Category Archives: Videos

New Toy Series Premieres on Netflix—But the Question is: Will Fans Want to PAY to See it?

There’s a New Show All About Toys—But Is It Worth The Cost?

A new Netflix series (clumsily) titled, “The Toys That Made Us” is currently airing online (available to paid Netflix subscribers only), and (as you might expect) the show’s episodes each focus primarily on iconic brands such as GIjOE, Barbie, Star Wars, etc. Predictably too, the approximately 45 minutes of airtime each installment consumes is largely comprised of (familiar) video clips taken from OLD television commercials, OLD Saturday morning cartoons, and OLD comic book ads and/or catalogs (feeling OLD yet?). Sprinkle in assorted sound bites from “expert” talking-heads and uber-collectors, then tie it all together with “fluff” narration, and you have what amounts to a not-all-too-unpleasant way to spend the better part of an hour.

Bottom Line: Since these new Netflix episodes are largely targeted to today’s attention-deficited, iPhone-obsessed viewing public, their video clips tend to be short and rather quickly cut. That can become VERY frustrating to diehard (i.e. older) toy fans who prefer to SEE all these vintage goodies for more than just a couple of seconds apiece. Similarly, the show’s so-called “expert” sound-bites also tend to be too short and shallow, and left us wanting to hear MORE (much more, actually). Finally, due to changing consumer viewing habits, it’s unlikely DVDs of this show will ever be offered, so… while much of the content is stuff you’ve probably seen before (likely for FREE on YouTube or elsewhere), if you don’t mind paying Netflix for the privilege of viewing their repackaged “exclusive content,” then you should take a look at the show’s teaser reel provided above. It’s cool!


UPDATE (1-8-18): The TTTMU episode featuring GIjOE focuses primarily on the  tremendous financial “gambles” Hasbro took when it produced both its original 1960-70s 12″ lines and then (again) later, its 1980s 3.75″ RAH figures. Many toy fans too, may not have known how GIjOE’s unprecedented sales success in the ’80s was responsible for restoring a (then) moribund Hasbro to a position of financial solvency and dominance in the toy industry—What a hero!

The episode also provides a well laid-out history of the company itself, its founding Hassenfeld family, and the key individuals involved in GIjOE’s development and creation. Especially enjoyable to the staff here at The Joe Report (who viewed the program), was the inclusion of such familiar and friendly faces as Larry Hama and Derryl DePriest. What great guys! Fans of 12″ GIjOEs may feel somewhat short-changed by the episode’s content, but overall, it was very well done. Go, JOE!

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New (Almost) 1:6 Scale Stand-up Arcade Games at Walmart Really Work and Are Ideal For Use With 12″ G.I. Joes—Plus (Get This), They’re Only $20!

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Zap those aliens, Joe! Moving beyond fantasy into 1:6 scale reality, the new “Arcade Classics” video game toys from Basic Fun are PERFECT for use with 1:6 scale GIjOEs. They look real. They sound real. They play real. Heck, these ARE real games. Wow! (Photo: Mark Otnes) Click to enlarge.

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?!

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We found FOUR, but there’s MORE— Yes, it’s true. Further research has revealed there are at least THREE more games in this amazing new toy line. Most of the 7 games can now be found at Walmart stores—and their website online (HERE). (Photo: Mark Otnes) Click to enlarge.

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.)

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Is Pac Man Going to be Pricey? We searched for the #7 game, Pac Man, online today, and found it at Walmart.com for $20, but also over on ebay—listed at $35! It looks like the price gougers have spotted a good thing and are already jumping on it. Why? Well, take a good look at that video screen. It’s showing the FULL-COLOR graphics of the original Pac Man, NOT cheap-o black-n-white LCD screens like those released by other companies. Our GIjOE’s “man cave” has GOTTA have this one, too. WOCKA-WOCKA-WOCKA! (Photo: ebay) Click to enlarge.

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Hey Shorty, Where’s Your Bottom Half?— Obstensibly to save on production costs (the licensing fees were probably enormous), Basic Fun shaved the height of each game by approximately 50%. Fortunately, the other dimensions are less notably out of scale and the height issue can easily be rectified by creative, capable 1:6 scalers. (Photo: Mark Otnes) Click to enlarge.

