Happy Thanksgiving from your friends at JBL!

JBL would like to wish everyone a very happy Thanksgiving!

JBL Thanksgiving

(Yes, it’s that same picture again.  I’ll update it someday!)

Today is the day that is dreaded by turkeys across the land– where groups of friends and family gather round the table to share a meal and enjoy some time together.  It’s also a time to look back and consider all the things that we have to be thankful for.

Sure, there’s a lot going on the world that can, as individuals, raise our blood pressure and cause us to raise our fists in the air but there’s also still a lot of things that are going right. As such, Thanksgiving can be a day in which we reflect on everything that has actually gone right for us and our friends.

At JBL, we’re thankful for each and every person who reads this post, visits the forums, reads the reviews (when I get around to publishing them!) and even who stops by our Facebook page.  Without each of you, this page would literally be a series of random musings thrown into the wind.  Thank you for making JBL a part of your G.I. Joe life!

To everyone out there: Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving Christmas G.I. Joe


JBL is Updating the Forums

Mainframe editorial

Mainframe is hard at work again.

It’s time to blow some cobwebs off of the forums and run a few updates.


In all honesty, the forums are almost a “legacy feature” of the site at this point– having been around since 2001 as part of the old SgtSavage.com and then as JBL since 2003.  In the past 11 years, traffic has ebbed and flowed and the old database is getting a bit rickety.

So, I’m pulling the forums offline for a few days while I do some much-needed back-end overhauling.  I’ll post an announcement when they go live again– for the few folks that do still check them out.

Pardon our dust… we’re remodeling!

G.I. Joe Mainframe

Pardon our dust– JBL is undergoing some renovations!

The site has had its current look for several years now and it’s time for a facelift in terms of both form and function.  More and more folks out there are using mobile devices (phones and tablets) to search the web and it’s high time the site was optimized to work with that.  So, JoeBattlelines will be undergoing some “adjustments” as the site is further optimized for a true multi-platform experience.

Of course, new form updates also mean new content updates as well.  After a long and quasi-arduous process, the SDCC set for 2013 has arrived at JBL HQ and, thanks to the good folks at Kokomo Toys G.I. Joe Retaliation wave 3 should be enroute within the next week.  That means that some new reviews will actually be posted fairly soon.

Your patience is appreciated while Mainframe and his tech crew test some new functional layouts.

G.I. Joe Collector’s Club Figure Subscription Service 2 is now LIVE!

G.I. Joe Collector's Club Figure Subscription Service 2.0

With a whirlwind of updates in the past 24 hours, the G.I. Joe Collector’s Club has announced that sign-up for the Figure Subscription Service 2.0 is now LIVE!!!  You can subscribe for the next 13 figures from now through May 22, 2013!

It all started with this image that was posted on the GIJCC Facebook page yesterday afternoon:

This image confirmed the line-up that was revealed at the 2013 GIJCC Roundtable at Joe Con this year.  To recap, this was the roster that was revealed:

  • Widescope
  • Dragonsky
  • Night Force Falcon (with new equipment)
  • Bombadier (UK)
  • Tiger Force Tripwire (Brazil)
  • Tiger Force Shipwreck (Brazil)
  • Admiral Keel Haul
  • Tool Booth
  • Cesspool
  • Skullbuster
  • Cobra Desert Scorpion
  • Big Bear

At that meeting just a few mock-up images were shown as Lanny confirmed he’d only just been able to put them together before leaving for Indy.  Now, the Club has unveiled FOUR preview images: Skullbuster, Night Force Falcon, Dragonsky, and Tiger Force Airtight!

Here’s the official word on FSS 2.0 directly from the Club’s website:

After the fantastic success of FSS 1.0, the G.I. Joe Collectors’ Club now brings you version 2.0! The FSS is only available to active club members. This service is an optional feature and is not included in the cost of your annual GIJCC membership.The FSS 2.0 subscription set will consist of twelve different carded 3 3/4″ figures. You will receive six shipments starting in approximately September/October of two figures each month. Figures will be shipped in a surprise sequence (figure pairs will be the same for everyone each month). It will be a surprise each month as to which figure pair you receive! Your last shipment (6th shipment) will include your FREE mystery carded 13th figure! The limited edition GIJCC Figure Subscription Service contains a variety of fan requested characters from all eras of the 3 3/4-inch G.I. Joe A Real American Hero collection. The assortment includes 25th Anniversary style figures of characters from the classic 80’s, 90’s, new-sculpt, foreign editions, and unreleased 25th Anniversary characters as well.


