(February 1, 2003) Space Shuttle Columbia - Today was a bad day for the space program. It was a tragic event for the families of the crew who flew the Space Shuttle Columbia in mission STS - 107 as well. Today they shuttle was destroyed on re-entering the Earth's atmosphere. Early thought are over heating and incorrect trajectory. It's a day that will not be forgotten. - Joe

(February 1, 2003) Spy Troops - Finally last week I found Spy Troops. I was a little stand offish with these when I saw the images online. Getting them though, Hasbro is really comming around with presenting something worth calling an update. These are really nice!

Some have argued saying "If they look so good, why don't they sell?" Well that's obvious in today's market. Hasbro STILL hasn't put a cartoon on (although see my comments further down). These figures are popular though. I saw them the day they were put out. I cleared out what they had but thought I'd check back later in the week to see if more was put out. Sure enough, they had more, and most were sold. I picked up a few extras for customs.

Also one other thing to be aware of, there is newer shipments coming that has issue #3 of the comic included.

Finally I was able to update my ratings for thiese. If you're interested and haven't done so already, check out my rating site for the update. Also new on the site are reviews of the 12" figures that have come out. I felt it was time to update that finally! - Joe

(February 1, 2003) New Cartoon - I've come across many different places around the net talking about a new 44 minute movie in May. Most of all Dave Thornton's qktheatre. The animation will be CG just like the commercials. This should be something to see!

But most of all is rumors of a new cartoon later this year. I have a friend that is manager of a local KB. She got a company flier in stating something about increased sales of the G.I.Joe product due to a new cartoon. I didn't see the flier so I don't know exactly how it was worded. Anyway, looking around the net I've seen other reports of an upcomming cartoon also.

This all is welcome news even if it really should still be taken as a rumor. It will be great to see G.I.Joe at the top once again! - Joe

(February 1, 2003) Thinking Back - You know, I've sat here thinking about how C.O.P.S. failed. The articulation was on par with G.I.Joe and really had it's following. It ended up going out though.

Now knowing what we know about the Sgt. Savage line, it makes me wonder what was Hasbro thinking? The already had this larger line of figures that failed, but they still took to the idea that scaling G.I.Joe up would help the slowing sales of the G.I.joe line. This naturally killed the line.

As we all know who lived it, the figures were getting further and further away from the core theme and getting very neon in color and very science fiction in ideas. It only had a basic idea of military in it. Due to all this, along with better toys that had come along, the line slowed in sales. Had the team who worked on the project then dones as the current team in listening to fans, they would have known. The current team is doing a good job at hearing what fans have to say. So far what they are doing along with their own ideas are working well. Once that cartoon comes on, it's going to go crazy. Here's hoping they don't decide to cast aside the fans at that point and stop listening! - Joe

(February 2, 2003) Upcoming Waves - Go to American Dream Comics if you haven't already! We've been getting some great first looks at some of the upcomming Waves. They've shown us Roadblock, a Spy Troops Shipwreck, a repaint Over Kill, Black Out. Depth Charge, and some new Mission Disk packs.

There's been other sites that's shown more such as Ebay with sellers offering prototypes. American Dream Comics also has a message board where someone made a post showing the Spy Troops Lady Jaye. Anyone that's a G.I.Joe figure will appreciate these without a doubt. If you don't, well I don't know what to tell you. These are really nice and should be all it takes for even the most diehard original sculpt collector to give them a chance! - Joe

(February 12, 2003) G.I.Joe Issue #14 - If you haven't read this issue, you may not want to read another word here until you do. Right from the first page we see some SWAT members that look a lot like the MP that the Burn Out Spy Troop figure dress up to be. This is sort of cool to see as it seems to imply some idea to use Burn out in one's personal dio stories and such. Also we get to see the return of Mutt and Junkyard. Bazooka in the way Devils Due has brought him back is there too, but he's a little more refined from the first time we saw him. Another fan favorite Alpine comes into the picture as well, though when we first see him in one panel he has no moustache but then sprout one, hehe. The introduction of the HISS IV is here and is called the Strike Hiss as it was originally going to be released as.