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).

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BONUS PLAY! During our online searches of the many mini gaming systems now available, we also came across this “Multicade 230” toy from SoundLogic XT SEE HERE. The 230 is similarly sized and will look just fine sitting alongside the games from Basic Fun. Note: Its dimensions are slightly taller, so whatever base you construct to increase its height (up to 12″) will only need to be about 4″ or so. Yes, the joysticks and buttons of ALL of these games are oversized for 1:6 scale, but we’re betting Joe’s Kung-Fu Grip can handle ’em. And check out that FULL COLOR screen! (Photo: Walmart)

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Super Side View— The Multicade 230 has a great profile with AWESOME graphics. You’ll want to display this one so you can see it from the side as well as the front. (Photo: Walmart)

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).

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Build-a-Base Tips— If you decide to go with the simplest and most basic construction method for your game base(s) (using Letramax mat board), might we suggest that you use a sharp x-acto knife when making the cuts, AND… instead of cutting out each individual side panel, cut JUST SHORT of going all the way through. Leaving that “little bit” of mat board UNCUT provides you with a hidden “hinge” on the inside, thus enabling you to FOLD and create the various box sides without having to tape or glue them together. Yes, you’ll have to glue the box’s final connecting edges together in order to complete and hold its boxy shape, but that’s it. ENJOY! (Photos: Mark Otnes) Click to enlarge.

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:

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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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John Kolb, Retired U.S. Marine Corps Helicopter Pilot, Making 1:6 Scale Collectible “Minirounds”

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Miniature Metal Munitions Master— Retired USMC Captain, John Kolb (shown here in his workshop), holds up a piece of aluminum he’s begun shaving and shaping down into what will ultimately become one of his exclusive “miniround” miniature artillery shell collectibles. (Photo: John Kolb) Click to enlarge.

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Pop-a-Top (or not)— John’s “Mini M107” is available in two versions, standard or bottle opener. (Photo: John Kolb)

1:6 Scalers are all about realistic detail. In that regard, you won’t find more realistically detailed 1:6 scale ordnance for your GIjOE’s artillery pieces than those currently being created and sold by former USMC helicopter pilot, John Kolb. We stumbled across John’s outstanding work on the internet recently and were absolutely floored by what we had discovered—highly accurate, all-metal, perfectly detailed, 1:6 scale miniature (non-functioning) replicas of U.S. military artillery ordnance. OOHrah!

Judging by the closeup photos on John’s “Minirounds” website (see HERE), Kolb has achieved the highest possible level of realism and quality at 1:6 scale. Much like fellow 1:6 scale artist/artisan, Jonathan DeGuzman (see HERE), Kolb is also working with real metals, carefully handcrafting each and every item in his own workshop, all by hand. In the following interview, exclusive to readers of The Joe Report, John kindly “reveals all” regarding his exciting new line of “Miniround” products. Enjoy!


TJR: Hi John! Thanks so much for taking time out to discuss your work today. Please tell us all about “Minirounds,” what you do there, and how you came upon the idea to create miniature metal ordnance collectibles in 1:6 (and other) scales.

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“Minirounds is a micro company; just me actually; specializing in the replica ordnance market. I recently retired in March of 2015 from the Marine Corps where I flew CH53E/D helicopters as an Officer and worked as an electronics technician as an Enlisted man. I knew that I didn’t want to fly when I transitioned and had a few career options to choose from—one of them being research and product development and the other, dentistry.”

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Preparing to Lift a Humvee— Before John Kolb began creating 1:6 scale ordnance collectibles, he piloted CH53E/D “Super Stallion” helicopters like this one for the United States Marine Corps. Thank you so much for all of your service, John. OOHrah! Semper Fi! (Photo: DOD) Click to enlarge.

TJR: R&D and Dentistry? Those both sound like challenging and lucrative career options. So what made you decide to create a military miniatures and collectibles business instead?

