Category Archives: GIjOE TV Commercials

G.I. Joe Club Announces Plans To Release “Really Limited” Set of 4 “Black and White TV Edition” 12-Inch Figures As Their New 2018 Club Exclusives

Remember watching all of those great color TV shows back in 1964? Probably not. While “test programs” had been broadcast in color as far back as 1953, few people living at that time (outside of those working for one of the “Big 3” networks) ever had an opportunity to view them that way. Why? The reason was primarily financial. There were countless hours of content being produced, and at the time, it was simply too cost-prohibitive to film and/or air all of that new programming (or commercials) in full color. As a result, cheaper black-n-white (B&W) television broadcasting (and B&W television sets) remained the industry standard until the mid-1960s, and the first images children ever saw of Hasbro’s new “Movable Fighting Man,” were aired solelyin black and white.

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As First Seen on TV!— The 4 new GijOEs coming from the GIJCC in 2018 will have NO colors (other than black, white and related gray tones) in their figures, uniforms, or coffin box packaging. This final “colorless” effect will either result in drab, dull and boring figures…or it will look absolutely STUNNING (we’re betting on the latter). Final judgement, as always, will rest “within the (color-blind) eyes of the beholder.” (Photo: GIJCC)

Indeed, while Hasbro’s initial run of GIjOE TV commercials in 1964 provided viewers with tantalizing glimpses of its new line of figures, uniforms, equipment and packaging, fans had to use their imaginations to envision all of the colors that were NOT being shown on their monochromatic B&W television screens. It wasn’t until all those children were able to visit their local toy stores in person, that they were finally able to SEE the panoply of COLORS comprising Hasbro’s wonderful new world—of GIjOE.

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WHOA. This is a COLOR photo?!— The GIJCC swears that this photo is in FULL COLOR. It’s the heads that are in B&W. What the..? AMAZING! (Photo: GIJCC)

To commemorate GIjOE’s first TV appearance, some 53+ years later, the GIjOE Collector’s Club (GIJCC) has announced that they will be releasing (4) new vintage-style 12″ GIjOE action figures—wholly devoid of color. Their skin tones, painted hair and eyes, uniforms and equipment, even all of their boxes, will be produced and “toned” in simple shades of black, gray and white. No other colors will be utilized at all. According to an official club post on the GIJCC website:

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“Just a couple of notes: Yes, everything will be in gray tones. This is a set of figures, not just a one-off, so they will display well together. In addition to the Action Soldier, there will be an Action Sailor, Action Pilot, and Action Marine as well in this series. You will get the 12″ gray-tone figure wearing shorts and the accessories and box are the add-ons that complete the set. These will be REALLY limited. Yes, it’s a novelty, but something that harkens back to the ORIGINAL days of Joe as he was first seen. The box images came off of the original commercials. The box is the width of the talker boxes to accommodate the accessories.” —GIJOE Collector’s Club

In the past, the GIJOE Collector’s Club has produced 12″ GIjOE exclusive figures with NO colors in (or on) them at all (i.e. clear, see-through plastic), with a green head (HERE) and even one that glows-in-the-dark (HERE), but this new idea for 2018 is something truly unique—a full line of 4 vintage-style figures completely devoid of color save for tones that were visible on an old black-n-white television in 1964. WOW.

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B&W Uniform Sneak Peak Pic—According to a quote from the club, “A ‘black and white’ G.I. Joe Action Soldier will need a ‘black and white’ field jacket!” Hey guys, you can throw away that Pantone book. You won’t need it for this job! (Photo: GIJCC)

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This teaser ad from the GIJCC newsletter provides a mock-up of what the final Action Soldier should look like. We look forward to seeing the real thing! (Photo: Paul Michel)

Bottom Line: Our sincerest thanks go out to taphatt2012 for the video clip shown above, and to the GIjOE Collector’s Club for their continued efforts to bring new and exciting 12″ GIjOE products to an ever-eager market of collectors. Some fans will quickly peg these upcoming figures as “must have” collectibles, while others may view them another way altogether. So far, WE like what we see VERY much. Stand by for more intel as it becomes available!

