SDCC Kre-O Slaughter’s Marauders Set Confirmed

SDCC Kre-O Slaughter's MaraudersKre-O Slaughter’s Marauders are invading SDCC 2015!

Back at Joe Con 2015, the Hasbro team revealed several 50th Anniverary-themed SDCC exclusives for this year’s con.  However, they hinted that one more “very special set” was coming.  Attendees speculated briefly over what it might be but, in all honesty, it was quickly forgotten in light of the on-hand items shown.  (GUNG-HO!)  A few days ago, an image leaked out that seemed to indicated that a Kre-O set based on Sgt. Slaughter was coming.

Now, thanks to the intrepid folks over at Uproxx, we have confirmation that Kre-O Slaughter’s Marauders are coming!  Not only that, but Sgt. Slaughter himself will be on hand on Saturday July 11, 2015 at the Hasbro booth for two separate autograph signings.  Having had the privilege of meeting the man himself again last year at a logo baseball park, I can say that fans are in for a real treat with the Sarge himself attending!

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Hasbro shifts digital content to Vimeo

Vimeo logo

Hasbro animated series are coming to Vimeo!

As reported yesterday by Wired.com, Hasbro Inc announced yesterday that they were partnering with video sharing site Vimeo to be the exclusive online host for many of the toy-maker’s animated series.   Currently available are Transformers (Generation 1) and Jem & the Holograms with other series including G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero and My Little Pony to follow later this year.

Per the announcement, episodes of the Hasbro series will be $.99 to rent for 24 hours or $1.99 to purchase individually.  Entire series may be purchased for $40.00.

Is this a good move for the Pawtucket-based Hasbro, Inc?  By the numbers, it means that Hasbro’s animated properties will be delivered to a significantly smaller audience.  As of Q1 2015, subscription-based Netflix had an audience of just over 60 million global subscribers. As of December 2013, Vimeo was sitting at 22 million subscribers.  It’s not a strict apples-to-apples comparison as far as the dates go but it indicates that Vimeo doesn’t quite have the reach that content posted on Netflix does.

There’s also the issue of the the pricing model.  Increasingly, more and more digital content has gone “pay-to-play” requiring viewers to either rent or purchase episodes on a platform-to-platform basis.  Vimeo follows that model meaning that fans will have to pay around $40 to own a full season of their favorite nostalgic series.  This puts it on par with the cost of owning the content on DVD and Blu-Ray from retailers such as Amazon.com but it leaves casual fans a bit out-of-the-loop.  Rather than being able to randomly browse through a few episodes of a series before getting hooked, viewers will be have to pay to rent or view episodes on an series-by-series basis.  This could limit the Hasbro content’s overall reach when it comes to new viewers rather than diehard fans who most likely already own the content in tangible form anyway.

What do you think?  Is the move to Vimeo better for Hasbro?  Will is help grow the audiences for their animated properties?  Will you be making the jump to the new video-sharing service in order to follow the adventures of your favorite characters?  Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

Joe Con 2015: The convention wrap-up is posted!

Joe Con 2015

Sure, it’s been over a week since Joe Con 2015 ended and most of the news from the event has already washed over the fandom like a tsunami.  However, it’s become a bit of a tradition here at JBL HQ to post a summary of the event.  I’ve updated the Joe Con 2015 coverage page with links to previous posts and added in some new commentary as well.

Also, a big thanks to the crew at ToyWorldOrder.com for recording Dave Tree’s awesome UK Action Force panel which I’ve embedded in the coverage.

Also, keep your eyes and ears tuned to JBL as the 2015 G.I. Joe Collector’s Convention set review is coming!  Pics are mostly done and now it’s on to the text!

Joe Con 2015: Hasbro retail two-packs unveiled!

Wow– there’s a lot to report for Joe Con 2015!

The Hasbro panel was yesterday and Derryl DePriest and Mark Weber revealed a whole new slate of products that will be exclusive to both Toys R Us and BigBadToyStore.com.  The line is essentially a continuation of the 50th anniversary series and will be available on August 1, 2015. Eagle-eyed fans will recognize some of these figures from previous concept case displays.