So there you have it!  The roster, a few teaser images, and the link to sign-up for FSS 2.0!  I have to admit, the first one made a believer out of me.  Yes, I’m not happy about the price of the figures or the subscription at all but then again, like a lot of Joe fans, I’m a man of limited means.  However, for the most part the quality and character selection of the first series has been very good and it’s now to the point that I eagerly anticipate the arrival of the brown cardboard box from the GIJCC each month.  So it’s a safe bet to say that this particular Joe addict is in for his next 13 figures from the GIJCC– even if my credit card cries a little.

For those of you on the fence, you’ve got until the 22nd.  Plus, JBL will begin reviewing all of the figures from FSS round 1 starting NEXT WEEK!

After the events in Boston, JBL is going dark for a few days.

This is an odd post to write. If you’d asked me 24 hours ago what JBL’s next update would be I’d have answered “JBL Review: G.I. Joe Con Night Force Lady Jaye.”

However all that changed at 2:50pm EST today when some SOB detonated two bombs in the 600 block of Boylston St in Boston. Reading the events online and listening to the streaming coverage from WBZ somehow made posting a review feel wrong.

I wasn’t born in Boston and I didn’t grow up there. However, after college I went to Boston University to get my Master’s Degree. I lived in Boston and the surrounding metro area for almost exactly seven years. For three of those years I worked between the Copley and Arlington T stations on the Green Line. I ate frequently ate lunch at Copley Square with friends and would walk up Boylston St to what was then Tower Records at the corner of Boylston and Mass Ave. Back Bay was, in many ways, the heart of the Boston that I knew.

When many people across the nation think of Boston and holidays July 4th immediately springs to mind. It’s our nation’s birthday after all and the seeds of the revolution were planted and nurtured in Boston. Yet, for many who live in the city Patriot’s Day (or “Marathon Monday” as it is more commonly known) really is the city’s holiday. It’s a day when Boston springs to life with an energy that is almost tangible as hundreds of thousands of people descend upon the city to share in the experience of the Boston Marathon. All of that energy, hope, and excitement is centered around the finish line– located at Copley Square. It’s day where the city celebrates the success not just of one or two individuals who place first or second but rather the accomplishment, dedication, and determination of ALL who participate in the course that begins out at Hopkinton, MA.

Today was reported to be an excellent Marathon Monday. The weather was ideal for the runners, and the Red Sox pulled off a win at an afternoon home game at Fenway. I can just imagine that excitement of the crowds and the smiling faces of children who were enjoying a day off of school in the city with family and friends. When the news broke of the incident on CNN this afternoon, I was seated in a desk in an office nearly 1,000 miles away and yet I felt for those in the city at that moment. This wasn’t some distant place on the news that I’d never been to. This was a place that I’d worked, lived, and made life-long friendships. This was a city that I still can regard as a second home.

At the risk of sounding terribly melodramatic, posting reviews of plastic figures from a toy convention just didn’t seem as important as it did 24 hours ago. So, I’m taking a few days off from posting the 2013 Collector’s Convention reviews. The site isn’t going away– but quite honestly this has hit me harder than I’d have thought possible. Even though I’ve been gone since the Fall of 2007, Boston still is a city that I’m very close to and to see it bloodied like this raises in me an ire as strong as if the attack had happened in my own home town.

Reviews will begin again next week. In the meantime, my thoughts and prayers go out to all of the injured and to the families of the three individuals whose lives were taken by an act of cowardice. To the individual(s) that set in motion this tragic series of events I can say only this– you’ve struck the Cradle of Liberty today and that city will not take this act laying down.

Copley Square Boston

11 years later…

The events of 9/11 were eleven years ago and yet the memory of that day will live with some of us for the rest of our lives.

Today, take a moment out of our day and take a moment to remember those who lives were lost in the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, and the plane crash in Pennsylvania.  Remember the brave men and women of the New York City Police and Fire Departments who lost their lives in the rescue efforts at the WTC.  Please, take a moment to honor the sacrifices of all of our Armed Forces who were deployed in combat since that day.

It was a day that brought America together like few have.  It made us look at our “civil heroes”– our police officers and our fire fighters differently.  Regardless of your politics, take a few moments to appreciate their service in keeping the rest of us safe on a daily basis.

Most of all, never forget.

9-11 Never Forget

Holy Wednesday, Batman! I just saw the Batmobile!

Wednesday is not regarded as the most exciting of work days. It’s “Hump Day” and quite honestly my focus starts to shift more toward what I have to get done over the weekend.   In other words, it usually is a day that has to be endured.  As such– I wasn’t really prepared for what greeted me in the parking deck when I drove into work this morning:

The car in question belongs to Lenny Robinson of Baltimore County, Maryland. However, it isn’t the car that makes this man remarkable but rather his mission. Robinson, who gained notoriety for a moving violation that went viral back in March, travels the US in costume and visits sick children in hospitals. Using his own funds, he brings joy to children whose days are otherwise filled with doctors, medicine, and even surgical procedures. In my eyes, that makes him a true hero.

