PopCultHQ Interview: Hasbro’s New Contest – Fans to Choose the Next G.I. JOE Figure!


Hasbro launches the G.I. JOE Kindle Worlds Toy Fan Vote Contest!

Monday, November 2nd 2015 through Monday, November 9th, 2015.

Basic CMYKIt was revealed back at NYCC 2015 (New York Comic Con), that the “G.I. Joe fans’ voice would be heard” in a way never before seen, with the first ever Hasbro Inc. G.I. Joe Fan Vote! The G.I. JOE team at Hasbro is doing a lot more than just listening to their fans, as they are letting their fans actually create the next chapters and figures in the G.I. JOE universe! This is a dream come true for fellow fans of the classic G.I. Joe line, to have one of their very own creations joining the Joe or Cobra ranks.

In a partnership with Amazon.com and their Kindle Worlds program, Kindle has collected dozens of authors who have uploaded their original G.I. JOE stories for fellow fans to purchase. Over the course of time there have been well over 90 unique, original G.I. JOE stories that have been made available at Kindle Worlds. So now Hasbro has come up with the fantastic idea in launching the G.I. JOE Kindle Worlds Toy Fan Vote to create a new figure in the 2016 G.I. JOE lineup based on these original writings.

The news even had Hasbro’s Manager of Global Brand Development for G.I. JOE; Mark Weber, very excited to have the chance to do this for the fans as he pointed out in the official press announcement.

“I’m so excited for this fan vote, This feels like an extension of the classic ‘Steel Brigade’ and ‘Create-A-Cobra’ fan authorship concepts that let fans ‘become’ recruits to the JOE or COBRA team, but with a modern fan-base twist. We’re also proud to acknowledge the incredible stories being created by the talented writers over on Kindle Worlds.”

This contest has us here at PopCultHQ so excited as well, that we wanted to reach out to Hasbro Inc. and Mark Weber, to get some more details.

PopCultHQ Interview with: Hasbro’s Manager of Global Brand Development for G.I. JOE;

Mark Weber

mark weber

PopCultHQ: Thank you for taking time out of your very busy day to do this Mark. This contest is such a great idea from Hasbro, I’m sure you had your hands in it, now that you’re taking charge of the G.I. Joe side from your former duties over at the Transformers division. As you know, I have been a HUGE fan of the G.I. Joe line since I was a kid growing up in the 80’s, I think this is so much fun. When I set up battles with my Joe’s, as they battled the evil Cobra from trying to do some dastardly deeds, I know I created my own stories and characters.

PopCultHQ: Why the push for fans to write their own stories?

Mark Weber: “The G.I. JOE mythos is incredibly rich, with an incredible line-up of figures, vehicles, backstories, and relationships that have propelled storytelling for going on 30 years.  We’ve found that everyone has their favorites, but not all characters can get their time in the sun in our ongoing storytelling in the movies or comics.  Our partnership with Kindle Worlds gives authors the chance to share their original stories on a wider scale and in a more accessible format.”

PopCultHQ: This looks like a ton of fun for the fans by Hasbro, how much is Hasbro looking at fan input over how things were done in the past?

Mark Weber: “Fans have long had a tremendous impact on the G.I. JOE line, and we want to make sure that this collaboration continues.  We’ve seen Windblade and Victorion created by the Transformers fans, and now the G.I. JOE team is connecting with our fans for this contest as well. We fully acknowledge this is the “Age of Authorship” and we have thoroughly enjoyed this experience pulling input directly from the fans to help build a future toy.”

PopCultHQ: Will this be on ongoing trend to bring to life characters from the Kindle Worlds’ novels?

Mark Weber: “It’s certainly possible – we’ve seen a lot of support from the fan community for this project.  The results to date have been tremendous with over 90 unique new works, created by fans, available on Kindle Worlds.  They range from short stores to ongoing, saga-length multiple novel series. Our hope is that the fan community continues to embrace these amazing writers, and that we can help to shine a spotlight on the great works, and continue to bring outstanding characters to the ranks of the Joes (and Cobra!).”

PopCultHQ: Thanks again for all the info Mark. I know the fans will be super excited to see who eventually wins and ends up with their very own G.I. Joe action figure! Yo Joe!!


I can only assume at the moment, that any specifics about the casting and packaging are still very early in development, so no official word can be given to those details just yet. We will keep our very eager Joe fans updated as further details are available on the figures themselves. As of right now the main focus should be on the characters being voted on and where they come from.

Kindle Worlds has provided a list of the top ten best-selling G.I. JOE stories, and four of the authors had new characters to submit for this project. G.I. JOE fans worldwide now have the opportunity to meet four new characters from Kindle Worlds stories and decide which one will become an action figure in 2016.