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UK Division of eBay Releases “The Battle of the Red Claw;” a New Commercial Starring 1:6 Scale (Vintage 1960s) British Army Action Man Figure

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Retired From Heroism?— What happens to Action Man when you store him away in the attic? According to this screenshot from a clever new eBay UK commercial, such forgotten heroes don aprons, catch up on ironing, listen to sad songs on the radio and…sip coffee. <sigh> (Photo: eBay UK) Click to enlarge.

In yet another sterling example of a corporation mining the worldwide, nostalgic appeal of vintage 12-inch action figures, eBay’s savvy marketing arm recently released an online commercial touting the “local” use of its UK site (HERE) by “enlisting the service” of Britain’s favorite 1:6 scale soldier—Action Man (AM). Fortunately for all AM fans, the new commercial is actually an extended-length mini-adventure. It unspools at a full 1 minute and 42 seconds long, and features fanciful, expertly executed, stop-motion animation that creatively brings to life the story of a British Army AM soldier who’s now facing an uncertain future—stored away in his owner’s attic.

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The Adventure That Never Was— But could be…if only some child or adult would come along and “create it” in his or her imagination. (Really now kids, would that be so hard? Just put down your dang cellphones and PLAY again!) This screenshot reveals a jigsaw puzzle based on a non-existent “Battle of the Red Claw” AM adventure set. Despite being a fantasy product, AM fans will delight in noting that eBay UK went to the trouble (and expense) to (re)create a box that perfectly emulates the original artwork styles utilized on ’70s AM packaging. Out-STANDING job! (Photo: eBay UK) Click to enlarge.

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Coolest Bad Guy That Never Existed Until eBay Made Him Up— The “Red Claw” as depicted in eBay UK’s new commercial is not a lady in red spandex. Rather, he’s an expertly made, custom Action Man figure with a unique, chrome-domed, scar-eyed, headsculpt and a superbly detailed metal claw for a hand. OUCH! Where do we buy one? Collectors will want to know! (Photo: eBay UK) Click to enlarge.

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Not the Same Red Claw— The only other “Red Claw” we’re aware of is the scarlet tights-wearing femme fatale from the animated Batman TV series. (Art: DawidARTe)

If you’ll recall, Pixar’s Toy Story III told us a similar story, whereupon, after years of happy childhood play, toys are routinely sold off, donated, and/or relegated by their clueless owners (adults) to long-term storage in boxes, basements and attics. EBay’s answer to this sad scenario, is (of course) that Britishers should sell their old toys and collectibles on the “local” UK version of the eBay website. That way, items such as the spot’s forgotten AM figure will easily find new and loving homes, and that their 1:6 scale adventures will continue on, well into the future. Plus, eBay gets a percentage, ‘natch!

Bottom Line: EBay’s latest spot directly targets the growing use of non-fee (i.e. FREE) community-centric “local” sites such as Craigslist UK. Sites such as Craigslist UK continue to take an ever-bigger bite out of eBay’s market dominance (and financial bottom line). The well-established use of GIjOE and/or Action Man figures to promote other companies’ products and services remains a sound business practice—and for Hasbro/Palitoy, thanks to their hefty licensing fees—a very lucrative one. Imagine selling thin air for millions of dollars or pounds. Yeah, it’s like that.

It’s undeniable too, that the combined emotional “heft” of the fond memories held by so many Action Man fans and collectors remains very strong. Common-sense dictates then, that tugging at all of those collective heartstrings (through advertisements such as this one) is bound to open up a fair amount of wallets—or so eBay hopes. Regardless, we know you’ll love this commercial. So…Watch. Rewind. And then watch it again. Go, ACTION MAN!

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G.I. Joe Adventurer Stars in New TV Commercial For Subaru Motors’ “Levorg” (Yes, That’s a Car)

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Return to the Sandbox— In a scene that should be all too familiar to GIjOE fans and collectors around the world, Subaru’s Adventurer Joe keeps his binocs trained on his owner’s family (and their dog) while playing in a sandbox in a park, somewhere in Australia. Do YOU remember cleaning sand out of your Joe’s hair and all his uniforms? Oh, yeah. We KNOW you do! (Photo: Subaru)

Mining Our Emotions—Once again, nostalgic GIjOE fans have (somehow ) found their way into the creative boardrooms of Subaru’s advertising agency and inserted their (and our!) favorite 1:6 scale action hero toy into a new TV commercial. Using a trite (but serviceable) tagline, “Do Something Out of the Box,” the creators of this new spot clearly hope Joe’s worldwide appeal will help them “move some iron” off of Subaru’s lots during the 2016-2017 sales season. Will Joe’s mission succeed?

