Monday, September 29, 2008

Oh the shame of it!

This is no way to treat these guys!

This is how I've stored my G.I. Joe figures for the past 15-20 years. Disgraceful! Fortunately, there are only two damaged figures in this mess. One day soon, I need to get their filecards and weapons out and sort them all properly.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Best Helicopter Ever!

The Air Adventurer wants his ride back!

I had the AT Helicopter when I was a kid and played with it until it was dead! By the time it was "retired," it was probably more glue than plastic. I bought this one from Buddy Finethy at a local Joe collectors club meeting. He's a great guy and a true supporter of the GI Joe collector community here in the metro Atlanta area.

This is more of a nostalgia piece for me. I'd love to have a minty fresh one, but this will do for now.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Stirring up some stuff...

I've been stirring up some opinions over on in regards to some of the pictures that I posted on the site. Interesting discussions from the gang on Joedios, all intelligent and well thought out. The best part of it is that nothing has turned personal which says a lot about the great collectors at Joedios. You can see all my pictures on Joedios here.

The primary comments about this picture had to do with the customization of Flint - adding gloves - and the look on his face in regards to the battle. No one commented on the guy in the back, laying face down with a particularly nasty head shot.

Again, not many comments about the nature of the scene, more about the paint job on Scarlett and Bazooka's rifle (it came from the 70's Star Wars collection!). Still a brutal shot. Somebody pumped some armor piercing rounds through Major Bludd's body armor!

This is the most controversial picture of my recent uploads. Would General Hawk execute Cobra Commander in such a brutal fashion? It depends on how you view these characters.

The cartoon/Marvel comic book CC (Cobra Commander) surely wouldn't deserve this. He should have been taken into custody and put on trial. That's been tried before and he always gets out and causes more death and destruction.

In the Devil's Due comics, CC was indirectly responsible for the death of millions when Boston was nuked. Plus countless other lives lost in the resulting conflict. A trial would be great, but if there's a chance of him getting out and starting things over again...

Most GI Joe collectors have their own "Joe-verse" stored in their heads. They have taken bits and pieces of the comics, cartoons, and good old-fashioned imagination and made their own GI Joe universe. Mine has bits of the old cartoon series, and Marvel and DD series combined with my own junk.

The bottom line is that these guys are soldiers and the essential job of a soldier is to kill people and break things. Cobra forces simply want to kill people and break things. My CC doesn't want to rule the world (imagine the paperwork!), he just wants to cause pain and suffering to those that he percieves had wronged him. The Joe team is the response and they must act accordingly - when in combat against a ruthless enemy, it is kill or be killed.

At this point, in regards to the pictures, GI Joe has been given Presidential Authority to end the threat of Cobra forever. No more mercy, no more sham trials - end it forever. This encounter is an assault on a meeting of the core of Cobra Command as it is losing its grip on its worldwide resources. This is a chance to get them all in one swift attack.

Mad dogs are put down for the good of society. Cobra Commander is a mad dog. All Hawk had to do is visualize all the faces of all the soldiers that he has lost to this madman. Pulling the trigger wouldn't seem so hard.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The Final Battle

I recently set up a mini diorama of my troops engaged in the final battle against Cobra. Here's one of many pictures I took and the one that captures most of the action.

I've begun to take a few of the other pictures and have been adding some Photoshop effects to add a little extra drama.

Beach Head, Shipwreck and Falcon examine the dead and dying.

Hawk's troops look on as he aims his weapon at Cobra Commander. Will he or won't he?

Stay tuned!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

The General...

Filecard Information: Hawk was the original field commander of the Joe Team before he got his General's star and was booted upstairs to honcho the entire G. I. Joe Operation. He's a West Point graduate and has a list of special education credits as long as his arm, but he still managed to get the main body of his experience out there where it counts—on the battle field.

He's the top dog on the G.I. Joe team, a true leader of men, one that leads his team into battle. Hawk's character started in the original release of the G.I. Joe toys in 1982 as the Colonel in charge of the team. The second release of the character was in 1986 and he had been promoted to General. That's the best interpretation of Hawk through the years.

I definitely wanted to recreate him in the 12" scale. There's been several other versions of Hawk to follow the original General Hawk, but this version has always been my favorite. There was a version with a jet pack and flight suit, the talking Battlefield Commander version with the hideous tan and other versions based on the 1986 version or the flight suit version.

I decided to stick with the 1986 version. He's wearing a relatively basic uniform that should be fairly easy to recreate in 12" form.

I actually used the jacket that came with the Anniversary General that was released at Target way back around the time the 30th Anniversary Joes were released. Remember those guys? With those hideously bulky non-articulated bodies? That's okay, they were a necessary step in reviving the 12" G.I. Joe!

