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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Toy Fair 2014 Recap from The Breaux Show

Breaux Show Toy Fair 2014

Looking for more news from Toy Fair 2014?  Check out this in depth walk-through of Hasbro’s showroom courtesy of good friend of JBL The Breaux Show!

Check out this nearly two hour long recap from this Sunday’s live radio show in which intrepid reporter Mike Breaux walks his audience through the entire Hasbro presentation and tour of all of the product lines shown.  Along with over 250 images he provides insights from the showroom including how the Kre-O Firebat will interact with the Terrordrome playset.

Since this Toy Fair 2014 video might be a bit long for a lunch break, here are some time marks to jump to if you just want to watch certain subjects:

  • 9:30 – My Little Pony
  • 16:45 – Star Wars
  • 35:30 – Marvel (including Guardians of the Galaxy, Captain America, Avengers Infinite, etc)
  • 57:25 – Kre-O (G.I. Joe, Dungeons & Dragons, Transformers)
  • 1:10:00 – Transformers

I’d like to extend a big thanks to Mike for his help with JBL’s Toy Fair 2014 Coverage.

G.I. Joe Kre-O Images and Info from Toy Fair 2014

Kre-O Gung-Ho

When it comes to G.I. Joe and Toy Fair 2014, it was the Kre-O line that truly stood out at yesterday’s Hasbro Brand Entertainment Event in NYC.  The only Joe product shown “on site”, the tiny building block line took everyone by surprise with the sheer diversity of the line showcased.  From 24 new individual figures to some killer boxed sets, Hasbro proved their commitment to Kre-O with a Toys R Us exclusive G.I. Joe line that is sure to please many fans.

Note: You may view JBL’s complete Toy Fair 2014 coverage/info page here.

I’ve recapped the Kre-O information that was posted yesterday and have also added in the “on site” images provided by Mike Breaux of The Breaux Show who was gracious enough to cover the event for JBL.  Now, how do I get my hands on that Gung-Ho again?

Kre-O individual figures (Available March 2014):

  • Air Adventurer (classic Adventure Team)
  • Airborne
  • Atomic Man (aka Mike Power – classic Adventure Team)
  • Budo
  • Chuckles
  • Cobra Air Trooper
  • Cobra Eel
  • Cobra Shock Trooper
  • Cobra Viper
  • Doc
  • Footloose
  • Lady Jaye
  • Low-Light
  • Nemesis Enforcer
  • Night Creeper
  • Night Viper
  • Nunchuck
  • Scrap Iron
  • Snow Serpent
  • Tomax
  • Torch
  • Tripwire
  • Wet Suit
  • Zartan

Did I also spy Alpine in there?!  It’s a solid group of figures– including two additions from the Adventure Team roster although they seem to have lost their flocked hair!

Kre-O Boxed sets (Available March 2014):

  • Outpost Defense with (97 pieces) – includes Cobra Ferret and Outpost Defender, Storm Shadow v2  and Beach Head.
  • Firebat Attack with (292 pieces) – includes  Firebat, Wolverine, Bazooka, Recondo
  • Cobra Terror-Drome (856 pieces) – includes Gung Ho, Hawk, Mainframe, Serpentor, and Xamot

Hasbro’s official press images:


Toy Fair 2014 press release copy:

Beginning in March, exciting new KRE-O building sets will let kids and collectors alike build vehicles and environments to play out the G.I. JOE vs. COBRA fantasy. Collectible blind-bagged KREONS of popular G.I. JOE characters will also hit shelves, including characters from both the heroic G.I. JOE team like LADY JAYE and FOOTLOOSE, as well as the villainous COBRA organization like TOMAX and SCRAP IRON. As part of the 50th anniversary celebration, Hasbro and Toys“R”Us are bringing one of the most popular G.I. JOE vs. COBRA playsets from the 1980s back in KRE-O form with the KRE-O G.I. JOE TERROR DROME Building Set. This iconic set features over 850 pieces and will be available in the fall.


G.I. Joe Toy Fair Press Release and Official Images

G.I. Joe 50th Anniversary Social Clash

Thanks to the good folks at Hunter Public Relations, we now have the official G.I. Joe Toy Fair press release and images!


