Tuesday, June 27, 2017

JoeCon 2017 - Kirk Bozigian

Kirk Bozigian has been one of my cultural heroes for quite a few years. He worked for Hasbro back in the early days of the Real American Hero line. He was instrumental in getting GI Joe back at retail after the few years of absence after the Super Joe years.

I've had a few interactions with him via social media and the FlagPoints podcast. I had been on episode 19 of FlagPoints and had commented something about what GI Joe meant to me. I don't really recall exactly what I had said, but Dave and the FlagPoints crew were able to talk to Kirk on episode 20 and he agreed with my sentiment.

A couple years ago, I friended Kirk on Facebook and I quickly found out that he's quite the conservative. I'm always impressed with his strength of character and commitment to his conservative ideals.

One recent Facebook interaction involved Kirk mentioning his brother in law's name. I noticed that his name was used as a basis for the character Taurus from the GI Joe sub team, Sgt Slaughter's Renegades. Cool moment!
Kirk and Larry Hama hosted a panel at JoeCon 2017 about their involvement together in developing both the toy line and the comic. I've heard much of it before, but there were a few bits of insight of the development. Larry would see the plans for next year's toys and he would work them into the comic and almost coincide with the release of the toys.

Kirk also acted as the moderator of a panel with four other members of the GI Joe development team from the early days of the line. Very cool historical moment of all of these men gathered together. Interesting little bits of history in the development of the line. $3,000,000.00 to develop and tool the Defiant Shuttle Complex. Kirk considers the Defiant as the greatest play set ever created - past, present, and future. Probably nothing like it will ever happen again.

There was also a brief discussion of the Cobra Island play set which unfortunately never made it past the presentation stage.

The initial presentation of GI Joe was a failure and the top executives gave them two weeks to revamp their idea. Plans were made to work with Marvel and create the comic about the toy line. The rest is history.
Mark Pennington, Bart Sears, Greg Berndston, Ron Rudat, and Kirk Bozigian.
I was very pleased to have been able to be a part of this experience, a great moment in GI Joe history!

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