Today is Christmas Day! Whether or not you celebrate it for its religious significance, today is day in which much of the western world seems to set aside differences and grievances and instead focuses on a spirit of giving and compassion. For children, it’s a day in which brightly wrapped packages appear under a decorated tree– each promising hours of excitement to come. For parents, it’s a day to watch over their children or even grandchildren as they embrace Christmas with open arms.
For all of you who read this, I’d like to express my wamest wishes for a safe and happy holiday to your and your families. While our favorte brand of adventurers, soldiers, and Real American Heroes are no longer in stores, we can still enjoy the spirit of the season and look back fondly on the days when boxes of familar Hasbro products were unwrapped and new adventures with G.I. Joe were ahead. G.I. Joe will return– and whether or not it is in a form familiar or in a brand new aspect, we all hope that name “G.I. Joe” will continue to foster the imagination of future generations.
Or rather, as the “Great Snake” himself once put it so succinctly:
Animal Warriors of the Kingdom returns to Kickstarter on May 1, 2017! Check out the official announcement below!
Spero Studio was founded by Jason Bienvenu and Brandon Gary, inspired by the 4 scale, toy lines of the mid 70’s, 80’s & 90’s, Spero focuses on bringing back the fun and joy from these eras with high quality products featuring modern articulation and accessories!
Figure design and control art by Jason Bienvenu, beautifully sculpted by Jose Fernandez and Fabiano Carlos Coelho.
ANIMAL WARRIORS OF THE KINGDOM™ Series One: will consist of Ape, Canine, and Feline warriors, including the series main protagonist the albino ape Pale and he’s vile nemesis Baron Kah Lee. Each figure features 17 points of articulation as well as weapon accessories.
FIGURE INCLUDES: 1 Figure, accessories as well as removable armor! Mix and match your figures weapons and gear to create unique army builders
PALE: ADVENTURE ARMOR –The young albino ape king sports his trademark Mohawk and red armor while wielding the ability to absorb his fallen enemies powers; however this gift comes at a great cost as their ghosts become attached to him and slowly drive him mad!
BARON KAH LEE – The tyrannical ruler over all of the Ape Kingdom. This devious villain rules with an Iron paw and will stop at nothing to secure his place at the thrown, including eliminating the rightful ruler, Pale the young ape king! Create Kah Lee’s Elite Guard with alternate head accessory.
LEON: This traveling hero roams from town to town fighting for honor and revenge. His people were among the first to be displaced and enslaved by the Baron’s reign.
CHUNARIAN SOLDIERS -These heroic soldiers make up the backbone of the Chunarian army and guard the walls of the sanctuary jungle city of Chuh-Nar from enemies of every kind. Create the Captain of the Guard with alternate head accessory.
CAPTAIN BRUTUS & THE HORRID KNIGHTS – Feral Mandrill soldiers meant to overwhelm and decimate rival armies; what they lack in fighting skill they make up for with sheer numbers and unhinged savagery! Create the Horrid Knights with alternate head accessory.
HORRID ASSASSINS – Only slightly less vile than the mandrills these chimps are deadly with a bow but can wield a blade when in a bind. These apes rain hate down on opposing armies as the city gates give way to the steady push of the horrid!
STRETCH GOAL FIGURES! Sneak Peak
SERIES ONE WAVE TWO
STENCHER! This skunk is his own one animal army, his wretched stench can incapacitate almost anyone; and if his fowl odder doesn’t defeat you his formidable fighting skills will.
The Girls of the Finest are back with a brand new 2017 calendar!
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!
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!
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.)
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.
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.
Today is a day in America in which we celebrate our freedom as a nation. It was on this day in 1776 that the Continental Congress formerly adopted the Declaration of Independence. It was this day that our founding fathers made their intentions to establish a free and independent nation known to the world.
In the intervening years, the focus Independence Day has been more on backyard barbecues and fireworks and yet it is also a day for all Americans to reflect upon the freedoms and individual liberties that they enjoy as citizens of our nation. It is also an opportunity to reflect upon those who sacrfice so that we might be able to enjoy a day of festivities and celebration.
From all of us here at JoeBattlelines, have a safe and happy July 4th – our Independence Day!
