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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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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Coil Con 6 is August 15 – 16 in Dayton Ohio

Coil Con 6

Coil Con 6 will be held this year in Dayton, OH on August 15 – 16!  That’s right Joe fans, the 6th annual event is hitting the road and expanding to two full days!

It’s been exciting to watch Coil Con grow each year from its beginnings in Kokomo, IN on the grounds of Kokomo Toys to last year’s change of venue to Indianapolis.  However, this year proves to be the biggest year yet with the expansion to a two day event and the change of venue to Dayton, OH!

This event is entirely fan-driven and offers G.I. Joe collectors from across the Midwest a chance to gather together and share a common love of “all things Joe.”  There are dealers, special guests, and many opportunities just to kick back and share the love of the hobby.

While the official site hasn’t been updated yet, the announcement was made throughout many groups and communities on Facebook late last night.   For more information on scheduled events, guests, and lodging, keep your eyes peeled to both CoilCon.com as well as the official Coil Con Facebook page.

JBL had a blast at Coil Con IV and I’m planning on trying to make it back to this year’s event.   If you’re planning on attending, give a shout out in the comments below!

Coil Con V is September 13, 2014 in Indianapolis!

Coil Con V

It’s that time of year again– Coil Con V is happening in just over a week!

Nothing says “end of summer” like Coil Con, the fan-run convention that brings together G.I. Joe collectors from across the Midwest!  This year’s event promises to be bigger and better than ever as the event has outgrown its previous venue in Kokomo, IN (at ever-amazing Kokomo Toys) and instead takes over the Wyndham Indianapolis West Hotel in Indy!

In addition to a toy drive to benefit the Child Life initiative at the Indianapolis Children’s Hospital, this year’s event will feature a host of vendors, the door prize/raffle table, and the always exciting travelling exhibit of JoeDeclassified.com.  Plus, if you’ve not already seen it, check out this preview of Shrike, this year’s exclusive Coil Con figure!  (JBL received permission to mirror the images below.)  He’s the creation of Coil Club designers Jay Hunger & Brian Kauffman and will be part of a 2 figure set that’s limited to only 40 pieces!

This year’s roster of guests includes:

Check out the Coil Con V event page over at CoilCon.com for the full details and make preparations to join your fellow Joe fans in Indy in just over a week!

Plus, check out these photos from last year’s event held at Kokomo Toys!  C’mon– you KNOW you want to go!

3DJoes.com Kickstarter is Now LIVE

3DJoes.com Kickstarter

The staff at JBL are big fans of the website 3DJoes.com.  (Let’s not forget its sister site Vintage3DJoes.com!)
Running a website is a labor of love and, for the most part, it’s a strictly not-for-profit endeavor.  All of those costs that go into keeping a site up and running are typically absorbed by the site owner unless he or she happens to generate some ad revenue.  Or, if you’re very very clever like Carson Mataxis, you can sell some truly AWESOME posters to help offset the costs.

Unfortunately, to produce such high quality posters also costs money– which is where the 3DJoes.com Kickstarter comes in.  Here’s the announcement from Carson:

For two years I’ve been building 3DJoes.com, the ultimate G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero archive! 3DJoes is the only interactive, three dimensional museum of G.I. Joe A Real American Hero nostalgia. Best of all, it’s ad-free.

To help pay for the site, I’ve created three awesome posters (check them out here). I’ve taken a HUGE gamble each time I’ve printed one of these posters. The last couple posters have gone on a credit card and they have each taken over four months to break even. I simply cannot put another poster on credit, but that won’t stop me!

I’m ready to make three more, and I need your help! Each poster costs $3,000 to produce. SO, I’ve set the goal at $3,300 (to cover Amazon and KS fees) and hope to at least produce one of the following posters. If we hit the first stretch goal ($6,600), we’ll make two, and if we hit the second stretch goal ($9,900), we’ll make all three!

As always, I’m impressed with the level of detail that Carson puts into restoring each image to optimum quality.  If you’ve seen his previous work, you’ll know that the final product is the best possible version of each piece of art.  Now, imagine that level of meticulous detail applied to the vehicle artwork, or the 1986 – 1987 Joes, or even smaller pieces like post cards of the “To The Rescue” or “Yo Joe!” posters.  Or, if artwork isn’t necessarily your cup-o-Joe you can walk away with a fantastic embroidered hat– just for supporting a truly terrific fan resource.

Even better– top-tier supporters can walk away with some of their items autographed by two of the minds behind the G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero era — Larry Hama and Kirk Bozigian!

With 42 days to go, the project already has 42 backers and has raised $2,816.00 of its modest $3,300.00 goal.  Let’s push that over the top and ensure that 3DJoes.com can keep on spinning!  The deadline to contribute is September 3, 2014 at 8:01pm CST.

Show what support you can and let ’em know that the fan community supports 3DJoes.com!

3DJoes.com Kickstarter Project

Girls of The Finest Calendar is A-GO!!!

 

Girls of the Finest Calendar

Congratulations to the Girls of The Finest on reaching their calendar goal!

As previously reported here at JBL, the Girls of The Finest have launched their own calendar project to benefit the Wounded Warrior Project.

With 12 days left they’ve beat their goal of $7500.00 and have raised a total of $8175.00!  That’s right– not only is the calendar project guaranteed to happen but these lovely ladies have raised over eight thousand dollars to help out our wounded veterans!

