to work with (for trucks, boats, planes, cars, etc.); and can be easily replaced too, right? Well… Voi-LAAA! Now we now have it. And creating this custom figure was really easy. First, I took the lamp apart. Then, I took an old ‘Steve Scout’ body and drilled a couple of holes into him, making the front one SMALLER so that the LED lamp would fit fairly tight when I inserted it into his chest. Then, I had a custom silver suit made up for him (looks pretty snazzy, doesn’t it?) and dressed him in it as shown. All done! He’s now part of my ever-growing Captain Action team. I’ve dubbed him “IRON-KID” (lol). I would LOVE to see what other customizers do with these little $1 LED lights. They’re good for so much more more than just placing on a desk and using as a lamp. We’re only limited by our imagination. Go, Joe! Go, Captain Action! And now, Go, IRON KID!” —Gary Stair, PA

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Drill, intall, and you’re done!— Say, is Iron Kid finally hitting puberty? Is that a chest hair we see poking out from behind his arc reactor? Maybe Lady Action’s new Phicen body is having some unexpected “side effects” on our young man? Hmm… ya’ better go take another (cold) shower, kid! (Photo: Gary Stair)

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Power up!— Gary Stair’s 1:6 scale “arc reactor” is in reality, a common canvas fastener. AMAZING! Click to enlarge.

That cool-looking “Arc Reactor” Gary created looked somehow familiar, but we just couldn’t place where we’d seen it before. Fortunately, Gary had an answer for that, too, revealing:

“It’s a canvas fastner – the top portion. It’s the female piece of a 2-part fastner set. I had some sitting around because I had previously repaired an outdoor canopy. You should be able to google ‘marine canvas fasteners’ (see HERE) and find them easily. Good luck!”

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He’s ALIVE!— Iron Kid’s implanted arc reactor lamp has seen to that. (Photo: Gary Stair)

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Sharp Dressed Young Man— The custom silver suit for Gary Stair’s “Iron Kid” action figure fits like a glove. EXCELLENT! (Photo: Gary Stair)

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Testing, 1,2,3— It works! Just glue the disc over the lit area and you’re done. (Photo: Gary Stair)

Bottom Line: A big THANK YOU to Gary Stair for yet another wonderful contribution to The Joe Report. Gary’s articles are always entertaining and informative. Go, Gary! Go, IRON KID!

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WOWZA! Rudy Panucci Recaps Toylanta 2018 (Video)

Bottom Line: Another great video review from the Popculteer himself, Rudy Panucci. Enjoy!

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Billionaire Brainstorm—or Boondoggle? MGA’s Issac Larian Enters Formal Offer to Purchase U.S. and Canadian Toys ‘R’ Us Stores and Remake Them Into a “Mini Disneyland in Every Neighborhood”

Billionaire Hopes to Preserve “Toys ‘R’ Us Experience” for His Grandson’s Generation

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Isaac Larian— MGA Entertainment mogel and owner of the “Bratz” line of dolls (Photo: Mediatly)

In a bizarre twist to the ongoing Toys ‘R’ Us bankruptcy saga, billionaire Isaac Larian of MGA Entertainment has offered to purchase over 280 of the 735 Toys ‘R’ Us locations currently facing imminent and permanent closure for a whopping $887 million. Why, you might ask, would ANYONE want to spend all that money on what appears to be a dying “brick-n-mortar” business model showing NO hope of surviving in today’s digital “get it now” Amazonian shopping age? For the latest on this unexpected and constantly evolving story, we refer you to a story posted yesterday over on the CNN website (HERE) which reveals the following surprising intel:

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“Isaac Larian said Friday that he’s entered a formal offer of $675 million to buy many of the Toys “R” Us stores in the United States, along with an additional $215 million for Toys “R” Us stores in Canada. Larian is looking to buy more than 200 of the remaining 735 locations in the US, and almost all of more than 80 locations in Canada, a spokesperson said. Larian, who runs MGA Entertainment, will use his own money for the bid, along with financing from banks and additional investors, according to a press release. ‘The liquidation of Toys ‘R’ Us is going to have a long-term effect on the toy business. The industry will truly suffer,’ he said in a statement. ‘The prospect of bringing the Toys ‘R’ Us experience to a new generation, my new grandson’s generation, is enough to motivate me to Save Toys ‘R’ Us.’ Toys “R” Us declined to comment.”

