Bottom Line: You knew it was coming, and here it is. Look carefully, this is QUALITY stuff!
Lay Down Suppressing Fire!— This first pic from the cover of the March 2018 issue of the GIjOE Collector’s Club “Official Magazine” is one we’ve been waiting for for a lonnnng time. It’s Larry Selman’s latest (and perhaps FINAL) painting for a GIjOE product, the cover art for the “Green Beret Machine Gun Outpost” 12″ figure set to be released this coming June at JoeCon 2018 in Chattanooga, TN. As we expected, the artwork ROCKS and the two Special Forces soldiers shown are clearly “in it” and fighting for their lives defending their sandbag-ringed outpost. If you look carefully, you’ll get a pretty good idea of all the equipment that will included in this set. HOO-ah!
Bottom Line: If this really is the final year (and final convention) for the GIJCC, then it appears they intend to go out BIG TIME with some truly collectible products. Hopefully, any color or tonal imperfections in the plastics and other materials can be worked out before the “B&W TV Editions” are released. We can’t wait to see more pics of the Green Beret set’s box and contents, either. We’re sure it’ll all look AMAZING. Stay tuned for additional intel as it becomes available.
In what may be the clearest view yet of toy-making’s future, Hasbro has just launched its new “HasLab” crowdsourcing initiative. The goal of this particular collector-funded toy project will be to locate and sign up at least 5,000 fans who are willing to pony up $500 each for an exclusive, 4-foot long (compatible w/3.75″ figures) “Jabba’s Sail Barge” from Star Wars. A prototype shown at Toy Fair and all of the computer renderings online look absolutely GORGEOUS. If Star Wars toys are your thing, you should watch HasLab’s customer recruitment video shown below.
Bottom Line: If this approach to “high-end” toy production is successful for Hasbro, you can expect to see similar efforts forthcoming from other toy manufacturers in the future. Perhaps Hasbro would even consider creating something new, big and amazing for 12″ GIjOEs? How about an updated, more realistic version of a 1:6 scale USAF Crash Crew Truck? Joe fans can dream, too!
We’ve covered this topic before, and we’ll cover it again—because 3-D printing ROCKS! Wassamatta, Joe? Can’t you find that rare, missing, or broken piece of your classic GIjOE or other vintage toy? Well, fear NOT, my friend. Nowadays, thanks to the modern-day miracles of 3DP, you can simply MAKE ONE YOURSELF (see our previous article HERE). In further confirmation of the evolution of this exciting field of “amateur” toy creation, diehard customizer and revered TJR Field Reporter, Gary Stair, wrote in recently to describe a new 3DP project he had just completed for his beloved Captain Action “Silver Streak” vehicle. According to Mr. Stair:
“I bought the Captain Action Silver Streak vehicle many, many moons ago and have been searching for rockets and replacement launchers for it for some time. After reading about Wayne Faucher’s Bell jet pack / Shapeways article on the Joe Report HERE, it dawned on me one day—DUUHH—that I have the resources required to make all-new parts—with 3D printing!”
“I began by interviewing several designers and finally found one over in Australia who was up for the challenge. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a vintage Silver Streak rocket anywhere—and believe me I hunted. I wanted the designer to have an exact replica to work from. But in lieu of that, I emailed him a TON of photographs, and he was able to use them to figure out the (close to) exact measurements required to recreate a “non-firing” version.”
“Unlike the original versions, my new rockets do NOT fire. On the original vehicle, a spring came inserted in the rocket that would then lock onto the launcher. I wasn’t sure I wanted that level of liability yet—let me sell a few first—(LOL) so I went with a non-firing version. Regardless, overall, it is a near-perfect design and DOES fit PERFECTLY onto any original 1960s IDEAL Silver Streak Captain Action vehicle (as you can see in the photos).”
“As for the Silver Streak’s LAUNCHERS, I did manage to locate some (broken) vintage ones, and sent those off to my designer in Australia, communicating via email every step of the way. And while this was an expensive project, the new 3-D printed parts from Shapeways came out GREAT. After I sell a couple on eBay HERE, I may jump back in and work on a ‘firing version’ (with spring inserted), allowing the ‘2nd generation’ repro rockets to ‘hook’ onto their launchers.”
