Introducing G.I. Joe Basic Training – a new series on YouTube

Looking to catch up on some G.I. Joe knowledge?  Check out G.I. Joe Basic Training!

g.i. joe basic trainingLet’s be honest– the G.I. Joe brand isn’t exactly a simple property for new fans to dive into.  In terms of A Real American Hero continuity you’ve got the original Marvel Comics series, followed by Devil’s Due Publishing (which was retconned away), and then IDW’s current titles.  In terms of animation there’s the classic Sunbow series, the DiC follow-up, Sgt. Savage, G.I. Joe: Extreme, Sigma 6, Resolute, and Renegades.  Let’s not forget the films in which Paramount pictures concocted a stew based on ingredients from many of the previous properties blended together with a healthy dose of creative license. All of this is just scratching the surface!

To new eyes, it can be a confusing mess of alternate versions of Ripcord and Snake Eyes, Baroness/Duke/Destro love triangles (thanks for that Rise of Cobra), and conflicting origins.  What’s a fan to do?

Enter “MacDowin”.  Long-time G.I. Joe fan and former staffer, he’s taken on the task of producing short topical videos that shed some light on our favorite brand of “Real American Heroes.”  Focusing initially on the ARAH-side of things, the “G.I. Joe: Basic Training” series tackles a single aspect of the brand in a weekly video.

You can check out Episode 1: Continuity below!

I won’t lie– when MacDowin and I talked about this we discussed what a herculean undertaking this would be.  Where do you start?  Where do you end?  Does Ice Cream Soldier eventually get his own episode?

Thankfully, MacDowin was up to the task!  In fact, he’s current THREE episodes in with a fourth dropping soon. So, if you’re looking to catch up on your G.I. Joe facts or just want some Joe-related content in your YouTube feed, check out G.I. Joe: Basic Training!  If you like the episodes, hit the “subscribe” button so that you’ll never miss out on an single installment!

And now you know…’s Ultimate G.I. Joe Custom Contest!


The folks over at have launched “The Ultimate Custom Contest” with a bevy of prizes that are hard to beat!

Check out the official announcement:

Joe Declassified and Joe Customs have joined together to bring you the ultimate custom contest! Here at Declassified, you know we love the history of the G.I. Joe brand and we love the production process – which leads to your chance to recreate unproduced Joe toys in order to win some pretty swell prizes.

Custom contest rules:

1. Customs may be figures or vehicles.
2. Any customs created for any prior contest, or that have been shown prior on the web are automatically disqualified. Customizers should submit a photo with their entry that shows their construction materials with any dated item (magazine, etc) created after the contest start date.
3. Customs must be of an unfinished Hasbro product (Rocky, for example). Anything that ever existed in any state of design is eligible. Please see the references at the bottom for further inspiration.
4. All entries are due no later than 15April2013.
5. All prize-winning customs become property of Joe Declassified, and will be auctioned off, with proceeds going to help support future Declassified endeavors. If contest winners do not wish to participate in the fundraising process, we will select the next highest rated customs to take their place.
6. No more than 3 custom entries per individual.
7. Entries MUST include real name, any online screen names, city and state of origin. All entry photos should be submitted to Please include no more than 10 photos per entry. Any questions or clarifications of contest rules should be sent to the same email address.
8. All judges and Joe Declassified staff are automatically disbarred from entry.

The Prizes:

1st prize: Carded wave 14 Storm Shadow

picsay 1358302861 175x300 The JoeDeclassified/JoeCustoms Ultimate Custom Contest!
2nd prize: all 13 Club FSS figures (these will ship to the winner after all 13 have been released)

gijoe collectors club figure subscription service 12 figures 223x300 The JoeDeclassified/JoeCustoms Ultimate Custom Contest!

3rd prize: Set of white and red SDCC Jinxes

sdcc jinx 01 300x236 The JoeDeclassified/JoeCustoms Ultimate Custom Contest!

4th-6th prizes: Red SDCC Jinx


Judging will be on a rating system among several categories. Points assigned by each judge individually will be averaged to determine a winner.
Judges will include:

  • Joe Declassified Staff
  • Joe Customs Staff
  • Chris Chung – Admin of
  • Fred Meyer – Owner/Admin of Joe
  • Fran O’Boyle – Owner/Admin of
  • Justin Bell – Owner/Admin of
  • Terry Dizard – Admin of
  • John Warden of Hasbro

Judging categories are:

  • Faithfulness – How accurately the custom reflects whatever existing source material is available. Difficulty – Customs accomplished through minor parts swapping vs. those that require parts fabrication.
  • Obscurity – The lesser known the concept, the better -bonus points for revealing unknown sourece material.
  • Part usage – How creative the customizers parts choices are. Paint – Painting execution and detailing.
  • Buyability/Playability – How much does the finished product look like something likely to sell, as well as durability to play.
  • Overall execution


The sites listed below all include some preproduction material, but are by no means intended as an all-inclusive list.

