Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Battle Corps Cutter

When I made the Shark 9000 for Battle Corps Month last Summer (, I had planned on making Battle Corps Cutter to pilot it. During the creative process, Cutter turned into his DEF incarnation instead.

However, the same Joe fan who commissioned the Shark 9000 approached me to make its pilot as well. Rather than making a straight copy of my DEF version, I went back to the drawing board and, with the input of the customer, re-interpreted him a bit. Here is the final product.



Thursday, 24 October 2013

Concept Vault: Tanks for the Memories

Ah, the 25th Anniversary years, those were the days. In 2007, GI Joe: A Real American Hero turned 25. Hasbro marked the occasion with 2 five-figure packs. These had so much success with retailers that several waves of single figures soon followed and all of a sudden, after a few years of uncertainty and hiatuses, GI Joe was back!

That year, the GI Joe Collector Club marked the occasion with a Convention set titled ‘’Tanks for the Memories’’. What appealed to me the most about the set was that it included several of the original 13 Joes in very cool uniforms. As the ‘’Modern Era’’ tooling was brand new, the club created the set using O-ring figures.

Since I had converted my collection to ME construction, I never acquired the original set. However, in 2008, I set out to recreate it with ME parts. This is the result. Looking back, I believe these customs have held up pretty well. However, if I have an opportunity to modernize it in the future, I would love to revisit the theme. In the meantime, enjoy!


Thursday, 17 October 2013

Customs Vault: Robot Rebellion

In 2005, "Robot Rebellion" was to be the follow-up theme to Valor vs Venom. When the line was canceled, some of the concepts were used for Sigma 6, the DTC (Direct-to-Consumer) line and others have only been seen in pre-production artwork and samples.

Here is a brief synopsis of the new theme (found online):

''After the events of Valor vs. Venom, Cobra Commander has Dr. Mindbender and Hot Wire design and create new B.A.T.s for production into service. He figures they are less likely to try and oust him like Venomus Maximus tried with the Venom troopers. But Overkill has other plans. He begins to take control of all the new B.A.T.s and wages a war against Cobra, G.I. Joe, and anybody else who gets in the way of his total world domination.''

A few years ago, a Group Project explored this theme and over the next few days, I will post some of my customs here. Here is the general set-up:

''When the Robot Rebellion broke out, the U.S. Government mobilized all of it's armed forces to destroy the threat. After the first US counter-attack failed and resulted in the loss of most of the Eastern Seaboard as well as parts of the Mid-West, the US provisional government turned to GI Joe. This highly trained special mission force would lead the remaining US forces against the BAT onslaught. To accomplish this, General Hawk recalled all former members of GI Joe to active service''

These customs were made in 2010.




Most of the fighting would be done by the regular Infantry. Robert 'Grunt' Graves was tasked with organizing and leading the 'gropos' into battle. They would be responsible to taking out the BAT ground forces.
Grunt was one of my first figures (Actually, my third after Short Fuze and Flash) and one of my favorites as a kid. When Joes first came out, Grunt was the face of GI Joe and had the coolest gun - an M-16. Although he wasn't used all that much in the cartoon or comic, he has remained a favorite of mine.

For this version, I went back to the Spytroops / Valor vs Venom days for inspiration. I kept the basic soldier look with the bare arms. Since this theme is high-tech, I added the combat vest and night vision to his gear.


The first BAT attack was two-pronged: military and digital. Hacker-BATs engaged in cyber-battle and took down several world governments computer networks. These included the US government, NORAD and the Pentagon systems. With these networks crippled and world communications down, the main BAT assault force attacked targets across the world. Alessandro 'Sparks' Verdi has been put in charge of countering the cyber-attacks as well as creating a few of his own.


Edward 'Starduster' Skylar took charge of the Army's first Skyborne Infantry unit. They would be tasked with direct aerial infantry support, recon and countering the enemy SkyBAT threat.


With the BATs resistance to damage and given their large numbers, Hawk realized that troops with hi-tech gear had a better chance of defeating this new threat. Anthony 'Flash' Gambello was put in charge of assembling the first LASER Trooper battalion.

Flash was one of my first Joes growing up. Whereas his Original 13 team mates were all rooted in realistic military concepts, Flash was the first "hi-tech" Joe on the team. To me, his inclusion in this theme is perfectly logical. RoC Flash was one of the best figures in that line, in my opinion. I wanted to see what the mold would look like in more traditional colors.