The JBL Forums are Back! (Also, Brand New!)

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The best laid plans of mice and men…

Yesterday, during an attempt to reduce the JBL forums database to a reasonable size (according to our hosting company) I inadvertently wiped out everything.  That’s right– the last nearly 7 years of the current forums were obliterated with a keystroke.

There’s good news, however.  The forums are back!  However, there’s a change.

They’re brand NEW forums.  The old data is gone and that means the old registrations are also gone.  To resume activity on the forums, you’re going to need to re-register.  So, stop on by and join in the rebuilding of the community!

Now I can get back to working on reviews that will post next week!

Well… the JBL Forums Just Got Wiped Out…


Well, it wasn’t Cobra, the Dreadnoks, Serpentor’s Coil, or even the Fatal Furries that killed the JBL forums.  It wasn’t even an outside hacker or malicious attack.

Nope, it was a well-intended admin who had received a “database size exceeded” notice from his hosting company.

This morning about 11:00am CST while doing some maintenance I accidentally wiped out the database containing the JBL forums.  That’s right– the entire forums.  Every post, every poll, and every member from the last 7 years was erased in one quick keystroke.  There is no backup, there is no turning back.

What does this mean going forward for the individuals who still used the forums?  Well, it looks like I’ll be doing some rebuilding over the next few hours.  I can put the structure back as closely as I can but the content will be gone.  However, this is where you come in.

Let’s face it– the forums have been wiped out before.  When we left EZboard and merged with the now-defunct, the forums were rebuilt.  When our database crashed after that, they were rebuilt.  From the ashes of the old can arise the new– but only if people want it to.  Once the new forums are rebuilt, stop on by.  Register an account and post something.  Start a topic, post a custom, create a poll– whatever you feel like.  This is a chance to build something new from the ashes of something that had become a bit of a dinosaur.

Keep your eyes peeled both here and on our Facebook page– that’s where the announcement that the new forums are LIVE will go up.  Until then, all I can say is “Sorry gang… I’ll fix it.”

So What’s Up With the JBL Forums?


forums update


“So, what’s the deal with the JBL forums, Mainframe?!!”

That’s a question that some of you might be asking after an earlier post teased that the forums were getting an update.  There is some news on that forums update– some good and some bad so I’ll break it down as follows:

  • The forums are updated and functional for all registered users.
  • Registration, however, isn’t quite working for new members.

In a nutshell, the current iteration of JBL’s forums is approaching its seventh birthday.  That’s right– there are nearly seven years worth of posts, registrations, uploads, attachments, etc cluttering the database.  Our hosting company, GoDaddy, has informed me that the database is a larger than it should be by nearly a factor of 150%!  This meant that the forums needed some serious attention– something that they’ve not seen in an administrative sense for a long time.

After a few hours work, the database has been pared down somewhat but there is still more work to do on the back end.  However, for anyone who has previously registered on the site, the old forums are back in business.  This means that anyone who has posted to JBL in the past 6+ years should be able to log in use the old site just like they used to.

It’s a fact that the forums traffic has dwindled in the past two years.  Much of that came from the hiatus of the site admin (namely me) from the hobby failing to generate new content to the site.  Further attrition is probably due to the ups and downs of the brand over the past few years as well as the rise of social media sites like Facebook.  Let’s face it– the advent of Facebook groups means that just about anyone can set up a group, invite their friends, and start posting.  Plus, the average net users spends over 10% of their daily time on the net on Facebook.

The point is– the JBL forums are still open for business.  If you’re so inclined to log back in, poke around, and discuss the world’s greatest toy line we’ve left the lights on for you.  So, why not stop on in and check them out once more?  You might just enjoy yourself.  (In the meantime, I’ve got to get the user registration settings fixed!)

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 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.

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

JBL Review: More G.I. Joe reviews coming soon… really!

Yeah, remember a few weeks ago that whole promise of “one G.I. Joe  review a week”…

Sounded pretty good, didn’t it?  Yet– there is a decided lack of new reviews posted in the past two weeks.  You might even find yourself wondering- “What happened?”

Trust me– more reviews are coming.  Sadly a plumbing issue took place at Casa del JBL… right over the photo setup!  Everything is fine now but the delay cost me some time that I’m working to get back.  Just check out the gallery below to see a few preview images of some of the figures that will be covered in the next two weeks here– including some fan favorites that were long overdue for an update!

After that– I’ll be “hopping around” a bit in terms of new reviews.  This means that we’ll be dipping back into the classic Gen 1 G.I. Joe A Real American Hero line as well as the Gen 3 “Modern Era” figures as well.  The past few years have left me with quite a backlog of product both opened and unopened that needs to be freed from its plastic prisons!  So, if there’s something that you’d like to see JBL cover in a review– shoot me a line or post a reply below and I’ll add it to the queue.  (See, I do take requests!  Just no “My Little Pony” stuff… no Bronies here!)

Anyway, enjoy the preview images and keep your eyes posted on JBL!  There’s more new content coming!


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:”.

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