Category Archives: Customizers

Gird Your Loins, Joeheads—Toylanta 2019 is Just Around the Corner—and it’s BIGGER Than EVER!


Beloved GIjOE and Toy Show Set for March 8-10, 2019
We LOVE when our far-reaching corps of fearless Field Reporters do our work for us. In this case, “Mighty” Marten Jallad recently contacted the news desk here at The Joe Report and submitted the following article he’d written about this year’s upcoming Toylanta. As expected, it is thorough—and EXCELLENT. Thank you, Marten. Enjoy, everyone!
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Marten Jallad (Photo: Marten Jallad)

“Earlier this year (in March) TOYLANTA (perhaps known better as “Joelanta”) will celebrate its 18th year of spreading the love of all things toy-related. The show—as many of you already know—was initially created as a one-day event for local GI Joe and one-sixth scale collectors and GI Joe has remained the heart and soul of the show. The show has, however, continued to attract more and more varieties of toys, from the 1960s to present, and this explosion has led to changes, and at times, growing pains, as the show has now transformed into a multi-day convention under the banner—TOYLANTA.” 
“One thing that has been key to our continued growth and success is the vision that show co-founder, Buddy Finethy, put fourth; to host an event by collectors FOR collectors to celebrate our love of collecting and the creative process behind enhancing and displaying our “precious plastic.” The amazing thing, from my perspective, is that that warm and friendly social atmosphere has transcended all the different groups that have now found a home at the convention, including Transformers, Star Wars, GI Joe RAH, and toy collectors in general. I truly love hearing folks say that everyone is so friendly, from the staff, to the vendors and the general public. Toylanta is a place for us to forget about the daily hardships of life and instead, to celebrate our mutual love of the wonder of brightly colored toys that allowed us to use our imaginations during endless hours of play.”
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The Hunt is On! Fans and toy collectors searched for their own personal “toy treasures” in one of the spacious dealer rooms of Toylanta 2018. (Photo: Marten Jallad) Click to enlarge.

“TOYLANTA now encompasses approximately 20,000 square feet with around 250 tables of toys, comics and pop culture. Events include panels, creative demonstrations, live music, Parachute Drop, film festival, EJ’s Lobby Swap, Pop Culture Car Show, State of the Hobby panel discussions, a live auction and custom figure and diorama contests, not to mention social events (held each night) for the three nights leading up to the convention. This year, we are also moving the custom area to a bigger space to accommodate MORE dioramas, and are thrilled to have actor-artist-GIjOE RAH creator, Larry Hama, and GIjOE Classic Collection artist, Larry Selman, in attendance for autographs, prints, etc.”
“The creative team has been hard at work on this year’s Joelanta 12” exclusive: The Mountain Man.  He will add to the rich history of the 12 (and counting) one-sixth scale exclusives. The World Famous EJ, King of the Lobby Swap, has also been working on his 5th annual Lobby Swap exclusive.  We can’t wait to see what his creative kit-bashing mind has come up with. We are also excited about our second RAH-style exclusive.”
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Seen any Beavers? Meet the “Mountain Man” of Toylanta 2019 (Photo: Marten Jallad)

“I’m often asked how we’re able to put together such a big event—year after year—that attracts so many people from around the country—and the world. The key, I think, is all of the dedication and commitment we receive from so many helpers and friends, both locally and online. Our local GIjOE Collector’s Club fan group meets together once a week at different people’s homes to share a meal, talk toys and enjoy each other’s company. This has been happening for over a decade! We are also bound to a higher goal of opening a Toy and Diorama Museum somewhere in the greater Atlanta area (as TOYLANTA is part of the nonprofit Cody Lane Memorial Museum). It has been a very challenging endeavor, but one that we are dedicated to making a reality.”
“We encourage others to start a local fan group, hold a swap meet, or even start a show of their own in their local community. We are VERY proud of all the other cool shows out there, like the DFW GI Joe and Action Figure Show, the Kentuckiana GI Joe Toy Expo, the Augusta Toy and Comic Show featuring Joefest, and the upcoming Harrisburg Action Figure and Toy Show. Various members of the TOYLANTA crew have lent their talents and given creative and organizational input to assist those other ventures also be successful. Together, we believe we can continue to grow our hobby and keep that spark of creative sense of wonder and play alive in us all. We’ll see you all March 8-10, 2019!” —Marten Jallad, Toylanta
Bottom Line: Our sincerest thanks and admiration go out to Marten and everyone at Toylanta who helps bring GIjOE fandom this truly wonderful event—every—single—year. You guys are the BEST!
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REJOICE!—Biggest 1:6 Scale Movie EVER—”Welcome to Marwen”—Premiering in U.S. Theaters Today

Grab your coat, get yer keys, start the car, it’s MOVIE TIME!— “Welcome to Marwen” premieres in theaters across the U.S. today. Don’t miss this 1:6 scale-PALOOZA! (Photo: Savoy 16) Click to enlarge.

