About Fred Meyer

Digital strategist by day, hack writer and photography by night - this long-time figure collector still thinks that he can string words together and form meaningful entertaining sequences. He is obviously mistaken.

Dime Novel Legends is close to Kickstarter goal!

Good news!  Chicken Fried Toys’ Dime Novel Legends Kickstarter Project is almost funded with 17 days remaining!

15badlandsvigilante

We’re close!  We’re really close!  The amazing Western-themed Dime Novel Legends Kickstarter is within spitting distance of crossing the line into fully-funded territory.  With 17 days remaining this is not only doable but it also means that stretch goals have a good chance of becoming unlocked.  All it takes is for more people to jump on board the wagon and throw some support to this incredible line!

I won’t lie.. I’m crazy excited about seeing the Dime Novel Legends line become a reality.  Maybe it’s the fact that I grew up at the end of the great western era of Hollywood, weaned on old re-runs of The Lone Ranger and Gunsmoke.  (Badlands Vigilante anyone?) Maybe it’s the fact that my roommate and I obsessively watched Tombstone in college.  (I can still quote whole scenes from memory.)  Maybe it’s just the fact that the American Western is such an iconic part of our culture that has been largely ignored by the toy industry of late.  Whatever the reason, THIS is the toy line that has me as excited as a six year old during his or her first visit to Toys R Us at Christmas.

Whether it’s just a pledge of $25.00 for one of the single character options, the “gather your posse” for $115.00 or even the “All-In” at $450 or more– consider throwing your support behind this incredible line.  Westerns are starting to enjoy a bit of a renaissance of late– with the latest take on the Magnificent Seven hitting the big screen and the new Westworld series captivating viewers each week on HBO.  How bad@$$ would it be to be have the Dime Novel Legends as part of  your figure displays?

So mount up and head on over to Kickstarter and show your support today!

Chicken Fried Toys Dime Novel Legends on Kickstarter

 

3.75″ Joe Volume 3 is funding on Kickstarter with four days remaining

3.75″ Joe Volume 3 from Steel City Publishing has four days left in its Kickstarter drive!

3.75 Joe razorback

That’s right kids, 3.75″ Joe Volume 3 has four days left to fund on Kickstarter!  Currently the project has raised $14,600 toward a goal of $16,000 needed to publish the next installment.  It’s a completely achievable goal and one that our fandom should help achieve.  A copy of the book is available for a pledge of support of only $40.00

I’ll admit it– I’ve been remiss on posting about this.  3.75″ Joe, volumes 1 & 2, have been sitting on my reference shelf since they were first published.  They’re AMAZING volumes chock full of incredible pre-production artwork and insights into the designs of our favorite Real American Heroes.  The previous two volumes include commentary from G.I. Joe designers and even the former brand manager of the ARAH years.  They’re just utterly AMAZING works that can be enjoyed by EVERY fan of the ARAH era G.I. Joe!

Seriously– if you have the extra funds, consider supporting this AMAZING project!

3.75″ Joe: Creating G.I. Joe – A Real American Hero on Kickstarter

To see more samples and to order the previous volumes visit 334inchJoe.com

 

Hascon is coming September 8 – 10, 2017

Hascon 2017 has been officially announced!

Hascon

It’s been rumored.  It’s been speculated.  Now it’s been announced.  Hascon, Hasbro’s combined property entertainment event, is coming to Providence Rhode, Island from September 8 – 10, 2017!

Described as a one-of-a-kind event, Hascon is slated to feature “live interactive experiences, exclusive products, talent appearances, panels” and much more.  The event, which will be held at the Rhode Island Convention Center and Dunkin Donuts Center promises to bring the company’s core brands together for an event that is targeted to both fans and families.  This includes Transformers, My Little Pony, Nerf, Magic the Gathering, Play-Doh, Monopoly, and G.I. Joe all featured under one single roof.

