Codename: Iowa Minimalist Prints - Series 5 (1986)

What started off as a little get together for G.I. Joe fans in a certain region has now grown to a full fledged G.I. Joe celebration.

Every year, the folks from Codename: Iowa run a fantastic G.I. Joe themed gathering and convention entitled Assembly Required, which has attracted G.I. Joe celebrities like Ron Wagner, former Hasbro designer Matt Brandenberg, and recently featured a fantastic display case from G.I. Joe DeClassified. They have fun activities for adults and kids as well as items for sale, and of course, their now famous Minimalist prints.

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They are now entering the hay day of G.I. Joe fans favorite era as the 1986 prints have made their way into my hands in anticipation of the 2014 Assembly Required event!

As I think weve all come to expect, the graphic design nuances in these minimalist prints are pretty close to perfect, very nicely representing our favorite G.I. Joe themes and characters using only a handful of shapes and colors. In 1986, the G.I. Joe line had really exploded, bringing in concepts like genetic engineering, robotic warriors, and cycling in some newer G.I. Joe replacements for older troops. Codename: Iowa manages to capture the essences of all of these perfectly.

I have numerous favorites in this assortment, including (of course) Serpentor, who for all of his Sunbow oriented faults has some spectacular design aesthetics. On the other end of the spectrum a relatively basically designed Leatherneck also has some impeccable color and design cues.


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While fans are quick to dismiss later release G.I. Joe figures as being too colorful, one cant help but appreciate a guy like Sci-Fi who manages to be even brighter than some of the brightest 90s era figures, and is captured to utter perfection within these posters. The texture in the open space on the helmet is awesome, and the lightest bit of shading on the upper contours of that same headpiece just add even more flair.

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They dont just cover the main retail releases here, either. This series features the Special Missions: Brazil subteam (featuring one of my favorites, Claymore) as well as all of the various vehicle drivers. Characters like Cross Country and AVAC are represented as faithfully as mainstays such as Sgt. Slaughter, Wet Suit, and Lifeline.

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Along with the actual character posters, Brian and Steve have developed a series of spectacular vehicle themed posters, too, this time around featuring some familiar aircraft. I continue to be stunned at just how beautiful these are and how nicely they capture the energy and spirit of A Real American Hero. Theres no gritty Call of Duty realism here, this is all colors, design, energy, and flash, completely what G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero represents.

Great, great stuff that expresses exactly what Ive loved about the G.I. Joe brand over the past 30+ years. I continue to look forward to seeing more of these released.

Buy your set at the Codename: Iowa store and enjoy!

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