Rank & File volume 2 & 3 Reprint Kickstarter almost funded!

With EIGHT days to go, the Rank & File volume 2 & 3 reprint Kickstarter has nearly reached its goal!

Rank & File vol 3 reprintA good reference book is an invaluable resource when managing a collection. In fact, you might even say that it’s ESSENTIAL, especially when the collection involves multiple variations of characters and a seemingly endless supply of tiny accessories.  The internet and hobby dedicated websites are an invaluable resource but nothing beats a good tangible book filled with high quality photos showcasing every knife, pistol, helmet, and accessory.  Plus, a good book is always there whether or not you have a WiFi connection available.

Enter the Rank & File book series from “noted author” (and long-time friend of JBL) James Kavanaugh!

We’ve talked about these books before.  Rank & File volumes 1, 2, and 3 have proven to be so popular with fans that the original print runs of all three have sold out, with volume 1 receiving a second printing!  Now, supplies of volumes 2 & 3 are almost gone and newly-revised and updated second printings are seeking funding on Kickstarter!  With just eight days remaining, this project could use your support to reach its goal and see this books available once more!

The current campaign ends Saturday March 17, 2018 at 7:10pm CST.

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Rank & File vol 2 is now available!

Rank & File vol 2, your guide to the G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra and Pursuit of Cobra action figure lines is now available online!

G.I. Joe Rank & File vol 2 cover

If you purchased Rank & File vol 1 or the RAHC Guide then you’re already familiar with the care and quality that “Noted Author” James Kavanaugh puts into his guides.  For that reason I’m excited that Rank & File vol 2 is NOW AVAILABLE online at RAHCGuide.com.  This second volume focuses solely on the “movie era” G.I. Joe and offers a comprehensive look at the figures and vehicles from both the Rise of Cobra and Pursuit of Cobra lines.  Even better– a copy will only set US Joe fans back $26.50!

In fact, here’s a sample of what fans can expect to find inside:

Rank & File vol 2 Ashiko preview

I’ve known author James Kavanaugh for a long time now and I can personally attest to the fact that these guide books are a personal passion of his.  From his initial layout mock-ups that he debuted back in New Orleans in 2006 to the final product, there is a real love of the product that shines through on each and every page.  As I’ve been pulling various parts of my RAHC and 25th anniversary collection figures out of storage, his guides have become essential in helping this Joe fan re-equip so many figures that were lumped together in the same storage bin.  All bias aside, this is THE book to use if you don’t want to go online to look up a part or figure!

However, don’t take my word for it! Check out some additional preview images below and then peruse through the official press release.  Trust me, you’ll want to snag your own copy of Rank & File vol 2 ASAP!

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G.I. Joe 50th Anniversary – what can fans expect in 2014?

gi joe movable fighting man

2014 marks a very special occasion for the ENTIRE G.I. Joe fandom.  Next year will mark the 50th Anniversary of G.I. Joe – the ORIGINAL action figure!  However, the question on many fans’ minds right now is how exactly will that milestone anniversary be acknowledged and which facets of G.I. Joe will it encompass?  After all, the G.I. Joe brand has evolved quite a bit over the past 50 years.

A quick timeline of G.I. Joe through the years:

  • America’s Movable Fighting Man: 1964 – 1969
  • The Adventure Team: 1970 – 1976
  • Super Joe: 1977 – 1978
  • A Real American Hero: 1982 – 1994
  • Sgt. Savage & His Screaming Eagles: 1994 – 1995
  • G.I. Joe Extreme: 1995 – 1997
  • G.I. Joe vs. Cobra: 2002 – 2005
  • G.I. Joe – Sigma 6: 2005 – 2007
  • G.I. Joe 25th Anniversary Collection: 2007 – 2009
  • The Movie Era (Rise/Pursuit of Cobra & Retaliation): 2009 – 2013

Now clearly, the bulk of the G.I. Joe timeline was heavily influenced by the A Real American Hero cast of characters and yet the anniversary is technically that of the original “Movable Fighting Man”.  Those initial five years were dominated by realistic representations of servicemen before Joe transitioned into the adventurer role that defined the Adventure Team years.  However, it seems that the 12″ market has transitioned from mass market to high-end with companies like Sideshow and Hot Toys taking over the market that once belonged to G.I. Joe.  Could Hasbro still celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Movable Fighting Man without the 1:6 scale?

The precedent is there– in 1994 Hasbro released a “30th Anniversary” line commemorating the original G.I. Joe offerings.  However, these figures weren’t just released in a 12″ format but instead were rendered in the then-current 3.75″ o-ring construction used for the soon-to-be completed “A Real American Hero” line.  (A 12″ anniversary line did also exist.)  Available both in action sets and in a fantastic boxed set, this line-within-a-line paid proper tribute to the past while still embracing the current reality of the market and retailer expectations.