I’ll be honest– I’ve no idea how Hascon is going to play out.  It could be a fantastic event that proves to be more mass-audience friendly than some of the more focused individual property conventions.  It could be more wallet-friendly as Hasbro seeks to draw in both fans and families and not just cater to the top-tiers of the adult collector market.  In some ways, it could almost serve as a mini-Comic Con for Hasbro located right in their backyard as the company continues to try to expand its brand presence in the entertainment worth with the development of the Hasbro Cinematic Universe. (Are Play-Doh fans really going to travel for an event?  Are there actually Play-Doh fans?)

Right now there’s not much on the official Hascon website other than a sign-up form and a press release link but I expect that to change in the coming months.  Regardless, it’s nice to see G.I. Joe included in the list of properties being featured as the brand has become far more of a niche property over the past few years.

What do you think of this announcement?  Are you onboard for a combined-properties event?

i can haz hascon Continue reading

2016 G.I. Joe figures up for pre-order at BigBadToyStore.com

Looking for the new 2016 G.I. Joe figures and don’t have ready access to a Toys R Us?  Look no further!

2016 G.I. Joe two-packs

When Hasbro first announced the 2016 G.I. Joe line-up it was stated that these figures would hit retail “November 2016.”  In spite of this fact, pre-orders for that line have been virtually non-existent.  However, over the past few days sightings have started pouring in from various Toys R Us locations ranging from Louisiana to Texas to Illinois where the release date seems to have been broken.

Yesterday, online retailer BigBadToyStore opened up pre-orders for the 2016 G.I. Joe line— from individual two-packs and three-packs to full sets and even cases of the three packs.

The FULL inventory is available here.  However here are two quick links that will get you “one of each” of each set available.  (Note, these aren’t affiliate links.  JBL makes NOTHING from any orders placed by clicking on these.  We’re just trying to help out the community any way we can.)

G.I. Joe 2016 Vs two packs:

G.I. Joe 2016 Squad 3-packs

  • All Cobra packs and all Joe packs
  • Cobra Legion: BAT, SAW Viper, Female Cobra Officer (with pony tail)
  • Special Forces: NF Outback, NF Lt Falcon, Shooter! (w/ rifle case and rifle)

New G.I. Joe vs. Transformers set up for pre-order

Remember that new G.I. Joe vs. Transformers set featuring Dr. Biggles-Jones and Ninja Force Scarlett?

G.I. joe vs transformers 5-pack

If you’re on the edge of your seat waiting for this new G.I. Joe vs. Transformers set to see release wait no longer!  The G.I. Joe Collector’s Club has listed pre-orders for the next three exclusives in their ongoing Joe vs TF series.  However, be forewarned– the pricing on this set isn’t for the faint of heart.  In order to snag the big set, fans will have to shell out a cool $129.00!

Here’s what’s included:

Also up for pre-order are the two “Almost Human” figures– the synthoid body versions of Rodimus Prime and Arcee.  These tie in nicely with the Old Snake and Stealth BATs set released last year.  All three sets have an expected delivery date of “December 2016.”

Go get ’em while they’re hot!

The Most Dangerous Man in the World now on Kindle

Buzz Dixon’s long-lost Sunbow-inspired story “The Most Dangerous Man in the World” is now available as a G.I. Joe Kindle Worlds tale!

Most Dangerous Man in the World

Flash backwards in time for a moment.  It’s 1986 and the pre-production for the second season of the classic Sunbow G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero tv series is in full swing.  Story editor Buzz Dixon pitches an idea to Hasbro– a story called “the Most Dangerous Man in the World” that delves into the mysterious origins of Cobra.  Hasbro approved the story and things looked rosy for it to be developed into an episode  Suddenly the folks in Pawtucket threw the animation team a curve ball in the form of Serpentor.  His very existence causes this story to be rendered null and void.  Reluctantly, Buzz scraps the idea for the story and ultimately, that should have been the end for “the Most Dangerous Man in the World.”   Or was it…

Flash forward to June 9, 2014, when the announcement of G.I. Joe on Kindle Worlds caused Buzz to consider something — the resurrection of this now lost episode of G.I. Joe!

most-dangerous-3

The wait is over!  The classic Sunbow-inspired lost G.I. Joe story “The Most Dangerous Man in the World” is now available on Kindle Worlds for a whopping $3.99.  Rather than read as a continuation of a cartoon episode this is a novella inspired by the Sunbow series.  There are some tonal differences but there are also a myriad of references to classic episodes and bits of G.I. Joe lore.  It’s a rolicking read that will take Joe fans on a roller coaster ride of thrills and chills as they attempt to discover the identity of a man whose very existence can shake the foundation of Cobra to its serpetine core.