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New “Singing” Land Adventurer— The real star of the Subaru spot isn’t the car. It’s GIjOE! He first appears in his custom (gray?) “Land Adventurer” box—and he’s singing! Wha..? We knew Joe could “speak” and bark out commands, but sing? That’s something his legions of fans have never seen him do before. Out-STANDING. He could win American Idol—if only it were for toys! (Photo: Subaru)

In this latest, most INCREDIBLE of “Joe Sightings,” a vintage 1970s Adventurer GIjOE appears redressed in multiple uniforms and iterations to provide both comedic relief and emotional gravitas to a much larger inanimate object—the 2017 Subaru “Levorg.” Yes, that what’s it’s called. And no, we don’t know why. We looked up Levorg (so you wouldn’t have to) and learned that it’s a nonsense word which (according to Subaru) is “a portmanteau of 3 words, LEgacy, reVOlution, and touRinG.”

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Nice ROUND Tones, Joe— As the camera zooms in, viewers are treated to some wonderful CGI demonstrating Joe’s new-found singing prowess is largely due to his surprising ability to make nice, round mouth shapes. The special-effects utilized in this spot are VERY well-executed. (Photo: Subaru)

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Silvery Shades— As the family goes for a ride to the park, Joe continues singing while looking out a window, sporting custom mirrored shades. Now you can call him “Joe Cool!” (Photo: Subaru)

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Let’s Get it On— Arriving at the park, Joe jumps out of the car, determined to complete his mission to have FUN with his beloved family. Yes, that’s a Subaru behind him (yay). (Photo: Subaru)

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Joe Remebers How to PLAY— The kid has nothing on GIjOE, who expertly shows him how to use the famous Adventure Team zip line. Look out BELOWWWW! (Photo: Subaru)

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He’s a Lumberjack and He’s OK— He sleeps all night and he works all day. Go, JOE! (Photo: Subaru)

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Hai KARATE— Joe prepares to face off against his giant nemesis…the family dog! (Photo: Subaru)

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Ride ’em Cowboy— Having tamed the wild beast with his Karate, Joe trains the canine behemoth in the wild and wooly ways of western “dogback” riding. Yee-HAW! (Photo: Subaru)

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Spooky Spelunker— Joe also explores a mysterious cavern. Look out for guano, Joe! (Photo: Subaru)

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No Shirt, No Problem— Joe ends the commercial taking a spin around the park’s pond on his yellow jet ski. VRROOMMM!!! Remember, this is a CAR commercial. (Photo: Subaru)

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Confused? Angry?— This closeup shows another great use of CGI, giving Joe a fiercely determined (and/or puzzled) expression. Imagine all the exciting adventures Joe could enjoy if he was regularly provided with expert animation assistance such as this. WOW! (Photo: Subaru)

Bottom Line: You’d think that if Subaru was going to build an entire ad campaign around the use of GIjOEs, they’d at least try to have the car’s name tie-in somehow (i.e. “Hero” or “Adventurer,” or…well, ANYTHING but “Levorg”). But no matter, longtime Joeheads “get” why it’s a solid strategy to connect a ’70s Land Adventurer with Subaru. According to Born Licensing director, David Born:

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“G.I. Joe adds a great deal of value to the campaign on a number of levels, it creates a sense of nostalgia amongst their target demographic, tapping into the existing positive feelings consumers have about the brand. It also makes the campaign more likely to be talked about, shared and related to by their target audience.” —David Born, Born Licensing

And of course, if Hasbro had it’s corporate head on straight, buyers of Subaru vehicles would also receive a FREE Land Adventurer GIjOE with every purchase. Hoo-YEAH! But, will they? Sadly, no. That’s just another missed (and to us—obvious) product tie-in opportunity that Hasbro is missing out on. Imagine all the fun little Johnny or Jane could have playing with a new Joe in the backseat of their new Levorg during a real-life drive to the park—just like on TV! (See Commercial Below)

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Unbelievable———Archive of Rare 1960s G.I. Joe TV Commercials Discovered By Vintage3DJoes.com

