Category Archives: Forums & Websites

The First Annual “Ultimate 1:6 Figure Contest” Hosted By OneSixthSlaves Currently Underway

Custom 82nd Airborne Division Paratrooper by Miguel Tavares (Photo: Miguel Tavares)

HOOah! Do you like realism at 1:6 scale? This superb custom 82nd Airborne Division Paratrooper was created by Miguel Tavarez and it’s absolutely TOP-NOTCH all the way. (Photo: Miguel Tavarez)

Breaking: The online 1:6 collectors and customizing forum, OneSixthSlaves (aka the “O.S.S.”) is sponsoring its first-ever “Ultimate 1:6 Figure Contest” and promises to award “prizes that will blow you away” to its competition’s lucky winners. According to an official news release from the group:

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“The O.S.S. and The Bloodbath affiliate are proud to present the first ‘Annual Ultimate 1:6 Figure Contest.’ The contest will contain three categories, including Ancient & Historical, WWII, and ‘Nam & Modern. You can pm (personal message) entries to me or our staff. All entries must be submitted by December 25th 2015. Entries will be judged by a panel of Bloodbath veterans and a few poop-throwing monkeys.”

So real—you FEEL! The piercing blue eyes, real hair and finely painted skin tones of this SS Panzer tank commander are extremely realistic. His almost gaunt physical condition make us think he represents the last of the German tankers, perhaps struggling on the Eastern Front to survive the mighty Russian counter-attack. Excellent work, Miguel! (Photo: Miguel Tavares)

So realyou can “FEEL.” The piercing blue eyes, real hair and finely hand-painted skin texture of this SS Panzer tank commander are strikingly realistic. His almost gaunt physical condition make us think he represents the last of the SS Panzer tankers, perhaps struggling (and starving) out on the Eastern Front, hoping to survive the Russian Army’s relentless counter-attack. Excellent work! (Photo: Miguel Tavarez)

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“Contest rules are as follows: Single figures/groups or dioramas are allowed. Vehicles are allowed but are not the main focus. No outdoor shoots. Neutral background like grey, brown or black. No nudity. No sadism and or extreme gore. No Nazi death camps and or anything to do with pajamas and gas. To enter you must join the O.S.S.”

These hyper-detailed British Royal Army soldiers appear to discussing the best route to take, perhaps to deliver a very message to HQ regarding

Which Way, Mate? Miguel’s British Royal Army soldiers appear to be discussing the best route to take, perhaps to “A Bridge Too Far.” Out-STANDING details! (Photo: Miguel Tavarez)

Miguel Tavarez (aka the “Starving Artist”) (Photo: Miguel Tavarez)

 Bottom Line: This contest sounds like a BLAST! If you’re a collector, fan, customizer or modeller who enjoys creating the “ultimate” in 1:6 scale, then this competition sounds like “a must” for you to enter. For the latest contest intel, its prizes and how you can take part in all the fun, we recommend you join the O.S.S. forum HERE. For some top-notch customizing inspiration, we recommend you view the work of master customizer and modeller Miguel Tavarez over on his Facebook page found HERE.

Finally, after the contest is over, please let us know if you were declared a winner. We’d love to feature photos from the “Ultimate 1:6 Scale Figure Contest” and its award-winning custom figures and dioramas on The Joe Report. Best of luck to one and all!

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Back From the Dead———G.I. Joe Fan-Favorite Website oldjoes.com Revived & Renamed as “oldjoes.net”

G'Day, Mate! Superb, ultra-sharp closeups were a hallmark of the original oldjoes.com website. And now...it's BACK! (Photo: David Kish)

G’Day, Mate! Superb, ultra-sharp closeups of minty-fresh vintage GIjOEs were a hallmark of the original oldjoes.com website.(Photo: David Kish)

As the old saying goes: “Good things come to those who wait.”

But we never actually expected this to happen: Oldjoes—the original GIjOE photo website—is BACK. Fans of vintage 1:6 scale Joes will remember the site fondly, primarily due to its plethora of full-color closeup photographs of near-perfect vintage figures. While not 100% complete in its listings, it was nonetheless, one of the first major “cataloging sites” for GIjOE.

Indeed, Oldjoes.com set the “reference bar” extremely high and keep it up there until its unexplained disappearance back in 2012. Since then, other, newer, and more “whiz-bang” reference sites have arisen to take its place (most notably vintage3djoes), but memories of the original Oldjoes ‘site still holds a firm place in many fans’ hearts.

Newly relaunched and rechristened as oldjoes.net, this cyber-touchstone of the early days of GIjOE collecting has (thankfully) been resurrected and returned to full and “active duty,” thanks solely to the efforts of its creator and webmaster, David Kish. According to Kish, the reasons behind his site’s disappearance in 2012 wasn’t quite as mysterious as we’d been led to believe. In fact, in the note we received from him today, David goes on to reveal the following insider intel:

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David Kish

GIjOE collector and website pioneer, David Kish, was the original creator of oldjoes.com, one of Joe-fandom’s first and BEST resources for vintage GIjOE information. (Photo: David Kish)

“Hi Mark! I googled my name today and was shocked to find your blog post (see HERE, ed.) from 2012 about me and my oldjoes.com website! I had no idea you had devoted a post to the demise of my site, nor that you had attempted to reach me regarding it. After I stopped collecting G.I. Joe and spending time on the site, I inadvertently allowed the domain name to expire. After years of sporadic failed attempts to re-register the domain, a reseller acquired it.

When I saw your article tonight, I decided to call my hosting provider and re-register the site under a new domain name—oldjoes.net. I’m happy to report that the site is now back up at www.oldjoes.net. Please let your readers know. Thanks!”

Bottom Line: It’s our sincerest pleasure, David. Thanks for writing! If you loved Kish’s original website, then you’ll enjoy it twice as much today. It’s remains a fantastic, photo-laden resource for collectors; a nostalgic look back to the early days of Joe’s vintage history, reminding fans of the earliest glory days of the original GIjOE toy lines. Thanks SO MUCH for putting oldjoes back up on the internet for fans to enjoy, David. It is truly a historical and VALUABLE resource for us all.

If you could, how many of these wonderful

An astounding Aquanaut GIjOE from the oldjoes.net website. (Photo: David Kish) Click to enlarge.

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Action Man Fans Working to Ensure Palitoy’s UK Version of 1:6 Scale G.I. Joes Are Never Forgotten

Much Like its American Counterpart G.I. Joe, the wide variety of original Action Man (AM) products was literally breathtaking. Children of the 1960s and ’70s can still remember finding this sort of display inside local toy and department stores. As adults, those same fans are now working to ensure Palitoy’s beloved UK/Europe toy line will never be forgotten. (Photo: Palitoy) Click to enlarge.

Action Man fan and collector, Robert Wisdom, poses alongside "his better half" for a pic taken at a recent 1940s weekend in Sheringham, Norfolk. The event is held every September in the UK, and according to Robert, "is a great chance to get out my 1940s Battle of Britain dress uniform and soak up the atmosphere, ride steam trains and marvel at Spitfires flying overhead. Hundreds of US vehicles line the streets too, so it's worth a trip over the pond!" Sounds like a FANTASTIC time! (Photo: Robert Wisdom)

Action Man fan, collector and advocate, Robert Wisdom, poses alongside “his better half” for a pic taken at a recent 1940s weekend in Sheringham, Norfolk. The event is held every September in the UK, and according to Wisdom, “is a great chance to get out my 1940s Battle of Britain dress uniform and soak up the atmosphere, ride steam trains and marvel at Spitfires flying overhead. Hundreds of US vehicles line the streets too, so it’s worth a trip over the pond!” Sounds like a FANTASTIC time! (Photo: Robert Wisdom)

All-New Websites, Videos, DVDs, and Limited-Edition Books Are Being Created to Commemorate the Upcoming 50th Anniversary of Palitoy’s 12-inch Action Figure

When someone REALLY loves someone—or someTHING—he or she often chooses to share their positive, heartwarming feelings through some sort of physical manifestation or demonstration.

For example, heroes and other historic figures regularly have statues or other memorials erected in their honor. Famous personalities of all sorts and stripes, because of their past and/or present notoriety, have books and videos created about their lives and careers. Even beloved family members receive similar treatments when relatives commission cemetery markers, portrait paintings, or family photo albums or DVDs in their memory.
So why not—Action Man?

That’s right. Inanimate persons, places and things can also be revered and remembered by their ardent fans and followers. You only have to visit a local shopping mall to gaze upon a multitude of books, videos, calendars and other commemorative objects devoted to such diverse (non-living) subjects as Texas BBQ, the Eiffel Tower, Muscle Cars, Superheroes, Hobbies, Hollywood Films, etc. If making people recall something fondly is the main criteria for such commemoration, then certainly the upcoming 50th anniversary of Palitoy’s Action Man (AM) is worthy of WORLDWIDE acclaim.