What are you waiting for– a written invitation?   Go check out “The Most Dangerous Man in the World” for yourself today!

G.I. Joe Convention Exclusive Reviews Coming Soon!

G.I. Joe convention exclusive reviews are coming!

Gi joe convention exclusive reviews

You’d never know it by looking at the front page but it’s actually been a busy few weeks here at JBL.  There’s been a lot of behind-the-scenes work as JBL migrated from our existing (and failing) server to a brand new virtual location.  Now it’s time to get back to work and that means add more new reviews to the site!

Chris and I’ve been frantically writing away these past few weeks and we’ve got a slew of new reviews coming.  We’ll be looking at both the G.I. Joe Convention 2015 “Peril in Paradise” (Tiger Force vs. Iron Grenadiers) and the 2016 “Operation Downfall” (Sky Patrol) sets.  In addition, thanks to a hassle-free sale at HasbroToyShop.com there’s also this year’s G.I. Joe vs. Transformers set to cover! (Hello new Scarlett figure that’s still available!)

The order of publication is still up in the air but it’s about time that we got back on track here at JBL.  No excuses… while this is a hobby site and not a full-time job, it’s about time that the admin got off his butt and got back to work.

Do you have a preference on the order?  Are you more excited about Powerglide than Tiger Force Big Brawler?  Does Flying Scorpion rate higher on your priority list than another Zartan release? Let JBL know in the comments below or over on the JBL Facebook page.

 

Support the Girls of the Finest 2017 calendar

The Girls of the Finest are back with a brand new 2017 calendar!

Girls of the Finest

Each year the talented Girls of the Finest put their costuming abilities to work to raise funds for a worthy cause by producing an amazing G.I. Joe themed calendar.  This year is no exception and the 2017 Calendar drive is fully under way on IndieGoGo with just 15 days remaining!

K9s for Warriors

This year the lovely ladies of Finest are raising funds for K9’s for Warriors, an organization dedicated to providing service dogs for veterans suffering from PTSD, traumatic brain injuries, and/or military sexual trauma as a result of service post 9/11.  The organization recognizes the healing power of animal therapy and how the emotional bond formed between a veteran and a therapy dog can help these brave warriors overcome the trauma they incurred while in the line of duty.

I’ll admit it– we’ve been remiss in our duties here at JBL when it comes to this project.  There are only 15 days remaining to support this endeavor on IndieGoGo and this is the first time that any news regarding the Girls of the Finest 2017 Calendar Project has been featured on JBL.  Ladies, I wholeheartedly apologize for that omission.  Your work this year has been stellar!

Seriously folks– I’ve supported this project for the past two years and the calendars are always top-notch!  The photography is fantastic, the costumes flawless, and you sense the passion that these ladies have for their work in every image.  Plus, each year the funds raised from the calendar project help support our troops.  A simple donation of $25.00 secures your printed copy of the 2017 calendar.  Those who donate $50.00 receive a set of trading cards AND a calendar!  Plus there are even MORE perks available at other financial levels!

Support the Girls of the Finest 2017 Calendar Project today!  Plus follow these costumers and track all of their appearances over on the Girls of the Finest Facebook page!

Happy 50th Anniversary Star Trek

Happy 50th Anniversary Star Trek!

Star Trek 50th Anniversary

 

On September 8, 1966 on the NBC television network a new TV series saw its premiere. Originally billed at a “wagon train to the stars” by its creator, this new science fiction adventure propelled audiences to the furthest reaches of the galaxy and spawned a phenomenon that would endure for decades. Today is the day that Star Trek, the original series, premiered!