“Customizers can paint them silver (like the ZICA version) or blue (like the Ideal original) or ANY color to replace their missing launchers and rockets. It is amazing all of the things you can do with the 3D printing process. I’m not sure what I will create next (maybe the gear shifter?), but for now, it’s just great to know that we have the tools required to make replacement parts or create NEW parts for our 1:6 scale GI JOE, Action Man, Captain Action and other figures. What a great resource!”
“Thanks again (and hats off) to the pioneers of 1:6 scale 3DP, Wayne Faucher, Sean Huxter and David Pruitt (see HERE) for showing all the rest of us “the way.” And a great big thank you to you too, Mark Otnes, for helping us all keep our 1:6 scale dreams alive. Go, Joe Report and Go, Patches of Pride!” —Gary Stair, PA
Bottom Line: 3-D Printing is proving to be quite the boon for creative-thinking customizers and 1:6 scalers. A few years ago, “Super” Sean Huxter made some short videos demonstrating a couple of his new 3DP product ideas in prototype form (see below), proving that the potential for new GIjOE-related accessories appears to be practically limitless. Our sincerest thanks and best wishes go out to Gary Stair for all his generous help with this article and to the other “pioneers” of this new 1:6 scale field of expertise and endeavor. You guys are all the BEST!
This cool news just came in on over the wire…
According to respected wholesale product distributor, Alpha-C Group (located in Hong Kong), the modeling masters over at SOAR ART Workshop will soon be releasing an all-metal, 1:6 scale Royal Mail postbox, sometime during the first quarter of 2018. For fans of Action Man, GIjOE, and all things 1:6 scale, this is exciting news. Such a box would make a STUNNING addition to any (post WW2) neighborhood or downtown (i.e. urban) diorama. (Now you’ll need an Action Man Mailman!)
Bottom Line: Spec-wise, this RM postbox stands at a perfect 27cm tall (approximately 10.6″), is 10.5cm wide (4.1″) and weighs in at about 1kg (or 2.2 lbs). All told, this big boy looks to be a near perfect replica of the real thing. According to Alpha-C, you should probably expect a retail price somewhere around $62 plus s/h. Our advice? Start watching the usual 1:6 scale import/retail websites (Cots, Big Bad, etc.) for further information on price and availability. Happy Hunting!
Gird your loins and grab your credit cards, Joeheads!
The GIjOE Collector’s Club (GIJCC) has just announced that the 12-inch exclusive figure set for their FINAL JoeCon EVER—will be a recreation of the famed 1965 “Green Beret Machine Gun Outpost.” And just like the original version, this recreation will include TWO GIjOE action figures and a TON of 1:6 scale military gear. The main difference between old and new will be that the new box’s artwork will be created by (the one and only) 12″ GIjOE package illustrator extraordinaire, Larry “Mr. Classic Collection” Selman (read more about the amazing Mr. Selman HERE). Will THIS be the last “official” 12-inch GIjOE product ever made? If so, it will hold a VERY special place in “Joehistory.” According to the GIJCC’s official press release, the new set is described thusly:
“This year, it’s back to the military for G.I. Joe. One of the favorite 12” figures of all time was the Green Beret. So, what could be better than two Green Berets in an updated ‘1960’s Sears Exclusive’ box adorned with art from Larry Selman?
This year’s 12-inch Convention Set is a recreation of the ‘Sears Exclusive’Green Beret Machine Gun Outpost Set. It comes with: 2 Painted Head Figures and each figure has a Camo Shirt and Pants; Green Beret; Tall Brown Boots; Dog Tag; Belt with 2 Cartridges.
In addition, the set comes with: 12 Grenades; Bazooka; 6 Bazooka Shells; Field Telephone; .30 Caliber Machine Gun and Tripod; M-16 Ri e; Ammo Box; Camouflage Netting; Plastic Foliage; Tent Poles; Tent Stakes; and 10 Sand Bags.
All of these items are in a box adorned with an updated painting of the Green Beret Outpost, painted by Larry Selman. Watch on-line at GIJoeCon.com for product reveals.” —GIjOE Collector’s Club
Bottom Line: If this is indeed to be the FINAL set from the FINAL official GIjOE Collector’s Club JoeCon EVER, then those facts alone will undoubtedly make this exclusive a very hot commodity among 1:6 Joe fans and collectors. Stay tuned. We’ll keep our eyes peeled for any further JoeCon 2018 intel and/or updates and pass them all along to you here ASAP—on The Joe Report!