“It actually all hinged on a long conversation with my wife (who is a physician). She asked one very important question, ‘Do you have a burning desire to be a dentist?’ I replied, ‘No. Not really, but it’s a good profession that pays well.’ She then asked, ‘Okay, what do you have a passion for?’ I explained this concept of product development and selling a variety of widgets. She replied, ‘Great, let’s do that!’, and that was the genesis of a significant career shift.”

TJR: Very cool! It’s wonderful that you have your wife’s full support. So, how did you get started?

“After browsing countless online forums and trying to figure out how to do ‘this,” I soon realized that I needed to purchase some modeling software (Solidworks) and machines (Haas). I called Solidworks and was very impressed with their responsiveness and willingness to help Vets out.  They actually gave me a student version for just $150.00 because I was a veteran. Great company!”

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Get Down! Those papers on your desk wouldn’t dare fly or “blow away” when being held down by a paperweight as impressive as THIS! Kolb’s larger (non-1:6 scale) products are still miniatures (approximately 12″ tall), but their larger size makes them a superb (and attention-getting) collectible for any former artilleryman or militaria collector. Out-STANDING! (Photo: John Kolb)

TJR: How did you make your decisions regarding those machines, equipment, etc.?

“I really liked what I had read about Haas CNC machines from a variety of users, so before transitioning my savings into these machines, I chose to pay them a visit.  I intentionally underdressed and feigned a level of naivety. I showed up for one of their demo days at their manufacturing plant in Oxnard, CA.  From the time I walked into the door, I was treated like I had just purchased a $250,000.00 machine, even though I was just a visitor.  I was sold on the company and since that visit, I’ve purchased a TL2 lathe and TMP-2 mill.  Once again, they are a great AMERICAN Company.”

TJR: How about ideas? What made you think of making miniature artillery rounds?

“At my final duty assignment, I sat next to an Artillery Officer.  He knew that had a lathe and asked if I could replicate a 155mm Howitzer round.  I said sure, as long as I had either a blueprint or an actual round to model.  He tracked one down for me and as they say, ‘the rest is history.’ It has been an interesting journey, both challenging and the most rewarding profession that I’ve had to date.”  

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This is 1:6 scale! (Photo: John Kolb)

TJR: Could you walk us through the process of making one of your 1:6 scale munitions?

“Sure! First, the projectile body starts as 12-foot billet of aluminum that is cut down to a 4.1-inch slug.  The first cycle cuts the bottom profile, then drills and taps a 3/8-inch x 16 TPI hole.   Next, the front profile is cut and the hole for the fuse is drilled.

The copper rotating band is turned to the correct outside diameter followed by the gas ring groove and it is cut to length.  Next, the fuze is cut from a solid billet of aluminum.  The profile is turned, followed by a grooving cycle to give the back of the fuze its shape. 

The copper ring is then joined to the body, masked and then painted. Next, the masking tape is removed and the bottle opener body is joined to the projectile body.  The fuze is epoxied into place and the graphics are printed (view our production video below).”

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Real Metal is Unmistakable— This super closeup of one of John’s minirounds reveals the real copper ring section. Absolutely stunning realism! (Photo: John Kolb)

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Miniature Metal Masterpiece— John even creates tiny screw-in, screw-out detonator fuse tips, or ogives, for each of his excellent “minirounds.” Great for your GIjOE EOD (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) squad! (Photo: John Kolb)

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Smoke ‘Em if You Got ‘Em— John also offers a 1:6 scale version of the 155H Smoke Projectile. On a real-life battlefield, these babies are great for creating huge volumes of smoke, providing visual cover for the movement of advancing troops. This 1:6 scale version…will look good in your diorama. Hey, it’s non-functional! (Photo: John Kolb)

TJR: Wow. Your work is mind-boggling. All the steps required and the level of detail you achieve—your products are clearly the best of the best. How about custom work? Are your designs customizable in any way, or are they all set in stone, so to speak?

“I’ve made modifications of the original bottle opener design to accommodate the model industry for different applications.  I try my best never to say no, because you never know where the next day will take you. If there is anything you need, please contact us and I’ll do my best to make it happen. Semper Fi!”
John Kolb, Minirounds

Bottom Line: John Kolb’s new “Minirounds” have clearly raised the bar of 1:6 scale achievement as high as it could ever possibly go. Many of his products may be too large for use in GIjOE-sized dioramas, but his smallest, the shells shown in this article and their bottle-opener counterparts, would make absolutely fan-TASTIC additions to any artillery or ammo dump diorama. At $20 a pop, the price, as they say, is right.