Unofficial Action Man HQ (Logo: Robert Wisdom)

Fun for Fans—The “Unofficial Action Man HQ” website, created by professional graphic artist, Robert Wisdom, has become a popular hub of activity for AM collectors worldwide. (Logo: Robert Wisdom)

Action Man Commemorations Being Ably Guided With Aid of Graphics Professionals

As much as we enjoy “amateur” fan tributes created in honor of GIjOE and Action Man, it’s always such a pleasure whenever top-drawer graphic artists, illustrators and professional designers come along and offer up their considerable talents to support the cause of commemorating our favorite 12-inch action heroes. One such talented and artistic fan is Robert Wisdom of the UK. Robert’s new “Unofficial Action Man HQ” website (HERE) has become one of the hobby’s leading AM forums and his creation of professional-quality AM photography and videos, is also doing a great deal to advance the 1:6 scale collecting hobby as well (see sample video clip above).

Indeed, after the backhanded AM “tribute” proffered by James May on his James May’s Toy Stories program (HERE), Wisdom’s more positive contributions to Action Man feel like a breath of fresh air. And while other AM collectors are openly expressing a desire, nay a HUNGER, for better treatment of their favorite toy, it’s wonderful to discover fans such as Wisdom who are willing and (professionally) able to assist them in that regard. When its 50th anniversary arrives in 2016, it appears Action Man will finally receive the level of respect and commemoration he deserves.

It's all about RESPECT— One of the recent AM "photo bombs" by Robert Wisdom shows how powerful a teaching tool and the veteran 12-inch action line

Changing of the Guards— This stunning 1:1-1:6 scale “photo bomb,” created by professional graphics wiz, Robert Wisdom, reveals the amazing realism of Action Man whilst posed alongside a REAL member of the Queen’s Life Guards. Out-STANDING work, Robert! (Photo: Robert Wisdom)

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While there are scores of Action Man collectors around the world, for the sake of time and space, we’re focusing today on the intriguing efforts of England’s Robert Wisdom. Wisdom is a die-hard AM collector and has devoted a great deal of his own personal and professional time towards the toy’s promotion and commemoration. In the following exclusive interview with The Joe Report, he explains his connection to Action Man and how he plans to honor the toy line in the future:

Robert Wisdom, Action Man fan and collector (Photo: Robert Wisdom)

Robert Wisdom, Action Man fan and collector (Photo: Robert Wisdom)

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“I received my first Action Man (a Talking Commander, blond) for Christmas, 1971. I would have been around six. He was an instant hit. He knew exactly what I was thinking and played hard at whatever I suggested without a second thought. A true buddy. As kids, we used our imaginations. It’s sad to say that today’s kids, for the most part, have it all worked out and done for them. They don’t create. They just play with what’s already created, and then in a year later (or less!) it becomes another unloved thing in a charity box.

I know Action Man, in my childhood, lasted for YEARS. He was very much an extension of me. He did the things I dreamt of doing and that which I dared not do. At some point, Mum would have noticed I didn’t play with Action Man so much, a bit like the scene in Toy Story where Andy starts to overlook Woody. And so, sadly, my childhood collection is elsewhere—possibly the plastic graveyard in the sky.

But it wasn’t too long after Art College and embarking on a fledgling career as designer, that I rediscovered Action Man. I was now in my 20’s and had the good fortune to accompany a dear father-in-law to a Toy Fair in a community hall to look for the Matchbox Models of Yesteryear that he collected. Whilst there, I saw a flock-haired tank commander nestled between some other bits and couldn’t leave without ‘rescuing’ him from his plight.

It all came flooding back… I slowly became hooked again, and eventually set about reading up on AM and running the Unofficial Action Man HQ (UAMHQ) website, just to share what I had learned. I was disappointed there was almost a total lack of info on the web! I approached a well-respected AM expert to assist / partner the build of a new website, but he was pretty uninterested (which surprised me). Today, the site needs another overhaul, now that we are all broadband enabled.”

“I currently run a design agency in the UK (HERE) and the next big project I’m trying to organise is a 300-page, 13″ limited-edition square book (with a slip case) for Action Man collectors by Action Man collectors. ‘MISSION 50’ will be one of a kind—the likes of which have not been seen before on this subject.

It will be an AM book to end all AM books, with high-res actual size photography, minute detail and footnotes on changes to production, rarity and suchlike from 1966 thru 1984. A lot still needs to be considered, we need to approach all the copyright holders and the powers that lurk beneath. I cannot do it on my own, I need to have a team of enthusiasts on board, but initial response has been excellent and I am considering crowd-funding when the proposition is worked out in detail.”

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An AM Book to End All AM Books— Robert Wisdom’s “Mission 50” hardcover book is expected to weigh-in at 300 full-color pages that fit neatly within its own protective slip-case. (Photo: Robert Wisdom)

“In addition to the UAMHQ website and its forum, a Facebook Page (HERE) has also been created. That Facebook page is expected to become key to helping me ascertain how popular the MISSION 50 concept is and for spreading the word around about its production. I would like to ask any AM enthusiasts out there to PLEASE take the time to ‘like’ that page.

And as to the future, I suppose, as a mark of respect, we should all continue to seek out, repair, and restore (to original condition) those little fellas that set us FREE to explore and enjoy a healthy childhood—before computers came along to ‘fake it’ all for us. Action Man will surely outlast all of us mortals, and it was a pleasure that we (of a certain age) were there at his birth.” —Robert Wisdom

The modern-day Action Man logo is superb and would look GREAT on some all-new 50th Anniversary products! (Graphic: Wikipedia)

The POWER of Great Graphics— The modern-day Action Man logo is superb and would look GREAT on some all-new 50th Anniversary (or later) products. Is it time for another relaunch? (Graphic: Wikipedia)

The Story of Action Man has been faithfully recounted on a superb 2013 DVD by Australia's Tony Roberts. (Photo: ebay)

The Story of Action Man has been faithfully recounted on a superb 2013 DVD by Australia’s Tony Roberts. (Photo: ebay)

Bottom Line: The story of Action Man closely parallels that of our own beloved GIjOE, trailing its development by only a couple of years. Much of AM’s equipment is similar, and much is identical. But without a doubt, Palitoy’s Action Man was responsible for the creation of a multitude of unique 1:6 scale product innovations (of which we are continually jealous!). Our sincerest thanks and best wishes go out to Robert Wisdom for all of his generous assistance with this article, and to the Action Man fans around the world, we’d like to wish you all a “Happy 50th Anniversary” in 2016. While we eagerly await that exciting date (and hopefully the release of Wisdom’s Mission 50), may we suggest that you pick up a DVD of 2013’s The Story of Action Man (HERE) produced by renowned AM fan, Tony Roberts, of Australia (view teaser below). It’s equally informative and entertaining. Go, Action Man!

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Rally ‘Round the Flag, Boys!———Are Facebook’s “Closed Groups” Dividing G.I. Joe’s Fandom?

This Civil War era poster hoped to instill patriotic fervor in an attempt to keep the Union together during a time when sides were pulling apart. Increasingly disparate GIjOE fans may be facing a similar test of their own due to increased splintering of a once mighty, unified fan group. (Photo: bentley.umich)

This 1860s Civil War-era poster hoped to recruit troops and instill patriotic support for the North. In 2014, free of the corporate influence and guidance of Hasbro, disparate groups of GIjOE fans also find themselves “rallying around” their favorite scales (1:6 or 1:18) or favorite eras (Vintage Military, AT, RAH, etc.) through the increased use of “closed groups” on Facebook. (Photo: bentley.umich)

Time was, TV viewers would stay up late until the "viewing day" was over and a test pattern would appear onscreen until the next morning. (Photo: celiabullwinkel)

Time was, TV viewers who stayed up to 1AM (typically after a Late, Late Movie) would witness a station announcing it had reached the end of another “broadcasting day,” listen to the national anthem and then stare at a test pattern before finally switching off their set. Click to enlarge. (Photo: celiabullwinkel)

Some Herald “Unlimited Choices” While Others Decry Increased Splintering of GIjOE’s Fan Base

Remember when watching TV was as easy as 1, 2, 3? We do. 50 years ago there were only the 3 major TV networks, and a handful of independent stations vying for our attention. Such concentration of viewership resulted in a shared national identity that provided citizens with familiar reference points of culture and debate. Now, with the addition of thousands of new satellite and cable TV channels, the minds of many have begun “going their own way,” dividing the medium’s previously unified audience. Intriguingly, GIjOE fandom can now be said to be following a similar path. Only in this case, it’s the internet that (counterintuitively) risks splintering fan factions, threatening to pull collectors in so many directions that previous collecting group dynamics may soon become a thing of the past. Admittedly, with all the wonderful things the ‘net has done to bring Joeheads together, it’s hard to imagine that the very same medium could now be working against them. But recent developments reveal—the damage may already be done.