We’re closing the Joe Report offices early today and treating everyone on staff to a “free” day—at the movies! As you probably already know, today is being celebrated simply as “Marwen Day,” because today is the long-anticipated (U.S.) premiere of the big-budget, (hopefully to be) blockbuster film, “Welcome to Marwen.” Directed by renowned auteur Robert Zemeckis and starring comedic/dramatic actor Steve Carell, Marwen also includes a cast of dozens of wildly diverse 1:6 scale action figures (yes, “dolls” too) that come to life and act out their own fantasy story set against (who else?) a heartless band of nazis. Should be both touching—and a hoot!

Yes, Toys CAN be “Dark”— No one said that toys should all be like Teddy Ruxpin or the Cabbage Patch Kids. That’s fortunate, because the 12-inch action figures starring in “Welcome to Marwen” are called upon to portray a decidedly ADULT-themed storyline of war, hate, sex (and more!), all whilst good battles evil over control of an imaginary town in WWII Belgium. Meanwhile, Steve Carell’s real-life character, Mark Hogancamp, recuperates from a hate-crime beating, battles PTSD, and jousts quixotically with his own real-world demons of fear, loneliness and insecurity. Check out today’s review in the New York Times (see photo above). (Photo: Mark Otnes) Click to enlarge.

Bottom Line:  Marwen’s premiere is truly exciting news for legions of GIjOE fans, 1:6 customizers (and kitbashers) who will probably leave work early today to check out the film ASAP. Reviews have been largely positive, though mixed, while some—like the one in today’s New York Times—expressed that the fantasy-side of the film may be somewhat overwhelming. GIjOE fans may differ in that assessment. We say—can there ever be TOO MUCH 1:6 scale action on the big screen? We think not! If nothing else, the film promises to be a visual FEAST, as we watch our beloved toys becoming fully-animated by Hollywood’s special effects masters.

The Joe Report is sponsored by Patches of Pride. All products are proudly made and/or assembled in the USA.

Finally, here at The Joe Report, we also have a special reason for being proud and happy about today’s film’s release—our longtime (and sole) sponsor, Patches of Pride (a well-known 1:6 scale patches, decals and accessories producer), has some of its patches (and other products?) featured in the film. Exactly what will be included we’re not quite sure, but expect many an “eagle-eyed” PoPster to be carefully searching the production’s costumes, props, backgrounds and closeups for any signs of a familiar PoP product. Go get your ticket NOW—and ENJOY!

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“Welcome to Marwen”—First Cast Interviews!

There was an official Hollywood premiere of the upcoming film, “Welcome to Marwen” Monday night, and for the first time, the film’s director, stars, and others were allowed to speak publicly about the the various parts they played in in its production. Most of the questions asked were pure “fluff,” but look for brief moments of clarity from director Robert Zemeckis and star, Steve Carell. Interestingly, Carell reveals he felt the “doll” representing him was TOO good looking, stating—

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Can a headsculpt be TOO handsome? 1:6 scale recreation of actor Steve Carell (Photo: Universal)

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“It’s crazy! Because it’s just so much better looking than me. They roll it out, I’m like, all right, yeah! I can dream. Pretty cool!” —Steve Carell

Bottom Line: We’re getting excited! Only nine (9) more days until the film’s official release date of December 21st. If you can’t wait, we recommend checking out Patches of Pride’s exciting “Ten Prizes to Marwen” contest giveaway (exclusively on Facebook) HERE as they continue to celebrate an unofficial “countdown” to the premiere by giving away 1 prize-a-day—for 10 days straight! HOOyeah!

 

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Non-Electric Flocking Techniques Help Lyle Kozak Create Truly Unique 1:6 Scale GIjOE Headsculpts

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As real as it gets— Combine high-end headsculpts with E. Lyle Kozak’s superbly intuitive hair-n-beard flocking and you get near-REALITY at 1:6 scale. Can this figure speak, too? WOW! (Photo: E. Lyle Kozak)

exclusivebannerGet’cher Hair On!— We’ve talked about talented “flockers” in the worldwide 1:6 scale community before, from a Brazilian builder of an amazing one-of-a-kind, life-sized Falcon action figure (HERE) to a professional flocking business in the U.K. appropriately called “Flocktastic” (HERE), to gutsy, yet admitted “amateurs” in the U.S. who eschew expensive flocking devices and yet still manage to produce outstanding quality-flocked heads using only ordinary, non-electric supplies.

One such highly talented “amateur” flocker is Edward Lyle Kozak. Better known to his friends, family and fans online as E. Lyle Kozak, or simply Lyle, Mr. Kozak has taken the teachings of a VERY basic video tutorial provided by Bob “the Barber” Rodden (still found in the “tips-n-tricks” section of the Patches of Pride website HERE) and has elevated Rodden’s simple process to an astonishing level, creating amazing, 1:6 scale, facial-hair ART. Fortunately (for the subscribers and readers of The Joe Report), Mr. Kozak has kindly consented to provide us all today with an exclusive insight into his stunning “forays into flocking.” Take it away, Mr. K!