Also, our sincerest thanks go out to Capt. Kolb for his service to our country and for his contributions to the 1:6 scale collecting and customizing hobby. It’s our considered opinion that no collection or display of GIjOE or Action Man artillery soldiers (or Marines) would be complete without at least 1 or 2 of John’s miniature masterpieces completing the scene. We highly recommend that you pay John a visit at his website and contact him personally with any questions regarding his fine products. Go, John! Go, Minirounds! 

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Reality in Miniature Doesn’t Come Cheap— The price list on Kolb’s “Minirounds” website proves you’re getting what you pay for; handcrafted, all-metal, highly detailed, professionally created (non-functional) replicas of U.S. military ordnance at various scales. GIjOE fans will be most interested in the 1:6 scale “Mini-Mini M107” and the “Mini-Mini M110A2,” costing $20 and $25 each, respectively. You can even get them made as bottle openers. Out-STANDING! (Photo: John Kolb) Click to enlarge.

 

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1:6 Customizer, Gary Stair, Inspired By the Work of Wayne Faucher, Creates His Own Versions of Captain Action Battle Armor and 1960s Jet-Packs

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Creative Minds Think Alike— Inspired by the masterpieces of 1:6 scale wizard, Wayne Faucher, fellow customizer, Gary Stair (of Pennsylvania), combined another assortment of unrelated parts (including a set of Hulk Buster armor, a plastic Easter egg, a Star Wars figure and a Classic Collection GIjOE headsculpt) to create his own unique “B.A.D.A.S.S.” custom toy for use with his favorite hero—Captain Action. Out-STANDING work, Actioneer! (Photo: Gary Stair) Click to enlarge (and drool).

Like birds of a feather, customizers of 1:6 scale do indeed, “flock together.” In today’s exclusive, generously penned and provided to us by 1:6 customizing expert, Gary Stair (PA), we learn exactly how the work of one creative genius can quickly influence the work of many others. In the following two examples, Stair reports how his own custom work (as of late) has become greatly influenced by that of fellow customizer, Wayne Faucher; even to the point of requiring him to jump in his car and race over to Walmart, just to buy an Iron Man toy that was going on clearance. According to Stair:

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Gary Stair (PA) (Photo: Gary Stair)

“I want to be Wayne Faucher in my next life. I LOVE his 1:6 scale custom stuff! So much so, I often try to emulate him in my own 1:6th creations. The recent Joe Report article describing his amazing Hulk Buster figure (HERE) had me out of my house in minutes and ZIPPING over to the local Walmart; where low and behold—I found one LAST Hulk Buster (HB) figure still sitting on the clearance shelf. Thanks to Wayne’s tip, I snagged it for a mere $11 bucks—with an additional 10% off!

The HB was missing its helmet, but that didn’t stop me. I found a plastic easter egg (clear on one side, yellow on the other) to serve as a replacement, leaving only a few additional items to make it complete. (Hey Wayne—Can you tell what I did over the weekend?) After multiple hours of painting and assorted customizations that utilized all sorts of miscellaneous parts and “do-dads” (to create self-balancing rockets and heat-seeking missiles), I’d soon created my very own Captain Action B.A.D.A.S.S. (short for what else?): the BATTLE ARMOR DEFENSE AIRBORNE SURVIVABILITY SYSTEM. I also intend to install an Iron Man-esque chest light, utilizing one of those 1:6 scale desk lamps I’d purchased previously at a Dollar Store (see HERE).”

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EGGX-cellant! Gary’s superb solution to his missing helmet dilemma was to create one of his own using a 2-piece plastic Easter egg. Absolutely ALIENS-inspired! (Photo: Gary Stair)

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Custom Armor-O-ACTION! Gary’s decision to go with a metallic blue paint job gave his custom creation a definite Captain Action twist. Sweet! (Photo: Gary Stair) Click to enlarge.