In a strategy primarily geared at selling and increasing its ad revenue, Facebook' "mining of data" has earned its creators less than glowing reviews among its members. Is the use of "closed groups" playing right into their hands? (Photo: thehappyblogger)

One BILLION Joeheads=$$$! In a strategy primarily geared at selling and increasing its ad revenue, Facebook’s “mining of data” has earned its creators less than glowing reviews among its members. Is the use of “closed groups” part of their Master Plan? (Photo: thehappyblogger)

For Example: When discussing GIjOEs, what topics do you consider to be off-limits? Are certain words or phrases unacceptable for use in a GIjOE fan forum? Where do your personal “tolerance thresholds” for opposing opinions begin—and end? Tough questions all, we grant you; some requiring serious introspection. But for fans of GIjOE, the answers used to be very simple—NOTHING. We used to be too busy being fascinated by each other’s Joe-knowledge to be offended by an occasional off-color remark. Regardless of personal scale and era preferences, fans (in the past) loved ALL GIjOEs (yes, some more than others) and were always happy to support one another’s differing tastes and/or viewpoints. What’s happened to change all that? Surprisingly, some say—Facebook.

GIjOE uber-fan, Ace Allgood (shown at right) had just arrived from Minnesota. He hoped to reconnect with old Joe-buddies and sell some of his new custom GIjOE pins.

Good PeopleGood Times. As always, whether or not a GIjOE fan is accepting of others depends primarily on who he or she is on the INSIDE. Tolerance of differing opinions and collecting preferences may come easily to some, but not so, to others. Here, outgoing and popular GIjOE collector and advocate, Ace Allgood (right) greets a friend during a previous Joelanta show. (Photo: Mark Otnes)

This screenshot of the GIjOE Discussion group's rules clearly spell out their disdain for "Hazblow" or terms of a similar nature. Unfortunately for Otnes, this information was unknown to him at the time of his post.

This screenshot of Facebook’s GIjOE Discussion group reveals a specific list of “things to think about before you post” (i.e. rules and regs).

So what’s the problem? We’re still all GIjOE fans and we’re still just talking about toys, right? Well, maybe not. The introduction of Facebook’s numerous “closed group” GIjOE fan forums has led to an unexpected “splintering” of the hobby. While most fans enjoy the closed groups simply as yet another place on the ‘net to share their fandom (and let their “geek flags fly”), others see them as a way to suppress dissenting opinion. Of course, the level of closed-group moderation (i.e. censorship) has always varied from group to group and moderator to moderator. But in today’s increasingly segmented, politically corrected and word-sensitive society, it’s not unusual for an unsuspecting Joehead to stumble into a group of fans who are more than willing to lead him (or her) into an abyss of dispute—over a simple WORD.

Formerly impervious to trivial disagreements, some fans (nowadays) appear to have developed a decreased tolerance for opinions that don’t immediately coincide with their own. Nowhere online is this evolving phenomenon more apparent than in the closed groups on Facebook. If you don’t know how such groups operate, pay heed: First, you request (or are invited) to join. Then, if you’re accepted, you learn whether the group is moderated or not and its particular “rules” for posting. To remain a member, you must abide politely by its restrictions or risk getting unceremoniously cut (i.e. “black-listed”) from the group’s roster by its all-powerful moderator. If this all sounds a tad Orwellian or close-minded, it can indeed feel so at times. But as one might expect, experiences vary from group to group and depend entirely on the mindsets of the individuals clustered within. Your level of enjoyment (or disappointment) will vary accordingly.

Many fans are dumbfounded by Hasbro's lackadaisical treatment of the GIjOE brand and franchise. According to one fan's review of a new GijOE video game: "G.I.Joe deserves more than this, here we have yet another “straight-to-the-bargin-bin” Movie Tie In game. With a broken camera, repetitive game play and poor graphics you’ll swear the game is a plot by Cobra Commander to cause pain to those dumb enough to buy it full price." (Photo: angryjoeshow)

Many fans are angry and dumbfounded by Hasbro’s lackadaisical treatment of their beloved GIjOE brand and franchise. According to one fan’s scathing review of a new GijOE: The Rise of Cobra video game: “G.I.Joe deserves more than this, here we have yet another ‘straight-to-the-bargin-bin’ Movie Tie-In game. With a broken camera, repetitive game play and poor graphics, you’ll swear the game is a plot by Cobra Commander to cause pain to those dumb enough to buy it full price.” Feel free to disagree, but be careful WHERE you post your thoughts over on Facebook’s “closed groups.” (Photo: angryjoeshow)

Mark Otnes (l, back), editor and main writer of The Joe Report, holds up his GIjOE space capsule and astronaut on Christmas morning, 1967. Otnes found himself the focus of an online dispute recently that seemed to highlight a schism between fans. (Photo: TJR)

Mark Otnes (l, back), editor and main writer of The Joe Report, holds up his GIjOE space capsule and astronaut on Christmas morning, 1967. Otnes found himself the focus of an online dispute recently that seemed to highlight a schism between fans. (Photo: TJR)

Intriguing Schism Between GIjOE Fans Revealed By Response to Article on The Joe Report

Read the Fine PrintThose who don’t read and/or follow a closed group’s “rules and regs” before placing posts may suddenly find themselves the target of angry and derisive rejoinders from the group’s membership. Even innocent blunders, like the use of an “offensive” term (which vary from group to group) can come to back to bite their authors—hard. For example, your own friendly neighborhood blogazine, The Joe Report (TJR), and its main article writer, Mark Otnes, recently found themselves at the center of an online social media storm in which members of Facebook’s leading 3.75″ GIjOE group, GIjOE Discussion, unleashed a torrent of posts critical of Otnes’ reportage of a recent article, and his use of the term, “Hasblow,” when posting to the group. For example:

malecomment“When people use the word ‘Hasblow,’ I just assume that they are mentally retarded. Thus far, I have not been proven wrong.” —Jay B., GIjOE Discussion

The Confusion Re: “Elizabeth,” the “Hasbro Toy Shop” and “Hasblow”

The October 6th article that drew so much attention from the group initially was in fact, one of our shortest. It concerned an equally short email we’d received from a Hasbro customer service rep confirming the complete disappearance of all GIjOE products from the Hasbro Toy Shop (HTS) website. One of the main points of contention the GIjOE Discussion (GD) group members had with Otnes’ article was his insistence that the HTS was part of Hasbro. For some reason, they believed the store to be an independent business and not connected with the toy company in any way. According to this adamant GD group member:

malecomment“HTS is not a division of Hasbro, it is a private company that just licenses the Hasbro name to sell their mass market products online.”
Kevin G., GIjOE Discussion

WRONG. To settle this issue, we contacted HTC rep, “Elizabeth” again, both to confirm her own physical reality (machine or human?) and to clarify HTC’s official status. She stated:

womancomment“I am a Consumer Service agent at Hasbro, not an automated system. We read and respond to each email received from our consumers. As for Hasbro Toy Shop, the site is part of Hasbro. We feature some of our more popular toys for sale on the site. The reason we do not sell all products is we simply do not have the warehouse capacity to house the 1000’s of products Hasbro makes. As for the GI Joe exclusive toys, that line cannot be sold by us, the product were made only for Toys R Us. I hope this helps.”
Elizabeth, Customer Service Agent, Hasbro

So…Elizabeth is a real person, works at Hasbro, and confirms that the Hasbro Toy Shop is part of Hasbro. Points proven. We stand by our article and its simple premise: GIjOE is NOT being sold by Hasbro’s own online outlet store: the Hasbro Toy Shop. Otnes was not discussing “exclusive” GIjOE brand toy sales at Toy’s ‘R Us—or anywhere else. (Editor’s Note: It was also strongly suggested—by a GD member—that we double-confirm the store’s status by also contacting Hasbro’s PR firm. We did so. But after a week, they have yet to reply to our inquiries.)

malecomment“Get with the program, ya ancient dinosaurs!!!”
needagungho, GIjOE Discussion

The title of the first issue of "The Fall of GIjOE" comic book will strongly resonate with fans of all ages, mirroring as it does, GIjOE's current "fall" from grace over at Hasbro. (Photo: IDW)

The title of the first issue of this new GIjOE comic book (“The Fall of GIjOE”), strikes fans as all too appropriate, mirroring as it does, GIjOE’s current fall from grace at Hasbro. Read more HERE. (Photo: IDW)