Edward Lyle Kozak, displays his unique “mini-me” Santa GIjOE, complete with matching Santa hat and (a tad-too-long) suit coat. (Photo: E. Lyle Kozak)

“Have ya ever thought about re-flocking an old GIjOE Adventure Team figure? Or giving your figure some unique new character? Me too! I grew up in the ’70s and ’80s and my fascination with GIjOE started when I was very young. My brother had many of the Adventure Team figures and accessories. I received a few of my own at the very end of the AT line. I was so obsessed with AT GIjOEs that for many years growing up, I thought you had to have a beard to be a soldier! From there, I went on to Super Joe and then on to the RAH line. My two favorite toys growing up were the Fisher Price Adventure People and the Adventure Team. For many years, I was buying and trading figures and always wanted to learn how to repair damaged or missing flocking on their heads. It would take me a LOT of research to find reliable references on how to flock a Joe and where to get the right materials (it’s easier now).”

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Classic Adventure Teamers, RESTORED— There’s nothing cooler than giving new flocks to vintage A-Teamers from the 1970s. If these guys could speak, they’d probably scream out, “THANK YOU, Lyle! Thank you for restoring our thinning hairlines and making us YOUNG and VIRILE again!” We’d have to agree. That is SUPERB hair-restoring flocking work, Mr. K! (Photo: E. Lyle Kozak) Click to enlarge.

“After many late nights (and 12AM cups of coffee), one day, purely by chance, I was looking for some replacement AT decals for a recently acquired yellow ATV, and as I looked through the Patches of Pride (PoP) website, I found a link that said, “How to flock your heads in 10-15 minutes.” Wha..? After all my searching— FINALLY—there it was, right in front of me (see HERE). Other than all those great decals, and awesome and unique accessories, PoP also offers TONS of cool diorama and customizing tips and ideas.”

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Fancy Foreign Facial Flocks— Lyle’s battlin’ Brits are now sporting some SERIOUSLY sassy whiskers. Blimey, Guv’nah. Long live the Queen! (Photo: E. Lyle Kozak) Click to enlarge.

“The process demonstrated on PoP’s website by Bob Rodden is a VERY basic way of flocking without spending a lot of money on an expensive electrostatic machine. Bob’s process works just fine and that is exactly how I’m doing all my heads now; with just a few minor changes to the process. Here are the specific changes I have implemented into the process that I learned from Bob and PoP.

  • I pretreat the heads with a PVC pipe cleaner that removes oily residue from handling and helps to promote better glue adhesion (found at local retailers).
  • I also found a good, affordable, and not-too-smelly adhesive that works great but can also be easily removed with rubbing alcohol.
  • The first type of glue I use is Loctite GO2 Glue. This glue is a little thicker and spreads on nicely over the head and has a long enough pot life (dry time) to be able to cover the head and flock.
  • The other glue I have recently started to use is Clear Gorilla Glue. This is a little thinner than the GO2 glue, but they both held up the same in dry testing and at holding the flock on.”
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Flocking Adds Character— Hit the ice, Adventurers! (Photo: E. Lyle Kozak)

“In my search for flocking knowledge, I eventually found a wonderful company called “Just Flock It” that produces GIjOE-appropriate flocking in a multitude of colors and lengths—just PERFECT for any and all crazy customs that might come to mind (see their website HERE). I have to say too, the customer service and availability at Just Flock It is top-notch and I have never had a single issue with their products or service.”

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Ho, Ho, HAIRY— With flocking projects, if you can THINK it, you can probably DO it. Lyle’s short-bearded “Santa Joe” is a perfect example. (Photo: E. Lyle Kozak)

“I’ve also found the Flock Concepts blog which has a ton of info on adhesives, fibers, flocking machines, and anything else you can think of re: flocking. The blog is run by Ray Cairo, a really cool guy who also flocks as a side business. He dyes and cuts most of his own flock and has mastered how to mix colors to get correct blends that match vintage figures. HERE‘s the link to Ray’s blog.”

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Artistic Hair Design— Lyle’s expert mixture of gray and black flocking impart a distinctive look and “age” to this “angry” AA headsculpt. (Photo: E. Lyle Kozak)

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Grizzled Greatness— Varied follicle heights and subtle color differentiations combine to imbue this custom head with a WORLD of personality. AMAZING work, Lyle! (Photo: E. Lyle Kozak)

“A few more things to keep in mind when you’re flocking:

  • Don’t rush it, take your time, practice, and it will become easier.
  • The straight colors are ok, but mixing them makes them really POP!
  • It doesn’t take very much glue or a lot of flock to cover one (1) head.
  • Once you learn the basics, the possibilities are endless!

For more information, please visit my flocking page on Facebook HERE. Enjoy!”

