Friday, March 11, 2011

I'll fight for freedom wherever there's robots!

The big GI Joe Convention is coming up at the end of the month in Orlando and I'm really thinking about going. I'm not smart about GI Joe but much of that franchise's lineage is entwined with that of the Transformers. Consequently there's much roboplastical archaeology potential waiting to be mined amongst the Joelebrities that will be attending. I'm talking specifically about special guest Bob Prupis, the man who was the Vice President of Boys Toys at Hasbro when the Transformers were launched in '84. I was lucky enough to attend his panel at Botcon 2004 and have always hoped to get to talk to him. I've spent so much time looking at and blogging about old toy robots marketing that he alone would be worth the price of admission to me. He's an actual living G.I. Joe / Transformers crossover! Unfortunately, the JoeCon people told me they don't have their guests do live interviews with non-media attendees like myself. So even if I do go, Mr. Prupis won't be making an appearance on the Roboplastic Podcastalypse. It's kind of a letdown but it's not the end of the world. I should probably still go because with my luck if I stay home the G.I. Joe fans at his panels will ask nothing but questions about Transformers appearances in 25 year old grocery store ads.

Federated 20 October 1985

Speaking of getting G.I. Joe in your Transformers, the other day I found this ad in the October 20, 1985 Sunday comics section. It was technically from the retail electronics chain Federated but it heavily promoted the Family Home Entertainment home video releases of G.I. Joe and the Transformers. It features Duke telling Optimus Prime "C'MON PRIME! ONLY THE AUTOBOTS AND THE G.I. JOES TOGETHER CAN SAVE THE DAY!" For a second it almost feels like this is an ad for some sort of G.I. Joe / Transformers cartoon crossover since he uses the word "together". But then on the far right there's a clarification that it's talking about 5 new releases for each series. The graphic with both characters is still pretty cool, though. Considering that Marvel's G.I. Joe and the Transformers comic didn't happen until late 1986, this may be the first (albeit unintentional) G.I. Joe / Transformer crossover ever!


Anonymous said...

I'm a little miffed at myself for not reading this post sooner, because your attendence would have been a golden opportunity to possibly get the 3.75" set of GIJoes for this year. Like I need more toys...

Fortunately, the set is sold out so I'm good (and I don't love the new Joe bodies like I love the old Joe bodies) on that front at least. But you should totally go. Bob Prupis will totally be doing a presentation. Corner him afterward and ask him if you can pick his brain over a beer or two.

Colin said...

Dude. That last comment is totally from me. Sorry for the "anonymous".

Evil King Macrocranios said...

Nah, I'm not gonna risk pissing off Brian Savage by trying to get an interview with Mr. Prupis on the sly at JoeCon. I don't want anyone who knows Sargeant Slaughter to be mad at me personally. It's a policy I have.

Since the hope of interviewing Mr. Prupis in person was my dream and it's been dashed, I've got no reason to go. So JoeCon is off my calendar. Instead I'm going to MegaCon in Orlando the week before. Among the guests there is a really big Transformer related interview that I have a chance of getting without a press pass. There will be Transformer related interviewing going on in an upcoming episode of my show, THIS I COMMAND!

Colin said...

It's a good policy re: Savage (and Slaughter). Slaughter does a mean headlock.

But I suspect you'd not have a lot of trouble getting to talk to him on the side. Monzo was taking a voice actor around last year (Perceptor) without so much as anyone blinking.

Regarding your last command, colour me excited!

colin said...

Also the vintage space toaster tour totally needs to come to Canada. We haz good libraries!

Evil King Macrocranios said...

Stop trying to give me hope, you! Although I can imagine multiple scenarios in which I might be able to nonchalantly coerce Mr. Prupis into short idle conversation, what I wanted was an actual interview for internet broadcasting purposes. I wanted a solid half hour with the man and that kind of expectation transforms a casual conversation into something a bit more. If I were legitimate media I would have a chance but I'm just a one man blog and podcast that doesn't even have business cards. So I can see why the GIJoeCon organizers wouldn't recognize me as legitimate press.

If I go now and try to accomplish this after being told that I would not be able to, I'd risk provoking the ire of the convention organizers (and possibly Sargent Slaughter however indirectly). I wouldn't mind being kicked out of JoeCon for trying to conduct guerilla podcast interviews but Fun Publications also runs Botcon right now. Although I'm not going to Pasadena this year I don't want to do anything that would get me banned from any FunPub shows in the future. This situation may have been my fault for asking the organizers first instead of just showing up and seeing what happens but I think trying to get permission first was the most professional way to go.

Prime said...

(...dammit, Weasel, sign OUT when you're done...)

I gotta agree with Combat Colin up there--FP holds no real sway over the man, period, and certainly would have no say in the matter once he steps out of the convention area. Frankly, from what I could glean of the commentary, my second-hand interpretation leads me to think that they meant you're not gonna be allowed access while he's doing panels, taking in the sights, that sort of thing...meaning, once you can't see a free-standing THIS WAY TO JOECON sign, you're in the clear.

They don't really get to say what a journalist is, either. They may only allow access to certain TYPES of press, but they aren't responsible for Oxford's or Webster's releases, either.

TL;DR He's not with 'em in the bar, walk on up to intro and request a :30 at his convenience.


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Evil King Macrocranios was voted king by the evil peoples of the Kingdom of Macrocrania. They listen to Iron Maiden all day and try to take pictures of ghosts with their webcams.