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My Post-con Joe Con write up


JoeRhyno
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Sorry for the delay in getting this out. I actuallystarted writing this the night I got back, but I was dead tired andstarted training for a management position yesterday, so that kind ofgot in the way a bit. Anyway, with that said, I wanted to do a littlewrite up on my experience at Joe-con.

 

 

 

This was my first Joecon, it is actually hard to believe that I've neverbeen to one, and what's funny is, I felt like I knew halfthe people there too. I guess with seeing pictures online of peoples coverageover the years, a lot of familiar faces become reality and it seems likeI've known them all this time. It was fun to run into a couple people I alreadyknew and it was fun running into a few people that I only knew byboard/forum names.

 

When I first showed up at the con, I was a bit underwhelmed. I knew this was asmaller convention, but hearing it being in Indy where the Star Warsconventions were at, I was excited! It was till a few days before theactual con that I found out it was at a different hotel/convention center, notthe one that the Star Wars Celebration was at. hotels were booked up at thecheap price, so I opted for one down the street(bad mistake), so hoofing itback and forth wasn't the greatest thing, but it saved overall on the cost, soI guess that was a good thing.

 

When I first showed up, I was happy that the parachute drop was being set upfor the kids so they could get the mini Kre-O figure. It was real cool seeingprobably close to 50 lil' guys waiting for the drop. When the drop started,kids were running around and then someone from the club gave the okay for someadults lined up in back to go and get some figures too. I thought that was amistake, as it was like a stampede and I was afraid of the outcome, but luckilyeveryone from what I could see was pretty nice about it. I did see a few guyswith fist full of paratroopers, but I also saw some club guys doing the sameand walking up to little kids that didn't get one and trying to make sure theydid. I thought that was awesome and even some of the regular members I sawbending down and handing little kids some troopers. Kudos to them for that.

 

So, with that out of the way, I head back upstairs to get my press pass and Iknow I've read over the years people complaining about the club and not beingprepared, I think this is one thing I would agree on. I was sent left and rightand up and down and even told to come back after lunch, "because the mainhall wasn't opened till then anyway", I guess they didn't want me coveringthe two panels that were going to be going on before that.

 

I took this time to get my hotel and rental car situated and then a small biteto eat and then I was back at it trying to get my badge. After some morerunning around, I was able to get my badge and then it was more waiting around.

 

I wasn't able to get any coverage of the first two panels because of this, Iwasn't able to get my pass till right before the main hall opened, so I guessthat was a bit upsetting, but even so, it was about to start, I tried to get aquick headcount and I came up with a good 350-400 people lined up. Now it was aquick headcount, so I could be off by 50 or so, some were bunched together andthe back hall looked pretty packed, but I think that's a pretty safe number forFriday.

 

When the doors opened, the first thing I noticed was Derryl DePriest setting upone lone Hasbro case. I was a little saddened by this, as this was one of themain reasons for being at the con. I talked to Derryl for a good 20 mins,asking about what was in store for us, finding out that there wouldn't beanything new shown, if everything in the case is all we'll see tillSDCC. He did pause and say, something along the lines of well, I shouldn't say that, I alreadysaid too much. But that was it. One can take this as maybe we'llsee more at SDCC, but after Saturday's Vault 2.0, I think he was talking about that(but we'll get to that later).

 

So, after bothering him for a bit, I wanted him to be able to finish setting upthe case (he was already delayed and behind and still didn't have it setup, so I didn't want to delay him more). So after making my way around thedifferent booths, I made my way over to the customs contest section, but thenwas shoed away as they were "judging" at the time. So then back tothe store to take some pictures of the buying and I swear, but the time I madeit back, LJ and the 2pack were already sold out. I thought that was fast.

 

I did find it a bit odd that they would let people turn around and"scalp" the newly bought exclusives at the table’s right after themselling out. I know you can't stop it, but it just seemed wrong to walk into aconvention, see a big sold out sign on one of the exclusives and the firsttable you walk over to have it for $150. It's like that was a set price thatall the dealers agreed on, some magic number, Lady Jaye, Iceberg and the twopacks were instantly $150-200.

 

I even got to hear one angry dealer complain about how his "helper"wasn't able to get anything because of the new voucher program (for those thatdidn't know, this year, they gave you a voucher with your badge, so the onlyway to buy the exclusives was to get one of these vouchers). Helpers didn't getvouchers, so they didn't get exclusives. Now, I'm not sure if you could buy avoucher by itself, I did see a line on the side that seemed very long but I'mnot sure if that was for general admission or what not. I just thought it was agood system, but obviously didn't work too well when you walked up to a booththat had 3 LJs hanging from their pegs.

