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G.I. Joe

Tomopop Original: Creating my own 'Create a Cobra'

May 15 // Soul Tsukino
The figure that I've seen go for the highest prices consistently is one that really doesn't have a name. It was only available, by mail order, for one year in 1993, near the end of the original run of G.I. Joe. It was the "Create a Cobra" figure. (image via) This figure was the Cobra answer to the Steel Brigade figure. You filled out a small form where you gave your character a name, a primary specialty, a secondary specialty, and a few other bits of info about their personality. After a few weeks you got the figure along with a sheet of paper that was a bio with all the info you had filled out for an official dossier. Since the figure was a mail-in available for only a short time, its not a figure that readily comes available on the second hand market like eBay. And boy howdy does its price reflect that. I also think this is the most stupid-looking figure I have ever seen. It's a Crimson Guard Immortal head put onto a TARGAT body, slathered in bubblegum pink, baby blue, and black. This figure seriously looks like it would be a cake topper for a baby shower in 1984. And he is supposed to be THE BAD GUY. In looking at this monstrosity, I literally said to myself that if I tracked down the parts for this, I could make my own figure for a fraction of the price and it would look better than the real thing. So I did. I tracked down a cheap TARGAT figure. I picked the better looking 1989 version. There was a repaint done in 1992, but its color scheme wouldn't look any better for this project than the pink and blue mess that inspired me to write this. For the head I went with the original 1991 Crimson Guard Immortal figure since the later Blue and Silver version is both harder to find and doesn't really match with the body. So let's get this started! First, here is what you'll need. The figure, the head, a small Phillips head screwdriver (Usually found in small screwdriver sets), and a new rubber O-ring. The TARGAT figure itself is not in premium condition, the O-ring is old and stretched out, the knee joints are loose, and the paint on the helmet is worn. Honestly though, it won't matter. If I wanted to I could have bought replacement legs with tighter joints, but I'm fine with it as-is since the TARGAT head doesn't matter and we are replacing the O-ring anyway. First we take the screw driver to the "backscrew," or the small screw that holds the front and back of the chest together. The screw here is rusty, but still in good enough shape not to require a drill to remove.   Once the screw is out, pull apart the chest and break down your figure to its parts. Yup, that's what a Joe figure looks like when it's taken apart. Pull out the old O-ring from its hook and toss it. Take your new O-ring and place it in the small metal hook holding the legs together. Slide the O-ring with the legs attached through the bottom of the waist piece. You probably need to use the screw driver to help feed it through and get it together (This can be a real moment of cussing rage sometimes).   Next, hook the O-ring around the cylinder on the back piece of the figure and pull back a little so that it holds together by itself. Since I am using an O-ring that is slightly smaller than the factory ones, the figure at this point will fly apart easier if not set right. Now comes the "fun" part! Take the chest piece and connect it too the back piece, but not all the way in. Ya need to leave space to get in the arms and head. Remember what I said about the figure wanting to fly apart? This is the point where that can really show itself. Wedge your way into the arm holes with each arm. It takes a little hand dexterity and a few silent prayers to get both arms set without having the whole thing come apart. Once both arms are in place, you can push the chest and back piece together a little more to keep things in place, but again, not completely closed. AND I'LL FORM THE HE- oh wait, wrong 80's show. The heads of G.I. Joe figures from the '80s an '90s are always tricky since some head pieces do not fit with certain body pieces. In this case, since the "Create a Cobra" figure used recycled molds, it's not a problem. The head fits and doesn't wobble around on the body. Now we are ready to finish this bad boy out. Close the front and back chest pieces together and place the screw back in its place. Use the screw driver to make sure the backscrew is actually in the hole that connects the pieces together. Tighten it up (Righty tighty). And we are done! Now, the red paint on his helmet isn't a perfect match to the ones on his gloves and boots, and if you want to get hardcore customizer on it, you can certainly get some paint from the hobby store and go wild. Me, I take 'em as is. Give your new agent of evil a weapon and there ya go! BUT WAIT! Part of the deal with the Create a Cobra figure was having his own bio with name, specialties, and all that cool stuff. But, once again, I found something that is cooler than the goofy sheet of paper that came with the old figures. I just went to Filecard Creator. It's quick, easy, and makes more official looking file cards you can download than that grey piece of paper Hasbro would slap together and send you.  The best part of this is, your Create a Cobra doesn't actually have to be a Cobra! Evil sunovagun isn't he? And the cost for this simple little project? $14.23, and you can probably do even better with that since I paid a little more for the headpiece than what individual parts tend to go for in most cases. Sure beats paying 400 bucks for something that looks like it should have been packed with a set of baseball cards.
G.I.Joe photo
Customizing on a budget
Many of you know about those items that are just a smidge outside our regular budgets. Those special items that are cherished by collectors and the people offering to sell said items know how much they are worth. For me, as a...

