Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Wave 4 Action Shots Complete

The fourth and final wave for the G.I. Joe Retaliation toyline. Here are some of the unprocessed images from the "action pose" photo shoot.

Wave 3 Action Poses - The Ultimate Wave

Wave 3, The Ultimate Wave, certainly lives up to its name. Some of the best figures released in the Retaliation line are featured here. Here are some of the raw, unprocessed images from the "action pose" shoot.

Monday, 16 December 2013

Talking Filecards!

Brian’s been busy the past few weeks taking some amazing photos for the book (as you can see from some of the other posts recently). I thought now would be a good time to talk a little about where I’m coming from with the filecards.
The retaliation toyline can be broken down into two broad catagories:
  • Characters who show up in the movie. (e.g. Roadblock, Snake Eyes, Lady Jaye, Jinx, Storm Shadow)
  • Characters who don’t (e.g. Budo, Data Viper, Night Viper, GI Joe Trooper)
Generally speaking, If they’re in the movie I’ve kept the file cards in line with what their characters were like in the film. Roadblock is Roadblock after all. In some cases I haven’t had a lot to work with *cough* Blind Master *cough* but in other cases there’s supplementary material for me to draw on, like the IDW prequel comic that was a year too early. In those cases where there’s very little to go on I’ve taken what there is and ran with it, embellishing what’s already there and in a couple of cases just going crazy and making things up!
I’ve tried my best to avoid retelling the plot of the film as that would be pretty boring for most Joe fans as you’ve seen it already. In those few cases where someone from the first film is carried over to the Retaliation line I’ve tied to fill in some gaps between the films which were pretty much ignored by the movie. Wave One Duke’s file card is an example of this (see below!).
For the non movie figures I’ve tried to stay true to their previous file cards if they had them, researched using sites such as Most of these characters were done right first time so it’d be arrogant of me to change what’s already been done well. In some cases I’ve updated the file cards to take account of the fact that it’s thirty years since the originals were written. Occasionally I’ve thrown in a random reference to something either in pop culture or in the larger history of the Joe brand to keep readers on their toes, try spot all of them when you get to read the book!
Some characters defy updating. Budo’s file card in particular gave me some pause. In my opinion, the Budo in the retaliation line can't be the same person as the one released back in 1989 . There’s just no logical reason why an Asian-American kid from Sacramento in California who liked motorcycles would have a set of antique Samurai armour to hand. In that case I just had to make something up myself and hope people liked it.
The Data Viper (again see below) was the easiest new character to bio. Hasbro’s John Worden has gone on record as to his thinking behind the Character and his role. The file card I wrote takes a lot of that into account.
Fun fact: There’s seven versions of Snake Eyes in this toyline: Waves one, two and three point five had different single packed versions, We got two other versions in the Battle packs and two more as vehicle drivers (for the cycle and AWE striker repaint). Even an unrepentant Snake Eyes fan boy such as I doesn’t own them all. (For the record I have four of the seven.)
There’s also five different Storm Shadow figures (Waves One, Two and three point five, two from Battle packs).
I thought it was only fair that each different release gets a different card. I’ve tried to keep things more interesting by talking about the weapons and equipment they come with as well as their characters instead of just repeating “Snake Eyes is a Ninja Commando and he is awesome” over and over. Even if everything in that previous sentence is true.
I’ve taken up enough of your time. If you want to know anything else, or complain please hit me up on twitter @paddylennon1 or via facebook: Paddy M Lennon

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Wave 2.5 (Filler Wave) Action Poses

I don't know about filler - but there's certainly plenty of killer figures in this wave. Wave 2.5 action pose photos are all complete. Below is a selection of some of the unedited shots.

Thursday, 5 December 2013

Wave 2 Action Poses

Wave 2 action pose photos are all complete. Below is a selection of some of the unedited shots.

Saturday, 30 November 2013

Wave 1 Action Poses

The action poses for the Wave 1 figures are now complete. Here's an overview of some of the raw images from the shoot.