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50 Year-Old Treasure Trove of Vintage GIjOE Advertising— A cache of B&W and color film reels of 1960s-vintage GIjOE TV commercials—still in their original boxes—was recently rediscovered by the daughter of the films’ director. According to Matt McKeeby, efforts are now moving forward to raise the funds required to restore and digitize the films with plans to ultimately host and share the videos with the public on McKeeby’s famed GIjOE reference website, Vintage3DJoes.com. (Photo: Matt McKeeby)

Director of GIjOE’s First TV Commercials to Be Commemorated w/Restoration of His Films

Catching Up With This Story— Before we reveal the latest, EXCLUSIVE intel, let’s review the background regarding this exciting and evolving story. Regular readers of The Joe Report will undoubtedly recall our previous articles detailing the superb work and service continually being provided to the 1:6 scale GIjOE collecting community by Matt McKeeby (NY) and how, for the last 3 years, McKeeby has been hard at work researching, compiling and documenting Hasbro’s vintage ’60s-’70s lines, one carefully photographed figure at a time, then posting his amazing 360º (rotating) images over at Vintage3DJoes.com for free and public enjoyment (24/7).

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Prepare to FIRE— Have you ever wondered if your Green Beret Machinegun emplacement set was complete? Now you can view the entire set and all its parts in 360º rotating images at Vintage3DJoes.com. Ba-RROOMM! (Photo: Matt McKeeby)

McKeeby’s professionally produced website quickly become one of the 1:6 hobby’s highest-ranked, must-see, go-to, photo reference points on the web; garnering both the site, and McKeeby, well-deserved reputations for providing GIjOE fans with undisputed “expert advice” regarding the compilation of an accurate and complete 12″ collection.

But Wait! There Was More

We also reported on McKeeby’s subsequent discovery, digitization, and professional restoration of a handful of previously unknown vintage GIjOE TV commercials from the 1960s (see that story HERE). McKeeby’s stunning finding jolted an increasingly blasé GIjOE collecting community, surprising many of its so-called “experts,” and those who had simply grown complacent in the belief that they’d already “seen it all,” regarding Hasbro’s vintage Joe commercials. Oh, how wrong they (and we) were all proved to be!

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In today’s exclusive story— McKeeby blows away all previous fan expectations by revealing the true fate of all those “lost,” vintage, GIjOE TV commercials. Most of us had long ago given up any hope that they existed at all, believing such advertising gems were routinely tossed out, or had simply been destroyed by some indifferent advertising agency. But thanks (again) to Matt McKeeby, an exciting new discovery of a “cache” of such films is about to shock and AWE the entire GIjOE collecting community. We’ll let Matt take the story over from here, in his own words, in an exclusive, first-person account you’ll only find HERE on The Joe Report. Enjoy!

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GIjOE fan, collector, historian and “curator” of Vintage3djoes, Matt McKeeby. (Photo: Matt McKeeby, Vintage3DJoes)

 

Archive of rare 1960s GI Joe Commercials Found! —By Matt McKeeby

“The origin of this cache of commercials is a remarkable one.  The daughter of the films’ director contacted me on Facebook over a year and a half ago.  She had gone on line to look up GI Joe, wanting to see if her father was mentioned anywhere.  There is lots of history about folks like Don Levine, Sam Petrucci, and others at Hasbro, but the name Herb Dietz wasn’t mentioned. She wanted to know if anyone had heard of him, as he was the man responsible for creating the first commercials that the publicized the brand, the films that made ‘G.I. Joe, G.I. Joe, fighting man from head to toe…’ a jingle sung by tens of thousands of boys in the mid-sixties.”

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From the Desk of Herb Dietz— In this “Partial Credit and Client List” provided by Dietz’ daughter, we can see that Hasbro was indeed a client of renowned ’60s GIjOE TV commercial director, Herb Dietz. This is one more exciting piece of GIjOE’s historic provenance—confirmed! (Photo: Matt McKeeby)

“Unfortunately, the message languished in my ‘other’ folder and wasn’t checked for over a year.  When I first saw it last August, I was excited to find out what she had to say.  We got in touch over the phone, and she shared that as a child her father, a World War II veteran, had gone into the film industry in New York, eventually founding the firm Lane Cole Dietz with buddies he had met during the war. (An interesting aside, he eventually married his sweetheart who had become so annoyed to be left behind when he enlisted, that she signed up herself, becoming a military police woman if the Women’s Army Corps, making her a real ‘G.I. Jane.’)”