 

Other than the autographs, there wasn't really anything else to do at the conand next thing I knew, they were closing up and security was escorting us out.That was fine with me; I wanted to sit down and eat something and upload mypics. There was the Gold members meet and greet, but I had a hard time gettingfrom point A to point B with my press badge, I'm sure I would have been kickedto the curb trying to get in to cover that, so I opted for food and restinstead.

 

Saturday was the big day; I got in and up the stairs in time for people to belet in. The first panel I wanted to cover was the Palitoy one. I never knewexactly how the UK line and all that really worked into the Joe universe, sothis was quite interesting. I've talked to quite a few people from England overthe years, but even so, it was hard to understand the guy at the panel. I don'tknow if it was mainly the mic, or where I was sitting. I did try to squirm upinto the gold seats, and finally got up front, but I mainly pieced thingstogether by what I was seeing on the screen. It was fun to see how they treatedthe UK line more like Star Wars and was heavily influenced with Sci-Fi stuff,more than real world military like GI Joe was. Over all, the panel was interesting,like I said, I wish I knew a bit more about the stuff beforehand, I feel like Iwould have had a better grasp on what was going on if I did.

 

After that panel was the Hasbro Panel, which was one of the main ones, so Ikept my spot before I was kindly asked to move back in the regular seats. Iasked if I could at least move up to take pictures and he did say I could go tothe middle to take pictures, but it almost seemed pointless if I was to take apic and then tweet back my news... too many steps and not enough hands to dothem, so I made do with my 4th row seat (even though the gold seats were almosthalf empty).

 

The Hasbro panel was pretty interesting. It was really cool hearing about themovie success and the green light for GI Joe 3. It was sad though, to hear howthere wasn't anything new and all this was because of the delay. So, in a way, Paramount’spush back hurt Joe from a toy line perspective. Following up with Derryl at thebooth, further explained why shelves are empty and space is limited... all thishad to do with the delay. It's a shame too, because they seemed like they werereally excited about what could have been.

 

Anyway, back at the Hasbro panel, we got some explanation on why Battle KataRoadblock

isn't really shown in the movie, The Rock took off morethan they thought he would and was able to own his character, so Paramountdropped the gimmick. Hasbro didn't learn about this till it was too late, sothey kept all the Battle Kata toys and stuff. Some more info was the Ice Rail (theawe striker like vehicle SE was driving in the movie) was something Hasbro wasreally hoping Paramount would use. When they asked for 4x4 vehicles, theyshowed them the Awe Striker and they seemed really happy with the look and thesize of it, and Hasbro really thought they were going to use it and then laterthey saw they went with the one that appeared in the movie(Derryl kept callingit Ice Rail). They had to scramble to put something together, so that's whythey used the Awe Striker. Which I feel it works, as it's close enough and ithas the same look, and even my son who saw it in the store said, "hey,it's Snake Eye's vehicle from the movie", so I guess that's one of thosehappy accidents that work out in the end. They did say they still wanted tomake it and would love to try to incorporate it into the line sometime in thefuture, but we'll see.

 

Another vehicle they said didn't work out how they wanted was the Fang Boat.They had to go by concept sketches and already exhausted their budget so theyhad to make do with what they had available and they had the water moccasinmold, and it worked, so they used it.

 

One cool thing was the idea of the Ghost hawk design. It was actually a designthat Hasbro showed them. Part from the idea of the Rattler. I got this infolater from Derryl at the booth, when asking about when we can see an updated Rattler;he explained that the Ghost Hawk was their Rattler that they threw atParamount. They loved it and they tweaked it and it became their GI Joe dropship. They really wanted something modern and realistic but a bitfuturistic... but nothing like the flying whales that the first movie had.They're happy with the outcome and the fans seemed like they were too.

 

The last vehicle toy they touched on, mainly because they were getting alot of questions about why the Ninja Combat Cruiser was blue/grey andnot more of a modern military color. They stated that they had a lot ofproduct testing before the vehicles were coming out and had one allcolored up in ninja colors, and one colored up in tan colors like thetransports in the movie. They said that with all the kid testing, KIDS LOVENINJAS, and they all went for the ninja colored ones first, so that’s why theychose that color.

 

 

After that, they touched on the awesome helicopter thatCobra Commander takes off in towards the end of the movie. They said that theydidn’t see this till later and they already exhausted their money and wasn’table to bring it out, but they are all in love with it and really want to bringit out and they said that they’ll try their hardest to try to bring it out inthe future.