Tomopop Original: It's ALIVE! A look at FrankenJoes

Dec 30 // Soul Tsukino
I've heard them called the "Real American Hero" sculpts; 3 3/4 inch sculpts, you know the ones. They had the back screws and rubber O-rings holding them together. They had loads more articulation than just about anything else at the time, didn't break the bank, and they were small enough you could have an entire army of them in a small box. And with a small enough screwdriver (or drill if need be), O-rings, and a little time, they could be fixed if anything was broken. You could also get really creative. Call them custom figures or FrankenJoes, these are when you start putting different pieces together and coming up with new characters of your own design. Some people take it to a whole different level with actually sculpting and painting their work to make things match, but since I like to actually use my figures, I've not been big on the repainting route, the paint usually doesn't last long with me. However, search on Google and you will find some crazy amazing customs out there. But for those of us who want to be creative, but don't want to have their figures sit on a self, there can be a big difference between a decent looking FrankenJoe, and one that just looks like crap. Take for instance this fellow. I named him Impact. This is actually the first custom Joe I made once I figured out to take apart and repair these figures. But this is the third version of the character. Why? I learned that not all parts fit together very well. Originally he used the chest of a character called Road Pig. Pig is one of the few figures made that were JACKED full of muscles (They also used this body mold for several of the Street Fighter Joes), but when taken apart the head of these figures are specially designed for the muscular body, and most of the regular figure heads don't fit. I did not realize this when I made him using a regular Snake-eyes head. One errant head move later and the original figure had a giant gaping hole in the chest. Lesson number One learned. So I found a still muscular frame, albeit smaller, but more importantly it fit with the parts that I had to work with. This is also a problem when you consider that older release Joes had a different canister shape assembly for the head joints, while later figures had a ball shaped assembly. Unless you are an expert in crafting plastic, they are not interchangeable. So don't try to force pieces together if they don't fit, things will break that way. I've discovered that the better looking custom figures are the ones with the least amount of modification. Here are some customs I made when I bought a junk parts lot on eBay a few years ago:   The first figure is largely a Voltar figure, but I replaced both arms with a different matching set, the head, and the waist piece. Next to him is another figure that started out as a spare Lifeline figure. The head was swapped out, as were the waist and legs from an older worn figure I had. Even if parts are a bit worn, the color scheme of Red and Blue work well together creating a well done figure without a lot of effort. Finally we have another couple of figures that was made of left over parts. Here it's not so much the color but the clothes that match well making the figures work. Sometimes just a headswap can radically change a figure, and sometimes you can really get away with being creative. But of course, with the good comes the bad. As you can see the parts don't really match up very well. I was trying to go a for a "man in the iron mask" look for this figure, and it just didn't happen,. Also the head that I used sits horribly in the chest so it just wobbles up and down. But for me, most of the fun is the process of getting the parts together and making a new character than the figure itself. It's a creative process and if you are into these figures as much as I am, it's a great way to not only recycle parts from broken figures, but a chance to be creative as well. I'd love to hear from anyone who customs their G.I. Joe figures, or any of their figures for that matter! Can you do better than my merry lot? Prove it and show what you've created!
FrankenJoes photo
Bringing new life to old parts.
I love G.I. Joe figures. I have since I was 7 years old. I got into them largely when Masters of the Universe ended. I watched the cartoon almost everyday and grew up on these figures, so I never developed much of a fandom fo...

BotCon and JoeCon photo
BotCon and JoeCon

BotCon and JoeCon move to Illinois in 2015

Now the east coast and west coast can complain together
Oct 24
// Jeremy Emerje Crocker
Today is the first day of the unofficial Transformers convention TFCon in Chicago, Illinois. I guess there's no better time than today for Fun Publications to announce that their two major Hasbro-backed conventions are headin...
Shapeways photo

Nintendo says no to Shapeways while Hasbro says go for it

Pokemon no, Ponies yes
Aug 26
// Jeremy Emerje Crocker
Shapeways can't catch a break, or maybe it can? Shapeways has a tendency to be a bit controversial, what with its place as a 3D printing hub making use of user-created 3D renders, many of which are based on licensed character...