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On the Set— Director, Herb Dietz (above left, w/glasses), is shown preparing a bag (of money?) for a shot in some unidentified (non-GIjOE) 1960s TV commercial. (Photo: Dietz Family)

Herb’s military experience, as well as his skills as a commercial filmmaker for accounts such as the American Red Cross, Mack Trucks, Pepsi, and many other major companies, made him a natural to work producing and directing these spots.  The early work sold the realistic detail of G.I. Joe heavily, segueing from stock footage of WW II and Korea era stock footage into dioramas of boys playing with our beloved toy.  His daughter was on the set for several of the shoots and remembers getting to take home G.I. Joe figures and accessories, all of which are now gone.  That is particularly sad, as many early issue and rare prototypes were on the set.”

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Military Man Turned Media Man— GIjOE’s first TV commercial director was previously in the Army, as shown in the small photo above (Dietz is wearing the helmet w/goggles) and in a post-war newspaper clipping. His military background served him well during his later years with GIjOE. (Photo: Dietz Family)

“She had contacted Hasbro to see if they were interested in obtaining the films, but received no reply.  After a couple of months discussing them, her interest in making her father’s legacy known became a driving force in our discussions.  Our initial plan was to create a DVD of the commercials, along with a short film detailing her dad’s work.  Hasbro, while willing to allow the commercials to be digitized, was not happy with the idea of ‘unofficial’ product being released.  That moved us to an effort to get them out free of charge to fans everywhere, along with the mini documentary about Herb Dietz via the Vintage3DJoes.com website.”

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There’s a LOT for Matt and Ace to Work With— Building a documentary of Deitz’s work on the early GIjOE commercials will include reels and reels of vintage spots, photos, news clippings, family memories and much more. What an outstanding idea for GIjOE-related project! (Photo: Matt McKeeby)

“Commercial filmmaker and G.I. Joe fan, Ace Allgood, will be working to arrange for a top-notch company to digitize the shorts, while I work on the Herb Dietz story with his daughter.  The hope is that we will be able to begin releasing the work in the early summer.  Unfortunately, digitization will not be free, so I may need to do some fundraising to defray the cost, and hope Joe fans will step up to contribute to the cause in order to make the films free to all.

What’s there?  Along with photos and clippings about Dietz’s work, the core of the archive is twenty-six 16mm film positives of commercials from 1964 through 67, the heyday of the military era.  A number of them are out there already, but generally in low quality multi-generation dubs.  Having just reviewed the first few frames of each, I can confirm that there are many not yet in circulation, including commercials for the Soldiers of the World, the cadet sets, and many more.  

One is intriguingly titled “Adventure Packs” and may be from the first release of the Talking Adventure Packs.  The condition looks good, but it will be hard to tell about sound and color quality until they have been professionally evaluated.  If you need a ‘fix’ in the meantime, visit the commercials page on Vintage3DJoes.com to get a feel for what’s ahead, and stay tuned to the site, Facebook, and the Joe Report for updates on the process and potential fundraising efforts. 

Digitization and sound/color work will run around $1600. I will get the work done regardless, but if any fans want to support the project, they can help by making a donation on the Vintage3DJoes website at the page found HERE. Any one who donates will be given credit for their assistance on the website when the commercials are released.” —Matt McKeebyVintage3DJoes.com

Bottom Line: Time and time again, Matthew McKeeby’s masterful research, methodology and assurance of excellence, has proven him to be one of 12″ GIjOE fandom’s foremost “curators” and historians. His unusual discoveries constantly surprise, intrigue and impress collectors all around the world. Our sincerest thanks to Matthew for all of his generous contributions to this article. If you’d like to make a donation to help ensure his important work can continue, please go HERE.

“Action Flo” TV Commercial & Print Ad Campaign For Progressive Insurance is Parodying G.I. Joe

New Insurance Company TV Commercial Mimics 1960s and ’80s G.I. Joe Ad Campaigns

As readers of The Joe Report know all too well, GIjOE “sightings” in media and pop-culture are often found in unlikely or unexpected places. Most show our friend Joe way off in the background somewhere, or only mention him by name, as in the aforementioned scene of Cheers (see HERE).
It must be even rarer then, to discover parodical sightings wherein Hasbro’s GIjOE is being used to promote the products and/or services of another company altogether. But insurance? Really? We have to admit we didn’t see this one coming. (Please view the 30-second spot above.)