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Built For Battle— The back view reveals there are few if any weak spots in the Hulk Buster armor. The possibilities for customizing this “suit” are practically limitless! (Photo: Gary Stair) Click to enlarge.

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As seen from the side— Gary’s Hulk Buster armor sports one of Cap’s logo stickers (just so Dr. Evil knows who’s about to deliver the HURT on his squishy-brain head) and you can also see how Stair’s unique “Easter egg” helmet was painted and utilized. COOL! (Photo: Gary Stair)

“To further demonstrate how Wayne’s creations have been keeping me up at night, I tried to replicate his outstanding Lost in Space jet-pack (shown in a previous Joe Report article HERE). I also really love the scene in Thunderball where Bond uses the same jet-pack system to make his getaway from SPECTRE bad guys (see video clip above). Thanks largely to Wayne’s inspiring examples, I now have a Sean Connery 007 figure flying high in my toy room with a Wayne Faucher-esque jet-pack (or at least my version of it).”
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Do you own a 1:6 scale jet-pack system for use with your custom Lost in Space or James bond figures? If not, WHY not? Just like Wayne and Gary, you can make one yourself! Hey, Gary, where’s the helmet? (Photo: Gary Stair)

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Prepare for Takeoff— Gary Stair’s custom jet-pack was created from an assortment of, as he likes to call them, “odds-n-ends.” WOW!!!!! (Photo: Gary Stair) Click to enlarge.

“I want to give major KUDOS to Wayne Faucher for all the inspiration he’s provided to me and other 1:6 customizers around the world. I hope The Joe Report will continue sharing examples of his amazing work of 1:6 seale ART well in the future. I know they’ve inspired MANY customizers to strive for greater achievements and help keep our beloved 1:6 scale “vision” ALIVE!” —Gary Stair, PA

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Wayne Faucher (Photo: WFT)

Bottom Line: Gary mentioned that he had grown up watching ARK II. We had never seen (or heard of) “ARK II” before, so we decided to check it out on YouTube today where we found the entire first episode (see link above). If you jump ahead to the 5:49 minute-mark, you’ll see the very same jet-pack system that Wayne and Gary have recreated so perfectly in 1:6 scale.

Wayne and Gary are both outstanding customizers and are leaders by example in our wonderful hobby. We hope these two “wizards” will stay in touch often, and that YOU too, will write in to us here at The Joe Report so that we can share YOUR creative projects with the world. Finally, a special note of thanks to Gary Stair for all his generous contributions to this article. Go, GARY!

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“Scale Model Expo” in Ohio Provides Affordable Alternative For Fans of 1:6 Scale Who Are Unable to Attend This Year’s JoeCon 2016 or Joelanta

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Aching! Lock unt Load! This screenshot from a Fox19 News video reveals a closeup of Dick Schauerte’s outstanding 1:6 scale WWII German anti-tank gun, just one of many inspiring pieces fans can see on display—FREE of charge—at this weekend’s Scale Model Expo in West Chester, OH, March 5 & 6, 2016.

Let’s face it… This year’s location of JoeCon 2016 in Loveland, Colorado, is a going to be a lonnnng haul for many of us, and Joelanta, as great as that show is (and it IS great!), can also set fans back a fair amount of change, simply to attend. When you factor in hotel stays, food, fuel, entrance fees and other related expenses, going to our hobby’s “main events” each year can put quite a dent in a collector’s wallet. But do those financial realities mean fans have to sit on their hands, year after year? Absolutely not!

There are always ways Joeheads and 1:6 scalers can save money and make hobby-related excursions more affordable and “attendable.” Carpooling, for example, can save fuel expenses. Shared hotel rooms (do you snore?) can cut back dramatically on lodging. And low-budget meals (yes, we mean McDonalds) or “brown-bagging it,” can really streattttch your convention dollars.

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He’s Gettin’ the Word Out— In this screenshot, fan, collector, customizer, and “Scale Model Expo” organizer, Keith Davis, discusses the creation of 1:6 scale custom projects during an exclusive interview with Fox19 News. Working with local media outlets is a proven way to boost show attendance.