The little fan "wow" stuff aside, the story is a rather enjoyable one. It starts off with a quick wrap up from issue #13, then jumps straight into the story. It's a very reminiscent story that brings back memories of "No place like Springfield". This whole issue is nothing but a setup of a new story arc. It begins with some old friends getting together and talks about old times in a bar. As things progress they grow suspicious of the bartender and some weird activities that begin to occur. Slowly as they question what's up they end up almost walking away from it until Rock N Roll catches sight of the bartenders Cobra ring. That's when everything goes crazy. Funniest part, the "vindow viper" is back! Hehe! But then again we find out he's a Cobra guy too. This makes you wonder, is this the same guy from the cartoon that did Barbecue's windows, or is it just coincidence?

The art is nice in this issue. I has been an issue with many fans. Granted it does have it's ups and downs. This issue does look a little rushed in places when you compare it to last issue. Over all it looks nice.

Dialog in the comic does come off as being very cartoon influenced. It has been getting more and more like that as the issue progress. It's more so sounding like it when characters come in that wasn't seen in the comic as often as the cartoon. The bad part of it is it keeps the whole cartoon vs comic conflict alive. I don't so much mind as it does have a good mix, but sometimes I come across dialog written that makes me think the character I'm reading wouldn't have said that.

One last note I should mention. Junkyard is back, but he is not the original. The introduction of Mutt original gave the idea that he brought in his own person dog Junkyard into the G.I.Joe team posistion after being an MP. Through the span of him being on the team, by 1992 Junkyard would have been around 14 - 18. It's natural to assume that the original wouldn't be alive since this story is dealing with continuity, but I do recall a fan writing a fan comic and decided to have the original Junkyard no longer alive. Fans did not like this at all. I do see some reprecussions occuring on this decision. Maybe I'm wrong and most fans will blow it off, but I doubt it. - Joe

(February 12, 2003) Blaylock Leaving? - First of all, let's get where I got my info out of the way. Read this interview and then come back: http://www.dynamicforces.com/htmlfiles/curtain8.html

He doesn't out and out say he's not doing another G.I.Joe comic. He's leaving as the main writer for the regular series. I can't say I'm surprised by that news. If you take into account all of the things that has been said to him or about him in taking on this project, it's enough probably to make anyone leave a comic. But he's hung in there and given some pretty good stories. He's also brought Larry Hama back in for everyone that has been asking for it too. So there's no way anyone can really rag him for anything.

Let's look at the comic it's self though. There are many that honestly do not like it. I don't fall into that catagory. I do enjoy reading it, but then look at my G.I.Joe Manga and you may think different of my opinion on things as my comic no doubt turns a lot of people off. But those people that have said they do not like Josh Blaylock's writing has spelled out what it is they do dislike. I take into account others opinions and value what others say. I've seen so many fights though where someone tries to express themselves, but end up jumped by rabid fans. This ofcourse brings out more fighting and again is no doubt something that weighs heavy on Josh Blaylock.

There's just so many things that probably can be named, but rumors and speculating is pointless. What the real question now comes to be is "Who's taking his place?" I know I'd fall into the group of people who'd be thrilled to see Larry Hama at it full time on the monthly comic, but then there are those who wouldn't like to see it. My only wish is that whoever does take it over, I do hope it's someone that's known to be a great writer. I'd honestly hate to see someone that's a fan such as myself even to take it over. I'm not putting my name in there saying I want to write it, but I know there are some fans out there that would do anything and everything to write it. Those same fans are truthfully not that nice of people and would just ruin everything that G.I.Joe is. I hope for either someone that's unknown or a well know pre-established writer.

Lastly, I've spoke with Josh in email on occassion. He's a nice guy and I know he'll do well with the comic. He's been a major drive that's brought the comic back. For that I thank him and look forward to many more years of great G.I.Joe story telling! - Joe

(February 13, 2003) More on the new Junkyard - I received an email from someone reminding me who I was talking of in my review of issue #14. When I spoke of someone I recalled writing a fan comic that had a natural progression of Junkyard, it was actually Law. Louis Colli had decided to go with a true continuity with natural aging and order had passed away. This was the event I had remembered. I appreaciated the email because I was having a hard time remembering who it was that wrote the story.