A pair of new TV commercials currently airing ONLY on Brazilian television screens are bound to make GIjOE, Action Man, Geyperman and Falcon collectors elsewhere around the world turn absolutely GREEN with envy. The two spots in question continue Brazilian toymaker Estrela’s current “celebration” of Falcon’s 40th Anniversary, and promote its three new commemorative action figures including: a skydiver, jungle explorer and turbo copter pilot. Both commercials feature top-notch photography, pacing, music and graphics. It’s safe to say most 1:6 fans haven’t seen TV promos this good in a LONG time. They clearly celebrate nostalgia and bring back the high levels of EXCITEMENT and ADVENTURE that GIjOE and Falcon fans of all ages have come to expect.
Bottom Line: The quality of these new TV commercials and the action figures they represent, are EXCELLENT. It’s a shame Hasbro has completely relinquished this sort of endeavor to other companies. <sigh> Yes, the figure’s prices are fairly high (approximately $68+ s/h apiece), but for such rare sets, they’re really not that unreasonable. Fortunately, each of the 3 Falcon figures shown in these new promos are available directly from Estrela HERE and should also be available to fans worldwide from such respected action figure webstores as Cotswold Collectibles (HERE). Expect prices to vary from dealer to dealer due to mark-ups. Depending on WHERE and WHOM you buy from, some of the figures may also have to be back-ordered, but in the world of action figure collecting, patience—is a virtue. Happy Hunting!
Creation of 1:6 Scale Arcade Dioramas Now Easier and Less Expensive—Holy, Atari!
During a quick trip to Walmart today, I discovered an outstanding set of 4 miniature stand-up arcade games (toys), and thanks to the miraculously technological times we’re living in, these new mini games aren’t just inert, display-only models; no, they actually function. That’s right, you can PLAY these miniaturized versions of classic arcade games, while your GIjOEs stand up in front of them (just like YOU used to) and play right alongside you—How cool is THAT?!
The four games I picked up (shown above) are all vintage arcade classics, including: Centipede, Frogger, Q-Bert and Asteroids. If you were a teenager back in the late 1970s or early ’80s, these games will surely be familiar to you and bring back LOTS of memories. They’re top-notch, quality-made products by Basic Fun, and are numbered 3, 4, 5 and 6. Of course, those numbers made me think that there might also be a #1 or 2 (maybe even a 7!), so I quickly jumped on the internet when I got home and found out that—sure enough—mini-versions of Pac Man, Ms. Pac Man and Space Invaders are also available.<sigh> (I guess I need to get out the credit card—again.)
It’s Like They Just Cut ‘Em in Half!
Right out of the box, you’ll notice that these games looks SHORTER than 1:6 scale—but are they really? They’re actually pretty darn close in terms of monitor screen size and case width. Our best guess is that in order to save $ on manufacturing, Basic Fun decided to shave down the HEIGHT of each game by about 50%. That means dedicated 1:6 scalers (like YOU) are going to have to come up with some sort of “make do” solution in order to raise the games back UP to their “proper” height. (Insider tip—I just sold a REAL, vintage 1970s Robotron arcade game and it stood about 6′ tall. That’s the same respective height of a 1:6 GIjOE. So…if you shoot for a 12″ overall game height, you’ll be pretty darn close at 1:6 scale).
Height and Scale Improvements are EASY to Make
For 1:6 scalers, ALL of these games come up short— in terms of height. Fortunately, replacing any of that “missing” height is easily rectified. All you have to do is construct some sort of a nondescript box or base (in shiny or flat black) to make up for the missing dimensions. For Basic Fun games, your base will need to be about 6″ tall, 3 1/2″ wide and 2 1/2″ deep. For the Multicade game, your base will only need to be about 4″ high. Suggestions for “construction” materials include: a sheet of styrene plastic, wood (at Hobby Lobby or Michaels), or possibly some “letramax” mat board (stiff, all-black cardboard that has a flat, non-reflective finish, also sold at most art and/or hobby stores).