The “Original Action Figure” Turns a Half-Century Old with New Toys“R”Us-Exclusive Line, Licensing Program

PAWTUCKET, R.I. – February 15, 2014 – Hasbro, Inc. (NASDAQ: HAS) today unveiled initiatives planned for the 50th anniversary celebration of its iconic G.I. JOE brand at the American International Toy Fair in New York City. The storied property, which invented the “action figure” toy category, celebrates its incredible five-decade history by partnering with Toys“R”Us as the official toy headquarters for the G.I. JOE brand in 2014. Kids and fans can look forward to a special edition 50th anniversary-branded action figure line available only at Toys“R”Us stores nationwide and online at Toysrus.com, along with new items in the popular KRE-O G.I. JOE line of building sets from Hasbro, beginning this March through the fall 2014.

Launched at the American International Toy Fair in 1964, the “original action figure” debuted as a 12-inch pose-able soldier toy, G.I. JOE has been a pop-culture phenomenon ever since. The property evolved over the years, from the original 12-inch action figure in the 1960s, the ADVENTURE TEAM in the 1970s and the G.I. JOE vs. COBRA saga which was introduced in the 1980s with a 3.75-inch action figure line, comic book series and legendary animated series G.I. JOE: A REAL AMERICAN HERO. Recently the brand has introduced two blockbuster movies based on the saga including G.I. JOE: THE RISE OF COBRA and G.I. JOE RETALIATION from Paramount Pictures.

“The G.I. JOE brand is a pop culture and childhood icon whose cultural relevance, based on its core essence of action, bravery and the compelling characters from G.I. JOE vs. COBRA saga, continues to inspire the imaginations of kids and fans around the world,” said John Frascotti, Chief Marketing Officer, Hasbro, Inc. “From action figures and publishing, to animated series and global blockbuster movies, few properties have the cultural resonance and enduring appeal. In the 50th anniversary year of the G.I. JOE brand Hasbro looks forward to delivering fan-favorite action figures, exciting new publishing ventures and innovative but nostalgic KRE-O building sets to the brands most ardent fans and newest recruits.”

“For generations, Toys“R”Us kids big and small have cherished the G.I. JOE brand and brought its legendary characters to life through play,” said Lisa Harnisch, Senior Vice President and General Merchandising Manager, Toys“R”Us, U.S. “We are proud to partner with Hasbro to help commemorate this golden anniversary, and are eager to bring an exciting assortment of G.I. JOE figures, including classics and new items from the hit KRE-O line, exclusively to Toys“R”Us customers this year.”

Beginning in March, exciting new KRE-O building sets will let kids and collectors alike build vehicles and environments to play out the G.I. JOE vs. COBRA fantasy. Collectible blind-bagged KREONS of popular G.I. JOE characters will also hit shelves, including characters from both the heroic G.I. JOE team like LADY JAYE and FOOTLOOSE, as well as the villainous COBRA organization like TOMAX and SCRAP IRON. As part of the 50th anniversary celebration, Hasbro and Toys“R”Us are bringing one of the most popular G.I. JOE vs. COBRA playsets from the 1980s back in KRE-O form with the KRE-O G.I. JOE TERROR DROME Building Set. This iconic set features over 850 pieces and will be available in the fall.

Additionally, a collectible 50th anniversary-branded, 3.75-inch scale action figure and vehicle line will debut at Toys“R”Us this fall. The special edition line will be offered in unique 50th anniversary branded packaging and reintroduce classic G.I. JOE vs. COBRA characters and iconic vehicles, including some that have not been available since the 1980s. Fans will be able to purchase classic characters like DESTRO, SNAKE EYES and HAWK, as well as vehicles like the G.I. JOE VAMP MKII and COBRA WOLF VEHICLE with an updated sculpting style and unique deco.

The 50th anniversary year will also continue the G.I. JOE brand’s long tradition of publishing and rich storytelling with exciting new programs from Hasbro’s partners. IDW Publishing’s G.I. JOE: A REAL AMERICANHERO will release its landmark 200th issue in March 2014, continuing the story of the original 1980s G.I. JOE comic by original writer Larry Hama. IDW will also launch TRANSFORMERS/G.I. JOE, a series uniting Hasbro’s iconic brands, by acclaimed creators Tom Scioli and John Barber this summer. Additionally, as part of its publishing program, Hasbro is opening the fantasy to fan participation. Amazon Publishing recently announced that Kindle Worlds has reached a licensing agreement with Hasbro to open up a new Kindle World based on the G.I. JOE brand. With the launch of the G.I. JOE Kindle World, writers will be able to publish their own original fiction starring iconic G.I. JOE characters like DUKE, SNAKE EYES, and COBRA COMMANDER and sell their work on Amazon.com. The G.I. JOE Kindle World will open for writers to start publishing stories in the next few months.

