Friday, March 11, 2011
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!