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EE-YUCK! Adding flocking to this “Walking Dead” headsculpt has made it almost TOO real to look at. Wow. VERY CREEPY, Mr. K! (Photo: E. Lyle Kozak)

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Goin’ Gray? This Sea Adventurer looks like the man in charge. His encroaching gray provides distinction as well as “aging” him beyond his blonder subordinates. THIS IS A MASTERPIECE of 1:6 scale flocking. Just look at that face! (Photo: E. Lyle Kozak)

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Redheads RULE!— This tough guy looks like someone you’d want “watching your back” whenever you got in a tough scrape. Lyle’s perfectly blended redhead coloration goes superbly with his eye and eyebrow colors. (Photo: E. Lyle Kozak)

Bottom Line: Customizers such as Mr. Rodden and Mr. Kozak are truly inspirations to us all. Their ventures into the fantastical world of flocking continues to reveal to us that—with very little expense and (a little) trial and effort—all our customizing “dreams” really CAN come true. Keep up the great work, guys. An especially big THANK YOU too, to Mr. Kozak, for sharing all of his flocking intel with us today. You are the MAN, sir!

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One-Sixth Scale Shell-Shocker— New M3 Lee/Grant Medium Tank From Armortek Will Blow You Away!

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Batten down the hatches—for BATTLE. Armortek’s all-new, all-metal M3 Grant-Lee tank looks heavy enough to CRUSH all enemy forces, much less blow them away. (Photo: Armortek) Click to enlarge.

Some things look too good to be true. In this particular case, something VERY good is also something very true—and very real. So get a grip on your nearest GIjOE or Action Man fellow customizers, because what you’re looking at (above) is also —in 1:6 scale. That’s right. This stunning, steel-plated behemoth is actually something your GIjOEs, Action Man (Men?) and other 1:6 military action figures will feel “right at home” in whilst reenacting WWII’s deadliest 1:1 scale tank battles (see historic intel by Wikipedia HERE). According to Armortek’s, Kian Shroff:

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Kian Shroff, Owner of Armortek in the UK (Photo: TMM Photography)

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“I was reading The Joe Report online magazine and thought your readers may be interested in our latest release a M3 Lee Medium Tank from WWII. In case you do not know about Armortek, we are the world’s leading manufacturer of 1:6 scale metal model kits. Our kits weight 120lbs upwards and take about 200 hours to assemble. I have attached our press release as well as some images – feel free to use these on your website. Let me know any questions you may have.” Kind regards, —Kian Shroff

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Side view dimensions of the Armortek M3 (Art by Armortek) Click to enlarge.

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Top view dimensions of the Armortek M3 (Art by Armortek) Click to enlarge.

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Front view dimensions of the Armortek M3—AWESOME! (Art by Armortek)

According to Shroff and Armortek’s official press release:

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Kian Shroff at Armortek’s headquarters, UK (Photo: TMM Photography) Click to enlarge.

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Winchester, UK
17th September 2018:

Armortek (www.armortek.co.uk), the world’s leadingmanufacturer of 1:6 scale metal model kits announces the launch of their latest products – the iconic M3 Lee/Grant medium tanks. Used by the Americans, British, Australians, Indians and the Russians during World War II, the M3 medium tank was most effective in matching and even beating the German firepower in the North African campaign and was a vital “stop-gap” until the M4 Sherman tanks made their debut. In keeping with previous Armortek releases, the Armortek M3 Lee and Grant medium tank kits are a result of detailed research and measurements of a full-scale vehicle. Made predominantly from CNC machined aluminium and steel, the kits feature scale thickness armour, prototypical suspension and can be remote control enabled.

Containing over 2,000 parts (with more than 200 unique components), the M3 medium tank kit will take about 200 hours to build. The M3 Lee/ Grant from Armortek measures 94cm (37”) long and 44cm (17”) wide and stands 48cm(19”) tall. They will weigh approximately 80kg (180 lbs) in their remote-controlled configuration. The kits are manufactured in a small batch as Limited Editions and each one comes with a serial number and certificate of authenticity. Option packs can be added to the kits to provide them with remote-controlled drive, turret turn, gun elevation and slew, realistic sounds and exhaust smoke.

Armortek is a family owned business operating from its state-of-the-art factory in Hampshire, UK. Research, design and manufacture of the kits are all done in house. Armortek has been producing 1:6 scale all metal model kits for over 15 years and, in that time, has produced over 20 different WW1 or WW2 kits for hobbyists, engineers and collectors across the world. For sales information, please email us at sales@armortek.co.uk. For further press information, please email us at press@armortek.co.uk.”

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A Bridge Too FAR OUT, Man!— How about a REAL metal and wooden bridge for your tanks to cross over your backyard streams and rivers? Armortek makes them too! The products shown above were on display at Armortek Open Day 2017. WOW! (Photo: TMM Photography) Click to enlarge.

Bottom Line: Our sincerest thanks to TMM Photography, Kian Shroff (and everyone else) at Armortek for their generous assistance in the creation of this article. Can YOU assemble one of Armortek’s amazing new M3 Lee/Grant tank kits? Isn’t it time you found out? Whichever Armortek product you build, it’s sure to became THE stellar attraction of your 1:6 collection. For more information, visit Armortek’s website HERE or their fan page over on Facebook HERE.

