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Among the toys that I had when I was a kid, few rivaled the adventures I had with my G.I. JOE: A REAL AMERICAN HERO action figures. Along with STAR WARS, MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE and TRANSFORMERS, they were one of the big guns, and I still remember receiving my first ‘Joe as a birthday present in 1982. It was the LASER RIFLE TROOPER, CODENAME: FLASH, and I received him along with the JET PROPULSION MOBILE UNIT (JUMP). While most of my toys were sold-off somewhere around 1988, I still have a case of loose ‘Joe figures in storage somewhere, and I’m pretty sure that FLASH is one of the guys who survived. The reason for the nostalgia tonight is that Hasbro has announced a partnership with Toys “R” Us for the 50th Anniversary of G.I. JOE, and with it, a new line of toys. It’s very exciting, and I’ve got all the details, right here on THE ROCK FATHER… and believe me, I’m saving the best for last.


From the Official Announcement:

Launched at the American International Toy Fair in 1964, the “original action figure” debuted as a 12-inch pose-able soldier toy, G.I. JOE has been a pop-culture phenomenon ever since. The property evolved over the years, from the original 12-inch action figure in the 1960s, the ADVENTURE TEAM in the 1970s and the G.I. JOE vs. COBRA saga which was introduced in the 1980s with a 3.75-inch action figure line, comic book series and legendary animated series G.I. JOE: A REAL AMERICAN HERO. Recently the brand has introduced two blockbuster movies based on the saga including G.I. JOE: THE RISE OF COBRA and G.I. JOE RETALIATION from Paramount Pictures.


“The G.I. JOE brand is a pop culture and childhood icon whose cultural relevance, based on its core essence of action, bravery and the compelling characters from G.I. JOE vs. COBRA saga, continues to inspire the imaginations of kids and fans around the world. From action figures and publishing, to animated series and global blockbuster movies, few properties have the cultural resonance and enduring appeal. In the 50th anniversary year of the G.I. JOE brand Hasbro looks forward to delivering fan-favorite action figures, exciting new publishing ventures and innovative but nostalgic KRE-O building sets to the brands most ardent fans and newest recruits.”John Frascotti, Chief Marketing Officer, Hasbro, Inc.


“For generations, Toys“R”Us kids big and small have cherished the G.I. JOE brand and brought its legendary characters to life through play. We are proud to partner with Hasbro to help commemorate this golden anniversary, and are eager to bring an exciting assortment of G.I. JOE figures, including classics and new items from the hit KRE-O line, exclusively to Toys“R”Us customers this year.”Lisa Harnisch, Senior Vice President and General Merchandising Manager, Toys“R”Us, U.S.


Beginning in March, exciting new KRE-O building sets will let kids and collectors alike build vehicles and environments to play out the G.I. JOE vs. COBRA fantasy. Collectible blind-bagged KREONS of popular G.I. JOE characters will also hit shelves, including characters from both the heroic G.I. JOE team like LADY JAYE and FOOTLOOSE, as well as the villainous COBRA organization like TOMAX and SCRAP IRON. As part of the 50th anniversary celebration, Hasbro and Toys“R”Us are bringing one of the most popular G.I. JOE vs. COBRA playsets from the 1980s back in KRE-O form with the KRE-O G.I. JOE TERROR DROME Building Set. This iconic set features over 850 pieces and will be available in the fall.


Additionally, a collectible 50th anniversary-branded, 3.75-inch scale action figure and vehicle line will debut at Toys“R”Us this fall. The special edition line will be offered in unique 50th anniversary branded packaging and reintroduce classic G.I. JOE vs. COBRA characters and iconic vehicles, including some that have not been available since the 1980s. Fans will be able to purchase classic characters like DESTRO, SNAKE EYES and HAWK, as well as vehicles like the G.I. JOE VAMP MKII and COBRA WOLF VEHICLE with an updated sculpting style and unique deco.


The 50th anniversary year will also continue the G.I. JOE brand’s long tradition of publishing and rich storytelling with exciting new programs from Hasbro’s partners. IDW Publishing’s G.I. JOE: A REAL AMERICANHERO will release its landmark 200th issue in March 2014, continuing the story of the original 1980s G.I. JOE comic by original writer Larry Hama. IDW will also launch TRANSFORMERS/G.I. JOE, a series uniting Hasbro’s iconic brands, by acclaimed creators Tom Scioli and John Barber this summer. Additionally, as part of its publishing program, Hasbro is opening the fantasy to fan participation. Amazon Publishing recently announced that Kindle Worlds has reached a licensing agreement with Hasbro to open up a new Kindle World based on the G.I. JOE brand. With the launch of the G.I. JOE Kindle World, writers will be able to publish their own original fiction starring iconic G.I. JOE characters like DUKE, SNAKE EYES, and COBRA COMMANDER and sell their work on The G.I. JOE Kindle World will open for writers to start publishing stories in the next few months.

So… you wanna see those KRE-O sets?

KRE-O G.I. JOE KREON Figure Packs

(Ages: 6-12; Pieces: 10-15; Available: Spring 2014)

Start your KRE-O G.I. JOE collection or add to your existing collection with these iconic G.I. JOE and COBRA characters! Each G.I. JOE KREON figure comes with a unique weapon and cool accessories and is sold blind-bagged. The 36 new 2014 KREON characters include CARL “DOC” GREER, LOWLIGHT, ATOMIC MAN, LADY JAYE, ANDREW “FOOTLOOSE” MEYERS, NUNCHUCK, CRIMSON GUARD TOMAX, TOM “TORCH” WINKEN, SCRAP- IRON, POLAR ASSAULT EEL, FLIGHT JET TROOPER and NIGHT CREEPER. Each sold separately.


(Ages: 6-12; Pieces: 97; Available: Spring 2014)

The battle between G.I. JOE and COBRA continues on COBRA Island where team G.I. JOE is building defensive positions around the TERROR DROME. Build BEACHHEAD’s outpost base with machine gun turret and push-fire missiles, and STORMSHADOW’s Ferret ATV in this 97-piece building set, which also comes with BEACHHEAD and STORMSHADOW KREON characters.


(Ages: 6-12; Pieces: 292; Available: Spring 2014)

As the battle on COBRA Island rages on, the COBRA FIREBAT Jet dives from the sky, but the G.I. JOE team is ready to fight back with their WOLVERINE Tank! Build the FIREBAT Jet with push-fire missiles and the WOLVERINE Tank in this 292-piece building set. Also included are KREON figures of SGT. KATZENBOGEN, RECONDO and COBRA PILOT.


(Ages:  6-12; Pieces; 856; Available: Fall 2014)


Team G.I. JOE has fought their way across COBRA Island and has surrounded the COBRA TERROR DROME – now the real battle begins! Help the G.I. JOE team defeat COBRA and SERPENTOR in this epic building set! Build the iconic TERROR DROME complete with four rotating turrets and a lift for the COBRA FIREBAT Jet (sold separately) to launch into action. The TERROR DROME Building Set also features multiple interior play features such as a fueling station, jail, armory, the SERPENTOR Throne and more. Set also includes two buildable vehicles: the SERPENTOR AIR CHARIOT and CLAYTON “HAWK” ABERNATHY’s VTOL aircraft. Also included are six collectible KREON figures, including CLAYTON “HAWK” ABERNATHY, GUNG HO, BLAINE “MAINFRAME” PARKER, COBRA SCAR TROOPER, SERPENTOR and XAMOT. 


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