Once you’ve selected a material for your base, all you have to do is fold, shape, glue, and possibly paint it until your “base box” is finished. Then, set your game up on top of it. The final 12-inch height of your game will make it look FANTASTIC alongside 1:6 scale action figures and in their respective dioramas. Your mind will soon be racing with ideas for dios, including such videogame-appropriate locales as pool halls, bars, pizza joints, mall arcades, basement game rooms, “man caves,” and much more.
Bottom Line: As well as looking great with GIjOE, these mini arcade games are really FUN toys, too. Their gameplay is truly retro and just as challenging as you remember. The stickers and graphics on each game cabinet look SUPERB, so there’s no worries or problems there. Plus, all of the gaming sounds, play action, joysticks and button movements are natural and fully functional. Play them all at once and it sounds JUST LIKE the arcades of your youth (see video above for audio-visual demonstration). Buy just one and set it up in the corner of a room diorama, or buy them ALL and recreate your favorite teenage hangout (Gold Mine Arcade, Northcross Mall, Austin, TX, 1978, here I come—again!). Whatever you do, my 1:6 collecting friend—Just “Git ‘er Done!”
UPDATE as of 12-12-17: As shown above, game #7 in the Basic Fun line-up is Pac Man—again. Why repeat Pac Man? Well, it turns out Pac Man #1, which was released along with #2, Space Invaders, were both inferior products, featuring sterile b&w LCD screens and unrealistic, what we would call “FLAT” cabinetry. It’s as if Basic Fun wanted you to lay those first two games down flat on a table while playing them. Of course, GIjOE fans want these miniature replicas to stand UP and look like they did originally back in the arcades of our youth.
So… just so you know, we recommend that you forget about tracking down games #1 and #2, they don’t really fit into this newer, vastly improved line. Spend your time picking up #3, 4, 5, 6 and #7. Remember, the new Pac Man (#7) comes with correctly shaped cabinetry and FULL COLOR game graphics—just like the original. YES!
UPDATE as of 12-14-17: We just learned that TWO MORE great games in the Basic Fun lineup have been released. They’re #8 Joust and #10 Rampage. Say, where’s #9? Our 1:6 arcade is really shaping up! See video review by madlittlepixel below:
What do YOUR GIjOEs do when they return home from a mission? Some spend days, even YEARS, sealed up in depressing, air-tight storage containers, while others dutifully stand an interminable “watch” from the inside of locked, glassed-walled display cabinets. But for those fortunate few who are given freedom of movement by their (obviously imaginative) owners, the pursuit of personal hobbies and other pastimes is now becoming the norm.
“Hello Mark, Long time no chat. Yes, Joe collects action figures, and lately he’s added quite a few to his collection. I asked him if he’d pose alongside his collection for a few pictures and he kindly obliged (see attached images). In the wide view of his study (shown below), this is only PART of his growing collection. He’s always ‘rotating’ pieces in and out.”
“Superman is Joe’s favorite. That one he’s pointing to (see below) is a actually a nano metalfig (.99 cents) from Walmart.”
“Joe also collects Star Wars memorabilia and he just got this super-miniature x-wing fighter from Walmart on Force Friday. The two military HALO figures (behind the x-wing) are by Mega Construx. They have 11 points of articulation(!) and come with lots of detail, display stands, and extra pieces. They are wonderful!”
“Here (below), Joe poses with his new Alice in Wonderland and Buzz Lightyear figures. While both are very cool, these particular figures are for his children and he plans to put them both under the Christmas tree this year.”
“All the figures in Joe’s display are about 2” high and were bought at Walmart, with the exception of the three up there on the top righthand shelf (i.e. Batman/Robin/The Flash) which all came from our neighborhood Walgreens. I’m also providing some photos of the action figures in their packaging (see below) because things look a lot different after they’ve been taken out of the box. And finally…
Mark… I would like to wish you a very Merry Christmas and thank you for The Joe Report. I look forward to every ‘issue’ and you do a wonderful job with it. Keep up the good work. Merry Christmas everyone and Happy New Year!” —Queli Castro, Chicago, IL
Bottom Line: We absolutely LOVE how this Joe decorates his 1:6 scale home with “super-mini” collectibles. Our sincerest thanks and best wishes go out to Queil Castro for providing all of these excellent photographs and for his very generous “field reporting” here at The Joe Report. You are the BEST, sir! —Mark Otnes, Editor TJR