The next step in the evolution of this version of General Hawk came during the 25th Anniversary of the Real American Hero line. Hawk was first released in a two-pack with Scarlett, but he was more in line with the original style uniform. I anxiously awaited the version that I knew had to be made.

When I saw the first pictures, I knew I had to get this figure! An excellent job at capturing this iconic look of General Hawk. Excellent detailing and accessories. Hasbro did a great job!

Here's a look at the General in 3 different versions, my 12" version, the original General and the 25th General.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Location shots

Location, Location, Location...

Too often, when I'm taking pictures of my troops, they're just static shots. Posed portraits, troops just standing around. Soldiers need to be in action, in their element, ready for combat!

I took this picture many years ago in a field in Dublin, GA. My wife's sister and husband have a farm that is absolutely beautiful. The farm is quite different now. This wild field is now a pasture with cows wandering about. There are different varieties of "land mines" in the field now that are definitely hazardous!

The three guys in this picture are actually troops using the Action Man/SLU type bulky body. Cool figures, but I appreciate the Hasbro modern Super-Articulated body much more!
This picture was taken in my yard, pre-chain-link fence and regular mowing. Cool assortment of weird weeds makes for some decent foliage. This is a 30th Anniversary Joe head on an SLU body. He's still "posed" but at least he's just not standing on a piece of furniture!
The beach makes for an interesting location as well. Just need to do some cropping to clean it up! This is a much more recent picture. This brave Joe is a 40th Anniversary head mounted on an SA body wearing a Playmates Star Trek uniform. I've got enough other guys, this one has permanent Star Trek duty.
Sometimes locations can surprise you. My wife just kind of rolled her eyes when I pulled this guy out of my camera bag.

Some locations just pop up suddenly, rarely ever seen in your area. Several years ago, we got some great snowfall here on the southside of Atlanta. Had to jump at the opportunity to get some troops in the snow. Yes, I'm a fan of both the big and little Joes!

Then again, if you can't find a good location, make one!

A Closer Look - Part 2

Here's part 2 of my look at some of my custom 12" G. I. Joe figures. Some of these guys were specific store exclusives and not very easy to find.

So here's this bunch of troops, going from left to right and top to bottom.
  1. Switch Gears - I thought that Switch Gears was a KB Toys exclusive, but am unsure. The head sculpt originally came on those molded bodies that were just unappealing to most collectors. Great head sculpt, though! He's been remounted on a super articulated body.
  2. Tunnel Rat - Great character brought to life in the 12" format. I'm still struggling to find the right look for him. The green shirt works, but it's a HOF shirt and the sleeves are a little short.
  3. Wet Suit - Great head sculpt that came on a crappy body style. Hasbro used a variation of the HOF body that was just... yeeuch! Head transplanted to a modern muscle type body.
  4. Dart - A Wal-Mart exclusive that I nearly missed. Weird original accessories, but he's looking a little better with different gear. Definitely the longest molded hair of any G.I. Joe figure!
  5. Bazooka - Originally planned as a K-BToys exclusive in 2003, the figure was delayed and finally released to Dollar General stores in 2005. Not much extra work on him, just a few minor added details.
  6. Chuckles - This is actually the head sculpt from Hi-Tech. I didn't really care for the character, happen to find a 1/6th Hawaiian shirt and he became Chuckles. I like how his scowl is totally contrary to his code name.
  7. Crosshair - Another 2003 release that came on the molded jersey type body. I've actually kept the body the same, because the molded jersey looks good under the cloth shirt.
  8. Wild Bill - An excellent figure that I thought was going to be an online exclusive only. Spent a little too much for him, especially after seeing him everywhere a few months later at discount toy stores! Nothing much to change to him, his original look just works!
You can see more of my figures on my website. Another look at more of my customs coming soon.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Loving the Moment

I've got a handful of websites that I check daily, a couple comic strips and APOD. APOD is Astronomy Picture of the Day, a wonderful simple site that showcases pictures from the world of science, with an emphasis on astronomy. The Hubble Space telescope has taken some amazing deep space pictures that are just staggering in their awesome beauty.

"The nebula, shown above, holds a complex tapestry of gas, dark dust, stars still forming, and newly born stars. The intricate patterns are caused by complex interactions between interstellar winds, radiation pressures, magnetic fields, and gravity. NGC 6357 spans about 400 light years and lies about 8,000 light years away toward the constellation of the Scorpion."

Okay, well that's the technical explanation of it. To me, it looks like Divine Artwork on an enormous scale. It's a beautiful tapestry of cosmic art!

See how others are Loving the Moment!

Never Never Never Forget

Our nation will never be the same. Never...

A Closer Look - Part 1

I've created some pictures of many of my custom Joes and I thought that I would share group pictures and describe a little bit about each figure. Eventually, I plan on some in-depth entries based on individual figures.

I use a varied assortment of gear for my troops including Hasbro, 21st Century and Power Team Elite figures.

