Creating G.I.Joe: A Real American Hero Volume 7 Now On Kickstarter

Earlier today, Dan Klingensmith Jr. shared word that the 7th volume in his series “Creating G.I.Joe: A Real American Hero” is now LIVE in Kickstarter. Here’s the scoop on this must-have title from the campaign page –


G.I. Joe action figures and vehicles have been a part of the fabric of American toy pop culture since 1964.  Although the brand has changed in appearance, scale, and theme throughout the years, one thing has remained constant; G.I. Joe has provided and continues to bring generations of children countless hours of imaginative adventurous play. 

Under official license from Hasbro, the “Creating G.I.Joe: A Real American Hero” series, from Steel City Publishing LLC, will continue to dive into the depths of what it took to create one of the most recognizable and well-known action figure lines in history! In addition to information obtained from the men and women who worked on the G.I. Joe brand from 1982-1994, the series will continue to showcase imagery documenting the development of figures, vehicles, and playsets.

 What are you pledging towards? 

The release of “Creating G.I.Joe: A Real American Hero” book series, Volume 7! 

The seventh book in the series,  “Creating G.I.Joe: A Real American Hero” (Volume 7) is an 80 page, 9”X10” library of designs and stories ranging from 1982-1994, including some unproduced concepts! This fully colored book will be printed on 100# paper in a Soft Perfect Bind format with a  visible spine like a graphic novel. Although there have been many books written about G.I. Joe, what makes the “Creating G.I.Joe: A Real American Hero” series unique is the fact that the information shared within the book comes from exclusive interviews with former employees who worked on the G.I. Joe brand. Some of the things  to expect include:

• The inspiration and influences behind the different figures and vehicles straight from the designers’ point of view…

• Alternate names for figures and vehicles pulled from Larry Hama’s dossiers or from the original concepts themselves…

• Insider stories from former employees ranging from Marketing to  Engineering regarding the changes that occurred during the design process…

• Conceptual designs and photographs that will show the progression and different stages of creating a figure or vehicle. This includes concept pencils and inks, sculpture sheets, color studies, color presentation art, models, and much much more!

Which characters and vehicles will be included in Volume 7?

· M.M.S. 

· Hawk  

· Destro

· F.A.N.G.

· Roadblock

· Watchtower

· Flint

· Viper

· Swampfire

· Iceberg

· Lift-Ticket

· Tomahawk

· BF2000 Vector

· BF2000 Maverick

· BF2000 Blocker

· BF2000 Eliminator

· Outback

· Zanzibar

· Air Skiff

· D.E.M.O.N.

· Ferret

· Hydro-Viper

· Recoil

· Evader

· Darklon

· Gnawgahyde

· Updraft

· Retaliator

· Bullhorn

· Eco Warriors Clean-Sweep

· Eco Warriors Toxo-Viper

· Desert Scorpion

· Air Commandos Cloudburst

· Air Commandos Sky Creeper

· RAT

· T.O.P.H.A.T. (unreleased)

· Omen (unreleased)

· Legionnaire (unreleased)

Rewards:

There will be 11”X17” prints available of the two-page spreads which will be printed on 100# paper. They will display beautifully framed or in a shadow box where you can also display your favorite Joe or Cobra toy that fits within these dimensions! (page numbers will be removed)

2-page spread for Flint
2-page spread for Updraft and Retaliator

** SPECIAL NOTE REGARDING PAGE SPREADS** 

If a character from this Volume is NOT noted below, this means that it is a two-page spread on its own (see Flint example above) 2-page2-page

· M.M.S.  ( 2 separate spreads…4 pages total)

· Destro (2 separate spreads…4 pages total)

· Roadblock & Watchtower (2 separate spreads…4 pages total)

· Viper & Swampfire (2 separate spreads….4 pages total)

· Tomahawk (2 separate spreads…4 pages total)

· BF2000 Vector & Maverick (1 spread)

· BF2000 Blocker & Eliminator (1 spread)

· Air Skiff & D.E.M.O.N. (1 spread)

· Updraft & Retaliator (1 spread)

· Retaliator (1 spread)

· Air Commandos Cloudburst & Sky Creeper (1 spread)

· T.O.P.H.A.T. (unreleased) & Omen (1 spread)

Where did this project come from?