Claiming the High Ground—and Then Abandoning It

Debate about Otnes’ article (and the appropriateness of “Hasblow”) aside, comments like the one above (from another GD member) indicate a somewhat hypocritical, “have-it-both-ways” mindset. In other words, when a closed group objects to the use of an “offensive” term (from one of its own members) and then responds with a slew of their own (such as this group’s description of 12-inch fans as “dinosaurs, mentally retarded, brats,” etc.) then its easy to question their purported sincerity and desire to spare the feelings of others. We’re all Joeheads, but it’s important for members of closed groups to adhere to their own rules, or risk igniting yet another, intra-fan “flame war.”

malecomment“If I see someone seriously use ‘hasblow’ or ‘hasblo’ or ‘hazblow’ or any other variation, I immediately discount anything they have to say.” —Troy O., GIjOE Discussion

And finally, here’s two more Joeheads who wanted to provide some slightly more in-depth, well-considered commentary on this whole “3.75-inch versus 12-inch” collecting schism thingy:

malecomment“I’d feel worse for them (12″ collectors) if the bulk of that part of the community didn’t take a figurative crap on any 12” product that’s been released in the last 15 years. … The 12″ camp continued to desert the GIJCC because they DARED to place the 4″ figure fans on equal footing and now doesn’t understand why the Club swings so heavily that way …

Make no mistake, I know some GREAT fans of the 12″ Joes—but 12″ fans who contribute to growing (or even maintaining) interest in their hobby are few and far between, and these Patches of Pride guys—who can’t even accept that GI Joe has been a predominantly 4″-scaled toy line for, oh, 32 years now—aren’t going to accomplish much with this sort of guerilla journalism.”
Mike I.D., GIjOE Discussion

malecommentHasbro was VERY clear on its plans for GI Joe nearly 8 months ago, which didn’t include 12″ for a very important reason: 12″ is DEAD, or at least the 12″ figures collectors want. … And every attempt since in bringing back 12″ has been met with retail failure (all THREE TIMES in 10 years!). 

… Ultimately, this blog (The Joe Report) … shows a real lack of knowledge on the current toy market or even the brand itself. Anyone following GI Joe over the past 5 years (much less 10) could have likely seen the trends that bring us to where we are now.
Steevy M., Hisstank.com

Finally, we were also taken to task by one high-ranking Joehead who insists we mispronounced the cheerful yell of support for our favorite action figure, stating:

malecomment“I hate when people say, Go Joe! It’s Yo Joe!
Dumb ass!” —sbartek1974, Hisstank.com General

The first. The original "Sandbox" newsgroup was part of the early "Wild West Days" of the Internet for all GIjOE fans. It was a text-only, unmoderated environment that led to thousands of unedited posts, many leading to lengthy online arguments, aka "Flame Wars." (Art: Daryl Williams)

The first. The original “Sandbox” newsgroup was part of the early “Wild West Days” of the Internet for all GIjOE fans. It was a text-only, unmoderated environment that led to thousands of unedited posts, many leading to lengthy, heated, online arguments, aka “Flame Wars.” (Art: Daryl Williams)

Bottom Line: Thanks to the gated-community mindset and feelings of supposed safety fostered by Facebook’s new closed groups, the old “Wild West Days” of free-ranging arguments and flame wars between fans are largely a thing of the past; and the older, unmoderated, text-only forums, such as the venerable wide-open Sandbox, have now become veritable ghost towns (see story HERE).

Nevertheless, as the quotes above show, verbal attacks on fellow fans still occur, even within these new closed groups, and chastised members may find themselves feeling as if they’ve unwittingly traded some of their 1st Amendment freedoms for a false sense of online peace and quiet; essentially “preaching to a choir” of like-minded souls, where nary a dissenting word —is allowed to be heard.

P.S. All this kerfuffle over “Hasblow,” has us genuinely curious. What’s YOUR opinion about the disputed term? Please vote below, so Joeheads of all stripes will finally know. Thanks!

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)

Disgruntled Collectors Airing Protests on Newly Created “50 Years of G.I. jOE” Facebook Group; As “Open Letters to Hasbro” Pour In!

Fans and collectors of 12-inch GIjOEs are beginning to publicly air their displeasure regarding Hasbro's disdainful treatment of an American toy icon on what SHOULD BE its wonderful 50th Anniversary. This group of Joes and their Barbie girlfriends gathered outside the house of collector Laura Ann Ostermeyer recently, waving placards and shouting slogans in hopes of getting Hasbro's attention and receiving the recognition they deserve. (Photo: Laura Ann Ostermeyer)

Fans and collectors of 12-inch GIjOEs are beginning to publicly air their displeasure regarding Hasbro’s disdainful treatment of an American toy icon on what SHOULD BE its wonderful 50th Anniversary. This group of Joes and their families gathered outside the home of collector Laura Ann Ostermeyer recently, waving placards and shouting various slogans in hopes of getting Hasbro’s attention and receiving the recognition they so clearly deserve. (Photo: Laura Ann Ostermeyer)

Unofficial GIjOE "Rabblerouser," Rick Pell, stands outside Hasbro's Worldwide Headquarters building in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. Pell recently formed the "50 Years of GIjOE" fan group on Facebook as a way to help others "vent" their frustrations towards Hasbro's apparent indifference to 12-inch GIjOE collectors. (Photo: Rick Pell)

Unofficial GIjOE “rabble-rouser,” Rick Pell, stands outside Hasbro’s Worldwide Headquarters building in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. Pell recently formed the “50 Years of GIjOE” fan group on Facebook as a way to help others vent their frustrations regarding Hasbro’s apparent indifference towards fans and collectors of 12-inch GIjOEs. (Photo: Rick Pell)

Frustrated Fans Finding Ways to “Vent”

Whether they’re young or old, men, women or children, the authors of the various comments and “open letters to Hasbro” currently pouring into the newly created 50 Years of GIjOE (50YOG) page on Facebook, reflect a widely diverse group of collectors with one unifying purpose—a desire to show respect and reverence for the original 12-inch version of GIjOE. Much like the signers of the Declaration of Independence, each of the so-called “50-yoggers” is fearlessly contributing his or her own uniquely written testimony to the group’s growing “permanent record,” which is targeted directly at the executives and other “suits” currently controlling Hasbro. Many of the new group’s members openly confess they are confused, even dumbstruck, by the toy company’s recent (in)actions concerning GIjOE. Others prefer to wax nostalgic, throwing yet another emotional plea onto an already growing “pyre of persuasion.” And the rest? Well, they’re just plain annoyed—and angry!

And who can blame them? For over a half a century, profits from the sales of GIjOE have been filling the coffers of Hasbro’s ever-burgeoning bank accounts. For ANY product, that reflects a great deal of hard-won customer loyalty and valuable “brand equity,” built up over a very long time (50 years!). But to the “shock and awe” of millions of dedicated and devoted GIjOE fans, the very same ones who grew up with and (still) fervently LOVE the original 12-inch version, 2014 is turning out to be the year that Hasbro decided to bluntly, almost cavalierly—cast them aside.

What would the original "Hasbro Boy" think of the company's 2014 decision to turn its back on the iconic 12-inch action figure that made the company such a great success? We doubt he would be pleased!

What would the original “Hasbro Boy” think of the company’s 2014 decision to turn its back on the iconic 12-inch action figure that made the company such a huge success? (We doubt he would be pleased!)

A Major Corporate Blunder? Definitely.

To squander such high levels of brand loyalty (and equity) by telling your past customers to essentially “take a hike,” is almost unthinkable to other, less fortunate companies. And yet, that appears to be exactly what Hasbro is doing. Instead of producing something resembling ANYTHING to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of “America’s Movable Fighting Man,” short-sighted, penny-pinching executives at Hasbro appear content to simply skip right over the occasion, hoping that no one (of importance) will notice. In fact, during last week’s “new product announcements” made during New York’s industry-wide Toy Fair, eager fans of Hasbro’s 12-inch GIjOE were met only with stony silence and corporate indifference. Fans of the “little Joes” are (for now) still “safe,” but if you weren’t interested in Transformers, Star Wars, Legos or the diminutive 3.75″ Joes, you were out of luck.

Possible Protest Petition Planned?