C’mon Joe fans– let’s push them over the top, help the brave men and women who receive assistance from the Wounded Warrior Project, and get a slick fan-generated calendar to boot!  The deadline to fund the project is April 11, 2014 so make your contribution today!

http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/girls-of-the-finest-2015-calendar

 

Girls of The Finest Calendar to Benefit Wounded Warrior Project

Girls of the Finest Calendar The fans of the G.I. Joe community are some of the most charitable around.  Countless times have I seen fan groups holding events and raising funds for charity– giving of their time and energy to help those who are less fortunate.  Such is the case with The Finest – a G.I. Joe costume club whose current IndieGoGo project is helping to raise funds for the Wounded Warrior Project.

The premise is this– for a contribution of $25.00 on their IndieGoGo project site, fans will receive a full color printed calendar (as well as a digital .PDF copy) featuring “the Ladies of the Finest” in some fantastic G.I. Joe-themed photo shoots.  It’s all tastefully done and features characters both familiar and brand new!  It’ll be a perfect way to start off 2015 and help our wounded veterans as well.  However, there are multiple contribution tiers as well– each with their own unique contribution rewards!  Remember, once printing costs are covered, all proceeds will go to the Wounded Warrior Project!

With 46 days left they’re just over halfway to their stated goal of $7500.00.  C’mon Joe fans– let’s push them over the top, help the brave men and women who receive assistance from the Wounded Warrior Project, and get a slick fan-generated calendar to boot!  The deadline to fund the project is April 11, 2014 so make your contribution today!

http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/girls-of-the-finest-2015-calendar

Cobra 1st Legion Hosts Toy Drive to Support Oakland Hospital

Cobra First Legion

Once again, the Cobra 1st Legion is embracing the spirit of giving– this time with a toy drive to benefit the Children’s Hospital & Research Center Oakland!

It’s the time of year when everyone is encouraged to give to those who are less fortunate than themselves.  In that very spirit, the hard-working members of the Cobra 1st Legion have organized their third annual toy drive.  They’re encouraging members of the community to drop off items that can help brighten the holidays for the patients at the Oakland Children’s Hospital.  This includes books, games, toys, and even personal hygiene items– all things that can help to bring a smile to a child’s face as they spent the holiday season undergoing treatment.  The Toy Drive runs from now until December 21st, 2013!

If you’re in the Oakland, CA area, please drop off items to one of the sponsors listed on the poster below!  Or, if you’re out-of-the-area, contact the drop off points at one of the links below and inquire about how to send an item to be included.

Cobra 1st Toy Drive

Sgt. Slaughter to Appear at Retro Con 2014

sgt slaughter

The fan-run convention Retro Con gets better and better with each new announcement. First, the event for 2014 has been extended to two days.  Next Zack Hoffman (the voice of Zartan from the Sunbow animated series) is added to the guest roster.  However, yesterday Retro Con pulled out all the stops– wrestling legend and “real life” G.I. Joe Sgt. Slaughter is now scheduled to appear for both days of the nostalgia event!   You can read the original announcement here.

Autographs or posed photos will be available for $20 with a discount being available for both. So grab your vintage Sgt. Slaughter file cards and make plans to head to Oaks, PA!

Long-known to fans of G.I. Joe from his appearances in the second season of Sunbow’s G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero series, Sgt. Slaughter joined WWE (then WWF) in the early 80’s and quickly achieved celebrity status.  Brandishing his signature move “the Cobra Clutch”, he delighted wrestling fans each week with his hard-nosed drill sergeant persona.  Yet it may be his appearance in the animated G.I. Joe: The Movie that permanently endeared him to Joe fans around the world with his leadership of the Renegades and his “itty bitty ditty bag.”

Retro Con 2014 will run from September 27 – 28 at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center in Oaks, PA.  To keep up with the latest on Retro Con 2014, keep your eyes peeled to JBL and follow them online on Twitter at @Retrocons and at www.RetroCons.com.

Code Name Iowa’s Assembled Required 2013 is This Weekend!

code name iowa assembly required 2013

There are myriad reasons to live in the Midwest: changing seasons, friendly people, good regional food, and more G.I. Joe gatherings than you can shake a stick at!  Earlier this year, Midwestern fans were able to attend Coil Con IV in Kokomo, IN and this weekend they’ll be able to attend Code Name: Iowa’s annual Assembly Required gathering in Des Moines!

In it’s third year this event has grown to such an extent that it requires a brand new location!  Join fans from around the nation in attending panels, checking out dealer tables, and mingling with some very special guests.  It promises to be a fantastic free event that will be fun for collectors of all ages!

Special guests at this year’s event include:

  • Ron Wagner – comic artist from Marvel/IDW
  • Matt Brandenburg – former Hasbro prototype painter
  • Joe:Declassified exhibit – the premiere “behind the scenes” exhibit of rare prototypes, design sketches and more will be on hand featuring G.I. Joe archivists Gary “Goggles” Head and Chris “Topson” Murray

In addition, fantastic door prizes include a set of 20 G.I. Joe Retaliation Night Vipers and a MISB Killer W.H.A.L.E. hovercraft!  That’s right Joe Fans– two lucky individuals are walking away with prizes that will make even the most hardened Cobra loyalist green with envy!   However, as the game show hosts are fond of saying “But wait… there’s more!”

This year marks the debut of the next series of incredible minimalist art prints featuring the 1985 line-up!  Plus, two special minimalist prints will be given away as prizes– Flint and Lady Jaye signed by Bill Ratner and Mary McDonald-Lewis herself!  So, what are you waiting for– a signed invitation for Serpentor himself?!!  Make plans to hit the road this Saturday and join in on the fun! The Code Name Iowa Assembly Required event is THE place to be!

The event is free to the public. For more information visit CodeNameIowa.com or follow them on Facebook at Code Name: Iowa!  (Oh yeah, and tell ’em JBL sent you!)