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

nerdrahtio

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.

Real life Cobra CLAW gliders return!

Remember a while back when we posted the video that seemed to show real life Cobra CLAW gliders?

Jetman (aka Yves Rossy) is back and this time he brought a friend!  The daring flyer took the air again in another 10 minute jet-powered flight that evokes memories of the Cobra CLAW swooping down on the unsuspecting forces of G.I. Joe from the old Sunbow cartoons.  The daring pilot has found a protege in fellow enthusiast Vince Reffet!

Now if only someone at Paramount would contact Jetman about G.I. Joe 3!  We might actually get a Cobra CLAW after all!  After all, the Howe & Howe Tech Ripsaw was in G.I. Joe Retaliation, right?

Check out the video below and follow more of Jetman’s incredible flights at Jetman.com!

See the resemblance to the Cobra CLAW?

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1984 Cobra CLAW

Support the Legion XIV Kickstarter!

The Legion XIV Kickstarter can use your help with just SEVEN DAYS to go!

legion xiv kickstarter digital render 3d models

What is the Legion XIV Kickstarter project?  Simple: it’s a fan-driven endeavor to add a bit more diversity to your 1:18 action figure shelf.  The goal of the project is to secure funding to produce a highly articulated 1:18 series of modern army female action figures!  That’s right– FEMALE action figures!

Think about it– new female action figures made from a combination of both ABS and PVC plastics to allow for maximum durability and flexibility!  The Legion XIV Kickstarter’s modest funding goal of $21,000 will cover the production of the Basic Army, Basic Air Force, Night Ops, and Basic Blue trooper shown in the images below. (The last one is especially key— it’s essentially a FEMALE COBRA BLUESHIRT!!!)  Remember how crazy fans went for the Night Stalkers from the Tanks for the Memories convention set back at Joe Con 2007?

legion xiv kickstarter digital breakdown

Plus, have you SEEN the stretch goals?  Let’s just say that Nick Fury and Baron Strucker have the chance to add some lovely ladies to their respective commands as well!

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New Pulp Fiction from Larry Hama!

adventures of basil and moebius

Larry Hama may be known as the “godfather of G.I. Joe” but he’s also an accomplished  author as well.  He’s also the co-author of a brand-new graphic novel that was released today!

Check out this synopsis:

Alaric Moebius and Basil Fox are two lovable scoundrels looking to make a quick fortune. Basil is a former SAS trooper turned Queen’s Guard by day and thief by night. Moebius is an Oxford-educated charmer with a knack for getting into trouble. Together they chase adventure under the patronage of “The Collector,” a mysterious billionaire with a taste for rare and valuable supernatural objects of the occult. This first volume contains the first three adventures in their career together, introducing the unlikely duo for the first time in a highstakes chain of pulpy high adventures! Written by the legendary Larry Hama (G.I.Joe, Wolverine) with creator Ryan Schifrin, these wild adventures have the thrills of Indiana Jones, the wit and banter of the best buddy-cop pairings, and the globe-hopping wonder of James Bond. An exciting thrill ride from cover to cover!

Okay, let me get this straight— “Indiana Jones” and “James Bond” are used in analogies to describe this?  I’m sensing some pulp adventure of the highest order coming from this book which is, fortunately, on its way to me already from Amazon!  I’m a sucker for good pulp adventure novels as well as classic spy thriller.  Considering that this is written by one of my favorite writers, this purchase was a complete no-brainer.  If you’re a fan of high adventure novels or the spy genre, you might consider giving this one a read.  Even better– the second graphic novel in the series is due out on July 28, 2015!

If the description above isn’t enough to whet your appetite or if you’re curious about the world of Basil and Moebius, check out this short film by the series creator Ryan Schifrin and featuring the talents of Ray Park, Malcolm McDowell, and Kane Hodder.

No Rest for the Wicked — A Basil and Moebius Adventure from Neurobellum on Vimeo.

You can find more information on the entire series at WhoIsTheCollector.com

Spectre teaser trailer released!

James Bond 24 Spectre

The teaser for the newest James Bond film “SPECTRE” is here!

Okay, this actually dropped earlier in the week but it’s been a bit crazy here at JBL HQ and this is the first chance I’ve had to get it posted.  Yes, it’s not G.I. Joe but this is one of those times where my other interests and “admin powers” align.   So, without further adieu:

I’ll just go ahead and say it now: “WOO HOO!!!”  I was a big fan of director Sam Mendes’ entry into the Bond franchise with Skyfall and it looks like Bond 24 will deliver much of the same cinematic experience.  From the opening shot of the ruined MI-6 headquarters and Moneypenny passing Bond the forensic evidence from his now-destroyed family home, it looks like SPECTRE will be picking up right where its predecessor left off!

I’ll be blunt– this film looks to be bringing SPECTRE back to the status that it enjoyed in the early Connery films like From Russia With Love and Thunderball.  It’s once again portrayed as a shadowy secret organization that prefers to manipulate events from behind-the-scenes as opposed to taking direct action..  Its members are everywhere and one never knows who to trust when SPECTRE is involved.  It’s everything that the writers attempted to do with the Quantum organization in both Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace but utterly failed to accomplish.

I realize that this is just merely a teaser trailer but consider this long-time Bond fan’s anticipation set to “11” for this latest entry!

SPECTRE opens on November 6, 2015.

James Bond

 

Ryan Reynolds unveils Deadpool movie costume!

Holy Hannah!  Ryan Reynolds just revealed the Deadpool movie costume!

Look, I get it– this is a G.I. Joe site and Deadpool is a Marvel Comics character.  However, on occasion I like to share some of my other geeky interests be it Jonny Quest, James Bond, or, in this case, my obsession with the Merc with a Mouth.  (Just look at how many cameos he makes in reviews around here!)

Deadpool movie costume

This costume is SPOT ON!  Seriously– this is jsut what I had hoped for but didn’t dare dream was possible!  Full-on fanboy nerd meltdown right now!  Plus, in typical Deadpool fashion it was revealed in as irreverent a fashion as possible!

It’s far too long until the movie comes out but be sure to follow @DeadpoolMovie on Twitter to stay abreast of the latest Deadpool movie news!

Just in case you’ve forgotten, here’s the leaked test footage that was responsible for the movie FINALLY receiving a green light!

The ‘Poolman crashes into theaters on February 16, 2016!   What do YOU think of this costume reveal?

Sharpshooter recreates G.I. Joe Retaliation trick shot

Remember this scene from G.I. Joe Retaliation?  You know– where Roadblock and Duke have a post-operation shooting contest to determine whether Roadblock takes his next promotion or if Duke babysits Marvin’s daughters?

Well, it seems that professional sharpshooter Kirsten Joy Weiss wanted to put the scene to a Mythbusters-style test and determine if it was possible to shoot out the flame from a candle.   Was she successful? Continue reading