• April 4th, 2014

IMPORTANT:  Some of the images for this episode can be found at
and some of the images for this episode can be found here:

50 years ago, we recorded our first episode of JDSO in which we introduced you to the unproduced Cobra Island Playset.  And now, for our 9th episode, Joe Declassified teams up with Kevin Watts of  Cobra788.blogspot.com to bring you the man who designed that Cobra Island play set, the absolute mastermind behind some of the largest, most iconic GI JOE vehicles ever:

the legendary, MR. GUY CASSADAY.  

On this episode of Joe Declassified: SPEC-OPS, Guy Cassaday takes us through the pre-production origins, processes, and anecdotes behind his designs, including the fearless Conquest, the mammoth Mobile Command Center, the sneaky Coastal Defender, the epic Rolling Thunder, the intimidating General, and the unproduced, deadly Cobra Sub.  Yes.  You read that correctly.  COBRA.  SUB.

But why stop there??  Guy also talks to us a bit about the Defiant and the Persuader.

Also in the show notes we’ve got images of the unproduced ANVIL vehicle. 

Yeah, we’ve never seen it before, either. 

All this and more on this first of a TWO PART interview, with one of the most revered and celebrated GI JOE vehicle designers of all time.

Welcome to the Hidden World of GI JOE.

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• January 12th, 2013

We had some recurring and unforeseen sound/tech issues throughout, but otherwise this is an absolutely exciting interview and we hope you enjoy listening to it as much as we had recording it! We’d like to extend an enormous thank you to G. Wayne Miller for time travelling with us!!

The images for this episode can be found here:


For some of you, our guest needs no introduction. For the rest of you, author G. Wayne Miller was given full access (and then some) to Hasbro in the 90’s and some limited access to Mattel. His mission: to document and decipher the eras and empires of toy making and toy marketing. The result was a book called Toy Wars: The Epic Struggle Between G.I. Joe, Barbie, and the Companies That Make Them.

On this episode of JDSO, Jaimanstone (who made this episode happen) and Gyre-Viper sit down with G. Wayne Miller, who revisits his time at Hasbro: the stories, the people, and the ideals. He even reads some excerpts from his book and then shows us the coolest damn shoes never made. He even goes so far as to share with us his insights into current day and future Hasbro as he sees it.

This is the history of the future of GI JOE.

Welcome to Joe Declassified: SPEC-OPS.

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• December 13th, 2012

Joined by Joe Declassified phantom bigwig, Jason wells aka VIPER109... we take you on a multi-line, multi-era adventure, embarking not only through the deserted history of GI JOE, as Mr. Wells brings the depth on the unproduced, highly coveted Desert Headquarters figures... but we also journey through some mid-Mesozoic mysteries, unearthed by notpicard and Gyre-Viper, via some overseas palaeontology. It doesn't stop there as we identify the many non-Joe lines that reuse GI JOE parts (and sometimes vice versa), while nova puts on a bunny suit and hands out easter eggs.  It's hidden world meets lost world, with over 80 images to accompany this episode.

Here is a link to the images for this episode:


Or you can just click "Links" on the right and that will take you to the forum.

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• August 6th, 2012

The Joe Declassified: SPEC-OPS Team is joined by some very special guests... the mighty pluv of JoeCustoms.com and the one and only Leonardo T Dragon of JoeBattlelines.com//

For this episode we take on a hefty helping of variations and errors from the revered vaults of Pat "notpicard" Stewart.  Pat takes us through his categorizing process of what falls into variant and what gets marked an error and how that all fits into his work on YoJoe.com and around the community.  We also give the yet to be released discount repaints a quick once over... sort of gathering our thoughts on what they are, what they mean, and what they might be telling us about the future of the brand.  And to top it all off... Pat speaks to the functionality of YoJoe.com's legendary archives... its achievements, criticisms, and everything in between.

You can find the images referenced in the episode here:


The links to the right will take you to the Joe Declassified site and forum.

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Ep5/ Unproduced ARBCO Play Set and more!!!!

• April 15th, 2012

Well that was interesting. Just days after recording this episode, Retaliation toys ambushed collectors on the shelves at retail. And since we can’t always be right, it seems a couple of our predictions on this episode fell short. But at the very least you can hear the (what we think are) reasonable-reason-ings behind our theories in regards to a few of the Retaliation figures that were released into the wild unexpectedly.

That being said, clocking in at over two hours and armed with a mighty 100-plus images… I’m sure we’ve got something besides rabbits and felled predictions in our hats as we conjure up:

- an unproduced ARBCO play set!

- an unproduced version of General Hawk!

- confirm the answer to the mostly-unanswered 25 year old mystery of Low-Light's leg!