This spring, the official G.I. JOE Collector’s Club will host the 21st annual G.I. JOE fan convention, known as “GIJoeCon,” in Dallas from Thursday, April 10 to Sunday, April 13. Convention organizers plan on celebrating the 50th anniversary with exclusive action figure sets, special G.I. JOE guests from throughout the brand’s history and the opportunity to meet and interact with other fans of the brand. Fans can learn more about the Hasbro-sponsored convention by visiting www.GIJoeCon.com.

About Hasbro, Inc.
Hasbro, Inc. (NASDAQ: HAS) is a branded play company dedicated to fulfilling the fundamental need for play for children and families through the creative expression of the Company’s world class brand portfolio, including TRANSFORMERS, MONOPOLY, PLAY-DOH, MY LITTLE PONY, MAGIC: THE GATHERING, NERF and LITTLEST PET SHOP. From toys and games, to television programming, motion pictures, digital gaming and a comprehensive licensing program, Hasbro strives to delight its global customers with innovative play and entertainment experiences, in a variety of forms and formats, anytime and anywhere. The Company’s Hasbro Studios develops and produces television programming for more than 170 markets around the world, and for the U.S. on Hub Network, part of a multi-platform joint venture between Hasbro and Discovery Communications(NASDAQ: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK). Through the company’s deep commitment to corporate social responsibility, including philanthropy, Hasbro is helping to build a safe and sustainable world for future generations and to positively impact the lives of millions of children and families every year. It has been recognized for its efforts by being named one of the “World’s Most Ethical Companies” and is ranked as one of Corporate Responsibility Magazine’s “100 Best Corporate Citizens.” Learn more at www.hasbro.com.

50th Anniversary:


Toy Fair 2014 Coverage Coming Later Today

toy fair 2014


Just a quick reminder– JBL’s coverage of the Hasbro Brand Entertainment Preview Event from Toy Fair 2014 will be going live later today!

Good friend of JBL, Mike Breaux of The Breaux Show has braved the East Coast winter weather to make the trek up to NYC to attend the event which starts at 1pm EST today.  As soon as he’s able to report back, we’ll post coverage of whatever Hasbro’s plans may be for the G.I. Joe 50th Anniversary.

There’s been a lot of speculation as to what, if anything, Hasbro will be doing to commemorate this half-century of the first action figure.  My own opinion is that we’re not likely to see anything before Q3 2014– meaning that more information could potentially be revealed at Comic Con 2014 than at Toy Fair this year.  However, that’s just my opinion– it’s not based on any insider knowledge.  Whatever the folks in Pawtucket decide to do, we can all agree that G.I. Joe has provided countless boys and girls, men and women with a source of inspiration and imagination over the past 50 years.

You’ll be able to view the coverage HERE as it is submitted!

If you’re looking for early info before it’s posted here, follow @TheBreauxShow on Twitter.


G.I. Joe 50th Anniversary Coverage from Toy Fair 2014 Begins Saturday

toy fair 2014


Next week the International Toy Fair in New York City begins! This Saturday at 1pm EST, Hasbro will be holding an advance Entertainment Brand Preview Event which is slated to feature the latest in Marvel, Transformers, Star Wars, and My Little Pony brands and is scheduled to include a spotlight on the G.I. Joe 50th Anniversary. In partnership with The Breaux Show, JBL will bring you coverage of the event beginning Saturday evening.

What can fans expect to see from Hasbro commemorating a half century of “America’s Movable Fighting Man”?  At this point no one knows but hopefully Saturday will offer some insight into what plans, if any, the folks in Pawtucket have in store for fans and collectors everywhere.

Keep your eyes peeled to this page or any of the following links to see coverage as it goes live:

In the meantime, check out these two articles that offer some speculation as to what might lie ahead for the brand.

This Week in Geektastic History – G.I. Joe 50th Anniversary

Geektastic History

Depending upon which source you use, this week marks the birthday of my favorite franchise of all time.  To commemorate the G.I. Joe 50th Anniversary, the folks at The Breaux Show have put together a short video tribute as part of their “Geektastic History” series.  Short and to the point, it’s a nice look back at 5 decades of “America’s Movable Fighting Man”!