While the series wasn’t a ratings hit and often struggled to find an audience, Star Trek proved to be ground-breaking many ways. During the racially-charged 1960’s, the crew of the Enterprise was the most ethnically diverse on TV at the time. Even more importantly, there was little differentiation between men and women on the series– with both genders being treated equally. (Yes, there was that whole “Kirk effect” on the female guest stars but that’s another story.)

Star Trek Original Series

 

Even better– Star Trek featured stories that made the audience think. The stories featuring William Shatner, DeForest Kelley, and Leonard Nimoy were on the surface classic sci-fi adventures. However, looking deeper it was obvious that the writers were striving for something more– chock full of social commentary on equality, human rights, and even genocide. (Remember the horta in “Devil in the Dark“?)

I won’t lie– I’m not old enough to remember the actual first airings which occurred years before I was born. I was however fortunate enough to grow up in the late 1970’s and 1980’s– a time period in which this series saw HEAVY syndication. As a result, the characters of Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Scotty, Uhura, Sulu, and Chekov were very much a part of my formative years. In many ways, the television adventures of these characters helped shaped my beliefs on tolerance, diversity, exploration, and more.

Star Trek fight music

 

Over the years, Star Trek has spawned a total of 6 spin-off television series (including the animated adventures that aired in the 70’s) and 13 feature films. It has inspired individuals from all walks of life to aspire to be scientists and astronauts. Even better it has encouraged us to become more tolerant individuals. It taught us that there truly is infinite diversity in infinite combinations.

Happy 50th Anniversary Star Trek! Live long and prosper for another 50 years.

G.I. Joe FSS 5 new Salvo build? Let’s hope so!

Let’s be honest– the G.I. Joe FSS 5 Salvo preview went over with the fandom like G.I. Joe Extreme.  The fandom was nearly-unanimous in its condemnation of the sub-bar design and took the G.I. Joe Collector’s Club forums to make their collective voice heard.

Thankfully, it appears that the folks at the Club have listened.  This afternoon, the G.I. Joe Collector’s Club released this updated image and information:

G.I. Joe FSS 5 Salvo update

For Salvo, we tried many different combinations rather than a straight up repaint. After reviewing some of your suggestions, we’ve selected another option to show you a new figure build before we have final feedback on tool availability.

So, keep your fingers crossed!

Let’s be honest– the first Salvo build was, well, awful.  Under-sized and uninspired, it took the concept of “good enough” design to a new low.  For this version, the Club pretty much went with the fandom’s suggestion of a straight repaint of the Retaliation Roadblock build— and it looks MILES better!  Just take a look at a quick side-by-side comparison:

g.i. joe fss 5 salvo comparison

Yes, there’s no guarantee that the new build will be approved for use by Hasbro BUT the Club must be pretty confident of the odds if they released this image to an already unhappy fandom.   To this Joe fan’s eyes– there is NO comparison.  The version on the right is the clearly superior build both in terms of size and with regard the lettering found on the t-shirt.

Now, let’s just wait until we have confirmation that this WILL be the official G.I. Joe FSS 5 Salvo build!

To subscribe to the FSS, head on over to GIJoeClub.com and stay tuned to JBL for more G.I. Joe FSS 5  news!

The G.I. Joe FSS 5 Roster:

  • Concealment Specialist – Ambush
  • Flamethrower – Charbroil (Classic deco)
  • Iron Grenadier Courier – Darklon (more modernized version than previous convention version)
  • G.I. Joe Strategic Commander – General Flagg (similar to Battle Corps version)
  • Cobra Battle Corps Cobra Viper – based on Iron Anvils from 2015 Convention version
  • Anti-Armor Trooper – Salvo (more Pursuit of Cobra styled, based on existing tooling)
  • Combat Journalist – Scoop (using the Sky Patrol Airborne head sculpt from this year’s con set)
  • Cobra Falconer – Raptor
  • Advanced Recon – Sneak Peek (based on FSS 4 Tiger Force version)
  • SKAR Infantry Officer – Steel Raven (based on Club magazine comics – FEMALE character)
  • Cobra Shattered Glass Xamot (from the Club Comic Adventure Team storyline with new head sculpt)
  • Z-Force Mechanic Gaucho (pairs with Jammer)