Can you imagine being ready, willing and ABLE to spend $887 million dollars—of your own money—to prevent some 280 Toys ‘R Us stores from closing? Is Larian truly serious? It appears so. The CNN article goes on to reveal that the billionaire’s long-term strategy for saving 280 failing stores goes far beyond providing a heartfelt or nostalgic shopping “experience” for his grandson’s generation. Here’s what his plans REALLY are:

Larian’s vision for Toys ‘R Us includes turning its stores into entertainment hotspots. ‘We will make Toys ‘R Us an experience in and of itself; a fun and engaging place where families can spend an entire day,” he said in his statement on Friday. ‘Imagine a mini-Disneyland in each neighborhood.”

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Been There, Done That— Larian’s concept of converting old Toys ‘R’ Us stores into “Mini-Disneylands” has already been tried—and failed. This one, the chain’s flagship store in New York City’s bustling Times Square district, was big enough to fit a ferris wheel inside! Guess what? Yup. It’s closed now. If this mega-store concept didn’t work in Times Square, with all of its never-ending foot traffic, how could it succeed elsewhere? How much do you think they’d have to mark-up TRU toys to pay for all of this? Perhaps Larian should give his ambitious plan a teeny bit more thought. (Photo: tripadvisor) Click to enlarge.

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Can You See Them NOW?— Before closing, the TRU flagship store in NYC also had the added benefit of a giant, wraparound video marquee. Can you imagine something like this surrounding Larian’s proposed 280 “mini-Disneylands” in the U.S. and Canada? Would such a monumental investment in time, material, and CASH really be worth it? Or is the lure and ease of “one-click” and “add to cart” online shopping simply too powerful for “brick-n-mortar” retailers to overcome? (Photo: tripadvisor) Click to enlarge.

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Welcome to Barbie Town— You’ve heard of the famous (also now gone) “Barbie Aisle,” right? Well, how about an entire Barbie TOWN? This amazing retail display was also in the NYC TRU store before it closed. Imagine a similar structure built by Hasbro called the “GIjOE PX” or something like that, full of Joes, Jeeps, equipment sets and more. Hey, we can dream, can’t we? (Photo: tripadvisor) Click to enlarge.

Bottom Line: This is all so FASCINATING. And hopeful. And exciting! But will ANY of it actually come to pass? Will Larian’s offer be accepted? Will he really spend even MORE of his own money to convert a bunch of aging Toys ‘R’ Us stores into 280 “mini-Disneylands?” It’s been tried in major cities already, and sadly, it’s failed. To be honest then, its doubtful much will come of this new development. But don’t lose hope, dear readers. We’ll keep you updated as this ever-changing, high-stakes, and “quixotic” tale of money, family, and TOYS continues to unfold. Stay tuned!

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Hollywood Came-a-Calling—Creator of 1:6 Scale Accessories Asked to Produce Miniature Props for Use in Upcoming 2018 Film, “The Women of Marwen”

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Meet Steve’s “Little Women”— Actor Steve Carell sits on a park bench in Vancouver, Canada, while taking a break from shooting his upcoming (Nov. 2018) film, “The Women of Marwen.” Alongside him sits a “Jeep-full” of miniature female co-stars, some (possibly) sporting tiny 1:6 scale patches or other accessories created by Mark Otnes of Patches of Pride, (Photo: Universal) Click to enlarge.

Steve Carell Pic to Feature Products Produced by 1:6 Company, “Patches of Pride”

This isn’t a “big story” by any means, but here it is, nonetheless: Patches of Pride (PoP), the well-known and respected producer of 1:6 scale miniature products (typically utilized by collectors and customizers of GIjOE action figures), has recently received (and shipped out) several mass orders of patches, armbands and other related accessories to various film industry costuming businesses in both Canada and Hollywood. Normally, that would be “non-news” to the public; the sort of boring, internal sales information typically only of interest to the businesses and individuals involved.

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Actor and toy collector, Steve Carell (Photo: Universal Pictures)

But in this case— the film industry costumers in question happened to be working on a new movie project that should hold GREAT interest for fans of 1:6 scale. In fact, the Canadian and LA costumers we’re talking about have been tasked with creating miniature 1:6 scale uniforms that will be utilized in an upcoming Universal production entitled, “The Women of Marwen” (aka “TWOM” see HERE). From what we can gather online, TWOM is being directed by “Back to the Future” auteur, Robert Zemeckis and stars actor, comedian, and action figure fan, Steve Carell, of “The 40 Year-Old Virgin” fame. The products ordered from Patches of Pride would be used to accessorize miniature costumes and military uniforms worn by some of the film’s “smaller stars.” We tracked down PoP’s head honcho, Mark Otnes, and asked him how he felt about undertaking this exciting new foray into movie prop production. He replied:

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“Well, I think it’s overstating it a bit to say that Patches of Pride has moved into ‘movie prop production.’ Yes, it is exciting to think that something we’ve created may appear ‘up there on the big screen,’ but this was probably just a one-time deal for us—unless they do a sequel. I’m a HUGE fan of both Zemeckis and Carell. Just knowing that they’re working on a film project together with 1:6 scale action figures is VERY cool news. And I LOVED Carell’s take on the societal pressures and ‘trials and tribulations’ faced by action figure collectors in ‘The 40 Year-Old Virgin.’ You could FEEL his pain at the thought of selling his beloved collectibles. Hilarious!