As was so clearly demonstrated by fellow fan, Tearle Ashby (see previous article HERE), it only takes ONE dedicated Joehead to stand up and make a difference. It’s easy enough for fans to sit on the sidelines and grumble, but nothing ever happens or changes unless and until someone stands up and says, “Enough is ENOUGH!” In this case, that “one” may be longtime GIjOE fan and collector, Rick Pell. Having received no apologies or words of encouragement from Hasbro, a clearly disappointed Pell decided to create the all-new 50YOG Facebook group so that other frustrated fans would have a place to share (or vent) their stories of frustration. According to Rick:

50YOG Facebook group organizer, Rick Pell. (Photo: Rick Pell)

50YOG Facebook group organizer, Rick Pell. (Photo: Rick Pell)

“I’m a GIjOE collector and I’m trying to get Hasbro’s attention to show that there are MANY collectors out there who are really dedicated—and disappointed—that Hasbro hasn’t done anything for the 50th Anniversary of GIjOE. To this end, I’ve started a new Facebook group (see HERE) that I invite all of you to join if you want to approach Hasbro and see if they will celebrate the 50th birthday of the 12-inch GIjOE we all grew up with. We are serious about GIjOE, and his 50th Anniversary will be remembered with or without their support. I live 2 miles from Hasbro’s corporate offices, so if we get enough members and feedback, I will personally go to Hasbro with our requests!” —Rick Pell
Reactions to Pell’s urgings have ranged from polite requests, to calls for petitions and outright protests against Hasbro. Here are a few of the comments and “open letters” he’s received so far:

“I say we go out in front of Hasbro’s HQ and hold up 12 inch boxes like picket signs and scream at them until they make 12 inch figures.” —Jared Fabie

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

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

“Dear Hasbro – I grew up in the 1970s and even though I was a Barbie-loving girl, I was equally as crazy about GIjOE. Many happy memories playing ‘war’ with both painted-heads (hand me downs and yard sale finds) and fuzzheads. I thought the Sea Wolf was just about the coolest toy ever made! I have supported every Joe line ever made; Super Joe, RAH, Sigma 6, you name it. But NOTHING replaces the original 12-inch Joes and nothing ever will. You can’t throw a Mike Power figure into the KREO line and think that is a fitting tribute to Joe’s 50th. He deserves MUCH better—and so do I!” —Carin Reddig
GIjOE fan and collector, Joe Martin. (Photo: Joe Martin)

GIjOE fan and collector, Joe Martin. (Photo: JM)

“Hasbro, your lack of ANYTHING to celebrate GIjOE’s milestone anniversary is pathetic and an insult to every kid who ever owned the world’s first action figure. It’s also a slap in the face to all of your former employees who helped create and nurture the line throughout its various incarnations. Shame on you!” —Joe Martin
GIjOE fan and "playscaler," Laura Ann Ostermeyer. (Photo: Laura Ann Ostermeyer)

GIjOE fan and “playscaler,” Laura Ann Ostermeyer. (Photo: Laura Ann Ostermeyer)

“Dear Hasbro, I am 45 years old and can honestly say that 1:6 scale playscale is a hobby that is growing in leaps and bounds in popularity among all ethnicities and economic backgrounds, all over the world. Many fans are sharing this hobby with their children and grandchildren who will in turn, share it with THEIR kids. I feel like so many times, America, ignores its history. I know ‘play’ has changed so much from when I was born in 1968, but there are certain traditions that can still exist—if we believe and let them. For you to ignore GIjOE—especially its original 12″ incarnation—is a travesty. There are multitudes of us who would still buy him. Please think again before totally ignoring his 50th Anniversary. Thank you!” Laura Ann Ostermeyer
“I just don’t get it. What are you thinking Hasbro? Your company was built on GIjOE, and by that I mean the ORIGINAL, 12-inch military-themed, booger-pickin handed action figure. Along comes Joe’s 50th Anniversary and what do you do? Release some 3.75-inch Joes. Huh? What’s up with that?” —Keith Mayo
GIjOE fan and collector, Joe Uffner. (Photo: Joe Uffner)

GIjOE fan and collector, Joe Uffner. (Photo: JU)

“Dear Hasbro, you really should honor the toy that made you the company you are today. Bring back the 12-inch Joes and equipment sets to go with them. It worked back then and I’m sure it would work now. There are PLENTY of those folks around, plus collectors and kids, who would still eat that stuff up.” —Joe Uffner

Jim Haupt’s poignant photo comic perfectly captures the hurt feelings of fans and collectors of 12-inch GIjOEs in 2014. How sad! (Photo: Jim Haupt) Click to enlarge.

“GIjOE was a favorite action figure for me as a child, and I’m STILL collecting vintage 1960’s-1970’s Joes. This is its 50th anniversary, so I would like to see Hasbro make a 12-inch GIjOE to help mark this important milestone. I hope you have plans to include 12-inch GIjOEs in some sort of 50th celebration, Hasbro. If not, then SHAME on you!” —Jim Haupt
GIjOE fan and master chef, W. Michael Morgan, works intently on a culinary creation at his restaurant "around the corner" from Hasbro headquarters in Pawtucket, RI. Unfortunately, his recent conversation with a highly-placed Hasbro rep didn't produce nearly as nice a result as his superb cooking. (Photo: Phillip McKendall)

GIjOE fan and master chef, W. Michael Morgan, works intently on a culinary creation at his restaurant “around the corner” from Hasbro headquarters in Providence, RI. Unfortunately, his recent conversation with a highly placed Hasbro rep didn’t produce nearly as nice a result as his superb cooking. (Photo: Phillip McKendall)

Bottom Line: Hasbro’s unfortunate actions are undeniably short-sighted and ultimately—bad for business. To turn away vast numbers of adult customers, armed with deep pockets and readily available credit cards, for yet another “reimagining” of GIjOE as some sort of “virtual warrior” in 3D video games (or whatever) will end up costing the company untold future profits and lost goodwill. Instead of strengthening GIjOE’s brand equity, it seems likely to weaken it instead. Hasbro is saying “good-bye” to more than just a lot of money. Sadly, the most revealing quote of all came from one dejected 50-yogger Joe fan who happens to work very close to “the front lines.” We leave you with his not-too-rosy description of a recent personal encounter:

“I had a very special customer this afternoon at the restaurant. I work in downtown Providence, RI, around the corner from Hasbro HQ. Let’s just say his last name began with an H and ended in ‘feld.’ Questions about the anniversary of our favorite action figure were met with hostility and grumbles. I guess whatever we get from the national club will be all we’ll be seeing.” —W. Michael Morgan

FLASH! As Hasbro Sleeps Through G.I. Joe’s 50th Anniversary, Upstart “Figures Toy Company” Releases All-New Lines of 12-inch Action Figures

FTC's superb new line of 12-inch "Dressed to Kill" KISS action figures. Fans of the band's famous original foursome AND collectors of VERY special 1:6 scale action figures will all be pleased.  These are some sharp-dressed hard rockers. Absolutely out-STANDING set! (Photo: FTC)

Take a look at FTC’s superb new line of 12-inch “Dressed to Kill” KISS action figures. WOW! Fans of the band’s famous original foursome and collectors of unusual 1:6 scale figures will all be pleased. These are some sharp-dressed hard rockers. Were YOU in the KISS Army? (Photo: FTC)

You couldn't make a better Paul Stanley headsculpt than this. And look at that superb paint-job. EXCELLENT work, FTC! (Photo: FTC)

You couldn’t make a 1:6 scale Paul Stanley headsculpt much more accurate than this. EXCELLENT work, FTC! (Photo: FTC)

New FTC Releases Include KISS, “Dukes of Hazzard” Cast, J.R. Ewing & Evel Knievel 

Get ready, 1:6 scalers! While the “Big H” (Hasbro) continues to disappoint GIjOE fans and collectors during our 12-inch hero’s (apparently forgotten) 50th anniversary, a growing cadre of competing toy companies continues to pick up “Has-blow’s” frustrated customers—and reap massive PROFITS—by selling their own lines of 1:6 scale action figures. Some are good. Some are not so good. Whatever the case, there’s a flood of NEW 1:6 product coming in 2014. 

In previous articles, we’ve discussed the outstanding work being done by Hot Toys, Sideshow, Round 2 and Cotswold. Today, we’re focusing on a manufacturer that’s relatively new to 1:6 scale: Figures Toy Company (FTC). Until recently, they’ve primarily been known for creating wrestling-related products and smaller, “mid-sized” (8-inch) action figures, ala the old Mego brand. But FTC is growing, and in recent years, they’ve expanded their brand licensing acquisition, enabling them to increase the number and variety of their TV celebrity, superhero, music industry, and other pop-culture inspired products. Think of them as sort of a “Mego on Steroids.”

What a fantastic headsculpt of KISS lead guitarist, Ace Frehley. Give him a careful haircut (that’s just too much hair, guys) and Ace will be ready to ROCK ON! (Photo: FTC)

In fact, FTC has grown so much lately, they’re now selling their products from FOUR different websites. We’re not sure if that’s really necessary, however, and they do tend to repeat their offerings across sites. Imagine if Hot Toys were to put all their superhero figures onto one website, all their monsters on another, aliens on another, etc. That’s what’s going on here. While it might seem like a good idea at first, in the end, it may only serve to dilute the FTC brand. In addition to their main website, here are FTC’s three other “sister” websites:

ClassicTVToys.Com was started by Figures Toy Company in 2004 and began manufacturing retro MEGO-type 8-inch action figures. Initial lines included classic shows from the past such as Happy Days, The Brady Bunch, Space 1999, The Munsters, Married with Children, Mad Monsters and Mad Clowns. Also introduced were the “Worlds Greatest” lines of Robin Hood, Super Pirates, American West and Super Knights. Classictvtoys currently specializes in producing custom 8-inch bodies, boots, outfits and accessories for 8-inch Mego-type action figures.”