Check back on Saturday Evening as the host of The Breaux Show will be traveling to New York City for Hasbro’s special Pre-Toy Fair Media event!  This event showcases Hasbro’s entertainment brands and their products for 2014 from Transformers to Marvel to a spotlight on the G.I. Joe 50th Anniversary!

Hasbro May Announce G.I. Joe 50th Anniversary Plans on February 15


gi joe movable fighting man

This year marks an important milestone in the history of the G.I. Joe brand– 2014 marks the 50th anniversary of the G.I. Joe brand.  For months, the internet has wondered what this milestone year will have in store for the brand that began with “America’s Movable Fighting Man”.  This year at the International Toy Fair it seems that the fandom just might get its answer.  Hasbro’s annual Entertainment Brand Preview Event will be held on February 15th at the International Toy Fair in New York.  At that point, fans will know what, if anything, Hasbro plans to do for the G.I. Joe 50th Anniversary.

G.I. Joe was the first action figure.  Not just the first in a series but the first of an entire genre.  Without G.I. Joe there might not be a concept of the “action figure”.  With such a legacy behind the brand, fans began to speculate just what Hasbro, the brand’s manufacturer, might have in store for this half-century anniversary.  First there was Pixel Dan’s interview with long-time G.I. Joe fan and V.P. of Global Brand Development Derryl DePriest.  It was short on specifics but hinted that the folks in Pawtucket had some surprises in store for fans. (Video courtesy of Toy News International.)

The holidays, however, were not kind to the current movie-themed incarnation of G.I. Joe.  Beginning in Q3 2013, product became scarce at retail with the line being dropped from major retailers such as Target and Walmart.  Even former retail giant Kmart ceased carrying new Joes which left Toys R Us as the sole mass market outlet for the product.  Restocks became few and far between and the last wave of product became near-impossible to find.  The fandom began, quite naturally, to worry that perhaps the future for the 50th didn’t look quite so rosy.

Next came the announcement from long-time G.I. Joe retailers SmallJoes.com in a newsletter that:

 “We are not expecting any new GI JOE 3 3/4″ product at retail in 2014.”

Naturally, this sent fans scrambling for answers.  Joe fans were crying foul and going so far as to declare that “Hasbro lied to us.”   My good friend Justin “General Hawk” Bell penned an excellent piece on The State of the Hobby 2014 in which he encouraged patience in the fandom.  No news doesn’t necessarily mean bad news, after all.  It just means that nothing has been made official.  Always a voice of reason, Justin suggested that fans merely wait and see what, if anything, is revealed by Hasbro at the annual International Toy Fair to be held in New York in a few weeks.

This morning a brand new news article has been making the rounds on the AP Newswire.  Penned by Chris Carola the piece entitled “G.I. Joe, ‘World’s First Action Figure’, Turns 50” once again swings the pendulum of fandom speculation in the opposite direction.  In the article, which focuses on the fact that this is the 50th anniversary of the 12” G.I. Joe figures, offers the following quote:

“Hasbro said it intends to announce details of its 50th anniversary plans during this year’s fair in New York on Feb. 16-19.”

This is the first semi-official mention of any sort of announcement from Hasbro that it will acknowledge the brand’s 50th anniversary.  Light on details but that is to be expected in the world of brand advertising.  However, the fact that the AP is running a story on G.I. Joe is a hopeful sign.  It means that there is still interest in the brand outside of the niche fandom that G.I. Joe has found itself enjoying these past few years.

So, why all of the conflict?  Why all of the back-and-forth and the “will they/won’t they” that seem to have hit the fan community these past few months?  Quite honestly, G.I. Joe isn’t the power house brand that is once was—dominating retail shelves in the 80’s in a way that has seldom been seen since in the toy industry.  The G.I. Joe Retaliation line, while producing some of the most amazing sculpts and design innovations seen in the 1:18 scale line, was not a break away hit.  It was plagued by dubious retailer perceptions after the debacle that was the Rise of Cobra over-merchandising and let’s not forget the 9 month delay due to the 3D conversion of the film.  In addition, 2014 isn’t just a banner year for G.I. Joe– it’s the 30th anniversary of another flagship brand from the 80’s: Transformers. Let’s also not forget that Transformers has a brand new film hitting theatres this summer.   Additionally, Marvel has multiple movie lines to promote this year– Captain America: Winter Soldier, Amazing Spider-man 2, and Guardians of the Galaxy.  In other words, the focus won’t be solely on G.I. Joe.  In fact, with the current perceptions of G.I. Joe as a more movie-based line the presence at the event could be limited to an acknowledgement of the milestone fifty years.

