TNI 2007 GI Joe Con Coverage: The Hasbro Panel

by Jay Cochran
September 29, 2007
This morning, members of Hasbro's design team for GIJoe are holding a panel to discuss what is in store for Joe fans this coming year.

We are bringing you live coverage of this panel as it happens, so be sure to refresh your web browser often to check for regular updates.

- Michael Richie, the director of marketing for GIJoe, starts the panel saying that they will be talking about the new movie and new product being released in the coming year. The movie is due out in 2009.

- The movie is from Paramount with the same team that did Transformers, Lorenzo di Bonaventura's production company. The director will be Stephen Sommers from the Mummy movies; he currently is working as executive producer on Mummy 3. So far, Hasbro feels that Stephen is on the same page on the focus of the movie which will be GIJoe vs. Cobra. They are working on the script right now.

- Hasbro shows a clip of Sommers talking about his passion for this movie and his expectations that it will be huge. He wants to take the audience to exotic locations like jungles, arctics, oceans, etc etc. Sommers also mentions that he has been a fan of GIJoe from childhood, giving him a strong awareness of the dynamics. Filming will start soon.

- Michael warns that fans are likely to hear a lot of rumors about the movie leak over the coming months and that some of these are leaked on purpose to gauge fan opinions, so they really want to hear the fans' thoughts on everything about the movie.

- Hasbro now changes the topic on to the product for the coming year.

- On today's panel are John Warden (Designer 3 3/4"), Richard Woodhouse (Designer 3 3/4"), Steve Bono (Designer 8" Line and Fall 2008), Adam Pagano (Art Director 25th Anniversary), Michael Richie (GIJoe Director), and Neal Hoffman (Brand Manager).

- They know the stuff is flying off the shelf and is hard to find but ask fans not to worry because more stuff is on the way.

- Special wave at the end of 2007 will be 8 of the boxset figures on single-carded figures.

- Wave 1 2008 will be single packs. (Pics coming soon)

Iron Grenadier Destro (Blade Destro) w/removeable sword
Snake Eyes V1 (All Black)
Crimson Guard
Snow Job
Sgt. Flash (The quilted pattern on his chest will be added to the final product, but the figure on display here does not have it.)

- As Hasbro goes forward, they are fixing the crotches so that they can sit in vehicles.

- Comic 2-Packs

Cartoon Deco Schemes
Tribute Artwork from Ashley Wood and Greg Horn

- There are some big things coming for these, and Hasbro will be making a big announcement tomorrow. The first waves will be mostly redeco's but then they will really amp up the line.

- Comic 2-Pack wave 1: The comic covers are being done by Ashley Wood

Issue 1: Lady Doomsday (Scarlett & Hawk)
Issue 21: Silent Interlude (Storm Shadow & Snake Eyes)
Issue 24: The Comander Escapes (Duke & Cobra Commander)

Sneak Peek: Wave 2 Dreadnoks

- Mail away figure in 2008 is Doc, who got 44% of the vote in the fan poll Hasbro ran for this figure. It will have a brand new stretcher and medical bag. The figure will use existing parts but will have a lot of detail.

- DTC wave 4 will be released through Master Collector.

- Vehicles (Target will have 3 exclusive vehicles.)

Blue Hiss (RAH repaint) Tank with a new driver
Night Spector with Grand Slam (RAH Sharc repaint)
Awe Striker w/Crank Case (RAH Awe Striker repaint)

The stickers on these will be just like the ones on the 80's versions.

- Wal-Mart will have some exclusives in the Fall

TRU Exclusives:

- Night Force Cobra Troopers 5-pack (25th Anniversary figures)
- Snake-Eyes with 4 Red Ninja's (Snake-Eyes has green camo pants)

Senior Ranking Officer pack is another upcoming pack for TRU. It will be done in the Star Wars Evolution style like Cobra Soldier, Cobra Officer, etc. More details on these will be revealed in the coming weeks.

Q&A Starts:

Q: When will fixed-crotch figures start coming out?
A: They hope to start seeing them by Christmas. The AWE Striker might have some problems with the 25th Anniversary figures fitting in it, but the other vehicles shown today should have no problem with them fitting.

Q: Battle Points, will they ever be useable?
A: They just made the spot decision to make them useable somehow.

Q: Any chance of seeing the original BAT?
A: It's on the list, but there is no offical release date.

Q: Any chance of re-paints of teams like Tiger Force?
A: Not at this time.

For the movie, they want to pick characters that fans really want to see: the ones with the best action scenes and personalities.

Q: Will the movie be Global International? It should be American?
A: It's early. Cobra is a Global threat and the team tends to travel globally, but nothing is set as far as the name or composition being a Global International team. Hasbro and Paramount are listening to the fans on this.

Q: Will the movie follow the stories from the comic?
A: It will have a comic book feel, not to say it will stick to a specific story. It will be somewhat like X-Men meets Mission Impossible.

Hasbro plans to explore the different scales and getting them out there as more retail space is made available for GIJoe. Movie toys will be 3 3/4".

The Target vehicles will come already assembled but will have label sheets. The packaging will be a little off the vintage track. Window box that creates a scene with the figure.

The movie will be a spring board, and Hasbro is looking at new animation opportunites for GIJoe.

Distribution for the toys outside the US should increase as we get closer to the release of the movie.

Hasbro has signed a new video game partnership with EA. With the movie, the chances seem pretty good for a new GIJoe videogame.

It is still uncertain where the comic book will go when the license ends with DDP.

Q: Will Larry Hama have any involement with the movie or comics?
A: It's still very early, but they certainly are interested in hearing what he has to say. They want to tap into that knowledge as much as possible.

Q: Will the Marvel Comics or 80's cartoons ever be re-released?
A: It is something they want to do and are looking into.

Q: Will there be a standard backpack hole for the 25th Anniversary figures?
A: Moving forward, yes there will.

Snow Sperpent right now is not on the current list to be made.

Q: Any chance of re-releasing older GIJoe video games?
A: They haven't looked at that but it's a great idea.

Q: Any future for the 8" line? Will the first couple of 25th Anniversary ever be re-done with fixed sculpts?
A: 8" is in their portfolio and will likely pop up again. For the 25th Anniversary figures, they will try to redo those at some point.

Q: Interchangeable hands or heads?
A: It's probably not something we will see at this point.

Master Collector is going to be releasing the Robot Rebellion Cobra Commander figure as an exclusive.

Master Collector wants to start rotating the Joe Con and Botcon, one in the summer and one in the spring and have them switch off with one another. Because of the movie, Joe Con will be in the summer of 2009. They are not sure about 2008 yet.

Piper comes in, and they give him his figure.

Panel ends.
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