Monday, 4 November 2013

Some more images!

For a brief update, we thought we'd show off some more preview images from the book.

The first two above are draft file cards for the project. We'll be offering these cards exclusively to our supporters. All backers will receive an electronic version of the cards (one for each individual figure release, i.e. single packs and the three pack figures)and those who fund us at the highest level will get the cards individually printed and laminated on high quality card.

The third picture is an example of Brian's Dio work. It's not going to be used in the book as there's 25th anniversary Crimson Guards in it but it's a favourite of ours!

Thanks for checking out the blog and keep an eye on this page for more updates.

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Total Retaliation Launch Panel

The Total Retaliation Launch panel started with an almost full room at the Roll Out Roll Call (RORC) convention last Sunday 13th October.  Brian Hickey, professional designer, and Paddy Lennon, self-published writer, started their presentation with the reasoning behind the project: “We are doing this, because we love GI Joe”. As fans, their soft spot is the Retaliation Toy line. The line as described by the Total Retaliation team is filled with imaginative design and has a great sculpting calibre (the attendees who stayed for the latter panel had the pleasure to meet some of the people responsible for these really impressively detailed figures). The Total Retaliation project is looking for support through Fund It, the Irish version of the better known Kickstarter (
Brian and Paddy discuss the purpose of the book.
The presentation kicked off with a brief introduction of Hickey and Lennon, who are planning to include in the guide any toys released before the end of 2013. Having the guide ready in 2014 would allow them to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the brand with a print run of the book and other special incentives.

The Total Retaliation team seem to complement each other quite well. Brian Hickey is an experienced designer. He prepared some prints for RORC, which delighted all those present at the panel. These made obvious he could provide backers of the project with a satisfactory product from the aesthetic point of view.
Prints especially prepared for Roll Out Roll Call
Paddy Lennon's ace up his sleeve is his knowledge of the fiction which has grown with the brand since its launch in 1992. Lennon has read GI Joe comics regularly and for so many years that he knows all about the characters and has amassed enough trivia to create his own material for this book (to avoid the much feared copyright infringement!). He will be responsible to create the unique content for the file cards which will be available to all contributors. As a special incentive some backers will have access to the cards: printed and trimmed to their appropriate size.

This is a book by fans of the toy line for the enjoyment of other fans. It has everything you wanted to know about the figures and vehicles of the line, as well as a very attractive design to present it. As explained by Hickey, the book will contain different pictures/views from each character and vehicle (plus accessories). He will put together dioramas especially for this book too. As he mentioned at the panel these toys are so incredible you always would like to take them down from the shelf and play, it’s clear that he can bring such enthusiasm to the aforementioned dioramas.
A sample of one of Brian's dioramas
The Fund It campaign started last week and ends on 29th November. The launch panel of Total Retaliation showed this partnership can impress and entertain. We also learned how committed they are to hit their target. Yo Joe!



Sunday, 29 September 2013

Total Retaliation Project Overview

Total Retaliation: A guide to the GI Joe Retaliation Toy line.

In 2012, Hasbro began to release a tie in toy line to the film GI Joe: Retaliation, itself based on characters and concepts on the nearly fifty year old brand that Hasbro introduced to the world in 1964. GI Joe began life as a twelve inch tall military inspired figure and invented the concept of an "Action Figure". The brand has experienced numerous ups and downs during its existence, finding itself at the centre of popular culture during the early to mid-nineteen eighties and relegated to the wilderness during most of the nineties and mightiest except for brief periods. One thing had remained true however: GI Joe figures have always remained at the forefront of toy design when it comes to playability, posability and design. The toy line for Retaliation is no different. Despite a weaker economy, higher costs and a movement away from traditional toys the retaliation line of action figures and vehicles still manages to outclass its competitors on the shelves of your local toy store.

Our planned guide book aims to celebrate this fact with high quality photography of every figure, vehicle and accessory released in the course of this exciting line. Our aim is to provide Joe fans with both a useful reference guide and a handsome "coffee table" style book that showcases this line at its best. Planned contents include:

·         Reference photos of every figure and vehicle.