Swamp Steam

  • Croc Master & Blowtorch
  • the two announced-but-not-released figures at last

Swamp Steam 2pk
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Joe Con 2015: Hasbro three packs revealed!

The Hasbro panel was yesterday at Joe Con 2015 and Derryl DePriest and Mark Weber revealed a whole new slate of products that will be exclusive to both Toys R Us and BigBadToyStore.com.  The line is essentially a continuation of the 50th anniversary series and will be available on August 1, 2015.  As with previous offerings, it’s a mix of existing parts and pieces that have only been glimpsed in concept cases of previous shows.

Chase for the MASS Device

  • Cobra Commander, Cobra CLAWS Trooper, Duke
  • revisits figures from the elusive final 25th Anniversary DVD pack

Chase for the MASS Device 3pk

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Joe Con 2015: Images of Hasbro Vehicle Packs

We have new product images from Hasbro fresh from Joe Con 2015!

First off, I’d like to apologize for the tardiness of this posting.  I’ve been commuting back and forth to Joe Con each day which means my internet access has been restricted to the times that I’m actually back at JBL HQ.  However, let’s get on to the good stuff.

The Hasbro panel was today and Derryl DePriest and Mark Weber revealed a whole new slate of products that will be exclusive to both Toys R Us and BigBadToyStore.com.  The line is essentially a continuation of the 50th anniversary series and will be available on August 1, 2015.   Here are the vehicle set breakdowns and the images, both official and in case shots, for the vehicle packs:

Desert Duel Vehicle Pack

  • Cobra Basilisk w/ Elite Horseman
  • FOE (Forward Observation Encampment) Striker w/ Chuckles
  • NEW Chuckles head based on Mike Costa comic appearances

Desert Duel
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Joe Con 2015: Day 2 Hasbro & Club panels today!

Joe Con 2015

Joe Con 2015 is about to begin!

It’s early and the JBL staff is about to head down to Joe Con 2015 for day two of the festivities.  Today is the biggest day of the event with key panels occurring today at both 11am CST (Hasbro) and 3pm CST (Collector’s Club).  We’ll be live tweeting out both of those events so, if you haven’t already, consider giving JBL a follow on Twitter and then tune in for BOTH panels as they happen.

For those of you interested in images from the events, I’ll be posting pics up on the site later tonight from Hasbro’s product cases which are set to debut at 1pm CST today.  (Since this admin is commuting from home each day I don’t have full access to my PC until the evening.)  However, over on JBL’s Facebook page I’ll toss up some early images throughout the day.

Also, and a bit of a mea culpa here, it looks like I’ll be re-shooting the custom contest pictures this morning.  Due to the strong fluorescent lighting too many of the images came out “dark” and that’s just not acceptable to this photog’s eyes.  So, there’s a bit of a delay but I’d rather be about quality over quantity!

So, that’s the news from the front for now!  JBL is about to hit the road once more!

 

Joe Con 2015: Hasbro info gleaned from Con Comic

Joe Con 2015 has begun!

Technically it began a few days ago but last night was package registration and souvenir purchasing at the store.  In true Joe Con fashion, getting through the lines was a lot like the intended cruise on Gilligan’s Island – it was a 3 hour tour!

This year’s convention comic contains an introduction by new brand manager Mark Weber which offers some clarity as to the direction the brand will take in 2015.

Mark Webber intro

  • The G.I. Joe 50th line will continue as a shared Toys R Us/BigBadToyStore.com line in the Fall of 2015.  New product will be shown at the Hasbro booth this weekend. (PLEASE have Concept Case Gung-Ho!!!)
  • There will be a new SDCC 2015 G.I. Joe exclusive that will be sold at the SDCC with limited quantities to be available on HasbroToyShop.com later.

I’ve included scans below of both the cover and the intro page with the full introductions.  Now it’s time to pack the car and head back down to Springfield for Joe Con 2015 day 2!  (Really 1.5)  Expect some souvenir pictures up on JBL within the next 24 hours as well as new Joe Con 2015 pictures this evening!