Popular G.I. JOE artist Robert Atkins put together the initial character sketches for each candidate. Characters and events referenced herein are fictional and are not intended to depict actual characters and events.

Four original characters have been selected from the fan-authored stories available at www.kindleworlds.com and one of them will be chosen by the fans to receive an action figure in the 2016 G.I. Joe toy lineup: Cobra Whisper, Cobra Blackjack, Stiletto, and Adventure Team Marcus:

Robert Atkins art – photo provided from Hisstank.com

The four characters that fans can choose among for the G.I. JOE Kindle Worlds Toy Fan Vote are:

1) ADVENTURE TEAM MARCUS: Jim Beard is a longtime fan of the classic 12-inch G.I. JOE toys, and his vision comes alive in his own Kindle Worlds story – “G.I. JOE Adventure Team – Mystery of the Sunken Tomb.”

Code Name: Adventure Team Marcus™

Adventure Team® Member

File Name: Marcus (Last Name Classified)

SN: Classified

Primary Military Specialty: Communications

Secondary Military Specialty: Medic

Birthplace: Hammonton, New Jersey

Grade: E-5

A graduate of West Point, ADVENTURE TEAM MARCUS was a communications specialist and battlefield medic before forming the ADVENTURE TEAM. Members of this elite group are cross-trained in medicine, geology, zoology, and engineering among other disciplines, and they apply their training on missions of exploration and rescue. An accomplished marksman, ADVENTURE TEAM MARCUS can handle any weapon from pistols to rifles, and is proficient in several martial arts including karate, kung fu, and even the gentler tai chi.

2) COBRA BLACKJACK: Troy Osgood has written four G.I. JOE stories on Kindle Worlds, and his entry hails from his story – “G.I. JOE : Brainstorm.”

Code Name: Cobra Blackjack™

Bodyguard to Baroness®

File Name: Osten, Nikolai

Primary Military Specialty: Infantry

Secondary Military Specialty: Close Protection

Birthplace: Odessa, Ukraine

Grade: NA

COBRA BLACKJACK had a distinguished military career in Eastern Europe before striking out on his own as a mercenary. When the BARONESS was young, he accepted the job of keeping her safe, and has continued to do so, faithfully, for years. Cold and calculating yet deeply honorable and loyal, he also became her trainer, seeing it as the best way to protect her from danger. Quiet, proficient, and deadly, he safeguards her through all her plots and schemes.

3) STILETTO: Bill Nedrow introduces us to this character in his third book “G.I. JOE: Body Count.”

Code Name: Stiletto™


File Name: Kwaigno, Paithoon

SN: 414-33-PK72

Primary Military Specialty: Covert Operations

Secondary Military Specialty: Infantry

Birthplace: Hua Hin, Thailand

Grade: E-5

With her facial scar, dead eyes, and streak of white hair — as well as her mysterious past and knife-edged battle skills — STILETTO makes even the G.I. JOE® team a little nervous. She joined the team alongside Cobra® defector Felix “Mercer” Stratton™, acting as his bodyguard, and has since become a strong asset to the team. With skills that hint at Special Forces training, she is proficient in most small arms weapons and an expert in the use of bladed weapons.

4) COBRA WHISPER: Justin Bell’s new character makes her debut in his very first book “The Price of Peace – Snake Bite.”

Code Name: Cobra Whisper™

Cobra® Liquidator

File Name: Unknown

Primary Military Specialty: Assassination, Silent Weapons

Secondary Military Specialty: Covert Operations

Birthplace: Unidentified Island Fishing Village

COBRA WHISPER was orphaned as a child by Cobra® forces, but has been led to believe that G.I. JOE® forces were responsible. Cobra Commander® used this misinformation to build her into his personal assassin, fostering her sense of isolation and thirst for revenge. She is an accomplished martial artist and an expert in sound-suppressed weapons ranging from knives and swords to pistols and submachine guns. The Commander also uses her as a military operative skilled in sabotage and armed combat.


How To Vote:

The G.I. JOE Kindle Worlds Toy Fan Vote will be open for one week, from Monday, November 2nd 2015 through Monday, November 9th, 2015.

CLICK HERE TO VOTE for your favorite character and help them become an action figure in the 2016 G.I. JOE toy lineup! One vote per person please.

G.I. JOE ®/©Hasbro. All Rights Reserved. The names, Marcus, Nikolai Osten and Paithoon Kwaigno do not identify any known, living persons. All official photos and bios courtesy of Hasbro Inc. The Pulse