Site Updates: Right on TARGAT

Hi there.

I do, in fact, have something new and GI Joe related to share with you today. It’s not a full review, but don’t worry– you’ll get one of those on Thursday. It won’t be a GI Joe review, but it will be fantastic.

And you’ll also be getting a full gallery of amazing GI Joe photos on Friday. That’s a lot of stuff my friends and I are putting out for you this week.

Speaking of friends, I wanted to share some of my favorite things other people have been working on recently

And, as promised, I have a GI Joe thing for you, too.

Continue reading “Site Updates: Right on TARGAT”

1991 GI Joe Cloudburst

1991 GI Joe Cloudburst Review

(Editor’s Note: Today’s post comes from my friend Colin, the mastermind behind Colin’s Joes. It’s my favorite kind of toy review blog– the kind where the author waxes poetic about what a toy means to them and also gives a factual, in-depth review. If you like ARAH-era GI Joe and aren’t regularly reading Colin’s website, I highly encourage you to do so, because he makes every single post something special.)

Review and Photos by Colin H.

The “Neon 90s” weren’t so neon for me. I had a Sunice ski jacket that I got in grade 8 that was so bright it would burn your retina if you weren’t wearing sunglasses. But that was when neon died for me, sometime around 1992.

The decade started with moving from a small town (Fort Smith, NWT) to a small city (Yellowknife, NWT), and progressed through learning to drive, my first girlfriend, my first drink, graduating high school, working at a music store, and dropping out of university. Twice. I spent most of the time cruising around my hometown in a Ford Tempo, listening to Dre, the Wu, Big and Pac. And I remember going to the bars in Edmonton on the night that Y2K was supposed to disable the world’s computer networks, and in the relief of having survived disaster, I may have kissed three different girls at midnight.

I started the 90s hooked on X-Men comics, and I ended the 90s hooked on X-Men comics. But in between it all, I sold off my childhood GI Joes, then lived without toys for a few years, before coming back at 17 as a part time collector, grabbing late-run 90s figures at the local Wal-Mart, ordering classic 80s Joes through mailaway offers from Hasbro Canada, and lucking into a few early ARAH MOCs.

Continue reading “1991 GI Joe Cloudburst Review”

1993 Transformers Generation 2 Axelerators and Skyscorchers

1993 Transformers Generation 2 Axelerators and Skyscorchers Review

(Editor’s Note: Today’s post comes from my good friend Video Dracula, whose work you can find on Instagram and Twitter. His writing about Transformers from many eras, and the accompany photographs, are quite stunning and brilliantly formatted. Give him a follow on Instagram if you like this review!)

Review and Photos by Video Dracula

Hi, I’m Dracula! You may remember me from such films as The Monster Squad and Santo and Blue Demon vs. Dracula and the Wolf Man. These days I mostly post on Instagram about Transformers. 

So let’s talk about Transformers. Specifically, let’s talk about Transformers: Generation 2, the grungy younger brother of the original Transformers line (which only got its G1 moniker thanks to the titling of the second generation, believe or don’t). Now Mr. The Dragon Fortress and I both grew up around the same time, experiencing a little bit of the 1980s and all of the 1990s. The 90s was a lean time to be a budding Transformers fan. All of the characters I loved from my scavenged comic books and rented VHS tapes were long off the shelves, only accessible via luck of the draw at yard sales and thrift shops. 

Continue reading “1993 Transformers Generation 2 Axelerators and Skyscorchers Review”

Funskool GI Joe Ripper

Making the Photo: Funskool GI Joe Ripper

(Editor’s Note: Today’s post is something a little different. My friend Sintechness (Twitter, Instagram) was kind enough to share his photo taking process. A lot went into this amazing photo of Funskool Ripper, and it’s fascinating to see how he accomplished such a great shot.)

I’m always amazed at great toy photography. I’m even more amazed when I see how it’s actually produced. My own process boils down to making a haphazard set on top of my stove (it gets the best natural lighting in the house, so shut up) and throwing some toys in it. That is literally all I do. But some people, such as Sintechness, go above and beyond with practical effects and dazzling artistry.

Here’s what went into making this incredible photo of everyone’s favorite Funskool Dreadnok.

Continue reading “Making the Photo: Funskool GI Joe Ripper”

The Corps! Whispering Willie

The Corps! Whispering Willie (Version 1) Review

The Corps! Whispering Willie

(Editor’s Note: Today’s review comes from my good friend Cody, who you may recognize from our Whipsaw review. Cody is a fantastic photographer, action figure customizer, writer, and storyteller. You can find Cody’s work on Instagram.)

