April 7th, 2013
Wow– one of the single greatest events of JoeCon 2013? That would be the Sunday voice actor panel with two of the greatest stars of the Sunbow G.I. Joe animated series– Bill Ratner and Mary McDonald-Lewis. That’s right, the voices of the original Flint and Lady Jaye were on stage together and they didn’t disappoint!
To open the Sunday panel, Bill and Mary took the stage and performed an impromptu script reading with a little help of Fun Publication’s own Pete Sinclair. The story was entitled “Flint & Lady Jaye Have a Baby” and detailed the events of a G.I. Joe mission in which Lady Jaye reveals that she’s expecting. After foiling the efforts of Cobra and returning to headquarters, they decide upon a name for their daughter– Marissa. It was a nice homage to both the Sunbow G.I. Joe and Transformers animated series and marked the first time that the two had performed their respective signature characters since production on the original series ended. Honestly– it was a fan written script performed at a convention and it still caused me to grin from ear-to-ear when two of my favorite animated characters seemingly returned to life in an auditorium in Indianapolis. In many ways, it was like being a kid again and rushing home from school to catch the animated adventures of Flint and Lady Jaye each weekday afternoon.
Following the performance, the two took audience questions and related a number of anecdotes about the production of the original Sunbow series. (Who knew Michael Bell carried a “man purse” or that Chris Latta was always late coming back from lunch?) Mary Mac and Bill both discussed the differences between voice acting and stage acting as well as their fondness for the days of radio performances. In the end, the hour went by far too quickly and the audience gave these two a standing ovation. 2013 marks the first ever JoeCon appearance for either of them and it would be fantastic to see their return in the future.
To catch-up on what these two talented voice actors are working on currently, visiting the following links:
Check out a few images from the panel below:
April 6th, 2013
If you’ve been you’ve been following the JoeCon coverage here at JBL over the past few days– thank you! It’s been several years since I’ve been both at a con and an active part of the Joe community and there was some personal apprehension about coming back to this event after being away for nearly 4 years. However, I can honestly say that it’s good to be back in action again.
Earlier today, I posted live coverage of the Hasbro panel on Twitter. What follows here is a more detailed summary of the information that was presented earlier.
Hasbro had a very small presence at JoeCon this year. Consisting solely of Derryl DePriest and John Warden and a single display case, fan weren’t quite sure what to expect. In fact, the Dynamic Duo from Pawtucket opened their presentation by saying that they were showing the same slide show that was used at Toy Fair and that nothing new would be presented. However, some good information came out of their discussion.
In terms of G.I. Joe Retaliation, the highly anticipated wave 3 will be available later this year– and it’s looking like late July/early August. The order has been sent to the factories in China and production has begun. Figures like Kwinn, Data Viper, Ultimate Duke, Ultimate Roadblock, and Ultimate Flint will be hitting stores with a great deal of fan and retailer anticipation. During this part of the discussion, John Warden broke down some interesting facts for the wave.
Read the rest of this entry »
April 6th, 2013
I promised yesterday that I’d go back and take pictures of the remaining custom figures on display at JoeCon. Thankfully, there was enough of a break in the schedule today that I was able to fulfill that particular promise. Again, the custom work by these folks is not to be underestimated! Just some truly brilliant and exciting pieces shown here in Indianapolis.
G.I. Joe customizers– my hat goes off to you all!
April 6th, 2013
The main events of JoeCon 2013 are winding down with today’s G.I. Joe Collector’s Club Round Table meeting. As usual, Lanny, Brian, David, and Pete broke down the design work that went into this year’s convention sets– including all of the various elements that made up the first-ever Kre-O exclusives. However, that’s not all that was discussed.
David Lane broke down the roster for the forthcoming Figure Subscription Service round 2. Sign-up should start sometime in April and run until early May– encompassing “two pay periods” but for less than 30 days. As far as the roster is concerned, David stated that the selections were based on the feedback received in the convention surveys; the more requested a figure, the better the likelihood it will receive consideration. When asked about Pythona and other Sunbow characters, the answer came back that they have appeared in the survey results but never in large enough numbers to warrant inclusion. (Somehow, Sure Fire gained enough of a following, however.)
The 2013 roster includes:
- Night Force Falcon (with new equipment)
- Bombadier (UK)
- Tiger Force Tripwire (Brazil)
- Tiger Force Shipwreck (Brazil)
- Admiral Keel Haul
- Tool Booth
- Cobra Desert Scorpion
- Big Bear
The next FSS could ship as soon as August 2013, leaving fans with only a one month gap between FSS 1 and 2.
Other tidbits from the panel include the goal of opening con registration six months before the event and having a more regular schedule for the event itself. Working with Kre-O figures proved to be a brand new challenge and may or may not happen again. Due to logistical issues with the height of the parachute drop, the paratrooper figure was changed to a Kreon to prove more practical at a lower height. Some of the Night Force convention figures also feature a glow-in-the-dark series of paint apps but not all.
Here are the slides from the presentation which include a few mock-ups of figures from FSS. These are merely digital creations at this time and are NOT physical prototypes.