- and we use our crystal ball to peer into where the past meets the future as we bring you in-hand images of the unreleased 30th Anniversary Night-Viper and Crimson Guard who are slated for resurrection in Wave 5 of Retaliation!

Speaking of crystal balls...we take in a stray as renowned GI JOE customizer and Crystal Ball hoarder, Brian "nova" Kauffman, not only joins us as a guest host, but agrees to come on full-time as a regular, resident host on the podcast!

This episode is split up into two teams.  It's basically two recordings combined.

Also, due to the nature of the Low-Light revelation, we felt it appropriate to post the image confirming the answer to the often-speculated 25 year old mystery on YoJoe.com.  Here is a link to the image and the thread:


The ARBCO, Hawk, Retaliation, Night-Viper and Crimson Guard images can be found here or click the links on the sidebar:


Welcome to the Hidden World of GI JOE...   Welcome to Joe Declassified: SPEC-OPS.

Hosts for Episode 5:  Gary Head (Gyre-Viper), Chris Murray (TOPSON), Tim Dzieciatkowsi (Tolan), Jay Hunger (Smokescreen), Gary Godsoe (cmderinchief), Mike Irizzary (Beachhead), Josh Carlson (Roshan), Jared Bunnell (Jaimanstone), Phil Donnelly (PjDonnell), Pat Stewart (notpicard).

Intro/Outro voice:  Moira Hunger (aka Mo & Order)

Intro/Outro song:  Jade "Lazertag" (Lifted Recordings).  Used with permission.

Very special thanks to Jade for allowing me use of this song for the podcast.

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• March 15th, 2012


Over the past 3 years, Patrick Stewart (aka notpicard) and Gary Head (aka Gyre-Viper) have discovered or simply brought to light, through their in-hand reviews, a lot of canceled and unreleased concepts from the “modern era”/”swivel-chest” GI JOE lines: the canceled Target sets (RECONDO w/ WHIRLWIND; CHUCKLES w/ SILVER MIRAGE etc), TIGER-FORCE ROADBLOCK, the PYTHON PATROL TROOPER and TELE-VIPER (before they were released later by the GJCC), DESERT SCORPION w/ COBRA MINOTAUR and more. But of all the things they’ve managed to get their hands on over the past couple of years, two unreleased concepts specifically have really captured the attention of the GI JOE collecting community: the mysterious NANO-B.A.T. and the elusive IRON KLAW.

NANO-B.A.T. went public at JoeCon 2010 and then hit the internet just days later. It quickly became one of the most controversial, debated, hypothesized, abhorred, embraced, loathed, and desired unreleased figures of the “modern”/”swivel-chest” era. At the time, no one had ever even heard of NANO-B.A.T. Not even Patrick Stewart who discovered the figure. Almost 2 years after the discovery of NANO-B.A.T., the GJCC have plans to release a version of NANO-B.A.T. through their Figure Subscription Service (FSS). It should be noted that the NANO-B.A.T.(s) Pat (notpicard) found was a preproduction sample. Not entirely representative of what the final NANO-B.A.T. would have been at retail had it been released, nor how it is planned to be released through the GJCC FSS.

IRON KLAW photos hit the internet in 2009. Rumors/listings of an “IRON KLAW TROOPER” had been floating about for some time, but it wasn’t until Gyre-Viper managed to find one, that anyone really had any idea of what it was, or what it would have looked like. But this was an unpainted test-shot. It only gave the community a very basic idea of what the IRON KLAW would have been had it been released. Almost 3 years after the IRON KLAW test-shot discovery, the GJCC has plans to release a version of IRON KLAW through the same Figure Subscription Service that is boasting NANO-B.A.T. amongst its 13 figure offering.

That should be the end of the story, right? All is said and done? Patrick “notpicard” Stewart proves otherwise as he provides the podcast and you the listener/viewer with images of things most people have never seen before: IN-HAND images of the fully painted canceled IRON KLAW figure (NOT the GJCC version)… the actual version that would have been released in the Resolute comic pack in the 25th line.

But that’s not all, Pat has also managed to get his hands on the figure that would have been packaged alongside IRON KLAW in the RESOLUTE comic 2-pack: a fully painted RESOLUTE CRIMSON GUARD figure, which until this point has only been seen as a preproduction unpainted test shot.

But Pat so isn’t done… he’s ALSO discovered a DIFFERENT preproduction version of the NANO-B.A.T. (also NOT the GJCC version). Which no one has seen before until now.

Here is a link to all of the images we discuss on this episode:


(or just head on over to www.JoeDeclassified.com/forum and click on the JDSO podcast section of the forum.)