Yes, I realize that there are plenty of high-quality toy lines vying for the attention of collectors these days. From the Marauder Task Force to the amazing Vitruvian HACKS to the forthcoming Legends of the West, collectors are finding themselves faced with a veritable cornucopia of high quality products to choose from. From modern military to Greek mythology to the Old West, there seems to be something for everyone. So what makes the Animal Warriors of the Kingdom unique? What reason could I possibly give to persuade action figure collectors to support this project in its final two weeks?
I won’t give you one. I’ll give you:
Five Reasons to Support Animal Warriors of the Kingdom.
The Micronauts set will be available at the Hasbro booth at SDCC 2016 from July 21 – 24 and with limited stock available after the show at HasbroToyShop.com. They’ll also be making an appearance at Fan Expo Canada from Sept. 1-4 at the Metro Toronto Convention Center.
The SDCC 2016 Micronauts set includes modern reissues of three original line characters including:
While I would never considered myself a life-long Micronauts fan I’m just old enough to have had a few figures from the line as a kid– including Pharoid. Granted, I was probably too young to truly appreciate him (which explains why he’s missing ALL of his accessories now) but seeing him included in the set tugs on the nostaligic heartstrings in such a way that I’m going to do my darndest to try and acquire one of these SDCC 2016 Micronauts sets when they drop on HTS post-show. I still have enough vague memories of the old Micronauts commercials from TV to get excited about their inclusion in the Hasbro Cinematic Universe!
Joe Con 2016 concludes today but we’d be remiss if we didn’t talk about Legends of the West.
Earlier in the Armchair Coverage of Joe Con 2016, there was mention of the Broken Arrow Toys booth and how there were several lines being displayed there. JBL’s already highlighted Spero Studios Animal Warriors of the Kingdom but now it’s time to acknowledge another more classic-themed line: Chicken Fried Toys’ Legends of the West!
Imagine if you will a brand-new 1:18 scale series of Western-themed figures. Now, take those figures and add in incredible sculpting detail. Sound pretty good? Let’s take it a step further and give them modern-level articulation! Now, if that doesn’t make you want to saddle up and support the line I don’t know what will!
According to the images shown at the Broken Arrow Toys booth, the line will consist of the following figures:
The Head Honcho
The Trail Boss
The Ranch Hand
There’s also the possibility of two others who, according to the initial artwork, seem to be a combination of parts from the other figures. Each figure also appears to include at least two accessories (firearms) as well as a unique Chicked Fried Toys display base.
So what is “Animal Warriors of the Kingdom?” It’s the debut action line from Spero Studios, based on the graphic novel “The Kingdom – Rise of the Ape King” from author Jason Bienvenu. Spero Studios was founded by Bienvenu and Brandon Gary who were inspired by the action figures we’ve known from the 1970’s, 1980’s and 1990’s. Spero is dedicated to bring back the fun of those classic lines with modern articulation and accessories!
The first series is epic in its simplicity; it features the main primate character Pale, the heroic albino ape warrior, as well as four unique army builders. That’s right– in the first series supporters can obtain the core character of the graphic novel as well as variety of troops in which to stage their epic battles. Continue reading →
Transformers: The Movie debuted on August 8, 1986 and changed the franchise forever. In addition to thrusting the timeline forward from the 1980’s to 2005, it was the film that (spoiler alert) killed off the franchise’s core heroic character Optimus Prime!
Featuring a star-studded cast that included Judd Nelson, Eric Idle, Leonard Nimoy, and Orson Welles in his final role as the planet-eating titan Unicron, Transformers: The Movie was to be the first of a series of Hasbro/Sunbow films to hit theatres around the world. However, poor box office receipts of this and the My Little Pony film, caused Hasbro to shift the release of G.I. Joe: The Movie to home video instead.
In the intervening years, the film has garnered true cult status and has become a favorite of Hasbro, Transformers, and Sunbow fans around the globe! Plus, who can forget the soundtrack which featured song’s like Stan Bush’s “You’ve Got the Touch” and Weird Al Yankovic’s “Dare to be Stupid”?
This marks the first new region 1 release of the film since 2006’s 20th Anniversary edition and the first time the film has ever been offered on Blu-Ray. This also marks the first time that the film will be available in digital format. No word on what additional special features will be included at this time.
The new 30th Anniversary editions are currently up for pre-order at Amazon.com: