HASCON: Is Hasbro planning their own brand convention?

United States Patent & Trademark Office

HASCON is coming?

There’s been a lot of speculation over the fate of the annual Joe Con after it was revealed that Hasbro was ending its relationship with Fun Publications, the company that licensed the annual Botcon (Transformers) and Joe Con (G.I. Joe ) events.  Many fans wondered if there would even continue to be annual Hasbro-authorized events. Over the past weekend, Hasbro filed a trademark with the US Patent Office that might shed some light on the future of these brand events.

Thanks to the intrepid newshounds over at TFwiki, it was revealed that Hasbro officially filed for the trademark on “HASCON”.  The purpose of this trademark, according to the trademark office filing is:

Organizing and conducting conventions, exhibitions, fan clubs and gatherings for entertainment purposes and in the fields of toys, animation, comic books, fantasy, gaming, popular culture, science fiction, television and film.

It’s not a lot of information but it shows that Hasbro is at least intending to move forward in some fashion with a continuation of conventions.  What’s more interesting, at least to this Joe fan, is that this appears to be the only trademark filed.  There’s nothing for any derivation of “Joe Con”, “Bot Con” or even “Pony Con”.  (Say what you will– but the Pony fandom is HUGE.)

With only one seemingly comprehensive trademark filed is Hasbro testing the waters at having events that showcase all of their brands in one place?  Or is this merely a preemptive measure designed to secure a copyright before anyone else files for it?  Right now, we have very little information to go on.  However, it’s also way too soon to jump to any detailed conclusions.  Joe Con 2016 is scheduled for the end of June and I doubt any formal announcement would be made before that even has concluded.

What do you think of this development?  Would you be in favor of more unified Hasbro brand events?  Would you rather have your conventions separated by product line?  Let us know your thoughts in the comments below or over on our Facebook page.

i can haz hascon

Save G.I. Joe petition now live at Change.org

Save G.I. Joe petition

Bummed by the Collector’s Club news this week? Do you want to help Save G.I. Joe?  Look no further than one fan’s petition and make your voice heard!

We live in an age of social activism.  It is far easier to rally the troops behind a cause than at any other point in history due to the 24/7 interconnected nature of our society.  As such, when all of the news about the potential end of Fub Publications’ relationship with Hasbro and the cessation of new G.I. Joe Collector’s Club memberships after March 16 dropped this week, many fans were shell-shocked.

What did this mean for the brand?  Was G.I. Joe going to go away? Would there never be another Joe Con again?  Where would fans get their tangible and social G.I. Joe fix?  Is this really the deh of teh line!1!!!???

Over on Change.org, there’s a petition to #SaveGIJoe.  While the future of the brand itself is at least being discussed as part of the forthcoming Hasbro Cinematic Universe many fans still want to let Hasbro know that G.I. Joe (and the annual Joe Con) still has a following and is still important to them.  As such, the petition was started as a show of support not for Fun Publications or A Real American Hero but for the larger brand of G.I. Joe itself.  Yes, much of the focus is about the annual Joe Con but, according to one of the organizers of the petition, the goal is (and I’m paraphrasing here) to remind a billion dollar company to not only remember what the last 50+ years has built but to see what the next 50+ years could bring.

If you’d like to throw your name in to support the Save G.I. Joe petition, head on over to Change.org and not only sign but add in your own comments as well.  Plus, you can use the hashtag #savegijoe to further the message on your favorite social media platforms.

And now you know…

the-secret-of-change-is-to-focus-all-of-your-energy

Fun Publications to end relationship with Hasbro in 2016

fun publications hasbro

Fun Publications is ending its relationship with Hasbro in 2016.  This has been rumored for some time based on the changes to memberships for both the G.I. Joe and Transformers Collector’s Clubs.  While nothing official has been stated regarding this from either the folks on Cattle Barron Drive or Hasbro, a recent email to all Transformers Collector’s Club members offers us our most concrete evidence to date:

“All memberships will end December 31, 2016.  Hasbro looks forward to sharing new plans for the Collector’s Club with you in the future.”

Okay, let’s read that again.

