Category Archives: g.i. joe
Finally my local Shop-Rite has decided to stock Quisp cereal. This is kinda cool, rather than drive a couple miles away to the Acme, or ordering through the mail, we can get Quisp almost any time we want. For a long time, that wasn’t really possible. Quisp was among the missing.
Quisp was my favorite cereal when I was a kid way way back when. Way before Frosted Flakes and Rice Krispies, I loved me some Quisp. The cereal was what I would munch while watching the Saturday morning cartoons and beg for in the supermarket because it had a toy inside. I have a distinct memory of my big sister building the toy flying saucer from inside the box. That’s right, a toy so complex it had to be put together. She even attached a thread to it so it would appear to fly on its own.
Yeah, we’re talking about real cereal, it’s even made mostly of corn and sugar, in the shape of little flying saucers. It even took its name from the little alien who was the cereal’s mascot, who was featured in a series of animated commercials during Saturday mornings, by Jay Ward, who also did “Rocky and Bullwinkle.” Can you get more retro than that?
On Saturday mornings back in the day, the commercials were a little longer, not thirty-second buy-me blasts, but sometimes multi-minute-to-be-continued-on-a-later-break stories. The ads for the original G.I. Joe Adventure Team were like that, and so were the adventures of Quisp and Quake.
While Quisp was a little alien dude, Quake, his default friend and active rival was a big burly miner (later a superhero-like swashbuckler), and they would argue, fight, and compete over whose cereal was better. Ironically, they tasted the same, but had different shapes, Quisp in the shape of tiny bowl-like flying saucers, and Quake was, I think, big rock-shaped cereal. I really couldn’t say, I always got Quisp.
I remember vividly in 1972 when an election took place where you could vote for your favorite of the two cereals. A nation of kids, wrapped up in the same type of election fever that gripped their adult counterparts, voted for Quisp as the chosen one. Quake won. As his punishment, besides dealing with Quisp’s gloating, Quake became the sidekick to Simon the Quangeroo, who got his own cereal, albeit an orange flavored version.
When another election, one I don’t actually recall, was held in 1976, Quisp won again and Quangeroos were vanquished, ahem, I mean discontinued. The ironic thing is shortly thereafter, all three cereals seemed to vanish from not only television screens, but also store shelves.
Quisp returned in the 1980s briefly and then again in the 1990s as available online only, before coming to select stores. I’m glad it’s now available closer to home, and I’m sure we’ll be getting it more often.
The All Things Fun! New Comics Vidcast is shot live every week at All Things Fun! – the area’s best comics and gaming store, located in West Berlin, NJ.
Co-hosts Ed (Font of Useless Knowledge) Evans and Allison (Schism) Eckel (Glenn Walker is home, sick in bed, catching up on Downton Abbey, and will be back next week) discuss the new comics out this week in two fun video segments, in wicked high definition, and available on the YouTube. See it here!
This first segment includes discussion of the following topics: Happy Birthday Superman, Justice League #6, Legion of Super-Heroes The Origin #5, Batman Beyond Unlimited #1, Bendis’ Avengers and New Avengers, the AvsX Event at All Things Fun!, all things X, FF, Ultimate and miscellaneous Marvel, and Ed’s trades in Marvel. Schism.
The discussion continues here in segment two including: Allison’s wardrobe, Kevin Smith’s “Comic Book Men” and Bionic Man, Voltron #3, retro comics, The Walking Dead #94, Invincible #89, G.I. Joe A Real American Hero Annual #1 by Larry Hama, Game of Thrones, Magic The Gathering #2 (of 4), Grimm’s Fairy Tales Myths & Legends #13, Star Trek #6, Angry Birds, and Allison’s kids comics.
Special thanks go to Dina Evans who keeps us all in line, and on the straight and narrow, and runs the show from behind the scenes. And be back here every Wednesday (or Tuesdays at midnight) to watch the new broadcast, and thereafter throughout the week!
A Serious Man ~ The latest from the brilliant writer/director Coen brothers at first seems to be about a 1967 college professor whose life unravels after his wife leaves him, but underneath it all, it’s really a black comedy about Jewish religious mystery. This strong contender for Best Picture Oscar is a step back in the right direction for Coens after a couple misfires. Highly recommended.
GI Joe: Resolute ~ This animated version of GI Joe represents a more adult interpretation. Rather than ray gun weapons and morality plays, this one has knives, guns and blood. The realism is more gimmicky than anything else as the story and the characters are fairly predictable and pedestrian. A fun watch for fans but offers little else to the rest of us.
Temple Grandin ~ An excellent entry from HBO Films based on a the true story of Temple Grandin, an autistic woman who designed more humane methods for taking care of and unfortunately slaughtering cattle. It’s a powerful story with an actoring tour de force by Claire Danes as the title role that if she doesn’t get an Emmy nod it’s a crime. Highly recommended.
What Happens in Vegas ~ Harmless but fairly predictable 2008 romantic comedy about two people, Cameron Diaz and Ashton Kutcher, who meet and marry in Las Vegas while intoxicated then hit the jackpot. To keep the cash, a judge orders them to stay married for six months, and hilarity, as they say, ensues. It’s predictable fun, even though I still don’t see what the big deal about Kutcher is.