Rank & File: More info from author James Kavanaugh!

Rank & File cover

No sooner did we post the press release info for the forthcoming Rank & File guide to ARAH generation 3 Joes than “Noted Author” James Kavanaugh Jr reached out and provided some addition information on the all of the volumes in this new and exciting series:

Basic Information

The MSRP for The Rank & File Guide Volume 1 is $20.  Volume 1 will be first available at Joe Con in Springfield, IL and available to purchase online after the show at www.rahcguide.com.  Buyer will pay all additional shipping and handling costs.  If you have purchased the R.A.H.C. Guide, the process will be very similar.   This guide was self published and produced in quantities reflecting the R.A.H.C. Guide’s sales so do not hesitate in ordering if owning a guide is a priority. You can join the mailing list at: rahc.guide@gmail.com and like on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/RAHCGuide to get the latest updates between press releases.

 

In order to get content to the fans as quickly as possible, the decision was made to divide the series up into, as of this announcement, up to six volumes.  They working divisions are as follows:

 

Volume 1:  Introduction, 25th Anniversary, Resolute

Volume 2:  The Rise of Cobra, Pursuit of Cobra

Volume 3: Celebrating 30 Years of A Real American Hero / Renegades, Retaliation, Basic G.I. Joe Asst., 50 (should include 2015 figures and possibly beyond).

Volume 4:  Convention Exclusives, G.I. Joe Collector’s Club (up to at least 2015)

Volume 5:  Complete and organized Accessories section comprised of Volumes 1 through 4

*** Depending on sales and other factors*** Volume 6:  Complete Sealed Packages comprised of Volumes 1 through 4.

James was also good enough to share a custom image from the book with JBL that showcases the quality of the work contained within!  Check out this look at two of the admin’s favorite figures from the G.I. Joe Resolute line! Continue reading

Mark Weber is new G.I. Joe Brand Manager

Meet Mark Weber, the new brand manager for G.I. Joe.

Meet Mark Weber, the new brand manager for G.I. Joe.

It’s a new year and Mark Weber is the new brand manager of G.I. Joe!

The latest G.I. Joe Collector’s Club newsletter is hitting mailboxes now and inside is a short one-page interview with the newest G.I. Joe brand manager.  Eagle-eyed fans will recall the rumors in late 2013/early 2014 that the then-current Joe team at Hasbro had been reassigned to other projects, leaving the brand in a stage of limbo.  Speculation was rampant as to what the future would hold for the brand that helped put Hasbro on the map as a leader in boys toys since 1964.  Now, it seems that our favorite brand might be getting back on track.

Weber, head of the Transformers brand since February 2012, is no stranger to the toy industry with over seven years experience at Todd McFarlane Productions.  However, for the past nearly three years he’s overseen the development of Construct-bots and Transformers Generations.

The newsletter should be arriving any day now to Collector’s Club members but this quote was reprinted over at HISSTank.com which first broke the story:

“For the most part, our biggest plans will be centered around future entertainment – the kind of stuff I can’t talk about just yet. We are finalizing our 2015 plans and expect to deliver a lineup constructively similar to 2014 – with popular characters and vehicles, as well as a few NEW Surprises. If things go as planned, we will have an update to reveal at JoeCon in Springfield.”

We want to have stronger, more consistent dialogue with the collectors and fans. We want collectors to have NEW vehicles and playsets to energize the brand to a new generation of kids and a fantastic new feature film that is faithful to the soul of the brand (action, fun, weapons, vehicles). Two things I want to prioritize right away – I want to enable and simplify army building for Collectors, and I want the file cards to be brilliant for our characters.”

New vehicles? New playsets?  Any form of playset?  More importantly – FILE CARDS that are BRILLIANT?!!  Sign me up!  This just made the Springfield G.I. Joe Collector’s Convention that much more interesting!

Here at JBL we’d like to extend Mark a warm welcome to the G.I. Joe community and hope that his tenure on the brand brings with it a new era of a revitalized Joe!