Hasbro looks forward to sharing new plans for the Collector’s Club with you in the future.

Did you notice something?  Nowhere in that statement does it say “Hasbro is ending Transformers and G.I. Joe forever.” It does, however, indicate, that Hasbro will no longer be relying on Fun Publications to administer the Transformers Club and, by implied association, the G.I. Joe Collector’s Club. Continue reading

What did we learn about G.I. Joe at Toy Fair 2016

Toy Fair 2016

Toy Fair 2016 is now a distant memory.  The displays have been removed from the Javits Center, the vendors have gone home, and the internet press has left the Big Apple.  It was an exciting weekend filled with reveals, licensing announcements and more product debuts than a toy collector can shake an Episode 1 Jar-Jar Binks action figure at.  Yet the more time passes since the event has concluded, the more it would seem that people are debating a single topic:

What did we learn about G.I. Joe at Toy Fair 2016?

Normally this is a pretty straight forward question– one that is answered by Hasbro at their annual media blitz presentation.  However, this year, G.I. Joe wasn’t mentioned during any of the official announcements.  (Neither was the new semi-hyped “Hasbro Cinematic Universe” but more on that in a moment.)  In fact, if it weren’t for two individuals who were covering the event for entertainment sites that focus on a variety of toy lines, there might have been nary a peep mentioned about Joe anywhere.  However, thanks to JayC of ToyNewsI.com and Fran from ToyArk.com (aka Destro of HISSTank.com), we have two seemingly conflicting reports.   Or do we?  Fans have embraced one and questioned the other but do these two reports really conflict at all?  Pull up a chair and a frosty Yo Joe Cola and let’s take a look!

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Changes to G.I. Joe Collector’s Club Memberships in 2016?

G.I. Joe Collector's Club

Are changes coming to G.I. Joe Collector’s Club Memberships beyond 2016?

It was reported earlier today over at Allspark.com that there are changes coming to Transformers Collector’s Club memberships in 2016.  To be more specific, regardless of when a member enrolls, all memberships will expire on December 31, 2016.  This has also led to speculation on their forums about the future of the annual BotCon convention which is currently managed by Fun Publications.

Given the interconnected nature of the Fun Publications organizations, it didn’t take long for speculation to begin about the nature of the G.I. Joe Collector’s Club memberships as well.  Sure enough, a quick check of a membership page uncovered this new piece of verbiage at the bottom of the membership description:

Please note that at this time we are only accepting memberships and renewals for the 2016 calendar year.  All memberships will end with the December 2016 issue.  For example:  if your  membership renewal has a February start date, you will receive the FREE membership figure in the late spring along with 11 monthly issues.   If your membership renewal has a March start date, you will receive the FREE membership figure in the late spring and 10 monthly issues.

Really?  So, no matter when someone enrolls in 2016, their membership ends in December.  Which means that the cost of a membership is the same, regardless of the number of issues of the newsletter received.

So, what does this actually mean?  Is the Club transitioning their memberships to a calendar year model?  Or, does this mean that Fun Publications will no longer be the entity behind the G.I. Joe Collector’s Club going forward?  Or, is it merely verbiage that was ported over from the Transformers side of the organization by accident.  We’ve reached out to Fun Publications and we’ll let you know what we find out going forward.

Right now there’s no OFFICIAL word as to what the future will hold for the G.I. Joe Collector’s Club and the annual memberships.  We can only wait and see what information, if any, the Club chooses to disseminate in the coming weeks.

EDIT: We reached out to directly to Brian Savage at the GIJCC who was good enough to send us back a prompt response.

All I can tell you is exactly what you read online.  There is no additional information at this time.


So for now, this is all we know but I’m sure the coming weeks and months will reveal more information.

Can a Hasbro Cinematic Universe work?

Hasbro Cinematic Universe

A Hasbro Cinematic Universe is on the way, but can it actually work?

Earlier this week, the Hollywood Reporter dropped an exclusive bombshell on the G.I. Joe fan community– the announcement that Hasbro’s Allspark Studios and Paramount pictures were creating a “Hasbro Cinematic Universe” centered around five 1980’s brands.  This endeavor would blend the universes of G.I. Joe, M.A.S.K., the Micronauts, Visionaries, and ROM: the Spaceknight into one cohesive entity similar to what Marvel Studios has been doing for the past several years.