If anyone is interested in checking out Louis Colli's comic, visit http://gijoe-comic.tripod.com. His comic is a fun read. - Joe

(February 13, 2003) Variations in Wave 5 - I've been holding off on commenting about the variation that has been being reported by several fans. The initial Wave 5 Spy Troop figures that hit the store had a painted flesh tone face for those with a full head exposed. Now these same ones are no longer painted faces. Now the heads are cast in the actual color that they are suppose to be in. In some cases the differences is a lot. Cross Hair for an example has a smaller head and actually a better looking face sculpt. Here's is a list of the known ones to have been changed and ones I have seen:

Barrel Roll
C.L.A.W.S Commander
Cross Hair
Sgt. Hacker

It has been reported that Tunnel Rat and Recondo have been found with flesh cast faces, but I haven't seen them myself. Also I have no idea if Burn Out will be changed either. Plus the main thing some fans will want to know about, secondary market value. I don't know if the first shipment will actually be worth any more than the newer versions. I'd have to say yes since the initial shipment was the only shipment with painted faces. There will be far less of these out there, but G.I.Joe fans can be different than other fans. Variations aren't really something that's worried about by most. Generally fans will pick a way they like a figure and that's all they worry with. But sure there are fans that like getting into the variations.

I don't know what happened for a change like this to even exist. It's rather odd to me. My personal opinion however is that if you find yourself presented with a choice at the store and really don't care about secondary market value, I'd get the flesh color molded heads over the painted faces. The figures just look more natural like this. The painted heads have a prototype look about them. - Joe

(February 14, 2003) Clarification - Looks like I didn't correctly say what I was meaning when I typed up the comment on Josh Blaylock leaving. Specifically I made referance saying this exactly: "but I know there are some fans out there that would do anything and everything to write it. Those same fans are truthfully not that nice of people and would just ruin everything that G.I.Joe is." It does come off sounding like I'm saying I do not like anyone's writing that's done dio stories and fan fiction. There are actually several people that write some great stuff. Those particular people are some of the nicest people I know online. So I want to clarify what I had said!

We all know there are some fans out there who are really very mean spirited. These are the people I was refering to. As with everything we all know, the nice people just seem to never win. With that I'd just soon say "no fan" because it's those who would step on people and all out do anything to get in the writer position. They'd soon shoot their own family if it meant they'd get the job. Those are the people I really wouldn't like to see write the book. Those who have done things in the G.I.Joe community that's really questionable. I'm sure many of you can basically figure out the people I'm refering to now. Plus you might even have a list of your own people you'd apply as well. At any rate, rest assured that I'm not saying no fan out there would be worthy or that no fan would have the ability to write the comic. I just wanted to clear that up. Sometimes I do type up things in a way that just ends up not making sense, hehe. But we all can do that sometimes right? - Joe

(February 15, 2003) More on Spy Troop Figure Variations - I looked through all the Spy Troop figures at the store and saw that it appears what variations that are out will be the only ones out. I was thinking that Burn Out had a painted head for some reason. He didn't have and so there's no change with him. Chief Torpedo also came out originally with his head already molded in flesh tone. Recondo still has a painted head. So Barrel Roll, C.L.A.W.S Commander, Cross Hair, Scalpel, and Sgt. Hacker are the ones that have changed. - Joe

(February 15, 2003) JLA Jet For Customizing - Check out these pictures before I go on:

That really looks cool doesn't it? I normally don't go all out pushing an idea to be used as a custom, but this one just needs to be suggested. It has everything that a G.I.Joe toy should have. It's scaled to size already, so why not use it? I'm trying to decide who's this will be. I'm leaning toward Cobra, but it's for sure that I'm getting it! - Joe

(February 15, 2003) Toy Fair - It's that time of year again! There's already been some new stuff to see out there. Hasbro has shown some first shots of the new Hoverstrike and Patriot Grizzly tank! These both look great. As a reader to my comment page I'll do like I did last year and list all of my links to the Toy Fair pages I frequent!






