I’m a bit confused. I watched it once or twice while the kids were younger on Saturday morning, and got the impression that this was a run of the mill action series with a strong toy tie in, and that it ran it’s course.
Now perthis other thread there’s apparently this new GI Joe straight to DVD movie Valor Vs Venom with lots of glossy computer animation for the true believers. What’s the scoop on this? Is there some cohort of hard core GI Joe fans out there that this is aimed at?
The “small” G.I. Joe action figures (3 3/4", to differentiate them from the older 12" figures) came out in 1982 and sold steadily up through the mid-1990s. Many '80s kids like myself grew up with G.I. Joe toys, cartoons, and comic books, and remember them fondly. Around 2000, Hasbro relaunched the toy line with old molds of the same figures and vehicles, as well as releasing new ones, many of which updated the old familiar character designs. These new toys are aimed at both kids (who are loving them, just like we used to), and the 20-something fans who now have discretionary income and are awash with '80s nostalgia. Valor vs. Venom is just the latest subset of G.I. Joe toys, so the computer-animated film is essentially a long toy commercial, just like the '80s cartoon was also an ongoing toy commercial.
Consider: if your kid is bugging you for a toy, are you MORE likely or LESS likely to buy it if that toy is:
(a) some new damn thing based on some damn new cartoon or other
(b) an improved and updated – but still very recognizable – version of something you really liked when you were a kid?
I’ve glanced at several cartoons – GI Joe, Ninja Turtles, Transformers, and *Masters Of The Universe * – and the new versions are a great improvement over the old crud available in the 1980s. (Of course, I was a *college student * in the 1980s, so I didn’t exactly play with the toys so much as I would laughingly watch the cartoons while drunk, which gave me a certain fondness for them, but not in a way readily exploited by toy manufacturers).
Why not remake and rerelease 'em? They’re proven moneymakers, and some of 'em are even made using the same dies as the originals (Transformers, in particular), which makes them even cheaper to produce… and now they can get you on the nostalgia angle, as well!
I’m old enough to have owned and played with an original-model 12" G.I. Joe action figure - along with its removable uniforms and weapons. This was when Joe still looked and dressed like an honest-to-goodness American Soldier. Great fun.
As the/a resident SDMB Transformers junkie, I’ll just point out that (a) a live-action Transformers movie is currently in the works, for release sometime in 2006, and (b) comic book publisher Dreamwave Publicans has gone from completel non-existence to big-money publishing house primarily on the strength of their numerous Transformers comic book titles.
Let me get this straight. I can understand watching a (nominally) free TV show, but you are claiming that there are people with disposable income who spend that money on comic books about big robots that turn into various vehicles?
They’re making the original designs again? I’ve obviously got to head out to a toy store. As a kid growing up in the proper demographic, I knew exactly why the line eventually failed, the first time around: The later toys sucked. Their last attempt to salvage it was to make Transformer action figures which didn’t transform. You can’t get much lamer than that.
But original dies? Sounds like maybe I need to fill in the (extensive) gaps in my childhood collection.
Same here. I loved the line and still have quite a few of the toys in a box somewhere. I started losing interest around the time they went from “interesting designs” to “Copies of real stuff with a motor in it”.
The Dominator was Sweet! A tank that turns into an attack chopper…What’s not to like?
Hoo yeah, big skippy bucks. Check out Dreamwave Productions’ web page, and compare the number of *Transformers-*related titles to non-*Transformers-*related titles. I’d be annoyed by the blatant pimping of the franchise except for the fact that Dreamwave has also managed to give a number of long-time Transformers fan writers and artists their first professional jobs in the industry (“Yeah, I remember when Guido and Don were just regular slack-jawed fans like us’um…” ).
To be nitpicky, they aren’t exact reproductions of the original toys – the missile weapons, for example, have been made larger to comply with modern child safety regulations. On the plus side, the toys get the super-deluxe “collectors’ keepbox” treatment, which look even cooler than the originals did.
And as long as you’re in the store, check out the Transformers: Alternator toys. WOO!