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Look Out COBRA…er, High Insurance RatesProgressive’s On Its Way! Fans of the 1980s “GIjOE: Real American Hero” Saturday morning cartoon will recognize this opening shot from the Progressive commercial showing vehicles zooming overhead. Excellent mimicry of the RAH! (Photo: Progressive)

Indeed, the commercial in question is for Progressive Insurance (PI) and it will undoubtedly strike nostalgic chords with millions of Joeheads of all ages. Even if you’ve never seen this spot before, if you grew up during the 1960s, ’70s or ’80s, you’ll instantly recognize it as a not-so-subtle homage to Hasbro’s GIjOE promos of the past, mimicking their gung-ho music, animations, and voice-overs.

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They’re Ready to FIGHT—For lower rates! This screenshot from PI’s “Action Flo” commercial reveals various characters in poses similar to those depicted in ’80s RAH GIjOE spots. (Image: Bigshot)

Imitation is the Sincerest Form of Flattery— If so, Hasbro should be thrilled with this new parody by PI. Indeed, if you leave the sound on your computer turned OFF while watching the commercial, it’ll appear as if the subject(s) being promoted is indeed, action figures and toys. However, with the volume turned ON, you can enjoy its true intent and the spot’s tongue-in-cheek narration, which reveals the humorous truth behind “Action Flo” —Psst…she’s selling insurance!

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Oh no! In this screenshot from the commercial, fans of 1960s GIjOE commercials will recognize the surprised, mouth-agape expression of these two kids who’ve just discovered that their GIjOE businessman is now “up to his neck in operating costs.” The horror! Absolutely HILARIOUS.

What we enjoy most about Progressive’s new “Action Flo” ad campaign (and this commercial, in particular) is that it seamlessly and expertly combines elements from all eras of GIjOE advertising. For example, this PI spot opens with a hard-charging, GIjOE RAH-esque ’80s animation sequence, which then segues smoothly into excellent live actor portrayals (ala Hasbro’s 1960s and ’70s ads) of children playing with both “Action Flo” and GIjOE-type figures, somewhere in backyard America.

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Lookout for the birdbath, Joe! In this screenshot, a 1:6 scale lawncare worker runs into a customer’s birdbath. Hey, Joe! Damaging the customer’s property requires the services of a insurance company!

PI’s beloved TV spokeswoman, “Flo,” makes her usual cameo appearance towards the end of this spot, giving her new Action Flo toy line (i.e. Progressive Insurance) a big thumbs up. Just after the director calls out “Cut,” she finds herself being hilariously “dissed” by a smart-alecky kid who apparently has some “pull” with the smoothy maker over at the production’s crafts services.

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The “Bad Guy” of the spot is the homeowner whose birdbath was damaged. He yells, “Now you’re gunna pay!” and is an interesting one-of-a-kind creation, custom-made from multiple sources.

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GRRR!!! This closeup screenshot reveals the Bad Guy’s hand-painted head sculpt. Excellent!

We want those toys! Action figure fans and collectors of advertising will undoubtedly be impressed by the quality of the Action Flo toy line and all of its superb, blister-packed accessories. Sadly, it doesn’t appear the toys are destined for mass-production—yet. We were able to locate a couple of “promotional” copies, but the majority of what you see onscreen, is not even real. According to a recent Bernstein & Andriulli article on this topic:

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“If you can believe it, what you see aren’t actual toys. They’re CGI composites. ‘The original intent of this wasn’t to make a toy, it was just to make a series of print ads,’ says Klim Kozenevich of Bigshot. ‘But because of how our process works, action figures are possible.’ Does that mean this is going to turn into an action figure? Plenty of people are asking for them, but we can’t know for sure. For now, we have to satisfy ourselves admiring the detail and variation that Bigshot Toyworks and Progressive brought to the range.”

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Yes, This “Action Flo” is REAL— She sold recently on eBay for $104.01. Most likely she was a VERY limited production promotional piece made for a limited purpose and not sold at retail. (Photo: eBay)

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Standing Tall— You gotta admit, this line of (non-existent) “Action Flo” toys has been superbly executed. Simply Out-STANDING work, Bigshot! (Photo: Progressive)

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Who ‘dat? This closeup screenshot reveals one of the Joes was (most likely) based on Hasbro’s Ulysses S. Grant figures. The gloves are crudely made, but only appeared on-screen for a split-second.

