As much as I "hates to pimp" on this board, I suppose that I must - since I really put this thing together for you in mind. AND I was told I had to by my editors…
I recently turned in the galley proofs (final page drafts) for my G.I. Joe collector’s book to be put out by Krause Publications. After three long years of research on the 3 ¾” line, and a complete collection of…well… HOPEFULLY everything… it’s done.
It's called (not MY title, but theirs) "The Ultimate Guide to G.I. Joe 1982-1994" and it functions as a comprehensive FULL-COLOR (don't let the end of the Previews advertisement fool you - it's all FULL COLOR) 265 page guide to all of the figures, vehicles, weapons and accessories for the vintage 3 3/4" Joe line.
Since I anticipate MANY questions coming from the folks on this board and site, I'll try and summarize exactly what the book will entail in the next few paragraphs. Note that EVERY IMAGE in the book was taken personally by me, and I own EVERY figure, vehicle, part, promo, accessory, etc. in the book. I took all the pictures myself to ensure quality and exactness, and I did not borrow ANY image from anyone else (although I did have to rush and get a few HTF items toward the end – darned Target Exclusive Ultimate Enemies). The pictures in the book were taken with a Canon Digital Rebel and an AMAZING macro lens w/ UV filter and 135 mm quality. The pictures were taken in a RAW format, saved as uncompressed TIFF. files, and sent directly to my photo editors where they cleaned them up NICELY.
I was meticulous in taking these pictures (I think I went about 750 pics over, just to get the best shots), noting major variations of figures, vehicles, and accessories (Steel Brigade versions, helmet variations, camo pattern variations, etc., Roadblock’s disk launcher) and the book is spread out as follows:
Each chapter is separated by year of release, with action figures coming first (Joes and their sub-sets, then Cobras and their sub-sets) followed by vehicles and accessories (Joe vehicles and their sub-sets, then Cobra vehicles and their sub-sets). 1982 to 1994. The whole vintage line (minus convention exclusives). Mail aways, yes. Night Force, Tiger Force, Iron Grenadiers, Eco Warriors, ad infinitum., yes. Anything presented in a Hasbro catalog is included, plus MUUUUUCH more.
I'm sure by now you're ALL asking the following question: "What separates this guide from the bevy of other works out there revolving around the same theme?" Aren’t there already many competitors?
Well, I've been collecting the line since its inception, and I have compiled a COMPLETE collection of EVERY figure w/ variation, vehicle w/ variation, accessory w/ variation, file card w/ variation, and blue print w/ variation. The file cards and blueprints are not included, but are referenced in the character and vehicle bios (one for EVERY entry in the book). The book is full-color, 265 pages with four vehicles or figures per page. Larry Hama himself acted as a sort of unofficial consultant for the book, and even was kind enough to write an introduction to the guide, and I was in contact with many former Joe creators, artists, and execs from Hasbro when I was drafting the tome. Kirk B., Derryl D.P., etc. It’s the text in the book that’s going to be interesting…
Each color figure picture (on its 1/4 page) is surrounded by the following information:
1) a picture of the character's appropriate weapons (each weapon is meticulously researched and noted with their actual military name as provided on the little white "INCLUDES" line from its card front – I’ve also noted weapon variations), 2) the figure's code name, 3) the figure's MOS (military occupational specialty), 4) and a brief bio paragraph written by me and based on the retail-released file card AND using prototype dossier information (from 250+ pre-production prototype file cards) provided by Larry Hama - the grandfather/creator of the Joe comic and toys as he worked for Hasbro, 5) figure variations are noted and pictured if important (i.e. change the value of the piece (like the dark-green gloves on Copperhead), 6) and there is a MOC (mint on card) and MLC (mint loose complete) price for each figure in their respective 1/4 page of space as well - therefore no searching through endless pages of confusing info to find the proper price and matching weapons!!! Note that these prices are NOT INFLATED LIKE OTHER GUIDES!!! I do not want you arguing with a local toy store owner about a $1000 price tag on a MOC Cobra Commander!!! I estimated a little low on the prices…
Each color vehicle picture (on its 1/4 to 1/2 page or even more pages for the USS FLAGG, DEFIANT, or SEARS EXCLUSIVE MISSILE COMMAND HEADQUARTERS) is surrounded by the following information:
1) a picture of the vehicle or accessory’s appropriate and easily lost pieces and parts (meticulously researched and noted with their actual military name as provided on the Hasbro blueprint that was packaged in the vehicle/accessory box - also noted vehicle variations), 2) the vehicle's code name or acronym (S.H.A.R.C. = Submersible High-Speed Attack and Reconnaissance Craft), 3) the vehicle's operative name, 4) and a brief overview paragraph written by me and based on the retail-released blueprints and using other military specs, some from the DOD (Department of Defense Dictionary of Military Terms). 5) Full vehicle variations are noted and pictured if important (i.e. if they effect the final cost of the vehicle), and there is a MISB (Mint in Sealed Box), MIB (Mint in Box) and MLC (Mint Loose Complete) price for each vehicle on their respective space as well - again, no searching through endless pages of confusing info. I estimated the prices conservatively…
Also in the book you'll find notations and pics for the impossible-to-find Target exclusives, in-package promotionals (Triple Win Pieces, etc.), prototype figure sketches, and over 1500 FULL COLOR pictures (Diamond's got it wrong at the end of their advert - the entire book is in FULL COLOR) and 60,000 words pack this book at a fair cost of $24.99 each, or even less if ordered from Amazon!!! Also you’ll find some little new bits of info by Larry Hama where appropriate (what DOES the Arashikage symbol mean? Where were the Crimson Guard Commanders in Algeria before the officer’s Putsch of the late 60’s? What was the prototype code name of Cover Girl? Snake Eyes?)…
Anyhow, here’s all the info on where to buy the darned thing, and again (as I really HATE to be a PDD here), I hope you enjoy it. I poured my soul into this thing, and almost lost my fiancée in the process (“Are you taking pictures of that darned aircraft carrier AGAIN!?!”).
If you have ANY questions, feel free to e-mail me or call at (845) 691-9347 and I'll answer any and all of your questions.
Thanks for your help over the past five years on this board, especially since some of the items in this book came from our transactions!!! YOU GUYS ARE THE BEST!!!
Amazon Link: $16.49
Previews: Ship date 5/25, in this months Previews under “Collecting and Collectibles”
Description: Ultimate Guide to G.I. Joe 1982-1994 TP
Text: by Mark Bellomo This comprehensive, full-color G.I. Joe reference guide features 1,000 brilliant photos, identification information, and current collector pricing for 350 action figures and 240 vehicles and accessories. (143/0-87341-669-4) (CAUT: 4) SC, 8x11, 256pgs, B&WSRP: $24.99.
I think that this month’s Previews order deadline is March 26th.
Sincere thanks to you folks for your support and kindness,
-- Mark Bellomo