Have fun checking out the new stuff, it'll be items shown probably all this week! Do give some pages time because there are a lot of people visiting the sites. Some are slow loading. Some even won't load at all for a short time. Just keep at it and you'll find some cool new merchandise! - Joe

(February 15, 2003) Recondo Resculpt - I decided to do a resculpt of Recondo's head on the new Wave 5 figure. The new looked bugged me! If you want to check it out, click here. - Joe

(February 19, 2003) New Scholastic Young Reader Books - Remember the days back in the 80s when there was "Choose Your Own Adventure" books and others like that? Plus remember the coloring books that were out? Well Hasbro is bringing those back. As of today I picked up my weekly stack of books and this were special ordered for me. These will be showing up in stores like Wal-Mart, K-Mart, and others. I decided I'd list a review of each book so you can get an idea of what you're getting for your kids, or even yourself!

Coloring Book - The cover has a nice shot of Snake Eyes as you see from the image. The cover has the G.I.Joe vs Cobra logo. There are 15 very nicely drawn images by Jose Antonio.The book is created for Scholastic by Town Brook Press. There are written caption by Michael Teitelbaum. Other credits are designs by Brandy Young and Cover color by David Tanguary.

The images offered to color are pretty nice. Kids will have fun with these, but best off all thiese images gives G.I.Joe fans some great black and white art to use and color as you wish for any number of uses. They're perfect to use on a G.I.Joe website! Pick this one up if you see it!

Official Handbook - The cover has the G.I.Joe vs Cobra logo. There's a nice shot of Gung Ho as you can see from the iamge provided. Credits listed are book design by Cezanne Studio and some written parts by Jake Warun. The art is obviously from the filecard which was mostly drawn by Draxhall Jump.

This is a really nice book. It has a nice feel that will remind you of the old Yearbook! Each page's art and layout is perfectly suited. The filecard info is the same as found on each respective figure. This is one to have!

Ice Force - G.I.Joe vs Cobra logo with a nice drawing of Frostbite in action as seen in the image provided. Credits for the book are illustrations (pencils and ink) by Art Ruiz with Carlo Lo Raso providing colors. Written by Walker Hughes.

This is a simple action book written with the young reader in mind. It's a battle staged in Alaska with Duke, Gung Ho, and Frostbite. Bad guys present are Cobra Commander, Destro, and the Neo Vipers. It's a fun read. Included is a sheet of cool tattoos!

Sea to Shining Sea - G.I.Joe vs Cobra logo with a cool fight scene of a Cobra Moray vs Wet Suit as seen in the image provided. Credits for the book are illustrations (pencils and ink) by Jesus Redondo with Mark Mones providing colors. Written by Holly Kowitt. A special thanks is given to David Manis.

A battle at sea. Of course those presented in this story are Wet Suit and Shipwreck. Duke sends a team of three in to take on the Cobra Moray. The third member of that team is Snake Eyes!?! This is sort of an odd choice, and even more so crazy is that Storm Shadow is leading the Moray team. Both characters in full gear as presented by their action figure. Yes it's weird and they have their breathing apperatius on despite still wearing their masks! Even worse the whole objective is to retrieve a stealth plane at the bottom of the ocean. This plane is in "stealth mode" as in it's actually invisible, hehe. Not only do they save the plane but they fly it right out of the water! I guess very young kids might take this in stride, but I KNOW even I'd have been scratching my head when I was younger wondering what the writer was thinking! The worst of these books, but you do get some stickers!

They're nice releases actually. These are really some great books for kids. For us adults, the young reader books read as they are suppose to, as kid books. The coloring book and official handbook actually couldn't get any better. These are something to enjoy no matter what age. - Joe

(February 26, 2003) Lego G.I.Joe HAPPENS! - More than 2 years ago I had approached both lego and Hasbro about the idea of Lego G.I.Joe. I sent a few emails and got back some replies. Though not necessarily direct of an answer, both seemed interesed. It was an idea for Lego to actually license out from hasbro and create a full line just as they are with Star Wars.

Today as i turned on the computer I find some post on the different mailing lists I'm on. The posts mention Lego and G.I.Joe. Once I opened up the link, though it's not exactly what I had in mind, I was surprised. Hasbro must have been thinking this idea over and rather than have lego get in on it, they did it themselves. I have to admit this is a really great idea!

Looking back at our past, those of us that were actually kids at the time 3 3/4" started, most of us built Lego vehicles and bases anyway! We did this in the past, and now kids of today can do it, but in style! I can see kids really going wild for these. Not just that, but G.I.Joe fans will get some extra characters that may end up being exclusive to the vehilce set. If the arms aren't well liked, it's an easy custom to change that. There's nothing but a winning situation to be had here! Think of the things that can come out that might not be feasible with the regular line! I saw someone Nemesis on The Pit mention the idea of a customizable Cobra base!

