On June 30, G.I. JOE fans and collectors will gather in the Big Easy for the chance to unite with two American icons - the world's first action figure, G.I. JOE, and Sgt. Slaughter of World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE)...one of the few 'real' personalities to be immortalized as a G.I. JOE: A REAL AMERICAN HERO 3.75-inch action figure. The tenth annual International G.I. JOE Collectors' Convention, hosted by the G.I. JOE Collector's Club and Hasbro, Inc., will land in New Orleans with a spectacular 17-story parachute drop of more than 300 3.75-inch G.I. JOE figures - all with working parachutes - from the roof of the Loews New Orleans Hotel.
"We are excited to bring a true American icon and Sgt. Slaughter to a city that is the home of so many real-life heroes," said Brian Savage, Director of the G.I. JOE Collectors' Club. "The 'spirit' and history of New Orleans is sure to make this year's convention a must-see for G.I. JOE fans of all ages."
The annual convention allows generations of enthusiasts to meet other fans, preview new figures, and trade, sell or buy rare and vintage G.I. JOE action figures. Fans of all ages are invited to come and learn more about the exciting world of G.I. JOE at the Sheraton New Orleans Hotel, June 30 to July 2. This year, fans will be introduced to new 2.5-inch "mission" scale figures that will complement the 8-inch SIGMA 6 line of figures introduced at last year's convention.
Convention goers will also have the opportunity to interact with Sgt. Slaughter, a four-time wrestling champion.
Known for his signature move, "The Cobra Clutch," Sgt. Slaughter will sign autographs and present two seminars that will allow fans to ask questions about his experience as a world-famous wrestler and as a G.I. JOE action figure.
"Each year at the convention, we celebrate G.I. JOE through the years and how the brand has given each generation something unique to remember," said Jonathan Berkowitz, Sr. Brand Manager of G.I. JOE at Hasbro. "Every generation has its own G.I. JOE. Kids of the 60s and 70s remember the 12-inch figure, while those who grew up in the 1980s experienced G.I. JOE: A REAL AMERICAN HERO in its 3.75-inch form. Today's kids have their own style and adventures with our G.I. JOE SIGMA 6 line and animated series which debuted last fall."
The SIGMA 6 action figures, which are featured in an animated series, airing on the 4Kids TV cartoon block on FOX were introduced at last year's convention. The new line features SIGMA 6, a group of covert G.I. JOE operatives with highly specialized capabilities who use innovative technology and gear. On display will be a variety of offerings including 8-inch figures and the new "mission" scale (2.5-inch) line, featuring the G.I. JOE team's DRAGONHAWK drop ship.
Hasbro officials inaugurated the G.I. JOE Collectors' Convention in 1996 to bring collectors, fans and the G.I. JOE team together to share in the history of the brand. The annual event attracts thousands of people for four days of G.I. JOE-related presentations and activities. This year's convention, located just outside the French Quarter in the Sheraton New Orleans Hotel, is in the heart of the Crescent City's business, entertainment, dining and nightlife district. Between viewing exhibits of vintage G.I. JOE figures and meeting Sgt. Slaughter, conference attendees will be able to enjoy New Orleans' rich and exciting atmosphere and culture.