Although I purchased my first few pieces of pre-production artwork in  2005, it was not until 2009 that I got the idea of exploring the origins of the G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero brand. The concept of the book was to learn more about the process of making G.I.Joe at that time and recognizing all the individuals who participated in its creation and continued success from 1982-1994. The book concept itself did go through several changes over the last few years, but it eventually came back to my original idea of showcasing the original designs and any stories related to them or the product itself.

To make the book series more affordable, I made the decision to break it down into smaller volumes. My goal going forward is to release 1-2  volumes a year. Although the format will look similar in each volume,  the content will be different.

Written by Kirk Bozigian, former Vice President of Hasbro Boys Toys,  the introduction to the first four volumes starts with a look into the origins of G.I.Joe  in 1964 and leads into the relaunch in 1982. The remaining volumes have gone into and will continue to explore the process it took to make the figures and vehicles for the G.I.Joe : A Real American  Hero line!

Why do we need this book?

According to New York Toys and Hobby World, the 1985 series of  G.I.Joe was ranked the best selling toy in America. The Complete  Encyclopedia to G.I.Joe, by Vincent Santelmo, states it was estimated that “Hasbro sold the equivalent of two G.I.Joe/Cobra series figures to every boy in the nation between the ages of 5-12” in 1986”.

When it comes to the G.I.Joe: A Real American Hero era, there have not been books produced like the ones I have completed and the ones I  continue to work towards releasing. When you look at society today and the draw toward collecting, many people prize things they either owned or have fond memories of from their childhood. It does not matter what people collect, people like to revisit their childhood and escape from reality and the stresses of today’s world. For those of us who played with G.I.Joe in the 1980s and 1990s, my book will allow you to tap into those memories and appreciate the amount of creativity, time, and energy it took to make G.I.Joe: ARAH an iconic toy brand.

Do you need to be a G.I. Joe enthusiast to enjoy this book?

The answer is simply, no. This book appeals to anyone who enjoys learning the process of toy design, industrial design, product design,  engineering, marketing, as well as many other disciplines involved in developing a product. It should also appeal to fans of the comic industry seeing that several of the designers who worked on G.I. Joe in the late 1980s and into the 1990s were graduates of The Kubert School, a  school founded by comic artist and teacher, Joe Kubert!

What is the plan and what is the schedule?

Once the campaign is funded, the pledges will take approximately two weeks to process. Once they have been processed, the order will then go to the printer, who will need 3-4 weeks to print the book. Books will be fulfilled by Steel City Publishing, LLC shortly after the books are printed. 

Publisher Information and Copyright Information

Publisher: Steel City Publishing, LLC

Every effort has been made to locate the copyright holders of some select material used in this book. Should there be any omission, we apologize and shall be pleased to make the appropriate acknowledgments in future editions. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form without written permission from the publisher.

G.I. JOE and all related characters are trademarks of Hasbro and are used with permission. © 2021 Hasbro. All Rights Reserved. Licensed by Hasbro.

This book is a result of the author’s independent research on the subject matter and is intended to provide information for collectors.  Written materials taken from these interviews were reviewed by the individuals who provided the information.   

All rights reserved.  No portion of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photography, recording, or any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher, except by a reviewer who may quote brief passages in a critical article or review to be printed in a magazine or newspaper, or electronically transmitted on radio, television, or the Internet.

Some images shown are provided by those who worked on the G.I. Joe brand and by collectors.


As of the time of this post, the campaign is already over 58% funded with no signs of slowing down. Then again, neither did the prior 6 volumes, so no worries here! 

You can check out the campaign and get your pledge in here: Creating G.I.Joe: A Real American Hero volume 7 – Surveillance Port

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.