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Here’s another REAL “Action Flo” (not a CGI rendering) that you may never be able to actually own. Again, this was most likely a VERY limited promotional prototype. (Photo: eBay)

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Not-so-Good-Buddy— Trucker Flo seems to be the least inspired prototype. Fairly dull.

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Here’s the back panel which helps prove these actually existed, at least in prototype form.

Stop Teasing us, Flo! The print ad campaign carries through with "photos" of the action figures. Progressive, you're such a tease! (Photo: Bigshotklim)

Stop Teasing us, Flo! The print ad campaign carries through with “photos” of the (currently non-existent) action figures. Progressive, you’re such a tease! (Photo: Bigshotklim)

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Creative designer, Klim Kozenevich, gives the prospect of (someday) seeing Action Flo in toy stores a big thumbs up. For now, you can only contact Progressive—and hope! (Photo: Klim Kozenevich)

For those of you who are diggin’ the “Action Flo” toy line and want to know if you can buy them NOW, we offer one little ray of hope. When asked by one fan whether they were actually going to make the toys, Bigshot’s Klim Kozenevich optimistically opined:

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“You would have to contact Progressive to get the information on where and when you can get a Flo Figure.”

 

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Look closely, this is NOT real— It’s a CGI illustration of a fantasy product. Amazing! (Art: Bigshot)

Bottom Line: This new “Joe sighting” is a fast-paced and fun homage to GIjOE from beginning to end and has something for fans of all eras. As for the Action Flo figures, at this time, it’s not certain whether or not they’ll ever make the transition from fantasy CGI to reality, but if they ever do, it appears some of the line’s accessories are close to 1:6 scale. The “Log Haulin'” metal helmet (see above) looks especially promising. Our heartiest congratulations to everyone at Progressive and Bigshot Toyworks for their superb work on this campaign. Go, JOE! Go, FLO!

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TV Comedy, “Family Guy,” Parodies ’80s Animated G.I. Joe PSAs With Mexican Character, “G.I. Jose”

We’re not exactly sure HOW in today’s world of super-sensitivity and political correctness, that some forms of harmless advertising characterization, comedic parody and/or ethnically derived humor suffers from endless public protest, while other examples seem to escape unnoticed and/or untouched. This baffling lack of consistency is a double-standard that confounds non-PCers who cling to endangered senses of humor and common sensical abilities to discern the difference.

The Frito Bandito character as it appeared on a sack of Fritos Corn Chips. (Photo: Frito-Lay)

The Frito Bandito character as it appeared on a sack of Fritos Corn Chips.

One memorable example often cited occurred in the 1960s, when Frito-Lay created its lovable and popular advertising icon dubbed, “The Frito Bandito.” In terms of appearance, the character sported an oversized sombrero and crossed bullet bandoliers and was clearly patterned after actor Alfonso Bedoya in his unforgettable portrayal of “Gold Hat” (a Mexican bandit leader) in the 1948 film, “The Treasure of the Sierra Madre.” Like Bedoya, the Frito Bandito spoke with a Mexican accent (voice-acted by comedy legend, Mel Blanc) and the character’s advertising campaign was primarily targeted at children in a series of print ads, store displays, product packaging and of course, animated TV commercials. In the spots, the bandito’s demeanor was VERY friendly, decidedly gentle, and wholesomely upbeat. As might be expected, he became very popular among children (and parents) and sales of the company’s snack chips soared.

Now, some 50 years later, Frito’s lovable snack icon appears only on lists of TV characters deemed (by some) to be “offensive.” Very sad. But what about “G.I. Jose;” a new character occasionally shown on TV’s, Family Guy? Despite a less-than-flattering portrayal of an hispanic male (gut sticking out from t-shirt, illiterate advice, etc.), the character has generated little public outcry. This inconsistency of reaction is bound to confuse many who strive to be politically correct in “all things.” Regardless, fans of 3.75″ GIjOEs will find G.I. Jose especially amusing, as his spots parody ’80s GIjOE PSAs that were once routinely shown during Saturday morning cartoons.