Article by Corps Commander Cody

The Corps! is one of my favorite toy lines of all time. While most others write them off as cheap imitations or, at worst, complete and inferior knockoffs, I think The Corps! is a worthy brand. They have continued to provide products with all the fun of GI Joe at reduced cost. In fact, they are still producing figures today- some of the non articulated ones are not to my taste, but they’re constantly on store shelves, unlike some brands I could mention. 

Even the biggest Joe Bro who says that every military figure that’s not a Joe is a Corps! figure may agree that the greatest “Lanyard” “Corpse” was Whispering Willie. They may not know his name, but they love his face. And brother, I do too.

Continue reading “The Corps! Whispering Willie (Version 1) Review”

1989 GI Joe Tiger Fish (Photo Gallery)

(Editor’s Note: I have another special treat for you today, courtesy of SurveillancePort.com proprietor CIAD aka Erick. He took these photos and was kind enough to loan them to me. I hope you enjoy some nice, clean photos of a dazzling little speedboat.)

Tiger Force Friday is always a big thing in the GI Joe Social media world. Just check out the hashtag on Instagram. I don’t usually participate, both because I am a loner and a rebel, but also because I’m never prepared and always forget about it. 

Today, I’m a joiner and a conformist. But in a good way! 

Thanks to Erick from Surveillance Port, here’s a fantastic photo gallery of the 1989 GI Joe Tiger Fish complete with every angle you could ever want. 

Continue reading “1989 GI Joe Tiger Fish (Photo Gallery)”

Black Major Urban Assault Trooper

Black Major Urban Assault Trooper (2017 Dirty South GI Joe Meetup Exclusive)

(Editor’s Note: The photos for today’s post come courtesy of CIAD, aka Erick, the owner and operator of SurveillancePort.com. Erick is a great writer and photographer, but he’s more than that. He’s a pillar of the online GI Joe community. He’s one of the kindest and most supportive people in the fandom, and he’s always reporting on the latest news, giving signal boosts to cool projects, and spotlighting deserving content creators. You can find Erick at his website, on Twitter, on Instagram, and on Facebook. Thanks, Erick!)

Since we’re on an Alley Viper kick, I thought we’d take a look at another one. I acquired my first original Hasbro 1989 Alley Viper in 2019 at JoeFest in Augusta, GA. In September of that same year, I grabbed another one at a toy shop in Salt Lake City, Utah. 

But those Alley Vipers weren’t my first experience with the 1989 mold. Sometime in late 2017 or early 2018, I acquired some factory custom Alley Vipers made by The Black Major. My first TBM AVs were the versions that homage the 1997 Rage box art/prototype Alley Viper– blue and black. 

There was another version I was interested in, though. Online photos made it look like an ‘inverted colors’ version of the 89 Alley Viper, using blue as its primary color and orange as its accent color. 

Those figures are the subject of today’s post– The Black Major Urban Assault Trooper, which started its life as a convention exclusive. 

Continue reading “Black Major Urban Assault Trooper (2017 Dirty South GI Joe Meetup Exclusive)”

1997 GI Joe Alley Viper

1997 GI Joe Alley Viper Review

Today, we’re looking at my first Alley Viper. This is my actual childhood figure, who’s somehow still in really good shape. It’s a toy from a year that makes most GI Joe fans point their noses firmly skywards, but it’s one of my favorite years for the toy line. 

The 1997 GI Joe Alley Viper is the reason that the Alley Viper is one of my favorite Cobra troops (it comes in second, only behind the Astro Viper) and is probably one of the major reasons I’ve continued to love GI Joe for my entire life. 

Like all 1997 Joe figures, he’s a bit of an oddball. There are many reasons Serious Collectors don’t love this toy, but I don’t care about any of those things. This figure is one of my most cherished GI Joe possessions. So, of course I’m going to tell you all about that– but I’ll review the toy, as well. As much as I ever review a toy, anyway. 

You know what you’re getting into at this point. 

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1990 GI Joe Stretcher

1990 GI Joe Stretcher Review

Stretcher, the GI Joe team’s medical specialist from 1990, and I go back a long way. We go all the way back to 1990 in fact. My original Stretcher figure met a tragic end sometime around 1992, but he’s still a character and toy I have a deep connection to. 

This is a review I’ve wanted to do for a long time, but Stretcher is not an easy figure to find and complete. Luckily, I found a carded version at JoeFest 2019 in Augusta, GA. I opened him up about a week ago to bring you this review. 

Stretch out and relax. Let’s dig in. 

Continue reading “1990 GI Joe Stretcher Review”