Joe Declassified forums
Joe Intel Preprodution Archives
Joe Declassified SpecOps podcasts’s preproduction archiv
A Real American Hero Book
The 788th Armored Division

Additionally, not only do we have big prizes and big name judges, but true to Declassified form we also have some big reveals to accompany the custom contest. Over the next few weeks, in conjunction with Joe Customs, we will be revealing some previously unseen G.I.Joe 80’s history in the form of concept art images and sculpts. These concepts can be used for your customs for this contest as they are all unproduced material. See the sneak peak images below, and get ready for more to come. Keep an eye both at JoeDeclassified and JoeCustoms over the next few weeks for more inspiration and history!

Good luck!

Start preparing the parts bins and dust off those painting skills– this is going to be one contest to win!

SDCC: Derryl DePriest interviewed!

The SDCC is one of the most intense genre experiences of the year!  Chock full of movie and TV reveals, it’s possible to forget that it is rapidly becoming a rival to Toy Fair in terms of toy news!   Hasbro was on scene again this year and JBL staffer and owner Nomad was on the scene to talk to Hasbro’s own Derryl DePriest.

Check out the interview below:

Despite the madness that is SDCC, Hasbro’s Derryl DePriest was kind enough to take out a few minutes for us to batter him with some Q&A. What follows, is my best attempt to transcribe such verbage, above the din of the overwhelming throng, and some Con-goers who didn’t understand what “private interview” meant. Special thanks to Joe Moscone and Justin Aclin of Hunter PR for giving us the opportunity, and Fred Meyer of Joe Battlelines for putting the contacts in place. As always, thanks to Derryl: a gracious, patient, and willing victim.

Declassified: You’re aware of the backlog issues at retailers, items/waves getting stuck at warehouses and eventually being pushed to discount stores; is there a plan to circumvent that?

Well, that’s unfortunately part of the environment we work in. When things go according to plan, then there’s no issues. We’ll make our release decisions based on what we anticipate our future needs will be. We’ll release those waves right to it, and the size of that wave will meet the market need. So, if the fan-base is growing, we need to make enough of it, or fans will complain it’s short. But, if for some reason we’re delivering a substandard wave, or we’re not meeting the needs, then our point of sale will go down. That hasn’t necessarily happened. The big problem here has been calling the right size for G.I Joe in the absence of any entertainment activity, and we haven’t found the right cadence yet. So, what it means is that when we re-launch a new line, we’ll put our first shot in there of what we think we need, and if it doesn’t meet our needs, then we’re in trouble, because everything’s backed up after that. It’s all about calling the right numbers.

With Retaliation, we think we’ve started fresh, and we’re off to the right start, and we have the right cadence. It’s all about right-sizing those expectations. So, if everything goes according to plan, we shouldn’t have any of those wave issues. But when we do release the inventory, and we have problems like we’ve had – Toys R Us, Target, Wal-Mart – they’re jammed, they can’t get out of it, and it’s massively expensive to the company to go pull inventory out of retail. Basically, it costs us their retail price to pull a figure out and replace it with a different figure that we sell for less, since we sell at wholesale. So when we get jammed like that, it’s a major problem, so we’re working hard to avoid that at all. So that’s my commitment – that’s one thing on the Joe brand that I want to make sure we do, is get into that cadence where we don’t have these problems.

But, the TJ Maxx’s of the world become valuable partners to get product out that we’ve already made, that we have no way to distribute. It’s either that, or donate it to charity, or shred it – and we never want to do that. So, they’re valuable partners. It’s a great channel and avenue for us, but regionally, they’re limited.

Is there any plan, as it was in the 80’s, to align the visual medium (cartoon), comic, and toy, with the toy driving the way, and the comic and cartoon following, even year by year? Is there a mentality, approaching the future, to try to get that same universal level of tie-in again?

Yes. That’s an outrageously great question. One thing that is at the center of what we do, and we’ve had a lot of lines that were lacking…I would say “soul” before…The Pursuit of Cobra was an attempt to get into that cadence. The things that followed it – Renegades – we never got synched up, because that show started before we could get going, and our follow up line was already out there. I think with the team, what I want to do is make sure that we get back more into that mentality, even if it’s internal storytelling in waves. So, kind of do stories that tie figures together, like little mini-stories. No plans to integrate IDW into the mix – they’re doing their own thing and we’re letting them tell their own stories. But we definitely want, after the movie, to figure out what the next entertainment story is, and ideally it would be a TV play, and we’re not there yet as the delay in the movie has pushed everything out. Ideally there would be a stronger integration between entertainment and toys, and that’s what we’re going work on, or at least, more story-telling rather than just putting more random unrelated figures out.