Fortunately for fans on a budget, alternatives to expensive shows abound. The best, of course, are the ones that don’t charge ANY attendance or dealer table fees. Are there such events? Indeed! One such stellar (and affordable) example is this weekend’s Scale Model Expo located in West Chester, Ohio. According to the Expo’s page on Facebook:

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“FREE ADMISSION to the Scale Model Expo! Regular admission rates apply to the Train Journey and the A-Maze-N Funhouse. Exhibiting Large scale models of R/C Steam and Electric Boats, G-Scale Live Steam Trains, R/C Airplanes, Automobiles, Military Vehicles and Equipment, Military Figures, Large 1/6th Scale WWII Military Dioramas, Stationary Steam engines and much more.

Participating Groups: Cincinnati Scale Modelers; Cinder Sniffers Inc.; Greater Cincinnati Garden Railway Society; Sixth Scale Collectors Club of Cincinnati; Sycamore Modelers; Maritime Modelers and more. Representatives of the Veterans Administration will be present to provide assistance to veterans in reference to available benefits. 25 cent hotdogs (all through March at EnterTRAINment Junction!”

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Shows are Great For Recruiting— In another interview with Fox19, SSCC member, Dick Schauerte, expressed his hopes that the show would help “draw more people into our club and get younger people involved,” to help grow the hobby in general and to support Entertrainment Junction.

Bottom Line: As well as the various show-saving methods discussed above, we also suggest you keep your eye on hobby magazines, Facebook, and online fan forums. All of them typically contain “upcoming event calendars” that provide VERY handy information. Our own Joe Report calendar (see at the bottom of this page) is a great place to start. And don’t forget to check your local newspapers for toy and “model shows” in your area. Hopefully, you’ll be able to attend either the Scale Model Expo, Joelanta, or JoeCon in 2016, to help you get your 1:6 scale “fix.” Our best wishes go out to the organizers of this weekend’s show in Ohio. It sounds like you’ll have a BLAST! To view the entire Scale Model Expo interview video on the Fox19 News website, go HERE.

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Weedns Produce Promo Video For Joelanta 2016

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Lisa and Tim Weedn, creators of superb 1:6 scale stop-motion videos. (Photo: Tim Weedn)

Bottom Line: Those married masters of mirth and mayhem, Tim and Lisa Weedn, have done it again. They’ve just released a brand-new video promoting the upcoming Joelanta and Great Atlanta Toy Convention. As usual, the new Weedn video is equal parts charming, creative, entertaining and informative. As The Tonight Show’s announcer Ed McMahon was fond of saying: “Everything you ever wanted to know about Joelanta 2016—is IN this video. Enjoy!

BONUS CLIP: Before you get back to surfin’ the web, take another look at the Weedn’s (21-sec) “Training Tower” music video (below). It’s friggin’ AWESOME, dude! ROCK ON, GIjOE and Jane!

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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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Possible Record Setting 1:6 Scale Action Figure Collection Captured in New High-Def Club Video

In this screenshot taken from the video, retired U.S. Army Master Sergeant, Jamie Jennings, of Zion, IL, waves to the camera from the cram-packed full

Surrounded by G.I. Joe—In this screenshot taken from the video, retired U.S. Army Sergeant FC, Jamie Jennings, of Zion, IL, waves to the camera from the cram-packed-full “Joe Room” in his home.

The World’s LARGEST 1:6 Figure Collection?

At a GIjOE Collector’s Club meeting held this past June, members of the Central Illinois local division were treated to a firsthand closeup look at what may well be the largest, privately owned, 1:6 scale action figure collection—in the world. The collection in question belongs to retired U.S. Army Sgt. FC, Jamie Jennings, of Zion, IL, and is comprised of hundreds of action figures (sorry, no official count has been made) and is shoe-horned into a series of bedrooms spread throughout his home. In order to show the entire collection to his visitors, Jennings had to create a pathway into the main room so they could stand amidst the impressive display.