As to my business’ involvement with this new film, ‘The Women of Marwen,’ I simply filled a number of orders that came in from new customers located in Canada and Los Angeles. That’s it. At the time, they were very nice and notified me that the patches and other products they were ordering were for something they called, ‘an untitled Robert Zemeckis project.’ I knew who Mr. Zemeckis was, but I didn’t know that this so-called ‘untitled project’ was going to be a film. I just learned that fact recently, myself! I’d thought it was going to be a TV documentary on WWII or something like that. But hey, a Steve Carell movie sounds a WHOLE lot cooler!

And keep in mind that I also don’t know if anything I made for them will actually appear on-screen in the movie, or if PoP will get any sort of credit. Most likely not. You know how unpredictable filmmaking can be. Our products may just be used in test shots or scenes that end up on the ‘cutting room floor.’ However it all works out, you can bet that I’ll be watching the movie VERY closely for any signs of my work. Everything we sell at Patches of Pride comes from original art files that I’ve created. That way, I can easily recognize my work whenever and wherever I see it. If someone uses ANY of our products on their custom figures or vehicles, I can tell. I know ALL of the (thousands) of PoP products by heart—AND by sight.”

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Bottom Line: This sounds like it’ll be a really cool flick and a wonderful opportunity for Zemeckis, Carell and Patches of Pride as well. We wish all concerned with this project the very best of luck. “The Women of Marwen” is scheduled for a November 2018 release. If any further information becomes available before that time, we’ll be sure to share it with you here on The Joe Report ASAP. Will any of Otnes’ 1:6 scale products actually end up on screen? Stay tuned!

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Beware!— Dead-Eyed “Zombie Joe” Has Arrived

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The Walking Dead— Right out of the box, this new “black & white” 12″ club exclusive figure from the GIjOE Collector’s Club strikes many as, well, “DEAD” looking. It may be hard to see from this photo, but in person, our newly nicknamed, “Zombie Joe,” has a gray body that also (inexplicably) has a greenish hue to it, adding to its already moribund effect. Combined with EXTREMELY droopy eyes, ol’ “ZJ” appears destined to “haunt” collector’s shelves—or parts bins. (Photo: Mark Otnes) Click to enlarge.

Is this REALLY the FINAL “membership exclusive” figure for fans of 12-Inch GIJOEs?

It’s rare that a package containing a brand-new GIjOE shows up, unannounced, in our company’s mailroom; but today was just such an occasion. Typically, such unplanned, “surprise” events have been met with grand celebrations among the overworked staffers here at The Joe Report, but sadly, today, that was not to be the case. When the receptionist dropped the morning mail onto my desk—I literally JUMPED out of my chair. I saw the box from the GIjOE club and immediately buzzed everyone’s intercom, calling for an urgent “all hands on deck” meeting in the conference room.

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Ol’ “Dead Eyes”— Without a doubt, “Zombie Joe” wins the prize for having the DEADEST-looking eyes of ANY GIjOE brand action figure ever made. Depending on the steadiness of your hand and the fine point of your paintbrush, corrections CAN be made. But if you’re one of those fans who are “artistically-challenged,” you may just have to LIVE with it. CREEPY! (Photo: Mark Otnes) Click to enlarge.

Standing elbow to elbow, we happily ringed around the massive, oblong conference table, our hands wringing and our breath held “in toto” in silent, anxious anticipation. As we all knew, first glimpses and first impressions were EVERYTHING whenever a new Joe joined our ranks, and this unusual figure would prove to be no exception. The room fell DEATHLY quiet (a term that would prove to be quite apropos) and as the plain, “coffin-style” mailing box was finally opened, the first, HONEST reactions from those present plunged wildly from eager, ecstatic anticipation—to stunned, silent SHOCK. A “temp” from the upstairs steno pool audibly gasped. A copywriter, unsure of exactly how she might describe or “spin” what she seeing, simply giggled. One of our “street-wise” freelance photographers actually seemed to recoil—but in what? Fear? HORROR? It wasn’t exactly clear. Finally, someone managed to speak up and blurted out, “What IS that thing?”

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Super Surfer Shorts— The BEST thing about the new 12-inch exclusive figure from the GIJOE Collector’s Club is—without a doubt—his classic GIjOE logo boxer shorts. The vintage logo imprinted on them looks FANTASTIC and these nifty new “jams” will undoubtedly become highly-prized collectibles on their own, despite the “less-than-lively” figure they adorn. (Photo: Mark Otnes) Click to enlarge.