 

 

A good portion of the panel was dedicated to the Eaglehawk helicopter coming out later this summer. They explained how they boughtsome vintage, MISB Tomahawks and then sent them off to China to get them hackedup and scanned and 3d models made. This was out of their budget to have themade this way, so they then took another MISB Tomahawk and opened that one andthen went into retooling it. Adding new detailed interior, changing some of themechanics so the rappel line worked better. Adding some ports and holes soweapons and even those big backpack repelling contraptions that come in the3pack and with future Ultimate Roadblock will plug into the side of the chopperand you can have a bunch of your Joes deploying. They also pointed out some ofthe smaller changes, taking out the lower windows and just painting them up,adding hinges to the top engine covers and redoing the blades for easy storage.Lastly, John designed the stickers so you could go classic GI Joe, or there wasa second set that was a little more modern looking, all black and white, so ifyou wanted to update your look a little. They really wanted this to be a nod to the old vehicle, without sacrificingthe look and feel of the vintage vehicle at all. I personally think they didone heck of a job doing so.

 

 

Also, the Eagle hawk will be TRU and online exclusive (likeBBTS) only. Targets and Wal-Mart’s weren’t interested in it, again, because ofthe delay, they already had their plans for their aisle space, and TRU was theonly one that wanted it.

 

 

 

 

 

The last part of the panel was about Kre-Os. They’rereally happy with how well they’re doing. They’ll stay Toys R Us exclusives.They explained how the blind packs have sold really well and are going to tryto get more out, but can’t make any promises. Blind bag wave 2 should be out inthe fall along with the small play sets and vehicles they showed (ninja dojoand jet).

 

 

 

 

 

After this, the Q&A started and there were a couplethings to note. I’ve read on the interwebs about people saying that the Club isgetting involved with SDCC exclusives. What happened was, someone asked ifthere was a way to get SDCC exclusives out to fans easier, and he askedsomething along the lines of, “how about getting the club to help out”, Thecrowd clapped and Hasbro said they love what the club does for the fans andthey would love to work with them, but nothing is planned. They would like tobe able to get the exclusives out to more people, so they’ll see what they cando.

 

 

Another question that lit up the twitter sphere was JonathonPryce Zartan figure. Someone asked why there wasn’t one, and he thoughtthat would have been a perfect way to bring out a changing Zartan as Presidentfigure, John Warden said he had a couple ideas floating around and hopefullythey can do something with that.

 

 

I believe that was the best of the questions and the endof the panel. I know there was more, if you wanted to see my live feed, you cancheck here:

 

 

http://toynewsi.com/news.php?catid=341&itemid=20242

 

 

If you see anything there, and want some clarification on,feel free to ask.

 

 

 

 

The next Panel was the 1982: Real American Hero is Bornpanel with Kirk Bozigan & Larry Hama. I honestly didn’t know what to expectfrom this panel, as I didn’t know who Kirk was and only knew Larry as the comicwriter.

 

 

I was in for a treat. The panel started off with Kirk goingover basic business tips and stuff like that, and for a min, I thought I was inthe wrong convention, lol. But after a while, he got into GI Joe and explainedhow it was reintroduced after being a 12” line. It was really well puttogether, with old newspaper and product sheets. I tried to take all thepictures I could because remembering all of it would have been too hard to do,so I’m hoping Jay gets those pics uploaded.

 

 

It was also really cool to see how Larry got GI Joe started.He was in charge of creating all the bios and background for everyone and itwas cool seeing how it started and what a background dossier was, and thenlater they liked it so much, that’s what became the file cards on the back ofthe package.

 

 

Some other funny noted were they wanted the original movieto have a PG-13 rating, so one way to do it, was they had a sketch up ofZarana, topless coming out of the swamp giving the dreadnoks some drinks, youwouldn’t see anything, only her from behind, but they instead went with acouple soft swear words , lol.

 

 

All in all, I think it was an awesome panel and learning thehistory to GI Joe really makes you appreciate it more.

 

 

The next panel was a 12” panel and also lunch time. I didn’twant to miss the voice acting and club one, so I ran down to Starbucks to grabsome lunch.