Transformers  photo
First G.I. Joe figure in the Transformers Collectors' Club
The official Transformers Collectors' Club has announced two new figures that will be in the club store in 2015. The first is Nova Prime, a repaint of the remolded Lio Convoy that will be given to active club members next yea...

Community x G.I. Joe photo
Community x G.I. Joe

Community goes G.I. Joe in a very animated special episode

Watching is half the battle
Apr 05
// Scarecroodle
Once upon a time, cartoons were more obvious about their status as vehicles for merchandising. Cartoons would frequently introduce new characters, vehicles, and so forth, in a bid to promote either existent or upcoming mercha...
G.I. Joe photo
G.I. Joe

Whoa! G.I. Joe turns the big five-oh! A whopping 50 years

Another fifteen years until retirement?
Feb 06
// Scarecroodle
G.I. Joe celebrates its 50th - that's right, FIFTIETH - anniversary this year. The line got its start in early 1964 as an 11.5-inch articulated figure with 21 moving parts. The figures were intended to honor military veterans...
JoeCon 2014 photo
JoeCon 2014

JoeCon 2014 figure theme revealed: Zombies!

First figure from G.I. Joe set featuring the living dead previewed
Jan 17
// Jeremy Emerje Crocker
Fun Publications has revealed the theme and first figure for their G.I. Joe-based JoeCon exclusive 15 figure set. G.I. Joe Collector's Club describes the story behind the set as this: COBRA's latest sinister plot involves th...
Harmony Gold v. Hasbro photo
SDCC 2013 exclusive returns to Hasbro Toy Shop
You might remember back in July Harmony Gold field a lawsuit against Hasbro over their SDCC 2013 exclusive G.I. Joe and the Transformers: The Epic Conclusion figure set which, among other things, includes a repainted/remolded...

SDCC The Loyal Subjects photo
SDCC The Loyal Subjects

SDCC 2013: The Loyal Subjects

Gung Ho's looking a little... festive
Jul 27
// Tianxiao Ma
The SDCC vinyl party continues with The Loyal Subjects. Most of their stuff was from Transformers and G.I. Joe. Kicking off with Transformers, they had the classic Megatron and Bumblebee designs, as well as Comic Con exclusiv...
SDCC G.I. Joe photo

SDCC 2013: Hasbro - G.I. Joe

G.I. Joe looks like it could become MIA soon
Jul 26
// Jeremy Emerje Crocker
G.I. Joe has turned up at SDCC once again with a continually dwindling presence. It's a solid toy line at a good price, but the troubles the second movie caused the toy line appear to be more than they can recover from. Hasbr...
Sideshow Baroness photo
Sideshow Baroness

Sideshow's Baroness shows why evil is hot

Well, attractive, anyway
Jul 17
// Scarecroodle
Sideshow Collectibles' 1/6 scale Baroness is now available for pre-order. The Sideshow exclusive version features an additional head and glasses. The Baroness is among the most iconic of Cobra's evil agents and, for many, is ...
Hot Toys Superman & GIJoe photo
Hot Toys Superman & GIJoe

Hot Toys adds Evil Superman & GI Joe to Toy Fair lineup

The original Joe and some messed-up Kryptonite
Jul 08
// Andres Cerrato
Last week, Vanessa brought word of the first of Hot Toys' exclusive figures for the year, MMS 1/6 Captain America. Hot Toys has since added to the list with two new figures, the evil version of Superman from Superman III and ...
Hasbro SDCC 2013 excl's photo
Hasbro SDCC 2013 excl's

Hasbro's 2013 SDCC exclusives revealed!

Is it weird that I kinda really want that pony?
Jun 06
// Scarecroodle
USA Today has spoiled Hasbro's SDCC 2013 offerings. In addition to the previously announced Boba Fett with Han Solo in Carbonite pack  (US$50), Hasbro will be selling a DJ Pon-3 (My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic; US$5...

Soko Cat adds another preview for G.I. Joe Custom Show

These two new additions will be available tomorrow at the event
May 30
// Vanessa Cubillo
With the G.I. Joe Custom Show a day away, here's one more preview of what you'll see if you attend. As a late addition to the lineup, New Jersey artist, SoKo Cat, has released previews of her customs she will have at the eve...

