Thank a Vet on Veteran’s Day

Veteran's Day

Today is the 77th observance of Veteran’s Day.

First proclaimed a holiday by then-President Woodrow Wilson on November 11, 1919 the date was officially made a holiday by an act of Congress on May 13, 1938.

Please, take a moment today and thank a veteran for his or her service.  The brave men and women of our Armed Forces have sacrificed their time, energy, and even their very lives to ensure that people across the world may live in freedom.  We owe them our thanks and our respect.

They are the real American heroes.  Honor their service this Veteran’s Day.

Sam Smith Unveils Spectre Theme Song

James Bond 24 Spectre

British artist Sam Smith has unveiled the theme song to the next James Bond film Spectre.  The track is titled “Writing’s on the Wall.”

Yes, I realize that this has no direct connection to the world of G.I. Joe.  However, one of the privileges of owning your own website is that you get to talk about the topics that you find interesting and I’m a HUGE James Bond fan!

On this morning’s episode of NPR’s Morning Edition, Smith previewed “Writing’s on the Wall” and discussed his inspiration for the theme to the 24th installment in the world’s longest running franchise.

“I tried to put myself in the shoes of Bond,” Smith explains. “My music is a diary and it’s a recap of my life, and I wanted to bring that kind of honesty. In the lyrics — “How do I live, how do I breathe? / When you’re not here I’m suffocating” — I wanted a touch of vulnerability from Bond, where you see into his heart a little bit.”

The theme song came together in a whirlwhind demo session that lasted under thirty minutes.  In fact, the vocals in the final song were recorded during that initial session!  The song itself harkens back to some of the older ballads that have been a hallmark of the series with a powerful brassy intro and a soulful performance

You can preview the track using the embed below:

Spectre opens on October 26, 2015 in the United Kingdom and will debut in theaters worldwide on November 6.  For more information visit!

Toy Soldiers War Chest drops on August 11

Toy Soldiers War Chest

Toy Soldiers War Chest is almost here!

Remember a few weeks ago when a certain video dropped for Toy Soldiers War Chest?  You know the one I’m referring to– the one that suddenly dropped He-Man and G.I. Joe characters firmly into the middle of the pixel carnage of video game combat?  Remember the anticipation that was experienced by video game fans everywhere at the thought of being able to take your favorite toy lines and pit them against each other?

The wait is nearly over.  Toy Soldiers War Chest hits Xbox, Playstation, and PC on August 11, 2015!

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Girls of the Finest 2016 Calendar project is at 87%


The Girls of the Finest 2016 Calendar project is now 87% funded!

That’s a fantastic total and one that the online community should be proud of.  These lovely ladies have so far raised $7,380 of their $8,500 goal to help support the USO.  However, their not resting on their laurels just yet– the Girls of the Finest 2016 calendar project still has 13% of their goal to go!

If you’re on the fence about supporting this project, this is the time to step forward!  A simple contribution of $25 secures one printed copy of the 2016 calendar, as well as a unique postcard and trading card from the photo shoots!  Sure, you could go out and buy any old calendar for the office or the Joe room for next year but wouldn’t you much rather show your support for the USO by backing the Girl’s of the Finest 2016 calendar?

However, don’t take my word for it– here are some words of encouragement from members of the finest themselves!

To show your support, visit the Girls of the Finest 2016 Calendar project on IndieGoGo today!  With your help, this project can succeed!

Happy Birthday MadMac41!

We interrupt this G.I. Joe website for some late-breaking news!  Long-time JBL staffer Scott “Madmac41” McAllister has turned another year older today.  I know that, given his “advanced age” many of you reading this didn’t think that was possible but stranger things have happened!

Madmac41 birthday

Feel free to click on the image above and throw some birthday wishes up on his Facbook page!

For those of you who don’t know Madmac41 he’s a long-time G.I. Joe fan who I’ve known for FAR too long!  When I stepped away from JBL for a time back in 2008 on a self-imposed sabbatical, he kept the fires stoked around this dusty site.  In addition, he’s an amazing customizer with an incredible eye for parts as well as a true friend.