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Heads Up!—”Stewart’s Attic” Reopened in Florida

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Scott Stewart, Stewart’s Attic (Photo: CAE)

Good News, Captain Actioneers and Best of the West Johnny West Fans—

Good things DO come to those who wait. Especially to those who’ve been waiting for the long-anticipated return of one of the 1:6 scale community’s most popular online dealers—Stewart’s Attic. That’s right, Stewart’s Attic—is BACK! YEEhah!

Owned and operated by longtime (and highly respected) Joelanta/JoeCon dealer, “Super” Scott Stewart, Stewart’s Attic is THE headquarters for all things MARX, Best of the West (BOTW) and Captain Action-related. What exactly can fans and collectors expect to find at Scott’s new and IMPROVED online establishment? According to a message received today on The Joe Report’s teletype machine, Scott revealed the following plans:

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“Hi Mark, I just wanted you to know that I’ve re-opened Stewart’s Attic. Although I’m not molding and casting custom items right now, I hope to have that set up soon. Thanks for your patience during my recent move to Florida.
Please visit: http://www.stewartsattic.com/catalog/Thanks! Scott Stewart, Stewart’s Attic

Bottom Line: Our sincerest thanks to Scott for submitting this exciting intel and our best wishes to him too, in ALL of his endeavors. It’s the enthusiastic actions and efforts of men (and women) like Scott that help keep the 1:6 scale hobby alive—and thriving. Go, Stewart’s Attic!

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It’s Up to Zemeckis— How Much Will Hollywood Director Choose to Reveal About Film’s Real-Life Hero in His Upcoming Film, “Welcome to Marwen?”

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High on His Heels— Artist/Photographer, Mark Hogancamp, makes no secret about his fandom for feminine footwear, as this portrait of him in stilettos “pointedly” reveals. (Photo: NYT) Click to enlarge.

The Truth is Already Out There—But Will its Inclusion Hurt Box Office Receipts?

This is all public knowledge, but please stick with us. If you’ve seen 2010’s fantasy-documentary, Marwencol, or read the 2016 hardcover book, Welcome to Marwencol, then you undoubtedly already know that real-life artist-photographer, Mark Hogancamp—the lead character depicted in Robert Zemeckis’ upcoming motion picture, Welcome to Marwen (played by actor Steve Carell)—enjoys wearing women’s high-heel shoes and stockings. There. We’ve said it. Hogancamp’s “most shocking” true-life personality “spoiler” has now been re-revealed.

What isn’t known to many however, is whether Zemeckis feels that Hogancamp’s cross-dressing is “script-worthy” enough to be included in his latest release. Would such intimate insight detract from the film’s main storyline—a man struggles with PTSD after a brutal beating by creating fantasy photo-stories with 1:6 scale action figures and dolls—or enhance it? Is cross-dressing simply too “racy” a topic for the holidays, only to end up on the cutting room floor? Time—as they say, will tell.

For those who are unaware of the differences between “cross-dressing” and the better  known term, “transvestism,” we consulted that oracle of all knowledge and things online—Wikipedia—which (rightly or wrongly) defines the two (oft-misunderstood) terms thusly:

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“Transvestism is the practice of dressing and acting in a style or manner traditionally associated with the opposite sex. In some cultures, transvestism is practiced for religious, traditional or ceremonial reasons.”

“Crossdressing is the act of wearing items of clothing and other accoutrements commonly associated with the opposite sex within a particular society. Cross-dressing has been used for purposes of disguise, comfort, and self-expression in modern times and throughout history.”

Okay, that cleared it up (right?) Regardless, questions with serious financial implications remain— Will audiences harbor negative feelings about Hogancamp’s cross-dressing? And IF the topic is included in the film (we still don’t know if it will be) and “word gets out,” will that affect ticket-buying, movie-going audiences who DO harbor negative feelings about the subject and thereby cause them to stay home? You can bet the entire entertainment industry will be paying VERY close attention to this film when it premieres in theaters across the country on December 21st.

Fortunately for Zemeckis and his film

A cross-dressing dance act dubbed Junior New System (JNS) has just come to the rescue. This all-male, high-heeled dance troupe from the Philippines, recently broke onto the U.S. national scene during a series of high-energy (and high-heeled) appearances on NBC TV’s ratings-smash hit, America’s Got Talent. Their success appears to have made men-wearing-women’s-shoes a little less “offensive” in many viewer’s eyes, and much more “publicly palatable” as well. During their aggressive, athletic performances, the JNS men routinely and effortlessly switch between wearing traditional high-top sneakers to high-heel stilettos. Then, to everyone’s surprise, they proceed to perform powerful BACK-FLIPS, landing solidly on their traditionally unsteady and pointy “pumps,” without suffering any apparent missteps or twisted ankles. It has to be SEEN to be believed!