For fans who know what Peter Criss looks like, this headsculpt is RIGHT ON. Again, FTC gave him WAY too much hair. Criss never had very long hair, just shoulder length. A simple (careful) haircut would fix him right up. WOW! (Photo: FTC)

For KISS fans who know what Peter Criss looks like, this headsculpt is RIGHT ON. However, FTC gave him WAY too much hair. Criss never had very long hair, only about shoulder length. A simple (careful) haircut would fix that right up. Finally, replace his “open” hands with a pair that have “kung-fu grip” (for holding drumsticks, natch) and he’s ready to Rock ‘n’ Roll All Night!  (Photo: FTC)

WrestlingSuperStore.com specializes in manufacturing fully licensed WWE, WCW, and ECW championship replica belts. Our other products include replica wrestling masks, belt buckles, finger rings, wrestling action figures and related accessories.

MyFaceOnaFigure.com It’s time to start collecting figures of yourself and your friends!We have a big selection of body sizes and outfits to choose from for your action figure. Create your very own design for your action figure’s packaging. It takes just 3-5 business days for us to make your custom action figure. Now that’s fast!”

Gene Simmons is, without a doubt, the most photogenic and memorable of the 4 original members of KISS, and KTC has certainly done him justice with this amazing 12-inch action figure. And get a load of that suit! WOW! (Photo: KTC)

Gene Simmons is, without a doubt, the most photogenic and memorable of the 4 original members of KISS, and FTC has certainly done him justice with this amazing 12-inch action figure. And get a load of that suit! WOW! (Photo: FTC)

blasco

Figures Toy Company CFO Anthony Balasco poses with his original Gene Simmons KISS Mego figure from 1978. Gee, do you think Anthony is still a KISS fan today? (Photo: FTC)

Wow. FOUR total websites. That’s quite a large web “footprint.” We were also surprised to learn that FTC has been around, in some form or another, since 1989. According to their history:

“Figures Inc. was started by Anthony Balasco in 1989, and began selling collectible toys and action figures through print catalogs, magazine ads and collectible toy shows throughout New England. In 1993, the company refocused its complete attention to the selling of collectible wrestling merchandise. In 1999, Figures Inc. became WrestlingSuperstore with the launch of its online e-commerce website. In 2004, Figures Toy Company started classictvtoys.com and began manufacturing classic Mego-like 8-inch action figures and accessories reminiscent of action figures from the 1970’s. In 2012, Figures Toy Company began recreating the classic KISS action figures from the 1970s, with all-new lines based on different eras in KISS’ legendary career!”

FTC offers many variations of KISS figures, and unfortunately, the quality varies from set to set, compelling potential buyers to "do their homework" before deciding which versions to buy. This photo shows the company's KISS figures based on the costumes worn for the "Sonic Boom" album. (Photo: FTC)

FTC offers multiple versions of their KISS figures, all with album-specific headsculpts and costumes. Unfortunately, the quality seems to vary greatly from set to set, and collectors are cautioned to do their homework before selecting which version(s) they ultimately decide to buy. (Photo: FTC)

In this rear-view of FTC's new 1:6 scale Evel Knievel action figure, you can see how well put together the costume is. Remember his jumsuit's big "Elvis" collar? Absolutely perfect! (Photo: FTC)

A rear-view of FTC’s new 1:6 scale “Evel Knievel” action figure. The stars, the stripes, the stitching, it’s all perfect. And remember that big “Elvis” collar? YES! (Photo: FTC)

Moving on UP—to the Next Size

Recently, FTC began sort of a stealth campaign of silently (but surely) “upping the scale” of some of their 8-inch figures, introducing them anew into the 12-inch market. It’s not a strategy many industry observers saw coming, but now that it’s happening, we couldn’t be more pleased. (Are you paying attention, Hasbro? Sorry to wake you.)

A quick tour of FTC’s main website found HERE, reveals that it has produced (or is about to produce) 12-inch versions of characters from The Dukes of Hazzard, multiple variations of the members of KISS, a Larry “J.R.” Hagman from Dallas, and our personal favorite, America’s premier motorcycle (and rocket-riding) daredevil, Evel Knievel. Even 12″ figures from Gilligan’s Island have been announced. We can’t wait to see the Skipper and Gilligan!

FTC's choice of packaging makes good sense to collectors. Its two clear "clamshell" halves are easily opened for removal and/or replacement of the figure. Great for play—or display! (Photo: FTC)

FTC’s choice of packaging makes good sense to collectors. The two clear “clamshell” halves are easily opened for removal and/or replacement of the figure. Great for play—or display! (Photo: FTC)

Out of its package, FTC's 12-inch Evel Knievel figure stands tall and proud, ready for his next breath-taking daredevil motorcycle jump. Each figure comes with a cardboard display "stand" as well. (Photo: FTC)

Out of its package, FTC’s 12-inch Evel Knievel figure stands tall and proud, ready for his next breath-taking daredevil motorcycle jump. Each figure comes with bell-bottomed jumpsuit, cape, helmet, and cardboard display stand. Okay, who’s up for building a 1:6 scale “Skycycle X-2” rocket, and launching Evel over the Snake River Canyon again? Whoosh!!!!! (Photo: FTC)

A picture's worth 1,000 words, and this one says, "Quality." The graphics, the stitching, EVERYTHING looks perfect at 1/6th scale. (Photo: FTC)

A picture’s worth 1,000 words, and this one says, “Quality.” The graphics, the stitching, EVERYTHING looks perfect at 1/6th scale. (Photo: FTC)

In this closeup, everything looks great. But Evel's "weak link" is his so-so, open-mouthed headsculpt. It's just not that well done. However, when he's wearing his helmet, you don't really notice. Many collectors would probably want to swap out his head and body anyway, because it's really Evel's great costume that "sells" this figure. (Photo: FTC)

In this closeup, everything looks great. But Evel’s “weak link” is his so-so, open-mouthed headsculpt. It’s just not that well done. However, when he’s wearing his helmet, you don’t really notice. Picky collectors may want to swap out his noggin’ and body anyway, because it’s really Evel’s great costume and helmet that “sells” this exciting new figure. (Photo: FTC)

These 12-inch "Dukes of Hazzard" figures will just FLY off the shelves. And again, FTC's inspired use of easy-open, easy-close "clamshell" packaging means after you've played with 'em, you can put 'em back inside and display 'em, just like that! (Photo: FTC)

These 12-inch “Dukes of Hazzard” figures will FLY off the shelves, guaranteed. And again, FTC’s inspired use of easy-open, easy-close “clamshell” packaging means that after you’ve played with ’em, you can put ’em back inside and display ’em, keeping them dust and mold free. Yee-HAW!!!! (Photo: FTC)

FTC's new line of 12-inch figures based on "The Dukes of Hazzard" includes all the main characters except Uncle Jesse and Daisy Duke (Aw, shucks!) (Photo: FTC)

Out of their packages, FTC’s new line-up of 12-inch “Dukes of Hazzard” figures look like they’d be a lot of fun to play with. All you need now is a 1:6 scale “General Lee!” VRROOMMM!! (Photo: FTC)

This back view of Luke Duke reveals an excellent shirt, belt and jeans. Look at the tiny pocket stitching details! (Photo: FTC)

This back view of Luke Duke reveals an excellent shirt, belt and jeans. Look at the stitching! (Photo: FTC)

He's charming. He's smiling. He's...Bo Duke! Opinions may vary, but that much molded hair strikes us as...not so great. What do YOU think? (Photo: FTC)

He’s charming. He’s smiling. He’s…Bo Duke! Opinions may vary, but that much molded hair strikes us as…not so great. What do YOU think? (Photo: FTC)

"Boss Hogg" was portrayed a country buffoon on the show, and FTC's 12-inch version looks much the same. While we don't care much for this figure, his white suit is unique and the plastic Stetson is nicely sculpted. (Photo: FTC)

“Boss Hogg” was portrayed a country buffoon on the show, and FTC’s 12-inch version looks much the same. While we don’t care for this figure, his white suit is very unique and that plastic Stetson was nicely sculpted. A clear case of the pieces being better than the whole.(Photo: FTC)

This back view of Sheriff Roscoe P. Coltrane's uniform reveals FTC went to extra lengths to get the details right. The shirt, the epaulets, the belt and weapon are all very nice. (Photo: FTC)

This back view of Sheriff Roscoe P. Coltrane’s uniform reveals FTC went to extra lengths to get the details right. The shirt, the epaulets, the belt and weapon are all very nice. That glossy, painted black hat? Not so great. (Photo: FTC)