Again, feel free to drop him some birthday wishes in the comments below or head on over to his Facebook wall and fill it with pictures of Outback!

We now return you to your regularly scheduled G.I. Joe website.

Girls of the Finest Calendar Drive Hits 70%

Girls of the Finest

The 2016 Girls of the Finest Calendar drive is now 70% funded with just 12 days to go!

What a project!  As we discussed previously here at JBL, the lovely ladies of the Girls of the Finest calendar from 2015 are back and are once again asking for your help in raising funds to support a worthy cause.  Even better, they’re offering an amazingly high-quality 2016 calendar as an incentive for folks to donate to the project– with the proceeds going to benefit the United Service Organizations.

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Happy Birthday America!

Independence Day

Happy Birthday America!

Just a quick note to wish a happy birthday to what is, in my opinion, the greatest nation on planet Earth.  (No bias here.)

You’re still looking pretty good for being 239 years old, USA!

Also, a big thanks to the men and women of the United States Armed Forces whose countless sacrifices ensure that we’re able to celebrate the birth of our nation each year.

Have a happy and safe July 4th.

Girls of the Finest 2016 Calendar for the USO

Girls of the Finest 2016 calendar

The Girls of the Finest, members of a G.I. Joe costuming club, are back with a brand new calendar project!  This year the proceeds are going to the USO – the United Service Organizations that provides comfort to our overseas troops!

Last year’s project was an amazing success that raised funds for the Wounded Warrior Project.  Not only did fans help the Girls of the Finest produce a terrific fan-driven G.I. Joe calendar but they also helped support a fantastic cause in the process.  This year, these talented female costumers are hoping to recreate the lightning in a bottle of last year’s project and help the USO at the same time!

C’mon– it’s a win-win!  Get a great calendar featuring the talented Girls of the Finest and help send some much needed comfort to our fighting men and women overseas.

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Nerdrahtio talks G.I. Joe and more with Loyal Subjects


Our good friends over at Nerdrahtio sat down recently with Jonathan Cathey, Owner/CEO of The Loyal Subjects, a Los Angeles-based toy company that’s tackling some of the biggest licenses in pop culture right now.  TMNT, Transformers, Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers.  All of these and G.I. Joe are part of their current offerings but even more is coming down the pipeline!

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RIP John Stephenson – voice of Hawk, Dr. Quest, and more

George Stephenson

Rest in peace, John Stephenson.

General Hawk, General Franks, Dr. Benton Quest, Doggy Daddy, Mr. Slate– these are all characters that were brought to life by the incredibly talented John Stephenson.  The voice actor passed away on Friday May 15, 2015 at the age of 91.

His career spanned an impressive 57 years in the entertainment industry with his first credited role listed in 1953 and his last in 2010.  Before his move to voice acting he was a prolific character actor in the early days of television with appearances on notable series such as The Lone Ranger, F Troop, The Beverly Hillbillies, Get Smart, Perry Mason, and even Hogan’s Heroes. He was also the voice that announced the verdicts at the end of episodes of the popular series Dragnet.

Later, he moved to voice acting and was possibly the most-used talent at Hanna-Barbera Studios providing voices for Fred Flintstone’s boss Mr. Slate, Doggy Daddy, and was the original voice for Dr. Benton Quest on Jonny Quest before the role was assumed by the late Don Messick.  His IMDB page lists over 230 acting credits.

Eventually John Stephenson went to work on many of the Sunbow animated series that fans of JBL are familiar with– providing the voices for such characters as General Hawk (substitute in “The Spy Who Rooked Me”), General Franks, General Flagg, Dr. Lucifer, Granak, Kup, Thundercracker, and Huffer for G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero, Inhumanoids, and The Transformers.

In his final years he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and had been living in a retirement home.

Rest in peace, John.  Thank you for all the hours of entertainment you’ve given us. Your talents will be missed.