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It CAN be done!— Members of the Filipino dance group, Junior New System, proved that grown men can successfully perform backflips while wearing high-heeled, stiletto shoes. Here, they pose backstage with judge and media-mogul, Simon Cowell, during a taping of America’s Got Talent. (Photo: JNS)

As we stated at the outset, the subject of Hogancamp’s cross-dressing is largely “old news” to (most) 1:6 scalers, and has had little—to ZERO—bearing on the 1:6 community’s admiration and regard for the man’s artistic talents. His skills as an artist, photographer and customizer are obvious and beyond question. But how will non-hobbyist ticket-buyers react? That remains to be seen.

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Hogancamp’s Heroes Help Him HealMark Hogancamp, the creator of the imaginary and 1:6 scale town of “Marwencol” holds up his original, self-representational action figure—the “star” of Mark’s ongoing—and AMAZING—photo-adventures. (Photo: Mark Hogancamp) Click to enlarge.

Finally, other media outlets are also discussing this subject, largely reflecting the opinion that Hogancamp’s cross-dressing SHOULD be included in the film’s final script. The New York Times discussed it in an article HERE, and we found an overseas article about it in the UK’s The Telegraph, HERE. Clear “rumblings” of social expectation could be heard. Here’s one such quote:

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“The real truth behind Mark’s near-fatal attack is not something you’ll find in the trailer – he was set upon after admitting in the bar that he was a cross-dresser. When the film’s first American trailer landed, there was enough social-media kerfuffle to suggest that eliding this part of the story may well cause significant controversy.” —The Telegraph, UK

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Robert Zemeckis, Director of Welcome to Marwen (Photo: Hollywood Reporter)

Bottom Line: If the official Welcome to Marwen trailers are any indication of its final content, then it appears Mr. Hogancamp’s propensity for feminine footwear will NOT be made into much of an issue for the film. But, if you search the ‘net for further clues provided by Zemeckis himself, you CAN find short, inconclusive snippets about its inclusion (or exclusion) from the script. Make of the following quote what you will (especially the last line), but here’s his most telling —yet noncommittal—comment so far:

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“We can’t give everything away. There’s a lot more story than we were able to include. You’ve got to let the audience see something that they don’t know about.” —Robert Zemeckis, director, Welcome to Marwen

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Toymakers Beware—If You Make Miniature Custom Figures That Look TOO Good—and Then Sell Them TOO Publicly—You’d Better be Prepared to Face an All-Too-Costly Copyright Infringement Lawsuit

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The likeness is unmistakable— That pose. That expression. That haircut. That weaponry. THAT is Conan the Barbarian—and we all know it. Ricardo Jove Sanchez’s mini-sculpt figurine was clearly modeled after Robert E. Howard’s iconic character and Frank Frazetta’s iconic paintings. Submitted as prima facie evidence in court, this screenshot of a Facebook post made under Sanchez’s pseudonym “Rykar Jové” provided the judge with a definitive and unmistakable side-by-side comparison. Click to enlarge.

Are YOU a custom figure “fraudster?”

Let’s hope not. It might net you some tempting income in the short term, but it could also cost you a pretty penny in the future. For example, a Brooklyn, NY judge recently penalized “professional freelance sculptor” Ricardo Jove Sanchez (of Spain) with $21,000 worth of fines and liabilities. Sanchez’s transgressions? He had sculpted multiple miniature (3″ tall) figurines based upon Robert E. Howard Properties’ Conan the Barbarian characters—and the paintings of Frank Frazetta—and his actions were found to be “liable under trademark infringement laws.” According to the article recently published in the New York Post (HERE) and as penned by reporter Emily Saul:

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Emily Saul, New York Post (Photo: New York Post)

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“A Spanish man has been ordered to cough up $21,000 for hawking unauthorized reproductions of action figures like Conan the Barbarian, Kull and El Borak over the internet. Brooklyn federal Judge Frederic Block found Ricardo Jove Sanchez liable under trademark infringement laws, saying he sold the collectibles despite knowing their likenesses were owned by Conan Properties International LLC, and Robert E. Howard Properties Inc. Sanchez peddled the figures of Conan, Kull, El Borak, Soloman Kane, Ironhand, Bran Mak Morn, and Dark Agnes over Facebook and Kickstarter for a three-year period, the companies alleged. Yet, when he was told to stop, the fraudster simply changed the names of his replicas and continued business as usual, according to Block.

‘For example, he changed ‘Conan the Barbarian’ to ‘The Barbarian’ and ‘Dark Agnes’ to ‘Swordswoman’ ” in his ads, the papers say. Block ordered Sanchez to cough up $3,000 per character he ripped off, plus additional damages. He is also permanently barred from making or selling any figures based on Howard’s works in the future. Howard, who died in 1936, wrote a series of popular pulp fiction works during the 1930s. Sanchez couldn’t be reached for comment.”


hom·age

(h)ämij/

noun

definition: a special honor or respect shown publicly.