From the front, Roscoe's uniform is shown to well made, with a very nice tie-clip, gold star and contrasting tie and pocket flaps. Good job, FTC! (Photo: FTC)

From the front, Roscoe’s uniform is shown to well made, with a very nice tie-clip, gold star and contrasting tie and pocket flaps. (Photo: FTC)

FTC's "J.R. Ewing" may be pretty basic as action figures go, and it may not look THAT much like Larry Hagman (although it does—a LITTLE), and the suit may be underwhelming, but hey! It's J.R.! (Photo: FTC)

FTC’s 1:6 scale J.R. Ewing from TV’s “Dallas” may look like a pretty basic action figure, and it may not look that much like Larry Hagman (although it does—a LITTLE), and that beige suit may be…underwhelming, but hey! It’s J.R! Could they make that Warner Brothers logo any bigger? Geez! (Photo: FTC)

While it may be a sufficient likeness, FTC's 1:6 scale headsculpt of Evel Knievel is nonetheless, a tad simplistic and subpar. And upturned, "questioning" eyebrows are never a good choice for any action figure (also see Hasbro's Ted Williams figure). (Photo: FTC)

While it may bear a sufficient likeness, FTC’s 1:6 scale headsculpt of Evel Knievel is nonetheless, sub par. And the upturned, “questioning” eyebrows are never a good choice for any action figure (see also Hasbro’s Ted Williams GIjOE). (Photo: FTC)

After taking an informal poll around the office, opinions about FTC’s new figures seemed to come together fairly predictably. As always of course, please feel free to post your own comments to this article, but to the staff here at The Joe Report, there seemed to be a fairly general consensus regarding the following:

First, it was unanimous that picking up all four of FTC’s excellent “Dressed to Kill” KISS figures was a “no-brainer.” They are just too cool. With their superb head sculpts and excellent facial paint, snappy 3-piece suits, funky ties and shoes, these new 1:6 scale figures succeed in recreating the original hard-rockin’ foursome perfectly. FTC “Dressed to Kill” 12-inch KISS Figures: Rating: ♦♦♦♦ (4 diamonds out of 5)

FTC’s other 12-inch versions of KISS didn’t impress us nearly as much. And they appear as if they’ll require much more “help” in order to improve their appearance. In addition, some of the other KISS headsculpts seemed downright simplistic in comparison to the excellent ones created for the “Dressed to Kill” group. All other FTC 12-inch KISS Figures: Rating: ♦♦½ (2½ diamonds out of 5)

The helmet for Evel's blue uniformed version features different graphics correct for that time in his career. (Photo: FTC)

The helmet for Evel’s blue uniformed version features different graphics correct for that time in his career. (Photo: FTC)

Next, despite its “soft” looking headsculpt, the 12-inch Evel Knievel action figure appears to be very well done, and received high marks for its well-made costume (especially the original white version) and highly detailed crash helmet. Most also considered it to be a “must-have” for their collections. FTC Evel Knievel Figures: Rating: ♦♦♦½ (3½ diamonds out of 5)

Finally, as to the Dallas and Dukes of Hazzard figures, those were all viewed as more of an “acquired taste,” with some perilously approaching the ever-pink land of Ken and Barbie. We liked them, but many reviewers felt the headsculpts were only so-so, or bordered on cartoonish. The Duke boy’s clothing, however, received high marks for fit and quality. FTC Dukes of Hazzard and Dallas Figures: Rating: ♦♦♦ (3 diamonds out of 5)

You can't say FTC isn't paying attention to the details (well, you can, but...). This extreme closeup of Luke Duke's groin reveals the exquisite detail and quality of his iconic..."bear paw" belt buckle. Nice job, FTC! (Photo: FTC)

You can’t say FTC isn’t paying attention to the details (well, you can, but…). This extreme closeup of Luke Duke’s groin reveals the exquisite detail and quality of his iconic…”bear paw” belt buckle. (HA) Nice job, FTC! (Photo: FTC)

Bottom Line: Regardless of FTC’s varying quality, there’s clearly a lot of potential in the company’s new 1:6 scale lines. But we do think they should work on their headsculpts and prop details. Collectors of 1:6 scale are going to be more discerning, and product details need to be increased significantly over those of the more “toy like” Mego-style 8-inch figures. Nevertheless… it’s obvious FTC is off to VERY good start, and we can’t wait to see what they come up with next. If you’d like to keep up with FTC, we recommend you visit one of their four websites, or “like” them on their Facebook fan page HERE.

Editor’s Note: Our sincerest congratulations and best wishes to everyone at FTC. Great work!

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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!

All-New Photographic Reference Website for Collectors of Vintage G.I. Joes, With Unique 360-Degree Imagery, to Debut August 24, 2013

Artist and GIjOE collector, Matthew McKeeby, prepares to capture a rotating, 360-degree photograph of the three vintage cadet figures for use in his new “Vintage3DJoes” website. (Photo: Matthew McKeeby)

exclusivebannerGIjOE Experts Join Forces to Create All-New “Vintage3DJoes” Website

In a stunning revelation, longtime GIjOE fan and collector Matthew McKeeby has announced that on August 24th, 2013, he will be debuting an all-new photographic reference website for fans of vintage (1960s-’70s) 12-inch GIjOE action figures. To accomplish this, McKeeby has enlisted the expertise of renowned RAH GIjOE expert, Carson Mataxis, and revealed that they intend to utilize the same 360-degree-view photographic process first demonstrated on Mataxis’ superb 3DJoes website.

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Matthew McKeeby, co-creator of the new Vintage3DJoes website. (Photo: Matthew McKeeby)

We asked Matthew to discuss why he decided to take on such a massive undertaking, and to elaborate on his plans for this exciting new vintage GIjOE website. He replied:

“We are now on the ‘eve’ of GIjOE’s 50th birthday, and ‘Vintage3DJoes.com’ will be my tribute to a toy that I loved as a child and now obsess over collecting as an adult. Back in the 1990s, when I started collecting GIjOE, it was hard to get information about the toy, and experienced collectors often kept those details to themselves.

The exception to that was Dan McKee, host of one of the web’s greatest vintage GIjOE sites (found HERE) that inspired me to chase down all the sets I didn’t have, and has always been incredibly sharing with information and advice. When the content of his original site disappeared at the end of AOL’s hosting, it was a great loss to the GIjOE collecting community.

Fortunately, my friend Dave, an enthusiastic RAH Joehead and host of the Flag Points podcast, turned me on to 3DJoes.com a few months ago. That site is a fantastic resource that integrates 360-degree spinning photography alongside information about the 1980s and ’90s GIjOE line. Dave also introduced me to Carson Mataxis, 3DJoes creator, who was incredibly supportive about the idea of setting up a new website dedicated to the vintage 12-inch line.”

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Carson Mataxis poses with just SOME of the hundreds of figures featured on his original, 3DJoes website. Wow! (Photo: Carson Mataxis)

3DJoes creator and Vintage3DJoes co-creator, Carson Mataxis, had the following to say about working on two such ground-breaking GIjOE websites:

“We wanted the two sites to be similar in terms of navigation and functionality (so users will have a seamless experience going between them), but different in look and feel.

The 12″ GIjOE line, with its removable uniforms, has a very different, more textured, more tactile feel. I felt the design of Vintage3DJoes should reflect that.

After a one hour kick-off phone call, I knew immediately that Matt was just crazy enough to take on such a big project. So, I spent a couple of hours setting up a few page templates and designing the new website’s logo banner.” (Just a quick note about Carson’s dedication: He did all this and more while closing on and moving into a new house!—Matt)

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Matthew McKeeby as a child playing with a GIjOE 5-Star Jeep. (Photo: Matthew McKeeby)

McKeeby went on to discuss his goals for the new Vintage3DJoes site, revealing:

There have been a number of excellent works published that can help collectors learn about the many adventures and faces of GIjOE. Unlike a book, however, this site will allow me to present more visuals than a publisher could fit in any one volume, so I hope it will become one of your favorite stops on the web. It’s our goal to accurately catalog all the vintage 12-inch GIjOE sets produced by Hasbro between 1964 and 1976. The use of 360-degree spins will allow Joe fans to get a good look at all sides of sets, and create an interactive environment for viewers.

When it is complete, the website will have reference related to the entire 12″ GIjOE line produced between 1964 and 1976. I hope to document all the pertinent details related to the sets eventually, though it will take a while to get all that information photographed and written up.

Initially, there are a lot of picky details about tags, color varieties, or differences in molding that won’t be on the pages. The beauty of the web format though, is that I can continue to edit and add to the pages as necessary. If there is something missing (or a mistake), please feel free to contact me.