Learn more about his schedule of appearances and his efforts by visiting the Facebook page Superheroes for Kids.  You can also read more about Lenny and his efforts in this article from the Washington Post.

Like a lot of “genre geeks”, I was a huge fan of the Adam West series as a kid when it played in heavy syndication on a local ABC affiliate.  It was my first live-action exposure to Batman outside of a water ski show at Sea World.  I can still remember going to a local car show when I was 4 years old because my Dad wanted to take me to see the Batmobile.  However, the crowds were thick and the red velvet ropes kept us all at bay.  To be able to walk right up to this replica with no barrier, no security guards, and just appreciate it for the car that it is has made today 100% pure AWESOME!

Check out more pics below and be sure to give Lenny’s Facebook page a “Like”!

JBL: The site, reviews, and a promise…

It’s been 4 years since JBL showed real signs of life as an active participant in the fan community.  However, things are changing around here and I thought I’d offer up an explanation of what happened and what the site will be going forward.  (Knock on wood.)

Those of you who’ve known me for a long time know that I’m actually not the most social of individuals.  It’s just one of those things– I tend to keep drama and things to myself rather than dump it other people.  After all, we’ve all got our own problems, right?  As recent as four years ago, JBL bordered on a full-time job for me.  I was compiling the Daily News five nights a week, monitoring the forums, and writing reviews of everything from classic Generation 1 A Real American Hero figures from the 80’s to Generation 3 25th Anniversary figures.   What started as a hobby had developed into a site and from there developed in something that was slowly taking over my waking hours.   It was a labor of love– an outlet for a passion dedicated to a group of characters that inspired me all throughout the 80’s.  That was when “real life” began to intrude.  My energies were split in too many directions and I had things outside of Joe that required more and more of my attention.  Aging parents, changing jobs, and health issues both personal and family-wise… all became more immediate than a site dedicated to “little plastic men.”  As such, the site suffered as I stepped away more and more.

As they say at the beginning of every episode of Supernatural, that was “Then:”… Let’s talk about “Now:”.

Continue reading

G.I.Joe Gets Social

According to USA Today (for the full story click the link) G.I.Joe will be going social with a Special Ops game that can be played on Facebook or the Syfy Games site.

The franchise of toys, cartoons, comics and movies celebrates its 30th year of pitting the military G.I. Joe team against the evil organization of Cobra, which means a lot of characters built up since 1982. Gamers and longtime fans will have a chance to pick teams of their favorites for battle in the new G.I. Joe: Special Ops social game launching in June from Hasbro and Syfy.

I might actually start playing games on Facebook and get revenge for all those Farmville requests.

Joe Battlelines Top 10 Classic Comic Issue


Once again you, the members of JBL, were asked to give us your top ten and you responded.  After a little delay (technically last year, happy 2012) we are pleased to present what you voted as your Top Ten Classic A Real American Hero Comic Book Issue(s


Issue #95 Summary

The Baroness takes the captured Snake Eyes to the Cobra Consulate building in New York. Scarlett is flown from Switzerland to NY in a coma. The Baroness tries to cover up things and hide them from Destro as Snake Eyes fights his way up towards the Baroness Storm Shadow Stalker and Wade Collins go to Snake Eyes’ aid. Billy and Raptor go to Cobra Commander’s gravesite.

Only1 says: Snake Eyes Trilogy– originally to be a graphic novel, it was broken up and put into the main series. Snake Eyes gets a new face only to get hot coals thrown into his face. Hama uses stroyline to introduce Snake eyes new costume as he pulls different parts off the people he beats. Scarlett is shot and near the brink of death… (and these events lead to issue #102 and Snake Eyes saying the only word he had ever said in the series, “Scarlett.”)


Issue #94 Summary

While undergoing surgery in Bern Switzerland Snake Eyes has a flashback that involves a young Baroness. In the present the Baroness, believing Snake Eyes is responsible for her brother Eugen’s death, attacks Scarlett and Snake Eyes at the hospital after getting a tip from Dr. Hundtkinder. Raptor contacts Billy.


Issue #27 Summary

Storm Shadow reveals that he did not kill his uncle, the Hard Master, but believes the job was done by someone in Cobra, which he has infiltrated to find the real killer.Snake-Eyes recruitment in GI Joe, his first meeting with Scarlett and the accident that disfigured & rendered him mute are all told. Plus, Scarlett reveals her love for Snake-Eyes.