How “honoring” your favorite characters can get you in trouble with the law

As most 1:6 scalers well know, a sort of character-infringement “light” has been going on at GIjOE shows around the world for a quite a long time now. This is not the work of major toy companies ripping each other off. No, this activity resides within the realm—and purview—of well-intentioned individuals. And it’s not a greed-driven pursuit, either. Quite the contrary, most of the time, any infringement being perpetrated is because of an individuals’ LOVE for a certain brand or character. His (or her) goal is RARELY to take money away from a brand’s rightful copyright holder(s). Rather, it is (they feel) their way of remembering, honoring, and/or THANKING the creators for something that has provided them with a lifetime of wonderful memories. But—however noble or sentimental their reasoning may be—those people are still—breaking the law. And that’s wrong.

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Too Close for Legal Comfort— With minor tweaks, these figures could’ve easily been declared completely original concepts, but then their sales would likely have dropped dramatically. Sanchez had received a warning about the trademarked names and replaced them with more generic ones (see above). Unfortunately, that wasn’t enough to satisfy the attorneys of Robert E. Howard, Inc. and a lawsuit was soon filed. Copyright laws exist to protect creators. (Photo: Ricardo Jove Sanchez) Click to enlarge.

You’ll see such honorific—and yet illegal—products being sold ALL THE TIME at toy shows—as vendors blatantly ply goods bearing likenesses, logos, illustrations, photos and other copyrighted material that is clearly not theirs to reproduce. Most of the individuals doing so have ZERO official approval to make whatever it is they’re making—or to sell whatever it is they’re selling. And yet—

Toy Shows Remain “Islands of Opportunity” for Many

For those involved in the creation and sale of any copyright-infringing product, staying underneath the legal “radar” means that they must produce them in only VERY limited quantities, preferably as one-of-a-kinds, or sell (or trade) them purely on a “collector to collector” bartering basis. Toys shows are ideal for this. Much like open-air flea markets, they provide sellers (and buyers) with an easy opportunity to get together and transact. Heck, with major manufacturers currently “dropping the ball” toy-production-wise, some of the coolest products you can find are the handmade creations being sold at toy shows. We’re not attorneys, but it appears to us that Sanchez’s internet-based sales on both Facebook and Kickstarter were just TOO public, TOO well-received and TOO successful for the Robert E. Howard folks to overlook. Hopefully, the recent (expensive) outcome of Sanchez’s case will serve as an instructive wake-up call to others pursuing similar “business.”

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High Quality Honorifics— Sanchez’s work is superb. This pic shows six more of his sculpted (and unofficial) miniature creations. Remember, whenever you create an original work—it (and you) are BOTH protected by copyright law. (Photo: Ricardo Jove Sanchez) Click to enlarge.

Bottom Line: Do YOU make your own “kitbashed” or custom action figures? Equipment? Packaging? Clothing? Are you aware of all of the legal pitfalls and potential financial penalties resulting from copyright infringement? Don’t get us wrong. You’re perfectly free to show off (and sell) all of your homemade creations with well-deserved pride. The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and U.S. copyright law protects you and ALL of your own unique artistic creations. BUT—if any of your work contains near (or exact) likenesses of any other copyrighted characters, logos, or well-known individuals (living or dead), then that MAY be a problem—especially if you ever decide to sell them publicly, online or in very large quantities. Any questions? We suggest you pay for an hour or so of time with your own, trusted attorney. That minor cost up front may save you a great deal MORE later on. View court documents from Sanchez’s case HERE.

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Mark Your Calendars!— The Release Date for Robert Zemeckis’ New 1:6 Scale Motion Picture, “Welcome to Marwen” Has Been Confirmed

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Battle Scar— Mark Hogancamp (as portrayed by actor Steve Carell, off-camera) puts the finishing touches on his new mini-me “Cap’n Hogie” action figure, painting a scar on his right cheek a la GIjOE. During his real-life beating, the right side of Hogancamp’s face DID receive the greatest amount of damage and required extensive reconstructive surgeries. (Screenshot: Universal) Click to enlarge.

U.S. premiere of eagerly anticipated film delayed by 1 month

Finally. we have a date! It’s December 21st, 2018— a day that will forever LIVE in 1:6 scale GLORY. That is now the OFFICIAL release date for the new Robert Zemeckis-Steve Carell action-drama-fantasy, “Welcome to Marwen,” which will be opening in theaters all across the country. Just a short while ago, the film’s release date was still being touted as “sometime in November,” but according to a blurb article just spied in the August 17, 2018 issue of Entertainment Weekly (see below), the new, OFFICIAL premiere date has been moved back a month and is now slated for “12.21.”

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It’s now in PRINT— So it must be true, right? No explanation is given for why its premiere was delayed by one month, but according to this article in the August 17, 2018 issue of Entertainment Weekly, the release date for “Welcome to Marwen” is now December 21st. SO EXCITING! Click to enlarge.

Bottom Line: This official confirmation in the press means that fans will have until that time to make their plans for the premiere. Will you be dressing up as a character? Will you be organizing a GIjOE club mass-viewing? Will you be taking along an action figure—or two—to watch the film with you? Remember, according to Amazon, the DVD is not yet even available for pre-order, so until the film is re-released on say, Netflix, fans who miss it in the theaters will have to wait even longer to enjoy it in all of its (freeze-framed) 1:6 scale GLORY at home. Let’s get ready to go to the movies!