An unknown driver in his customized G.I. Jose van. (Photo: The Huffington Post)

Magnifico! An unknown driver in his customized “G.I. Jose” van. (Photo: The Huffington Post)

Bottom Line: Regardless of where you fall on the ever-moving lines of political correctness, parody, and acceptable ethnic humor (see related article HERE), it appears that SOMEONE out there really likes Family Guy’s newest character (see his photo above). Go, G.I. Jose!

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Another Adult-Themed “Joe Sighting”———G.I. Joes (and Barbies) Feature Prominently in European TV Commercial For———Ahem———”Tulipan Condoms”

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

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

It used to take years for GIjOE fans to track down a particularly rare or unusual TV, film or video clip related to their favorite 12″ (or 3.75″) action figure. But now, thanks to the growth of subject matter being cataloged over at Google and YouTube, such a search can sometimes require only seconds. Regardless of when this particular “Joe Sighting” was found, we want to give credit where credit is clearly due, and that is to intrepid TJR Field Reporter, Carin J. Reddig, of California. In a short Facebook comment first posted by Reddig, she warned those who might be offended by this (1999) European TV commercial’s adult subject matter, stating:

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“We’ve seen a few commercials that use Barbies and GI Joes. I have never seen this one before… my apologies in advance!” —Carin J. Reddig, CA

Bottom Line: Our sincerest thanks and congratulations to Carin for reporting this latest addition to fandom’s growing collection of Joe Sightings. Stay tuned for: The father’s impression of why his son plays with Barbies is shattered by the boy’s hilarious dream sequence at the end. Too Funny!

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Sonic’s New “Corndog Costume” TV Commercial Features Vintage ’60s G.I. Joe Silver Space Suit

We see it here, we see it THERE. Now GIjOE fans can see Joe Zeta's old spacesuit EVERYWHERE on TV as it features prominently in the latest commercial for Sonic Drive-In's corndogs. (Screenshot: Sonic)

Earth to Joe Zeta—We See Your Spacesuit! And now GIjOE fans all over the world can see Joe Zeta’s old spacesuit featured prominently in a new TV commercial for Sonic Drive-In. (Screenshot: Sonic)

This Just In: Sonic Drive-In’s latest TV commercial (for its corndogs) features a vintage 1960s GIjOE silver spacesuit sold to the commercial’s production company by none other than world-famous GIjOE fan, collector and historian, Joe Zeta. Upon seeing the new spot for the first time, a surprised Zeta revealed the following intel in a post over on the Sandbox Facebook page:

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“Omg. Guys, I sold the Astro suit/gear to them. I had to overnight it. They told me to watch for a Sonic commercial. Pretty cool.” —Joe Zeta

Bottom Line: Pretty cool indeed, Joe! Your former spacesuit has now become part of both Sonic’s and GIjOE’s advertising histories. Click HERE to see Joe’s space suit and it’s 15-seconds of fame.

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Why It Was So Great to be a Kid———Back in 1967!

nas·cent
ˈnāsənt,ˈnasənt/ adjective
1. (especially of a process or organization) just coming into existence and beginning to display signs of future potential.

Bottom Line: If you were a kid during GIjOE’s earliest, nascent days of the 1960s and ’70s, then we’re probably preaching to the choir. But if you didn’t come along until much later, you may not realize what you missed (so sad). If so, we highly recommend one of the most fond memories many of us adult Joeheads have: the “Capture Hill 79” GIjOE contest. Even if you lived through this early period of Joe history, we recommend you watch the TV commercial again, because when you do, it’ll all come back and your day will be MADE. So…Watch it. Know it. Remember it. Capture Hill 79!

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Joelanta 2015 Releases New Promo Commercial

GIjOE fans and video producers, Lisa and Tim Weedn (Photo: Tim Weedn)

GIjOE fans and animated video producers, Lisa and Tim Weedn (Photo: Tim Weedn)

Bottom Line: Every year at Joelanta, thousands of fans gather to celebrate everyTHING that’s wonderful about GIjOE and the action figure and toy hobbies in general. One subset of fans who attends also arrives bearing freshly pressed DVDs loaded with entertaining “Joe Videos” they’ve produced over the past year, eager for their official worldwide debut at the famous Joelanta Film Festival. One such filmmaking couple is Tim and Lisa Weedn, whose delightful animated video projects never fail to amuse their audiences. If you haven’t seen their work before—hit the play button above!

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