It seems pretty clear that Hasbro was desperately grasping for ways to make kids want to buy G.I. Joe toys in the mid 90s. At one point they went with awesome live action commercials then switched gears from the war on drugs thing to neon ninjas to the environment to monsters!
According to the fantastic YoJoe.com, Dr. Mindbender whipped up Mega Monsters Bio-Viper and Monstro-Viper to take on the Mega Marines who have moldable armor in the form of Play-Doh. The monsters look rad, but the idea of putting play clay on my figures sounds super-messy now. My kids love Play-Doh and I’ve seen how hard it can be to get the hardened stuff out of crevices and whatnot! Jeez, I sound old.
Anyway, I though this would be a good way to kick of TCTs for October as I love bonkers mash-ups like this! Enjoy and come back for hopefully-maybe daily posts leading up to Halloween.
It’s pretty funny that Hasbro decided to follow-up the short-lived Drug Elimination Force line with the over-the-top macho craziness of Battle Force. I mean, it’s not like the D.E.F. line was overly serious (see: Headman), but all that “very special episode” stuff is out the window in favor of neon, muscles and spring-launching weapons.
From perusing the fantastic YOJOE.com I realized that the early 90s were my personal heyday when it came to getting Joe toys. Some of the lines were crazier than others, but I was a kid who wanted to play with he-men, ninjas and evil bad guys, some covered in armor, so it was all gravy for me. How, I didn’t get into the sci-fi-themed Star Brigade figures and why there’s not a commercial for the whole line on YouTube will remain a mystery for now.
The early to mid 90s were a crazy time for kids. There was this huge push to make sure we didn’t use drugs or join gangs so many schools (including mine) decided to scare the crap out of students by presenting them with way too much information. I remember one time when a cop came and showed us samples of drugs most of us hadn’t even heard of and an assembly where they showed us videos about gangs that gave me nightmares for a good long time. Thanks Christ the King!
The anti-drug message carried over into the world of animation and toys, as you can see in this commercial for the G.I. Joe: Drug Elimination Force line captured by Dinosaur Dracula. They are hitting this thing hard and not even going for a subtle metaphor in the slightest! I thought the gangster-esque bad guy was even called Hitman, but it’s actually Headman as you can see on the packaging.
While watching this commercial, I was surprised to realize I had a few of these toys, specifically Cutter and Mutt with Junkyard. I’d have to dig through my box, though, to realize if they were actually part of the D.E.F. line or Battle Corps which came out immediately after this and will be the subject of next week’s TCT! I hope it also features amazing live-action craziness!. That’s my favorite thing about looking back at these old spots. Has anyone tried to put them all together as an actual film? Because they should.
As you can tell, I haven’t been blogging much lately. My days are filled with work, kids and house stuff, so I don’t have as much time to sit back down behind the computer and write out my thoughts on important things like movies and comics, but I’ve been lucky enough to see and read a lot of cool stuff lately and want to remember that.
So, let’s start with the trio of Dwayne Johnson movies I’ve seen recently. A few weeks back, unbeknownst to us we had a free trial of HBO. For a night, I thought we’d had the thing since we moved in six months ago and I’d just missed it, but the disappearance of the channels the next day revealed the truth. Still, I was able to take advantage and watch Justin Lin’s Furious 6.
I’m actually not very up on the Fast & Furious movies. I saw the first in the theaters way back in 2001, but I preferred the previous year’s Gone In 60 Seconds. Since then this series produced a few sequels that kept the motor running until it really kicked into gear in the past few installments. In a lot of ways, these movies have taken on a kind of comic book nature. The last three films have drawn from the previous ones as far as characters go and also, as Paul Scheer said on the episode of How Did This Get Made dedicated to the movie, they’re basically superheroes at this point who can’t die (or mostly can’t die). Continue reading Dwayne Johnson Is Awesome Part 1 (of Infinity)
Wow. After writing about G.I. Joe toys last week, I stumbled upon this mostly live action spot from 1993 that may or may not feature actual toys. According to the poster, this was on a Street Fighter II strategy video they dug up. I have no memory of this existing in my world, but then again, I was falling out of love with Joes around this time. Even now, though, I just stared in slack-jawed awe at this clip which kind of makes me wish someone like Canon had made a G.I. Joe movie like this back in the early 90s.
I don’t talk too much about vehicles here on Toy Commercial Tuesdays, but that doesn’t mean I wasn’t a fan of them growing up. While playsets were definitely the gold standard for me when it came to action figures accessories, vehicles were a lot easier to get back then, especially when it came to the 3 3/4-inch scale of G.I. Joes.
While looking around YouTube for this week’s TCT, I stopped when I saw this ad for the G.I. Joe Personnel Carrier a vehicle that not only let you mow down evil members of Cobra, but also gave you a practical place to store your toys. I don’t remember when I added this truck to my collection, but it definitely helped lead to some epic Joe adventures that took place on the terrain of my parents’ living room floor.
We’re probably not going to get into too much comic book movie news here on Explosions Are Rad because they’re covered really well on other sites, but it’s pretty cool that an action-packed flick like The Wolverine took the box office and made $86 million worldwide according to Variety.
We’re also not looking to delve too much into horror movie news for similar reasons, but Syfy’s Sharknado had enough (terrible) action scenes and explosions to qualify for a quick bullet point. TheWrap reported that the film will hit Regal, UA and Edwards Cinemas for a Friday, Aug. 2 midnight showing. It will be interesting to see if the so-bad-it’s-good phenomenon will transfer over to make actual money after being offered so often for free.
The Mary Sue recently posted an interesting story about a new Pakistani animated series called Burka Avenger that stars a female superhero who spends her days as a teacher. It definitely sounds like kid stuff, but the concept of a strong woman using her brains to fight crime is aces in our book.
Collider did an interview with Jon M. Chu about this week’s G.I. Joe: Retaliation DVD and Blu-ray release and also talked a bit about the third film which he’s signed up for. Briefly, he said that Dwayne Johnson and Bruce Willis are returning, they’re looking for a writer now and also to “double down on the adventure part of the movie” while also looking to possibly bring in more Joes.
Speaking of Dwayne Johnson, the man known as The Rock, Tweeted out an image from the set of Brett Ratner’s Hercules with the message: “Let it be to death or victory” THANK U my ‘Thracian soldiers’. Intensity & energy.”
There’s a flick in the works called Black Friday that revolves around a man trying to get his wife back after she’s kidnapped inside a giant mall. He’s got to perform crazy tasks to get her back. Sounds silly, but I spent enough time in the Palisades Mall to give this a look on Netflix. John Sullivan wrote a script that Darin Beckstead’s attached to helm. (via Deadlline)
World War Z fans can look forward to checking out the big budget zombie flick starring Brad Pitt in IMAX 3D for a week kicking off on Aug. 2. (via Deadline)