 

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Messerschmits! 12 O’Clock High!—1:6 Customizer Creates WWII Aerial Combat Diorama Featuring 2 Waist-Gunners Defending a B-17 “Flying Fortress”

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Here they come! Stay sharp! We’ve got to get through! This realistic 1:6 scale WWII B-17 battle diorama was created and customized by Bud Brown of California, and the ProSeries waterslide decals (shown on the aircraft’s outer hull) were provided by Patches of Pride (natch’). All this pic needs now are some special “FIRE” effects so that the .50 cal looks like it’s really “spittin’ HOT lead!” Absolutely outstanding customizing and pics, Bud. Keep up the great work! (Photo: Bud Brown) Click to enlarge.

Man, oh MAN. Some 1:6 scale custom dioramas are SO accurate and thrilling to look at that they make you DROOL with envy. This is one of them. Looking at the photo above, you can practically FEEL all the tension and energy of that moment. And, as we all know, it was life-or-death—EVERYDAY—for Allied and Axis combatants over the skies of Europe during WWII. Do you ever stop to think about the horrors endured by all the young flyers during that extremely dangerous air campaign? Well, if you’re not thankful for your comfy life of freedom now (would you even EXIST today if Germany had won?), then think about just ONE of the shocking B-17 bomber statistics from that war—as recounted to us by the dedicated aircraft historians at the Spitfire Association:

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“In a single 376 plane raid in August 1943, 60 B-17s were shot down. That was a 16 percent loss rate and meant 600 empty bunks in England. In 1942-43, it was statistically impossible for bomber crews to complete a 25-mission tour in Europe.”

“Statistically IMPOSSIBLE” to complete. And yet they went up anyway—time and time again. And this was the result of just ONE mission! Are you paying attention now? Good. Those heroes DESERVE our attention. While Hollywood movies thrill and excite viewers, the terrible truth was—and forever will be—REAL war is HELL. Millions of fathers, mothers, sons and daughters DIED protecting and preserving freedom around the world. Thankfully, the creation, sharing and commemoration of those heroes—in 1:6 scale dioramas—is a growing and popular hobby. When customizer Weldon “Bud” Brown II wrote in recently (see below) to share some pics of his latest custom 1:6 creation, needless to say, we were thrilled. Here’s Bud’s letter—

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Weldon “Bud” Brown II

“Attached are some finishing touches on my B-17 waist-gunner display. The bomber jacket patch is fantastic. I placed the decals on the plane fuselage. I made both the YANK mag and the Bible. I also put in the pin ups (one is my wife), along with a liberators war poster and a German aircraft identification poster. Now if I could just find some expended .50 caliber ammo for the floor. Thanks Mark and Patches of Pride. You have great stuff!”
Bud Brown
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History comes ALIVE— On your shelf? Yes! And what a conversation starter. Bud’s 2-figure, B-17 waist-gunner diorama makes viewer’s eyes POP and their jaws DROP. (Photo: Bud Brown) Click to enlarge.

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Details DO make the difference!— In this closeup, you can see Bud’s handmade YANK magazine, a Bible and some pin-up photos. There’s also a couple of parachutes, some oxygen bottles and even a thermos for coffee. Out-STANDING attention to detail. (Photo: Bud Brown) Click to enlarge.

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This reverse-view shows an ammo belt, Bud’s “Liberators” poster, and the gunner’s step-decks to help stabilize their balance and aim. (Photo: Bud Brown) Click to enlarge.

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Durable and Desirable— Large, textured cloth patches for the backs of 1:6 scale bomber jackets are available HERE from Patches of Pride. Bud chose the ever-popular “Straight Shooter” version (for obvious reasons). ZING! (Photo: Bud Brown)

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Avoid “Friendly Fire”— Bud’s German aircraft ID chart helps his waist-gunners to tell friend from foe. So cool! (Photo: Bud Brown) Click to enlarge.

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Providing backup— Another view from tail-gunner #2. (Photo: Bud Brown) Click to enlarge.

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Pulled Back a Bit— Fully revealed, you can now see that Bud has only one small section of the hull of a B-17 represented. To display a full-sized 1:6 scale B-17 in his office would be, let’s say, “uncomfortable.” HA. But this is MORE than enough fun for a work space! (Photo: Bud Brown) Click to enlarge.

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Adorning Armored Aircraft— This reverse angle clearly shows the exciting Patches of Pride ProSeries waterslide decals Bud chose to use on his custom diorama. The 4 swastikas indicate the number of confirmed “kills” for that gunner. The “Benito Finito” cartoon decal (found HERE) was first seen on Allied Jeeps after the Italian campaign. They look GREAT on aircraft, too! (Photo: Bud Brown) Click to enlarge.

Bottom Line: Our sincerest thanks go out to Bud Brown for his generous contributions to this article. Customizers of 1:6 scale continue to “push the envelope” and amaze us with their creations.

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