·         Diorama photography of the figures showcasing their unique design features and posability.

·         "File cards" for every release that give background on the characters.

Our aim is to produce an 88 page (approx.) paperback that covers every aspect of the four inch figures released in 2012 and 2013 as part of the line. We want this to be something that fans will be proud to own and will refer to again and again. We've pulled together some sample pages to show you the standard of quality we want to bring to the finished product. In order to provide limited print run of paperbacks we require €5,500. (Around $6,800 depending on currency exchange rates.) In order to reach this goal we've prepared incentive packages that we feel will return excellent value to our backers.


Who are you people? I've no idea who you are.

Hi, we're Brian Hickey and Paddy Lennon. We're massive Joe fans. Brian is a professional graphic designer with almost 20 years in the business. As well as books and magazines, he’s designed album covers, advertising campaigns and websites. Paddy is an aspiring writer with one novel and dozens of short stories to his credit.

Why Retaliation toys?

Because they're really good, if underappreciated, toys that deserve some time in the spotlight.

Why a book?

There are a handful of other reference and guide books that cover other GI Joe toy lines. We feel that the Retaliation toys are just as deserving of a reference guide.

Why are you doing this now?

Mainly as the line is coming to an end in the coming months with the final vehicles and figures currently making their way to store shelves and we want to strike while the iron is hot.

What are you going to use the funds raised for?

Most of it will be spent on printing a run of paperbacks for backers. The remaining funds will be used to prepare the additional rewards (prints and posters) for the higher reward levels and get materials to build diorama stages for the figures. We won’t be spending any of it on toys, we own all those already!

What if you don’t hit your target?

That’s a risk, It’ll mean we won’t be able to do a print run or any of the additional prints or posters. We will make the book available as an ebook via the usual marketplaces. This is happening no matter what!

What are your rewards?

We want to give everyone who contributes an amount of bang for their buck. We’ve priced out different reward options and we thing the following options will give backers their money’s worth.  Dollar values are approximate and will change based on exchange rates.

Level 1 “Cobra Trooper” €10. ($15)

A copy of the book in PDF format plus an electronic version of a new File Card for each Retaliation figure.

Level 2 “Cobra Viper” €30. ($40)

Printed copy of the book plus a copy of the book in PDF format and an electronic version of a new File Card for each Retaliation figure.

Level 3 “Alley Viper.” €60. ($80)

Credit in the Acknowledgements page of the book, One signed copy of book, plus Level 1 rewards above

Level 4 “Astro Viper” €100. ($130)

A print of Poster print of one of the Dio Images from the Book (Size: 18 x 24) and  Action Figure art print of a G.I. Joe Retaliation figure of your choice (Size: 18 x 24), credit in the Acknowledgements page of the book, One signed copy of book, plus Level 1 rewards above

Level 5 “Night viper”. €130. ($170)

One copy of the paperback, e-book,  the prints and posters from level 4 and your name included on one of the diorama photos (a street sign or similar) plus a print of the relevant diorama shot and a credit in the acknowledgements.

Level 6 “SAW Viper” €180 ($240.)

A complete set of original, new file cards, beautifully designed and printed on 400 gsm board, gloss laminated and trimmed to size, plus everything from Level 5 above.

US backers will have to add €17 or $22 for shipping for levels 2 to five.
Please see sample pages below to give you an idea of what to expect and feel free to contact us on if you have any further queries. The project will be officially launched at Roll Out Roll Call 4 in Southhampton on the 13th of October 2013 at 10.30am at a panel presentation where we will share some more information about the book and show off physical copies of some of the rewards!
We're also hoping to line up interviews on various Joe and geek oriented podcasts to get the word out and make this a success so be sure to check back for updates.
Sample page featuring the GI Joe Trooper
Sample page featuring the Ninja Combat Cruiser

Sample page featuring the Data Viper