Carson Catlin's G.I. Joe customs for SubUrban Vinyl

A Real American Hero
May 29
// Kristina Pino
Vanessa recently wrote about the upcoming G.I. Joe Custom Show running over at SubUrban Vinyl in New Jersey, which starts up this Friday, May 31st with Tenacious Toys. She included a few pictures of pieces that'll be shown at...

Hot Toys Roadblock just misses the mark

The Rock just checked into the Smackdown Hotel
May 22
// Andres Cerrato
When Hot Toys announced that they were making a 1/6 scale figure of The Rock Dwayne Johnson as his G.I. Joe appearance as Roadblock, I was excited. Excitement can quickly turn to apathy and that's kind of the case here. Hot T...

Save the date: G.I. Joe Custom show at SubUrban Vinyl

Starting on May 31, a custom G. I. Joe event will be held in Waldwick, New Jersey
May 21
// Vanessa Cubillo
Attention, New Jersey! SubUrban Vinyl and Tenacious Toys will be having a G.I. Joe custom show on May 31. Partnered with The Loyal Subjects and Hasbro, this custom toy show will have over 30 artists bringing with them over 1...

Hasbro digs up 20 years of Jurassic Park toys

Toys R Us exclusive line reminds some of us just how old we are.
Mar 19
// Jeremy Emerje Crocker
Can you believe it's been 20 years since the Jurassic Park movie first hit theaters? The cutting edge stuff they were doing in that movie can be done on a home computer today. Still a fun movie regardless. Of course, just lik...

Nath's custom Centurions Jake Rockwell is 'Xtreme'

Custom G.I.Joe based on 1980s cartoon and toy line gives the character an update I would pay money for.
Mar 15
// Jeremy Emerje Crocker
Back in the late '70s and '80s there was an industry wide shift in figure scale as companies moved away from large 'dolls' and smaller action figures dominated. Even so, there were some ambitious figures that just had to be b...

Troops of Doom celebrates fifth anniversary

Will there be plastic cake?
Feb 26
// Scarecroodle
Troops of Doom, a web comic featuring G.I. Joe and Star War figures battling for Lego technology, recently celebrated its fifth birthday. The comic was launched in 2008 and now, five years later, has had 523 comic strips (or ...

Toy Fair 2013: Hasbro Kre-O

Transformers, Star Wars, G.I.Joe, and even basic building sets hit the show.
Feb 12
// Jeremy Emerje Crocker
Hasbro's Kre-O Battleship line may have sunk and the Transformers had a rough start, but continues to back their homegrown building block line. This year the focus seems to be on saturation as they push four lines simult...

Toy Fair 2013: Hasbro - G.I. Joe

Mo' Joe!
Feb 10
// Scarecroodle
Hasbro's G.I. Joe showcase seemed to focus mostly on its movie offerings, both in its 3.75-inch core format and the larger kid-friendly toys. However, there seemed to be a lot of non-movie figures on display including some ki...

Hot Toys Snake Eyes is now available to pre-order

Welp, that was fast
Jan 02
// Andres Cerrato
It seems that a lot of us here like G.I. Joe and Hot Toys. The first Hot Toys release from G.I. Joe: Retaliation, Snake Eyes, looks to have captured our attention quite well. What Hot Toys is hoping is that it has done enough...

Those Hot Toys G.I.Joe we wanted? They're making them!

Rocky! Rocky! I mean Dwayne! Dwayne! Dwayne!
Jan 02
// Andres Cerrato
Immediately at the announcement of Hot Toys Snake Eyes, my attention went straight to what else can be made. Don't get me wrong, the 1/6 Snake Eyes is nothing short of amazing, but there's other people I want along the way. I...

Hot Toys goes commando with new Snake Eyes figure

Second quarter release planned for what is hopefully a long line of G.I.Joe movie figures from Hot Toys.
Dec 31
// Jeremy Emerje Crocker
G.I.Joe Retaliation is a troubled movie. Earlier in 2012 the movie was ready full salvo for its June 29 release with a major add campaign, toys showing up in stores, and licensed merchandise everywhere. Then Paramount dr...