Bottom Line: Hello there, Zombie Joe! What stared up at us from that cardboard coffin box was indeed a shocking sight to many. It can only be described as some sort of gray/greenish “corpse-like” figure. Comparisons to zombies and TV’s “The Walking Dead” quickly come to mind, but the most common appellation that came up among our group was “lifeless.” Of all the GIjOEs we’ve ever seen, and believe me, we’ve seen a LOT of them, this is the most… DEAD looking. Oh well, a “dead” GIjOE will certainly find a place in many sci-fi or other such 1:6 scale custom dioramas. If you can think of a good use for this figure, please let us know. Without his “black & white” uniform, he’s quite literally, “lifeless.” But heck, a Joe is a Joe—is a JOE. We’ll take ’em ALL!

 

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Hobbico Pre-Auction Stunner—Cross-Town Competitor Horizon Hobby Declares It Will Purchase Major Assets of Struggling RC Co.

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Meet the New BMOC in RC—Horizon Hobby. (Photo: Cameron Suhadolnik)

If Successful, “Purchase Would Close on April 6”

In a quick follow-up to our previous post about the fall of Hobbico, one of its main RC industry competitors, cross-town rival, Horizon Hobby, has made a substantial offer that may pave the road to Hobbico’s final financial destination. According to Ben Zigterman of the News-Gazette:

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Ben Zigterman, reporter for the News-Gazette (Photo: Ben Zigterman)

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“CHAMPAIGN — Hobby-product distributor Hobbico has found a buyer for its remote-control business: cross-town competitor Horizon Hobby. Horizon Hobby has agreed to buy several units of Hobbico for a combined $18.8 million…‘We believe this transaction, if completed, will further strengthen Horizon’s position as the market-leader in the RC industry,’ Horizon Hobby President and CEO Joe Ambrose said in a statement. ‘Horizon and Hobbico have served many of the same retailers and customers for years. Upon completion of this transaction, Horizon will work to provide a smooth transition within the industry.’ If completed, Horizon will be buying Hobbico’s Great Planes and Tower Hobbies divisions, as well as brands including Axial and Arrma. Hobbico had been asking for at least $22 million for these companies. The purchase won’t include Estes, United Model, Revell US or Revell Germany.

Additionally, ‘Horizon will not be assuming any of Hobbico’s debts or other liabilities in this transaction,’ Ambrose said. Following the auction, where Horizon would be the stalking-horse bidder, the purchase would close April 6. With a stalking-horse bid, the potential purchasers essentially set the floor bid of the auction in exchange for certain protections. If Horizon isn’t the successful bidder, it will receive a break-up fee of 3% of its base bid, or $540,000.”

Bottom Line: Once all of the auctioneering and legal “smoke” has finally cleared, it appears certain that Horizon Hobby will emerge the only so-called “winner” in this calamitous scenario. Hobbico was asking for $22 million, but $18.8 million comes pretty close. After the sale closes on April 6th, Horizon assumes the mantle of BMOC (Big Man on Campus) among all remaining companies in the RC hobby’s industrial complex. A big shout-out of THANKS to Ben Zigterman for his excellent reportage on this story. And we’d also like to wish everyone at Hobbico and Horizon all the best and sincerely hope that Hobbico is the LAST major (toy-related) company “domino” to fall.

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This is Gunna Be BRUTAL—The Hard Truths & Facts Behind the Demise of Retailing Giant, Toy’s ‘R Us

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In a fictional parallel to the real-world woes currently facing 31,000 Toys ‘R Us employees, Jack Nicholson’s character in the film, Broadcast News (1987), waits and watches, while all around him, fellow co-workers receive their pink slips during a company-wide, mass layoff. (Photo: 20thCF)

Bottom Line: Today, we’re keeping it VERY simple and jumping straight to the “bottom line.” Here then, is the so-called, “red ink,” regarding the harsh facts and realities of this sad event (as they are currently known to us) according to a story today on CNN:

  1. The news that Toys “R” Us is closing might conjure up wistful childhood memories for shoppers. But for the chain’s 31,000 U.S. employees, it means they’re out of a job.

  2. Mass layoffs are usually softened with a severance package, but Toys “R” Us employees won’t get any because of bankruptcy laws. They will get benefits such as health insurance and matching 401(k) payments from the company.

  3. Workers were promised 60 days pay, which is required under federal law, and they’ll receive that pay even if they don’t work the full two months.

  4. Traditional retailers are on the ropes, with a record 7,000 stores closing last year, according to Coresight Research. That’s more than triple the number of closings in 2016.
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