The Dead One ~ This minor horror flick is proof that typecasting sometimes can not be broken. Wilmer Valderrama of “That ‘70s Show” plays the undead pawn of an ancient evil Aztec god, and it’s really not a bad scary movie, with legitimate horror moments, but every time Wilmer is on screen all I could think was “It’s Fez!” Really ruined it for me.
G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra ~ I have vague if only peripheral knowledge of G.I. Joe. I know some of the names, what they look like, and the general concept of what it’s all about, but that’s about it. So I went into this flick just about blind with a clean slate.
I’m much more familiar with the 1970s version of the toy line, the one that grew out of the war toys. As I was not allowed to play with dolls I never had my own G.I. Joe with the scruffy beard and the dog tags, but friends and relatives had them, and Saturday mornings were spent watching the minute long exploits (also known as commercials) of the Joe adventure team. It all looked so fun.
The adventure team concept grew out of pop culture’s turn away from war with Viet Nam being such a sore point, so Joe became a superhero rather than a soldier. But the soldier stigma held on and Joe faded. When ?Hasbro? wanted to revive the toy line, and most importantly the product name recognition in the 1980s, they pursued a different tact and concept.
The new G.I. Joe was an anti-terror team of fighting experts, and its number one enemy in terror was the Cobra organization. Not just one generic doll but several individual action figures, notably plastic rather than doll-like, with multiple vehicles, playsets and accessories – that last part didn’t change. And as most toy lines of the 1980s, the new Joe used syndicated animation and later comic books to promote the toy product. Popularity soared, as did the new mythology.
Jump ahead more than two decades where other toy/cartoon creations of that time, like the Transformers, are making big money on the big screen, and you know what comes next, yeah, G.I. Joe the movie. And two things it does have in common with the CGI-heavy Transformers movies are that the action rarely stops to give the viewer time to breathe, and the action also takes place in the dark or too quickly for you to get a good look at what’s going on. I really have to wonder what the point of paying for special effects is when you don’t allow anyone to actually see them. Yeah, this flick is like that.
We’re introduced to characters very quickly, sometimes the assumption is that we should know them, but as I mentioned, I don’t. Heck, I know more about fangirls who dress like the Baroness at comic cons than I do about the Baroness herself. Am I to assume that the film’s inaccessibility means that the movie is not meant for me? Killing off your possible audience is not a good thing, folks, especially if you want to sell toys – and I think it’s a fair assumption you still want to sell toys. After all, what’s a summer blockbuster without toys and/or Happy Meals?
As I turn forty-five today I’m thinking of a birthday exactly thirty-five years earlier, when all I wanted in the whole wide world was the Evel Knievel Stunt Cycle Set. I even remember that tongue-twister name to this day, probably from saying it so much in the weeks before my tenth birthday.
I think it was one of the few times as a kid that I was obsessed with a toy that much. Evel Knievel in the 1970s was a larger than life figure. I remember watching his jumps on ABC’s “Wide World of Sports,” and even listening to my AM transistor radio that Sunday afternoon for news of how his Snake River Canyon jump went. He was like a superhero, even dressed like one, but he was real. Maybe that’s where it came from.
The toy itself was pretty simple, a motorcycle, an action figure of Evel himself, and the ‘gyro-rev-booster’ that made the cycle go. It was magic in a box. The problem was, it was a ‘doll.’ And my father was dead set against me having ‘dolls.’ It was a dead stop point.
I had no dolls. Hell, I had no action figures, even though that term to my father meant doll, no matter what you called it. This was something that separated me from my friends. I couldn’t play equally with the other boys with their G.I. Joes, their Six Million Dollar Men, or ~ drool ~ their Mego Super-Heroes. It didn’t even matter that my cousin, who I was always being negatively compared to, had all those toys.
My father eventually gave in, and my tenth birthday was filled with an afternoon of enjoyment racing that stunt cycle up and down my front porch and making him jump the ramps from my SSP Demolition Derby Set. I was in heaven! My sister and her husband got me Evel’s Scramble Van that birthday, but as much as I loved them, it just wasn’t me. The van and its camping accessories were just a bit too much Barbie Dream House for me. So I guess my father really didn’t have that much to worry about.
Eventually the magic wore off. The handlebars of the stunt cycle broke off, and Evel’s hands broke off as well. Still, that was one of the best birthdays I ever had.
G.I. Joe is back, and no, I’m not just talking about the upcoming live-action movie. If folks go on over to Adult Swim.com, you can check out the first two chapters (and in the following days, the rest) of “G.I. Joe: Resolute,” an updated, anime-style and R-rated for violence new series with the Joe crew facing off against a meaner more terroristic Cobra. Not for the kids, but well worth checking out!
Here’s the rundown (or at least my rundown) on the 2009 Super Bowl movie previews…
First we got another look at J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek…
Now I’m sure the commercials in 3-D were good, as was the movie preview and it looks like the movie itself will be a lot of fun, but – has anyone been able to find those special 3-D glasses? I know I haven’t and I think I’ll need them for “Chuck” tonight as well…