This truely looks like a great idea. Some fans out there will no doubt freak over the thought, but we have to remember that toys are first and foremost for kids. To keep the product line going it has to be well received by kids. G.I.Joe 3 3/4" might have a chance to be a stand alone Adult collectible, but that's a whole different story and thought all together! To see what it is I'm going on and on about, check out American Dream Comics! - Joe

(February 26, 2003) G.I.Joe: Frontline #4 - This is the last issue of the 4 part story arc written by Larry Hama. Dan Jurgins - Pencil, Scott Hana - Inks, HiFi Colour Design - Colors, and Dreamer Design - Letters. Do not read further if you haven't read the issue yet and are worried about spoilers!

Right away on the first page we see a HISS tank much like it was way back in Marvel's issue #16 among others. The gunner section is large enough for Cobra Commander to be standing at along with Destro! It's always cool seeing this tank represented in a larger size than the toy has done! The story is well written as most of us have expected with Larry Hama. It continues to have that same feel the original title had while meshing the story of Marvel and the new Devils Due title together! The art continues to be very nice also! Dan Jurgens with Scott Hana's inking is great! One thing that does stand out though, as you read this issue, it does seemed rushed. It has a feel as if it could have gone on longer, but the last issue came up too soon so things had to wrap up. There are also a few jokes added here and there that probably was suppose to break up the tone a little, but they seem out of place. Nothing really seems to leave you with a full feeling of an ended exactly. But then again this isn't an ending is it? The worst thing of all we find out Timber has died of old age. Though again this is normal due to age and progression of the story, but it's starting to feel like a trend with the animals!

Borrowing from my Figure Ratings page, I give this issue 8 out of 10 Cobras! It's a fun read and really even brings a nostalgic feel, but for several reasons it's not what it could have been. Most importantly it's the last issue in the Larry hama story arc, which is a bad thing alone, but the complete arc doesn't ever really take you where you wanted to go. It touches on several things that bridge the gap, but it doesn't offer enough. If we're getting more, fine, but if this is it and this was our bridge, I'm wishing for more! Really this issue opens new questions to some problems that the first 3 issue even seemed to answer.

Do go out and buy this issue as soon as you can if you haven't. You will enjoy it. You may get more out of it than I did even. I'll no doubt re-read it several times just to be sure I didn't miss anything! : ) - Joe

(February 26, 2003) Previews VOL. XIII #3 -

Pg 112
Image/Devils Due
G.I.Joe #18

Pg 113
Image/Devils Due

144pp (issues #10 - #15)

Pg 114
Image/Devils Due

G.I.Joe Frontline #8

Pg 405
G.I.Joe Classic Black Logo T-Shirt

G.I.Joe Cobra Commander T-Shirt
L-XL $17.99
XXL $18.99

Pg 422
G.I.Joe 3.75-inch 2003 Alpha & Beta Vehicle Assortments
     Listed are - Alpha Wave: G.I.Joe Pit Bull and Cobra Polar Blast
     Beta Wave: Cobra Ringneck and G.I.Joe Twin Blitz
Scheduled to ship in June 2003
ALPHA WAVE (SRP) $15.50 each
BETA WAVE (SRP) $24.00 each

G.I.Joe vs Cobra Spy Troops 2003 Action Figure 2-Packs Wave 1
(This is Wave 5 listed in previews)
SRP: $10.50

Pg 436
G.I.Joe: Snake Eyes Life-Sized Bust

Pg 454
O/A G.I.Joe Posters
     Snake Eyes
     Cobra Commander

Pg 502
G.I.Joe Original Mini-Series with Toy DVD

Misc. other points of interest:
G.I.Joe Trade Paperbacks Volume 1 & 2 offered again on page 147.
Promo shot and intro to the Toys & Models section of the life size Snake Eyes bust.
Ad for Spy Troops on page 423.
Ad for the Snake Eyes full size bust on page 435.

- Joe

All Rights Reserved. G.I.Joe and all respected property © Hasbro, Inc.