Thursday, March 20, 2014

Joelanta 2014 Recap

Well, Joelanta 2014 has come and gone. This was the first time that Joelanta was a two day event. Usually, there's a Commander's Package that involves an exclusive 12" figure and some activities on the night before. I've only pursued the Commander's Package once, primarily because I'm just really not that interested in the original vintage style of GI Joe.

Usually, the show runs on a Sunday with a dealer room, an exhibit hall with custom figures and dioramas, and a section of celebrities for autographs. The only celebrity of note for me during the past few years has been Larry Hama. Due to an injury, Larry wasn't able to make it this year.

The local GI Joe club also does a massive display as the centerpiece of the entire event. This year's display was based off the Walking Dead. Really cool stuff, too. I'll post some pictures soon.

This year's show began on a Saturday and included several different panels throughout each day. The dealer room was packed and very lively, very energetic. It was amazing to see all of the various old toys that were for sale.
I was surprised at how many 3 3/4" Joe vehicles were selling. Decent condition vehicles were just flying out of the show. One comment I heard is that they vehicles still basically work with the modern GI Joe figures. True enough; even if the figures don't quite fit into the vehicles, they still look good next to them. 
I went to a few of the panels on Saturday. One featured one of the set dressers from The Walking Dead and it was a decent panel. Interesting to hear the behind-the-scenes tidbits about the show. There were two more that I went to, one was about the "50th Anniversary of GI Joe" and another was the "State of the Hobby." Both of them were entertaining enough, but still a little frustrating.

I was frustrated primarily because I'm a weirdo - I like both 12" and 3 3/4" Joes. While I am nostalgic about the original vintage GI Joe, I'm basically over that portion of the line. 

The mood seemed to be that this was the 50th Anniversary of the original painted hair GI Joe 12" action figure. Uhh, no... that figure has not been produced for the entire 50 years.

It's the 50th anniversary of the BRAND, not just a portion of the life span of the brand. Hell, the Real American Heroes characters have been around for over 30 of those 50 years. Damn, son, get over it.
One of the biggest problems that I had with going to Joelanta again was just not really needing to buy anything. Years ago, I stupidly sold off a bunch of 3 3/4" vehicles at near yard sale prices. Oh well, I don't really want to replace them at the higher costs now. I don't need them anymore.

Prices have jumped as well on the secondary market. Last year, I was buying up all the Vipers that I could find for $10.00 each. This year, the one Viper that I saw was for sale for $20.00. No, thanks, I don't need another Viper that bad.
I did get to meet Carson, the creative genius behind He's a great guy and we were able to just hang out and talk about GI Joe and assorted other silly stuff. is an amazing site. If you haven't been there, you really need to check it out. Plus, you need to grab some of his posters. One day, I'll get some frames for the two that I bought and post some pictures on this silly blog.

If you're a fan of the original GI Joe, you can also check out, a companion site to Both sites have some amazing 360 degree photography of all sorts of GI Joe figures and accessories.
So my purchase list was quite short. I picked up a carded Renegades Duke (for customs), a loose Renegades Duke (after buying the carded version, dang it), the two 3DJoes posters, a Steeler figure from that big Target set (mainly for the head - custom), and that odd Jurassic Park - GI Joe type figure. He's got the Resolute Duke head on the Night Adder/Roadblock body with a deep tan skin tone and some well done tattoo work on the left arm and left side of the face.
This guy.

I just didn't really need anything. There were quite a few dealers that had plenty of small Joe stock, even new stuff, but there just wasn't anything that I simply needed to have.
The customs and diorama displays were a bit lackluster at this show. Not to slight anyone who entered their work, but there just wasn't much to look at. Some seemed to be re-entries from last year.

I really shouldn't complain that much. I've done customs and I've got some half-assed dioramas started, so I just need to make more of an effort to enter or show off something.
I can imagine that next year will pretty much be the same, expect dealers will have 50th Anniversary items at ridiculous prices. Oh yeah, 3 3/4" 50th Anniversary stuff, not 12" stuff. 
Even if I had won the mega-millions lottery the night before, I don't know if I would have loaded up on some of these vintage toys. Well, maybe I would have picked up that vintage yellow AT helicopter.
It was nice to see the Tiger Force truck there again. There were some other "celebrity" vehicles there as well, but I really didn't give a rat's ass. Seen one Mystery Machine, you've seen them all.

See you next year, Joelanta.

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