Most of what you will find on Vintage3DJoes.com comes from my personal collection, though I’m hoping that fellow collectors who might have variations or packaged items that I don’t, will be willing to share them on the site (with full credit to them, of course). Look for pages that request a picture, and if you have the item in question and would be willing to share it, please contact me via email HERE.

3dgreenberets

Imagine being able to view full, 360-degree images of all your favorite vintage 12-inch GIjOE figures and sets. Beginning August 24th, your dream will come true! (Photo: Vintage3DJoes)

Bottom Line: This is SO exciting! Matt’s new Vintage3DJoes website, along with Carson’s RAH counterpart, 3DJoes, will provide GIjOE fans around the world with a bookend pair of reference sites offering unparalleled access to a library of superb, full-color, 360-degree photographs. And, although the websites’ names may be somewhat misleading (the photos are 360-degree rotating images, but are NOT in 3-D), we’re sure they will quickly become fan favorites worldwide. And what better tribute could these two men have paid GIjOE on the eve of his 50th Birthday? We look forward to the grand opening of their new site on August 24th, and thank both gentlemen for their hard work and contributions to this article.

vintage3djoeslogo

Brazil’s “Falcon” G.I. Joes Remain the Most Difficult to Collect———Even for Brazilians!

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The cover of the first Falcon catalog (1977) reveals the Brazilian-made version of GIjOE debuted with an excellent mix of military and adventure themes. (Photo: Ricardo Beluchi)

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These two Falcon figures look right at home in this Adventure Team Headquarters. The Brazilian version of GIjOE shared many similarities with its American cousins, but also went off in its own creative and distinctive directions. (Photo: Ricardo Beluchi)

Onde estão os Joes Falcon?

Where are they, indeed? That’s a question that nags at the minds of thousands of Brazilian “Falcon” GIjOE collectors. Even when first introduced, the popular toys were difficult to find. Today, Falcon figures and vehicles have become downright scarce. What happened to them all?

Produced by Brazil’s Estrela Toys between 1977 and 1983, Falcon Joes were targeted primarily to middle-class children located in major cities of South America’s largest nation. But for those living outside of Brazil’s major markets, buying opportunities were rare.

Despite the uneven distribution, word spread and the new toys became hugely popular and thoroughly played with by thousands of happy South American children. Today, those same ’70s and ’80s children have grown to adulthood and are once again clamoring for a “fix” of their favorite 12-inch Brazilian hero. But there’s a problem. There are hardly any Falcon Joes left to be found—anywhere! Some (occasionally) appear for sale on ebay, but collectors are clearly facing a supply and demand shortage. And it’s only getting worse.

estrellafactory

This Google street-view of Estrela Toy’s once-bustling production facility reveals only a long-shuttered and abandoned factory today. Fortunately, the company has reorganized and is now headquartered in Sao Paulo. But its future (and that of Falcon GIjOEs) remains unclear. (Photo: Google Maps)

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“Condor” was a 1:6 scale android, making it an extremely cool Falcon figure. Somehow, this example has survived the last 40+ years in its original window box. (Photo: Ricardo Beluchi) Click to enlarge.

Buried in a Landfill—Or Burned Up and Gone With the Wind?

We’ve touched on this depressing aspect of GIjOE collecting in previous articles; but unfortunately, literally thousands of vintage figures are going to be forever MIA. Relegated to the ignominious fate of a landfill or waste incinerator, the “body count” of today’s surviving Falcons is undoubtedly much lower than it should be. For collectors of the line, it’s a sad and undeniable reality.

Simply put, Falcon Joes are scarce, and the last 40+ years have not been kind to their collectors. Today, even with the aid of the Internet, locating good examples of the unusual line is an uphill struggle, even for native Brazilians. The majority of MIA Falcons reside deep within Brazil’s depressing “trash mountains” with no hope of a future rescue.

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Great figures, superb outfits (check out that tan one on the left), and a slightly altered AT logo prove these Falcon figures are still 100% GIjOE! (Photo: Ricardo Beluchi)

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Renowned Falcon expert, Ricardo Beluchi (right), poses alongside a colorfully dressed cosplayer during last year’s second Falcon convention in Brazil. (Photo: Ricardo Beluchi)

O Herói de Verdade!

Falcon’s motto is translated as “The Hero of Truth!” And if you’re a Falcon fan, there’s one expert you can always count on to get to the truth: Ricardo Beluchi. Beluchi’s superb Portuguese-language Falcon website (found HERE) is chocked full to overflowing with all things Falcon. Here are some passages translated into English via Google Translate:

“Falcon was first launched in 1978. Originally, there were two models available: one with a dark beard (Action Camouflaged) and one who was beardless (Counter-Attack). But with instant success, additional models were quickly introduced. The themes were of many adventures, and since Falcon had to fight with an opponent, he struggled primarily against nature, including sharks, giant spiders, octopi and ferocious gorillas.

Falcon was also a secret agent, defying death with sets such as ‘Fantastic Leap Forward’ or ‘High Voltage.’ Initially, parents were concerned that their little boys were playing with dolls, but then they saw that Falcon had nothing ‘girly’ about him. With knives, guns and a scar on his bearded face, Falcon is today, the most MACHO of toys.”

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Fans in Brazil hope to generate enthusiasm for a revival of Falcon and gathered recently for the SECOND annual Falcon/GIjOE convention. Exhibits included 12″ and 3.75″ GIjOEs, 1:1 cosplayers in elaborate homemade costumes, dioramas, and of course, the ever elusive Falcon! (Photo: Ricardo Beluchi)

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This table at the second convention in Brazil reveals an Adventure Team headquarters (see GIjOE box), three Falcon figures and one of those cool, “Condor” android dudes.Sweet! (Photo: Ricardo Beluchi) Click to enlarge.

Is There a Future for Falcon?

At this point, it’s impossible to determine what, if any, plans Estrela may have for Falcon, but the company HAS indicated that it is at least curious about fan interest in the line. In a recent poll conducted by Estrela (you can still cast a vote for Falcon HERE), there appears to be overwhelming consumer support for the line’s return. Reminded of Geyperman’s successful reintroduction (see HERE), we wondered if anything else was being done to generate excitement for a possible Falcon “resurrection.” Beluchi replied:

“A few years ago there was a group of Brazilian collectors who joined together to form a Falcon fan club called the ‘BraJoes.’ But after a few years, the club disbanded. In 2012, members of that group teamed up once again and held a convention. This year, a second convention was held. Several items were displayed at that event, including Falcons, GIJOEs, customs figures and dioramas, etc.. There was also a competition for cosplayers and we had many visitors!”

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Figures on the back row (frogman, deep-sea diver, etc.) look familiar to fans in the U.S., U.K., Spain and other countries, but the front row of “exotic” figures are unique to Brazil’s Falcon line. We see inspiration from Bulletman, Logan’s Run, Flash Gordon, and other schlocky ’70 sci-fi. (Photo: Washington Espínola)

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It’s good to see fans in Brazil are beginning to work on dioramas as well. Here’s a nice closeup of a garage dio, complete with tools, mini pin-ups, and other related equipment. (Photo: Ricardo Beluchi) Click to enlarge.

So the news is encouraging. But what about Falcon’s increasing rarity, rising cost, and decreasing availability? We asked Ricardo if he could comment some on the line’s history and how it created this dilemma. He replied:

“Here in Brazil, Falcon figures were originally found only in major toy stores. Because of the poor overall financial situation of our country, it was an expensive toy to purchase, and so few children ever received more than one or two. Usually, we earned them only on specific dates such as our birthdays or Christmas.

You also need to understand that Brazilians only began collecting Falcon figures a few years ago. During the 70s-’80s, nobody thought of collecting these toys. People actually played with them, and many were THROWN AWAY when they broke. So, nowadays, it’s very difficult to find them in good condition, complete, or for a good price.

I have a few Falcons in my own collection, but since they are so rare, I try to refocus my collection onto GIjOEs and the Adventure Team line-up that I love so much! I hope this helps. If your readers have any more questions about Falcon, please let them know I am available!”

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Cosplayers are like costumed “cheerleaders” for GIjOE and Falcon, and this group appeared at the second Falcon convention recently to root for their favorites. (Photo: Ricardo Beluchi)

Bottom Line: Already rare in Brazil, it’s a safe bet that Falcon figures, uniforms and equipment will continue to hold a place of high value and fond esteem among Brazilian collectors. Whether or not fans in other countries will see many of them in person is doubtful. Collectors hold on to them tightly, and turnover is infrequent. As long as Estrela remains on the fence about 12-inch figures, fans will just have to keep their eyes and ears open. Our sincerest thanks go out to Ricardo Beluchi for his help with this article. If you’d like to ask Ricardo any more questions about Falcon, you can contact him directly through his Facebook page found HERE. Go, JOE! Vai, Falcon!