Part 1I'll do a quick rundown of each character from left to right and from top to bottom.
  1. Hawk - The commanding officer of the G.I Joe team. He's created with a standard Hasbro head-sculpt used in a variety of figures in last couple of years of the modern 12" G.I. Joe figures. Works great for my version of Hawk.
  2. Stalker - This head-sculpt comes from the original 1992 Hall of Fame (HOF) figure. These guys, no matter how hideous the bodies, were an instrumental part of the rebirth of the 12" G.I. Joe. Stalker's head has been rescued from the non-articulated hell of the HOF body and is now resting comfortably on a Hasbro super-articulated body.
  3. Duke - The G.I. Joe team's first sergeant. Duke is the beginning point for the rebirth of the 12" G.I. Joe with the release of the Target exclusive in 1991. But this isn't him. This is actually the 4th version of Duke made by Hasbro. Well, at lest the head anyway. He's had the Hasbro SA body transplant.
  4. Falcon - An excellent 3 3/4" version marred by an awful portrayal in the animated G.I. Joe movie. This Hasbro head-sculpt just worked for Falcon the moment I saw him. He'll be one of the first to get a solo entry about his character.
  5. Snake Eyes - Probably the most popular of the Real American Hero's line. There are 34 versions of him as a 3 3/4" figure listed on A bit overkill, if you ask me. Still, a very slick character and one of my faves. For me, Snake Eyes is less ninja and more commando.
  6. Kamakura - Snake Eyes' protege. I decided that mine would be less ninja and more soldier.
  7. Lowlight - The premier sniper of the Joe team. A surprisingly easy custom once I plopped a molded stocking cap on a blond head-sculpt.
  8. Torpedo - The SEAL from the second year of the 3 3/4" line. very cool to have made the transition to 12". He's more in line with the Land element of SEAL in this uniform.
So here's my first set of 12" customs. Plenty more to come!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

What I'm reading now

I've always been a fan of Whitley Strieber's work. Well, sort of... His whole Communion series was a bit bizarre. Something definitely weird happened to this dude!

I've seen his latest book, 2012, and it seemed interesting. 2012 refers to the date December 21, 2012, the day that the Mayan calendar ends and, well, I guess we're all dead.

Unless the Large Hadron Collider kills us first! (Has the Large Hadron Collider destroyed the earth yet?)

The book is pretty interesting so far - very weird, very strange and so far, an engaging book. I wonder if everyone dies in the end?

To find out what other people are reading, check out A Stitch of Faith!

Monday, September 8, 2008

A look back...

G.I. Joe has been a part of my life for a long, long time. This picture is from the late 60's. I'm the one on the left. That's my cousin, Randy, behind the Joes. He lives up in Massachusetts and when he was a kid, he had a serious G.I. Joe collection. His mom used to go to Hasbro in Pawtucket, RI and buy G.I. Joe stuff for him at the employee store on company grounds. (thanks, tanker!)

Randy always had the cool stuff. It was always a blast visiting him in the summer. He had jeeps and helicopters and all sorts of stuff that would make many collectors envious. Amazing stuff!

I've lost track of Randy over the years. I wonder if he still has any of his Joes?

I had a pretty decent collection as a kid as well. I had the 5 star jeep, the yellow AT helicopter, the fold-out command center, the Mercury capsule and other amazing pieces that are long gone.

That's okay, the destruction of my Joe collection only helped to bring up the values of all those other kids who didn't destroy their Joes!

Those were the days!

My G.I. Joe Collection

I collect G.I. Joes. I grew up with the original GI Joe way back in the mid to late 60's. Eventually, those guys went the way of many G.I. Joe's and headed toward various landfills. I had some good stuff, too!

In 1982, the 3 3/4" line, "Real American Heroes," came out and I went nuts over them. They ended in 1994 ("the vintage little Joes") and the 12" guys came back out for a while. With my collection, I have worked on creating the 3 3/4" characters in 12" size. They don't always look like their tiny counterparts, but that's the fun of it; taking a character and putting my spin on it.

Yes, let's go ahead and say it - GI Joe, Cobra, and all assorted characters and whatever are property of Hasbro, Inc. I use them without permission, but with great respect and enjoyment with no intention of profiting from their creations. I do intend to profit in the "fun" factor, though!


That's the sound of brakes being applied very hard.

This blog is entirely too random, topics going all over the place, pretty much pointless.

So I'm a Christian with a whole lot of questions, I'm voting Republican with no chance of ever voting Democrat, and I'm not political or religious enough to continue posting about either topic when all I've really got to share is just my opinion. So what?

So I'm going with what I know...


Specifically, G.I. Joe and the various incarnations of everyone's favorite soldier that have impacted my life for the past 40+ years. Plus a look at other fun stuff that is toy related.

Maybe some political or religious themed stuff, once in a while...
But not much!