I know you had Resolute, Renegades… you have Retaliation – so far, in all 3 of those, the toy line hasn’t perfectly lined up. Is there a possibility then, with those old concepts, to release figures that were tied to those, even though you don’t have that medium to support them anymore? Or are those pretty much going to get written off?

Not right now. I think one thing we want to do is make sure we focus on the entertainment that’s in front of us, or focus on getting high-demand figures back out. And that may be related to your question. I’m not sure what the lingering demand is for more Resolute or Renegades figures.

Resolute HISS tank. Want.

OK. Well, that’s an interesting one. There could be a possibility down the road for that. But for more figures connected to that, or more multi-packs, or things like that, there won’t be any new ones, and unlikely there won’t be any more for that [Resolute]. If it’s new figures for Resolute, it’s very unlikely.

The thing with Renegades, we’re now putting Renegades behind us. It’s possible that figures could come out, but especially as part of the Vault project that started at Joe Con, it’s possible that there could be Renegades figures in the mix, but we wouldn’t do the vehicles – it would be just too expensive.

Have you considered the possibility, as you have Hasbro Toy Shop here at SDCC…at the Joe Con, of Hasbro selling directly to the people that show up at the Joe conventions.

We’ve looked at that before, and we feel that Brian Savage and the Collector’s Club, can take care of that audience. We would be slightly duplicative. But also, Hasbro Toy Shop, we only go to one show a year. We actually stopped going to [Star Wars] Celebration, because the economies of scale don’t work for us, so we just focus and put our efforts on the one show a year. So, we’ll let Brian take care of that.

You have two years running of a Joe/Transformers SDCC exclusive going here at the show. Is that a plan you intend to keep going with?

No comment. Would that be of interest to fans?

And that’s that! Thanks for reading. If you have other questions you think we can track down answers to, hit us up here.


A HUGE thanks to Sam Damon (aka “Nomad”) for his con legwork!  Be sure to check out for more pics from this year’s SDCC!

Toy Fair 2010 coverage rolls in from across the web!

This weekend many Joe fans were hunkered down over their computers hitting “refresh” waiting for the latest news from the International Toy Fair in New York City.  News and pics have started pouring in at the sites listed below:

So, new figures– or at least redeco’ed “Pursuit of Cobra” figures with no more movie likenesses, new vehicles, Sigma 6 Mechs overhauled, Resolute 7 packs, and more.  It seems that the line is in transition yet again but at least the Resolute figures are FINALLY seeing the light of day.

Upcoming Dates To Remember!

Just a head’s up for everyone because there are a lot of things coming up in the next few days:

  • Sunday November 1st: Daylight Savings Time ends, so remember to set your clocks back one hour before you go to bed Saturday night.  It’s also a good time to change out the batteries in your smoke alarms.
  • Sunday is the deadline to have your questions submitted for the next round of “Ask Hasbro”.
  • Sunday is also the day the TRU Toy Book comes out with some Joe goodness on sale.
  • Monday will be the submission day for the above mentioned questions.
  • Tueday—now what is it that is supposed to happen on Tuesday……………?  Oh wait isn’t there supposed to be some new DVDs coming out that day like maybe Resolute and Rise of Cobra?

JBL Fan Content Update 9-16



Hey all, here is some of the excellent work being put out by fans on JBL right now! 



Track Viper by Alexx

Resolute Syle Customs by Slaymaker

Dial Tone, Gung Ho, Tunnel Rat by Madmac41

Big Boa by Ratfink

Dios, Art, and Photowork:

‘Trouble Down the Alley’ by drjoejustice

Swimsuit Agent Helix by Lt Storm

“Just Who is Snake Eyes?” Hama & Jerwa speak up!

Snake Eyes

Snake Eyes

Brandon Jerwa (G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero, vol 2, G.I. Joe: Frontline, Master & Apprentice) and Larry Hama (G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero, vol 1, G.I. Joe Special Missions, etc) discuss the most recognizable character of the modern G.I. Joe mythos in a piece called “Just Who is Snake Eyes”.

You can check out the article over at!

Discuss this item in the forums!

GI JOE Q&A Video with the RESOLUTE Creators

resoluteYou’ve seen G.I. JOE: RESOLUTE – now hear from the filmmakers themselves! Recently, hundreds of fans submitted their own questions and comments to the show’s creative team (Joaquim Dos Santos – Director, Dan Norton – Lead Background & Prop Designer, Steve Drucker – Executive Producer). We sat down with all three and asked them our favorite questions among those submitted. Check back to today and watch the exclusive Hasbro video interview!

Check out the video at Hasbro’s site right here!

Discuss this item in the forums!