 

 

When I got back I hit the middle of the voice actor’s paneland got to hear Mary McDonald and Bill Ratner tell what they thought of the newmovie. They both seemed to really like it. Bill told a funny story about whenTransformers first came out, they were originally going to have a big nameactor like Tom Cruise do the voice of Prime, but the uproar from the fans madethem get Peter Cullen and then the rest was history. When they found out Flintwas going to be in Retaliation, he wanted to try and do the same, he didn’tknow how they’d do it, if they’d dub his voice or what, but he said he had totry, so his wife sent a very mean email, demanding they use the original Flint’svoice... and they basically responded to her, “we don’t care” and that got ahuge laugh.

 

 

After that, they were setting up for the Club panel. I couldtell this one was going to be another big one as people started to pour intothe room.

 

 

 

 

The panel went rather quickly, more than I thought it would.They started with some sheets that showed their process of designing thefigures and vehicles. They talked about the steps and showed how they wanted tohave a box this year for the vehicle, mainly because of the whole glow in thedark idea. They were able to get the box small enough to make it worth it… sothey went with it.

 

 

They explained what happened with Iceberg. Originally theysent a mock up with a mocked up head to China. To give them an idea on what tosculpt, they also sent a vintage head with the mock up. They wanted them tosculpt a new head, but somewhere it was lost in translation and when they gotthe final prototype back, it was too late to get it fixed, without beingdelayed, so they went forward with the vintage head. They didn’t seem happyabout it, but it was out of their hands.

 

 

After this, they went over the success of the FigureSubscription Service. It went so well, that they wanted to announce 2.0.

 

 

They showed two figures. They weren’t actual productionmodels, but Franken Joe customs they did themselves and then photo shopped toshow what they would look like. So the two figures you see aren’t real figures,just photo shopped mock ups.

 

 

The list is:

 

 

Skullbuster

 

 

Dragonsky

 

 

Night Force Falcon

 

 

Big Bear

 

 

Admiral Keel Haul

 

 

Tigerforce Airtight

 

 

Cobra Desert Scorpion

 

 

Tollbooth

 

 

Tiger Force Shipwreck

 

 

UK Bombadier

 

 

Cesspool

 

 

Widescope

 

 

Mystery 13th figure.

 

 

 

 

A couple notes, they said just because they’re bringing outKeel Haul, don’t expect a flag or read too much into it… and then joked thatthey could include a couple battleship pieces, and everyone thought that was agood idea, someone threw out, “in a bottle” and someone else really liked thatidea too.. but again, just things thrown around at the table, nothing to taketoo seriously, as I’ve read here and there people reading into it too muchalready.

 

 

They want to start the subscription soon, as in this or nextweek. They want to give people about a month, but no more to sign up andhopefully have the first set of figures shipping by end of the summer. Theirhope is to keep this going and to hopefully be able to have these coming outwith as little hiccups as possible.

 

 

If you want to see some of my pics and my live stream, youcan see those here:

 

 

http://toynewsi.com/news.php?catid=341&itemid=20245

 

 

 

 

After this panel, it was back to the main hall to get somelast min photos and see if I missed anything.

 

 

 

 

Around this time twitter was lighting up about the concept2.0 figures being put up, so I ran over to Hasbro’s booth and sure enough, theysurprised everyone with a handful of concept figures.

 

 

Now, I mentioned this before and I think this is what Derrylwas leaning towards when he let slip that there was something else they wouldshow. I feel that they did this on purpose as they knew people would be in thepanels and it gave them time to sneak them in.

 

 

I honestly have to say that I love the idea of seeingconcept figures. We always see concept art for movies, comics, even toys... soit’s nice to actually see them in figure form. Yeah, we might not get them...but I bet, chances are, some of those will come out in some way, shape or form.

 

 

They did say to keep the conversations about them goingthough, like the last concept case a couple years ago, it got people on the fansites and forums talking about them and they want to see this, as its fuel forthem to show the higher ups that these things are wanted and the fans demandthem… so that was one thing they kept telling people after they put them in theshelves.

 

 

 

 

After that, I believe the show was closing again. I got the callto cut my trip short because of the lack of info and Sunday not being that big,Hasbro was leaving and wasn’t going to be there Sunday either, so after the hallclosed, that was the end of my Con experience. After that, I had to scrambleand make sure my friend’s car was okay and then the long trek home.

 

 

 

 

Overall, I really had a great time at my first Joe-Con. If Ido go again, I think I’ll be going the full weekend and I feel I would have toget an actual real badge, so I can experience it, in its fullness. I’d probablyonly go if it was close to me, or if I had family in the area. But we’llsee. Maybe one of these days, we’ll runinto each other at a future one. J

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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don't feel bad about the lateness, life happens, I'm way behind on posting all my reviews as well. Didn't run into there, did meet Card, and had a blast over all.

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