The 1994 30th Anniversary line included:

Could such a nod to the first action figure happen again only in 1:18 generation 3 construction?  Will there be another limited release of 12″ figures as happened with the Adventure Team reissues from Walmart and Hot Topic of close to a decade ago?  No one knows at this point.  Right now, fans will just have to wait until February and the 2014 Toy Fair held in New York.  However, thanks to Pixel-Dan and ToyNewsInternational, this interview with Derryl DePriest offers a few tidbits about what is to come.

UPDATE: As we get close to the 2014 International Toy Fair there might be some news on the horizon regarding the G.I. Joe 50th Anniversary!

UPDATE: Hasbro’s official efforts have been covered in the G.I. Joe 50th Anniversary Review Index!

28 days until G.I. Joe Retaliation – Storm Shadow

Twitter user Twitziller continues his “40 Reasons to Be Excited About G.I. Joe Retaliation” series with today’s image: Storm Shadow!

One of Larry Hama’s INFINITE contributions to the G.I. Joe mythos was the tale of Thomas Arashikage also known as Storm Shadow.  Whereas the Sunbow animated series presented the Cobra Ninja as a spooky sounding foil for the G.I. Joe Tracker Spirit, the Marvel Comics series took a decidedly different approach.  Storm Shadow was shown to be working for Cobra only to find out the true identity of his uncle’s killer.  Once he had this information, Thomas did the only thing he could– contacted Snake Eyes, set aside their differences, and went on a two-ninja assault of Cobra Island!  Later, he’s put aside his ties to Cobra entirely, join the Joe team, and even serve as a mentor to Cobra Commander’s son Billy.

In the film universe, as portrayed by Byung-hun Lee, Storm Shadow is portrayed as a conflicted mentor to the Baroness who is at odds with his own past.  It looks like G.I. Joe Retaliation is going to confront head-on the real story as to who killed the cinematic Hard Master!  It also looks like Tommy will be fighting on the side of angels before the film is over.  Either way, I’ll be there opening night popcorn in hand!

Check out Twitziller’s previous entries in the series below.  We’re getting closer, gang.  Closer every day!

27 days to go!

In hand pics of the cancelled G.I. Joe Mindbender, Budo, Zap, and Nano-BAT from Rise of Cobra!

JoeDeclassifiedI think it’s safe to call Gyre-Viper the “Indiana Jones of the G.I. Joe fandom.”  Venturing into the depths of the Chinese marketplace and scouring the internet for cancelled and rare items “that belong in a museum”, he manages to unearth more cancelled and prototype items than anyone out there.  Some are good, some are bad but all are worth seeing.

His latest batch of finds includes some figures that never saw production in the ill-fated G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra movie line.  Consisting mostly of parts from previous releases, this set of four would have given fans an update on Budo, Dr. Mindbender, Zap, and introduced the Nano-BAT to fans’ collections.  While Zap is pretty easy to recreate by performing a simple head-swap and the Nano-BAT is seeing a release though the G.I. Joe Collector’s Club Figure Subscription Service in the near future, I find myself sad when I realize that Budo and Mindbender won’t see a release in this form.

Here are a few mirrored pics but check out the entire treasure trove of images over at JoeDeclassified.com!

G.I. Joe Retaliation trailer to hit Facebook in the US Monday evening?!

G.I. Joe: Retaliation

The UK G.I. Joe movie Facebook page dropped an interesting piece of information this morning:

The trailer for GI Joe: Retaliation will launch EXCLUSIVELY on our page at 12:30am Tuesday

Now… let’s do the math.  IF we’re talking 12:30am on Tuesday morning London time, that puts it being viewable on the page at 7:30pm EST on Monday December 12th.  (6:30pm CST if you’re in the Midwest like I am.)   Granted, debuting a trailer at “midnight-thirty” local time seems an odd time to debut but that could be scheduled with international audiences in mind.

Either way, I’ll be hitting Facebook diligently on Monday night!

Rise of Cobra MARS Troopers — now $1 at HasbroToyShop.com!

Looking for a Joe-based Cyber-Monday deal?  How about a Thanksgiving weekend deal on some troop builders?

Look no further than HasbroToyShop.com!

Launched as the “preview figures” for the film G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, this MARS trooper three pack has been lingering at e-tailers and retail shelves ever since.  The set includes two troopers and one officer as well as some RoC-themed weaponry.  It’s not the most dynamic set in the history of Joe but it has one thing going for it right now– this set is only $1.00!  That’s right– for $1.00 you’ll get three figures to use for generic troops or custom fodder!  Heck, you can even purchase multiples and toss a few in a local Toys For Tots donation box!

G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra MARS trooper 3-pack

So, what are you waiting for?  These figures aren’t going to get any cheaper!!