There’s only one small detail about this new shared universe— most of these properties have very little relation to each other.  Even worse, aside from G.I. Joe, most of these have been absent from toy shelves and popular culture since at least 1990.  Outside of some die-hard fan circles, the general public is generally now completely unfamiliar with most of these brands, as evidenced by this installment of Nerdist News hosted by Jessica Chobot:

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Kindle Worlds G.I. Joe Poll Winner Announced

Hasbro announced the winner of the G.I. Joe Kindle Worlds Poll this weekend in a surprise post over at Hasbro Pulse.  Without further adieu, the winner is…

Bill Nedrow’s Stiletto!

Hasbro Kindle Worlds Stiletto

As featured in G.I. Joe Body Count, Stiletto will be joining the ranks of the G.I. Joe team in action figure form in 2016!  Congratulations to Bill on this amazing opportunity to see his character “come to life” in plastic form. Well done, sir!

Continue reading

G.I. Joe 50th Swamp Steam 2-pack Review

G.I. Joe 50th Swamp Steam two-pack

The G.I. Joe 50th Anniversary Swamp Steam two-pack has been reviewed!

I’ll admit it– I’ve fallen a bit behind on getting these posted.  Too many trips on the road for work and some pesky house issues around the JBL photo setup have pushed reviews back a bit further than I would have liked.  Thankfully, after this week, much of the obstacles to publication will have been removed and we can get the review train rolling again!  After all, there are a few three packs and the Silent Strike set yet to cover!  (The Rock Rampage 3-pack continues to prove decidedly elusive.)

The Swamp Steam pack has the distinction of being the set that few people saw coming during the Hasbro reveals at Joe Con 2015.  Based on two cancelled Pursuit of Cobra figures, this set finally puts the more tactically-colored Blowtorch and the Python Patrol Croc Master in the hands of fans after a four year delay.

Was it worth the wait?  Are these figures worth adding to your collection?  Will the name “Swamp Steam” ever make sense?

Head on over the G.I. Joe 50th Anniversary Review Index and find out one Joe fan’s opinion!

G.I. Joe Classic Clash two-pack review

G.I. Joe Classic Clash two-pack

The G.I. Joe Classic Clash two-pack review has been posted!

He’s a native American tracker with a degree in psychology who can find anyone anywhere.  He’s a former assasin who comes from an ancient and mysterious ninja clan who once served as the bodyguard for the “most dangerous man alive.”  Together– they comprise the G.I. Joe Classic Clash two-pack!

Who’s the better figure – Spirit or Storm Shadow?  Does either one of them know where Freedom is?  Will Deadpool make a cameo?  Does any of these even matter?

Check out the two reviews from the G.I. Joe Classic Clash pack over in the G.I. Joe 50th Anniversary Review Index!

Also, for Joe fans who are having trouble finding these– EntertainmentEarth.com still has FULL CASES of two-packs available shipped for only $119.99!

Hunt for Cobra Commander two-pack review

G.I. Joe Hunt for Cobra Commander

The G.I. Joe Hunt for Cobra Commander two-pack review is now posted!

It’s been a bit of a busy week here at JBL HQ but that’s not stopping us from whittling our way through the new G.I. Joe 50th Anniversary two-packs!  This time, Fred takes a look at the Hunt for Cobra Commander set which pits the 2012 concept case Shipwreck up against a darker more sinister Cobra Commander.  These sets are just now hitting Toys R Us stores across the nation and full cases are STILL available at EntertainmentEarth.com for just $119.99.

Who will emerge victorious?  Do the red shoes help?  Should Deadpool make more cameos in reviews? Does it even matter?

Check out the Hunt for Cobra Commander Shipwreck and Cobra Commander reviews over in the G.I. Joe 50th Anniversary Review Index!

FYI – We want your feedback!  Either drop us a comment below or post thoughts on this set and our review over at the JBL Facebook page!  (Seriously, we love to talk G.I. Joe!)