As I’ve stated before on JBL, this is NOT the anniversary of the “Real American Hero” brand of G.I. Joe that this site and many others focus on.  2014 marks 50 years since the release of the original 12” G.I. Joe—“America’s Movable Fighting Man”.    Rightly so, any product that highlights this anniversary should be themed toward the 12” brand—honoring the innovation and the legacy of those early trail-blazing days when “dolls were for girls.”  Hasbro took a bit risk back in 1964 and it paid off spectacularly for the Pawtucket, RI toy manufacturer but it very easily could have gone the other way and G.I. Joe could have gone the way of many other failed merchandising attempts.

On February 15, 2014, Hasbro is hosting their annual Entertainment Brand Preview Event as a prelude to Toy Fair in NYC.  The annual showcase, which is open to members of the media by invitation, showcases the company’s plans for their key brands in 2014 including Marvel, Star Wars, My Little Pony and Transformers.  This year’s invitation also indicated that it will spotlight its G.I. Joe brand.  I’ve no doubt that by the evening of the 15th, fans will have SOME idea as to how Hasbro intends to celebrate the anniversary of the debut of the original 12” action a half-century before.

Until that time, fans can only wait and wonder.  However, there is a quote from another favorite property of mine that also had a 50th anniversary this past November that seems terribly applicable at this point in time:

“Never believe what is said… only what you know.”

The Doctor, Doctor Who: Trial of a Time Lord – The Mysterious Planet

The media event is a little over a week away at which point the fandom will have some sort of answer to all of the nervous speculation.  JBL will have someone on-site to provide coverage of the event and we’ll be posting the information just as fast as well have it.  At that point, we’ll know and G.I. Joe fans are certainly familiar with a quote that pertains to knowing.

No matter what—2014 will be a year to remember.  Yo Joe!


Toy Fair 2013: G.I. Joe Micro Force images…

G.I. Joe Micro Force represents on of Hasbro’s more unusual merchandising forays for the G.I. Joe brand.  Similar to the gashapon figures from Japan, these tiny blind-package PVC figures are incredibly small stylized representations of our favorite Real American Heroes.

Here’s Hasbro’s official word on Micro Force:


(Approximate retail price: $2.99-$5.99; Ages: 4 & up; Available: Series 1: 2/11/13 & Series 2: 8/1/13)

Micro heroes, mega battles! Iconic G.I. JOE characters get a collectible new battle twist, as players use MICRO FORCE figures for extra small battling fun! 43 G.I. JOE MICRO FORCE figures will be available in 2013 and will feature a unique new style based on classic G.I. JOE vs. COBRA characters including SNAKE EYES, STORM SHADOW, COBRA COMMANDER, SCARLETT and more! Collect them, set them up on their included stands, and knock them down in head-to-head battling play! Each set sold separately.

G.I. JOE MICRO FORCE Series 1 Blind Bag

(Approximate retail price: $2.99; Ages: 4 & up; Available: 2/11/13)

The new G.I. JOE MICRO FORCE collectible battling experience offers fans a micro way to have big battles! For a surprise, pick up the Blind Bag, which offers two mini figures and two stands – just what kids need to start the battle! Series 1 includes 43 figures to collect!

G.I. JOE MICRO FORCE Series 1 Starter Pack

(Approximate retail price: $5.99; Ages: 4 & up; Available: 2/11/13)

The MICRO FORCE starter packs include five mini figures and five stands to help kids begin to build their MICRO FORCE collection. Series 1 includes 43 figures to collect!  Each sold separately.

Here’s the most recent set of press images:

Now, it’s been a while since I was a widely-followed presence in the Joe community but I’m still going to offer up some thoughts on this line.  I have the feeling that Hasbro here is targeting the same market segment that buys the Angry Birds toys, etc and not the action figure collecting community.  As such, I don’t know if they’re for me.  Part of this indifference comes from the fact that a large number of the characters in the line are unproduced ninjas shown at the 2012 G.I. Joe Collector’s convention.  As such, I don’t really have any attachment to these characters.  It’s good to see a nod to the Adventure Team Commander and I’ve seen images of Gung-Ho in some of the on-site coverage from Toy Fair but the blind-box aspect can be a bit frustrating.  (I tried to complete my girlfriends Avengers gashapon figure collection– and ended up with more Nick Fury figures than you can shake a stick at!)

Of course, this is just one Joe fan’s opinion.