It's Transformers vs. the ball in the MENSA voting finals

It's robots that can take any number of forms versus an object that comes in a limited number of shapes.
Nov 20
// Jeremy Emerje Crocker
MENSA (yeah, that MENSA) has been holding their Toys Bracket Challenge since since mid-October and we've now come down to the finals! It's the action figure juggernaut known as the Transformers battling it out against th...

Hasbro calls possible purchase by Disney just a rumor

Analysts say there's no chance of DIsney buying Hasbro so soon after having just bought Lucasfilm Ltd.
Nov 08
// Jeremy Emerje Crocker
Unless you've been living in an ice cave on planet Hoth for the past week you know Disney has been making some pretty big headlines. There's the 2015 date for The Avengers 2, the surprise purchase of Lucasfilm Ltd., and their...

Rumor: Could Disney be interested in Hasbro?

MTV Geek reports high-level discussions may be starting
Nov 05
// Brian Szabelski
Just last week, Disney announced seemingly out of nowhere that they were buying up Lucasfilm for US$4 billion. And now, according to sources that talked to MTV Geek, the Mouse's attention may be turning to another company: Ha...

Sideshow brings Cobra's Major Bludd into their ranks

New 1/6 scale figure of terrorist mercinary also gets a exclusive incentive
Oct 29
// Jeremy Emerje Crocker
In today's world it's kinda easy to look at the G.I. Joe arch nemesis Cobra as a rather silly excuse for a terrorist organization. What with their ranks filled with so many oddball misfits it's a little hard to take them seri...

NYCC 2012: Mimobots

Check out the Uglydoll collaboration!
Oct 14
// Tianxiao Ma
If you dig collectible gadgets, then Mimoco's Mimobot line is perfect for you. They're USB memory sticks shaped like characters from comics, cartoons, and whatever else. Recently Mimoco has started a line of Mimobots with the...

Children's Museum picks top 100 toys as voted on by fans

G.I. Joe and Transformers top the list
Sep 12
// Jeremy Emerje Crocker
The Children's Museum of Indianapolis, Indiana recently held an online pole taking votes on the top 100 toys that define our childhoods. In a list that included everything from Silly Putty to the Jack-in-the-Box and gath...

Fun Publications, Inc. has been teasing their G.I. Joe fans quite some time now with promise of a subscription service allowing them to plop down a chunk of money to be guaranteed a year's worth of exclusive figures. Well the...


SDCC 2012: Sideshow Collectibles - Remains of the Weekend

Jul 19
// Andres Cerrato
After an exhaustive search through everything Sideshow has to offer, we're finally at the end. What lies in wait in this gallery is plenty of G.I. Joe and some classic movie horror and cheese. What's impressive in this l...

SDCC 2012: Mimoco

Jul 17
// Kristina Pino
The cool folks at Mimoco are always around with their designer 8, 16, 32 and 54 GB flash drives of various characters we know and love from comics, movies or TV. This year we saw a bunch of new things in the realm of DC Comic...

SDCC 2012: G.I.Joe: Retaliation

Jul 15
// Jeremy Emerje Crocker
Poor Hasbro. They had big plans for their latest live action movie, G.I.Joe: Retaliation. Toys were in warehouses, merchandise partners had products on the burner ready to go, and there was an ad campaign out in ful...

SDCC 2012: Sideshow Collectibles joins the preview party

Jul 11
// Andres Cerrato
We're getting to open more presents early tonight and these gifts are from Sideshow Collectibles. They make things that we love. Things that are very large. Those things that we love and large will also be equal to the pain w...

G.I. Joe: Retaliation figures shape up for this sequel

Feb 03
// Jonathan Tubbs
G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra wasn't the greatest of movie masterpieces. In fact, it didn't feel like G.I. Joe. So hopefully the sequel G.I. Joe: Retaliation will remedy all of that. Looking at the figures that USATod...

NYCC 2011: Hasbro's G.I. Joe

Oct 16
// Andres Cerrato
We haven't really paid much attention to Hasbro's G.I. Joe, which is something we're looking to rectify following their showing at NYCC this year. While the filming of the newest movie is underway, the real money maker of thi...

Sideshow has a Crimson Guard action figure only about thirty years too late

Oct 07
// Chris Pranger
I'll admit, I enjoyed G.I. Joes here and there when I came across them, as is evident by my first Show & Tell video from way back when. However I was never quite into the 12" dolls as I simply couldn't enjoy figures that ...

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