Issue #26 Summary

Part one of a two-part story of Snake-Eyes’ background. Stalker explains his history with Snake-Eyes & Tommy Arashikage(Storm Shadow) in Vietnam. Snake-Eyes meets the Soft Master who relieves the history of the Arashikage Clan & the rivarlry between Snake-Eyes & Storm Shadow. Plus the death of the Hard Master by Storm Shadow.

LordEd1976  says: the story of Snake-Eyes. plus a peek at Zartan. (in more ways than one)


Issue #61 Summary

Stalker, Outback, Snow Job, and Quick Kick are given a special secret mission to bust out a journalist taken prisoner in Borovia. They discover that the journalist has already been released after they raid the prison. As they fight their way out, Snow Job and Quick Kick are injured. Stalker then orders Outback to leave them behind. Billy turns his back on his father. Cobra Commander then turns his back on Fred VII, who shoots Cobra Commander.

LittleE says: Snow Job, Stalker, Quick Kick captured & Outback ordered to flee

Icebreaker says: Beginnings and endings. Mission gone awry, Cobra Commander shot…

#5 (TIE)

Issue #49 Summary

The Beginning of the Battle of Springfield. Rip Cord gives the Joe team the location of Cobra Headquarters, which is Springfield, Vermont. Dr. Mindbender and Destro raid the tombs of greatest leaders of all time for their DNA. Dr. Mindbender then uses the Brainwave Scanner to create Serpentor. The Joes engage in a full out attack on the city of Springfield. Serpentor immediately takes command of the Cobra ground forces as Cobra evacuates.

Issue #53 Summary

As an attempt to win the loyalty of the Cobra troops, Cobra Commander leads an attack on the GI Joe base, The Pit. The Joes have been suspended, so as Cobra attacks they are mostly attacking a deserted base. Hawk, along with a couple of Generals and an Admiral fight a losing battle inside The Pit. Cobra Commander and Destro are in the bottom of The Pit when it completely collapses.

LordEd1976 says: the origin of Serpentor and the invasion of Springfield. I like how the comic actually tried to use some sort of science to explain Serpentor’s origins.

Dusty Ayers says: Just a cool issue and it’s the first appearance of Lift Ticket and Slip Stream. Precursor to the big #50 issue and the battle of Springfield.

LittleE says: Attack on the second Pitt


Issue #39 Summary

The Joes rescue Dr. Adele Burkhart in the jungles of Sierra Gordo, with help from a native tribe called the Tucaros. Storm Shadow begins to give Billy training as a ninja.

LittleE says: Sierra Gordo & Recondo

Dusty Ayers says: It’s just an awesome story.


Issue #14 Summary
Destro attacks as Kwinn, Dr. Venom, and Snake-Eyes form an uneasy truce to get out of the sunken bunker and escape Sierra Gordo.

Dusty Ayers says: First appearance of Ace – My favorite Joe, ‘nuff said.

Only1 said: (much like 33) this story is muted in the grand scheme of things but this set up a ton of stuff to be played out in future issues. The first full appearance of Destro, the Joe’s trying to catch the Commander… good stuff.

Lt Storm: This Issue holds some personal meaning to me. My (late) Grandmother bought this issue for my brother and I. For whatever reason I have always remembered this cover.


It is no surprise that this issue made into the top ten list, the infamous Silent Issue.

Issue #21 Summary
Snake-Eyes rescues Scarlett from Destro’s Cobra stronghold.

LordEd1976 says: the silent issue. No words or sound effects but it still felt exciting as hell. Also, it featured the first appearance of Storm Shadow and started a saga that runs to this day

And your top issue as voted by you is….(drum roll please)


Issue #34 Summary
Ace and Lady Jaye take a modified SkyStriker up for a flight, even as Wild Weasel and Baroness do likewise with a Rattler. A battle ensues, ends in a draw, with the two pilots saluting each other out of respect.

LordEd1976 says: Ace vs Wild Weasel!!!! The Joe Dogfight by which all other dogfights are judged!!

LittleE says: Ace vs. Wild Weasel

Dusty Ayers says: Ace vs Wild Weasel – Absolutely redonkulus (did I spell that right, haha). I never knew this issue existed because it was really hard to find comics in my hometown as a kid. We didn’t have a dedicated comic shop so I only got issues when I was in town with the fam at B Dalton. I started collecting around issue #50. I got the “readers digest” a few years later with multiple comics in them in the small size. When I first read it I was blown away. It was pretty much the issue I always wanted because it featured my favorite joe, Ace, battling his Cobra nemisis.

Only1 says: as said here already, incredible issue. One of my favorites… always has been, always will be.

Cover images and Issue Summary from YoJoe.com!  I’d like to personally thank you all for patiently waiting.  Keep your eyes open for our next TOP TEN!