April 6th, 2013
This year at JoeCon many fans seemed disappointed that Hasbro didn’t have more to showcase in terms of new product. During the Hasbro panel, it was announced that there was nothing new to see due to the six month delay of the release of G.I. Joe Retaliation. So, attendees steeled themselves and found other news to be excited about.
I was sitting in the “What’s On Joe Mind” panel when my cell phone rang. It was Madmac41 telling me to get my keester down to the dealer’s room and bring my camera. So, I sauntered down, spotted him, and then dropped to my knees in awe. (Literally.) There, in the midst of the Hasbro case were new “concept case” figures and right smack dab in the middle of them was the greatest Marine to ever grace the team’s roster: GUNG-HO! (Suck it, Leatherneck.) Seriously– completely unannounced and unexpected.
There’s no guarantee that these figures will get made but are merely presented as means of gauging interest. So, this is one of the few times that I’ll ask anything of the fandom– if you have the opportunity, drop the name GUNG-HO at every opportunity. After all, he was one of the core characters in the Sunbow series as well as Larry Hama’s Marvel run.
With no further comments, here are the 2013 Concept Case figures:
April 6th, 2013
Posting a quick JoeCon update from the Hasbro panel via mobile.
Hit JBL’s twitter feed for the “as they happened” comments and details. I’ll collect everything later in more detail.
April 6th, 2013
In a previous JoeCon post I gushed for a bit over the custom G.I. Joe figures on display at the show. If you thought the gushing was over, think again as this post covers one of my other favorite things here– the diorama displays.
This year at JoeCon there was no big Hasbro G.I. Joe display— no towering Cobra Mountain or bridge swarming with red ninjas. However, that doesn’t mean that dioramas were in short supply. Leave it to the G.I. Joe fans to step up once more and produce an impressive array of FAN-GENERATED dioramas that showcase just how much creativity exists in our fan community.
I won’t go into details over all of them but there were two displays that stand out in my mind even several hours later. The first was the Kre-O USS Flagg display. That’s right– someone produced a building block version of the Joe aircraft carrier– complete with fan designed jets and slew of Cobra troops. It was a BEAUTIFUL piece that makes me wish that the Kre-O takes off to such an extent that a real set of this would be possible at retail. Hey, a guy can dream, right?
The second stand-out piece was an AMAZING G.I. Joe vs. Cobra battle atop multiple steam punk vessels floating over a sea of clouds. No, I’ve not been hitting the rum at this late hour– there was a battle among the clouds that was being waged a veritable “who’s who” of Joe characters– all in steam punk form. This setup has to be seen to be truly appreciated for the work of art that it is. Trust me when I say that I’ll be going back a few more times just to marvel at the incredible versions of Destro, the Baroness, Beach Head, and Cobra Commander that adorn this particular display. (Oh yeah, and the rotors actually WORK!)
So, without further adieu (because I need sleep at this late/early hour), the pictures:
April 6th, 2013
One of my favorite parts of any JoeCon is the display of custom figures up for judging. I’m not a customizer myself. (Just a hack writer who likes to shoot pics of figures and offer opinions under the guise of a “review.”) However, I am in awe of the creativity and inventiveness of the G. I. Joe fan community when it comes to customs. Whether it be a simple repaint or a complete transformation of one figure into another, the individuals that showcase their talents here deserve ever ounce of recognition that the community can give them.
So, you’re sitting there saying “enough gushing– GET ON WITH IT!” I couldn’t agree more so below are most of the custom figures that were on display on Friday. I was shooting these as judging was happening and could only get half so look for another update tomorrow.
April 6th, 2013
More news from JoeCon from the land of the block figures– KreO!
Hasbro’s product showing on Friday was pretty minimal but what they lacked in quantity they made up for in quality. The wave two Kre-O sets were on hand and should be hitting Toys R Us in the coming months. Of course, all of this could change with the Hasbro 2013 panel set for 11am on Saturday.
Enjoy the pics of the figures below. Honestly, if there is one true SURPRISE hit in the Joe brand right now it’s Kre-O! Let’s just hope it moves beyond Toys R Us to mass retail in the near future!
April 5th, 2013
Okay, it’s time for a game of “JoeCon Good News/Bad News”.
The good news is that Hasbro was on hand once again and has the ultra cool Toma– EAGLEHAWK helicopter on display. Not only do they have the prototype from Toy Fair but also John Warden was showcasing a production model of this amazing helicopter.
The bad news is that Derryl DePriest confirmed that we’ve pretty much seen all of the other non-exclusive Joe product for what may be the rest of the year. The items showcased at Toy Fair were on hand but that was it. Trust me, the product looks great in person and I’ll add more photos tomorrow but it’s a bit of a downer that we won’t see anything new for a bit.
The SDCC exclusives won’t be revealed at Joe Con but instead will be revealed at some point via USA Today.
Take a look at the images from wave 3 of Retaliation as well as the “Basic Figures” that once appeared at Dollar General earlier this year.
More pics to come as I get them uploaded.