Fortunately for fans around the world, Jennings’ massive and impressive 1:6 collection has been captured for posterity in an all-new, high-def video; filmed and edited by Mark Otnes from Patches of Pride (PoP) and then given a home over on the PoP Video Channel found HERE. At almost 20 minutes in length, the video is a carefully paced, loving tribute to one man’s obvious and undying passion for the hobbies of collecting and customizing at 1:6 scale. (Editor’s Note: In a series of intriguing “Fun Facts,” the video also reveals that after 28 years in the Army, Jennings became a licensed cosmetologist and esthetician and hopes to open his own salon in 2016).

Bottom Line: Videos like this provide unique insights into the private minds, homes and personal collections of GIjOE fans around the world. Jennings is a super-great guy, and he kindly shared the wonders of his collection with us so that others might become inspired and excited about the world’s greatest hobby—1:6 scale collecting! Our sincerest thanks go out to Jamie and May Jennings for their generous contributions to the hobby, the video, and this article. Go, JOE!

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Shout it Out Loud! 2 More “Lost Talker” Repro G.I. Joes Are Now Available For Pre-Order From the (Ft. Worth, TX) G.I. Joe Collector’s Club

The new 2015 "Talking G.I. Joe Action Pilot," available only from the GIjOE Collector's Club. (Photo: GIJCC) Click to enlarge.

Oh, Major Nelson!—This all-new (2015) “Talking G.I. Joe Action Pilot” is now available for pre-order only from the GIjOE Collector’s Club. WHOOSH! (Photo: GIJCC)

Final 2 Figures Will Complete the Club’s Popular “Lost Talker” Series

Say what you will about finding an original, vintage GIjOE “talker” figure on eBay, these brand-new reproductions are freakin’ SWEET. Compared to their “marble-mouthed” predecessors, these new versions speak with crystal clear authority and will leave no doubt in your troop’s minds as to what orders are being given. Produced and sold exclusively by the GIjOE Collector’s Club, these two new figures will complete the series of “Lost Talkers” that fans have already proudly added to their collections. First up, the new Talking Action Pilot, which is described by the GIJCC’s website as:

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This ‘TALKING’ 12-inch figure features two voice phrases that were recorded back in the 1960s but were not included on the original figure released in 1967. With a meticulously reproduced long box and uniform, you will hear the original ‘voice of G.I. Joe’ as never before with crystal-clear clarity. The figure features the original 8 recordings you recall from your childhood and 2 that were never heard until now. Don’t miss this opportunity to own a piece of action figure history with our new ‘Lost Talker Action Sailor.’ Includes: figure, dogtag, batteries, cap, pants, shirt, boots, insignia, mini-comic, boot removal instructions, and instruction sheet. Available only from the G.I. Joe Collectors’ Club!”

The all-new "Talking G.I. Joe Action Sailor" from the GIJCC is sure to be hit with all fans and collectors of GIjOE. (Photo: GIJCC)

Anchors Aweigh!— The all-new “Talking G.I. Joe Action Sailor” from the GIJCC is sure to be hit with all fans and collectors of 12″. Pre-orders are now being accepted. (Photo: GIJCC)

Second up on deck, is the club’s new Talking Action Sailor. This guy looks just as sharp as his Air Force counterpart and will surely make a wonderful addition to your repro-talker figure lineup. The club describes this new stalwart defender of freedom in a similar manner, saying:

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“This ‘TALKING’ 12” figure features two voice phrases that were recorded back in the 1960s but not included on the original figure released in 1967. With a meticulously reproduced long box and uniform, you will hear the original ‘voice of G.I. Joe’ as never before with crystal clear clarity. The figure features the original 8 recordings you recall from your childhood and 2 that were never heard until now. Don’t miss the opportunity to own a piece of action figure history with the ‘Lost Talker Action Sailor.’ Includes: figure, dogtag, batteries, cap, pants, shirt, boots, insignia, mini-comic, boot removal instructions, and instruction sheet. Available only from the G.I. Joe Collectors’ Club!”

Bottom Line: These two new repro figures “sound” and look GREAT to us. We own the others in this highly collectible line-up, and can’t wait for the moment when we can afford to pick these up as well (they’re $67 each, OUCH!). If you’d like to place your pre-order now, jump to THIS PAGE.

If you’re still not convinced, check out the club’s cool new sales video below. Go, JOE!

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