On this episode of Joe Declassified: SPEC-OPS, notpicard and Gyre talk about their personal history and experiences with NANO-B.A.T. and IRON KLAW. Their reactions to attaining them and the reactions of the community upon their reveal.

nopticard takes us through his theories as to NANO-B.A.T.’s possible origins (reaching as far back as the end of the 25th line and even possibly taking hold somewhere in the Rise of Cobra line more than once) as well as what he does know to be fact in regards to the mysteries of NANO-B.A.T. notpicard and Gyre also attempt to link the essence of NANO-B.A.T. to the inception of JUNGLE-B.A.T.

The Declassified Team weighs in with their perspectives towards these discoveries and what these figures would have, might have, and will mean for the brand upon what seems to be an eventual (inevitable?) release through the GJCC’s Figure Subscription Service, finally, so many years later after (multiple?) cancelations. Are these figures cursed? How many times can you actually hear the word “NANO-B.A.T.” before you want to take an actual bat to your own head? How does Kevin manage to work in the Brady Bunch to this episode and did Jared really jump up at a JoeCon panel and go running out of the room screaming?! All this and more for free on this episode of JoeDeclassified: SPEC-OPS!!!! So strap in, put your NANO-H.A.T.S. on (see what I did there) and let us take you far deeper into the chin-stroking origins, impending fates, product similarities, unexpected connections, wild aesthetics, and mind-melting theories of NANO-B.A.T. and IRON KLAW than you probably ever really want to go.

Welcome to The Hidden World of GI JOE.

Hosts for Episode 4: Patrick Stewart (nopticard), Gary Head (Gyre-Viper), Kevin Watts (KrymsynGardImmoral), Mike Irizzary (Beach-Head), Phil Donnelly (PjDonnell), Jay Hunger (Smokescreen), Josh Carlson (Roshan), and Jared Bunnell (Jaimanstone).

Intro/Outro voice: Moira Hunger (aka Mo & Order).

Outro song: Terravita “Nail In the Coffin” used with permission (Beta Recordings).

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• March 7th, 2012

We are on iTunes, just search: jdso

We are on Stitcher, just search: Declassified

______________________________________________________________________________ . . .


For years the community has been craving a GI JOE art book… specifically, a card art or packaging art coffee table-style volume. On this episode, we talk not only to the man who is most likely to make it happen, but who is also very much up to the challenge.

This man’s name is Jim Sorenson. Mr. Sorenson is an animation historian, archivist, restorer, and enthusiast.

If the name doesn’t sound familiar to the GI JOE world, it’s because he’s spent most of his energy up to this point contributing to or writing books on, the animated world of Transformers:

The Complete Ark -- http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1600104886?ie=UTF8&tag=thar-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=1600104886

The AllSpark Almanac 1 -- http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1600104878?ie=UTF8&tag=thar-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=1600104878

The AllSpark Almanac 2 -- http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1600106838?ie=UTF8&tag=thar-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=1600106838

But now… NOW he’s set his sights on GI JOE with the “GI JOE FIELD MANUAL”…

a book that compiles the production artwork for the Sunbow GI JOE animated series!!!! Coming out through IDW in the same vein as his previous Transformers Ark books listed above, the “GI JOE FIELD MANUAL” is a first-of-its-kind for GI JOE.

And if it does well (read as: BUY THIS BOOK)… it doesn’t have to be the last!

Not a fan of the Sunbow cartoon? That’s pretty inconsequential in regards to this book. The art and designs for Sunbow are just as responsible as anything else for shaping the GI JOE universe that we’ve come to know and love over the past 30 years, especially when stripped of its final, often campy, fully animated form.

Not only that but there are things in this book alone which have never been brought to light before. Things like the image Mr. Sorenson shared with us for this episode (click the following link) which seems related to the origins of the creation for the character of Duke:


Mr. Sorenson not only talks to us about his previous books and this current book he is working on... but he also takes us deep inside his process, from hunting down source material to what it actually takes to bring a book like this to completion.

Which in turn, of course, gives us an idea of what it might take to get other GI JOE books made. Could his Sunbow-fueled “GI JOE FIELD MANUAL” be the first step towards more GI JOE art books? Resolute? Extreme? Renegades? Card art? Packaging art? And beyond?

The Declassified Team, along with two special guest hosts: Eduardo M. Freyre and Glenn “Barefoot Jedi” Winkler, talk with Mr. Sorenson about GI JOE, Transformers, the comics, the commercials, the cartoons, GI JOE Extreme, Sgt. Savage, Renegades, DiC, Resolute, Retaliation, toys, animation, preproduction, the upcoming SDCC GI JOE/TF crossover exclusives, Dr. Who, and much more.

If you want to follow the progress of Jim Sorenson’s projects and interests…

past, present, and future… keep an eye on his blog at: http://boltax.blogspot.com/

And if you want to contact Mr. Sorenson for anything… ESPECIALLY if you have any information on Sunbow production material (models, cels, etc)… you can email him at transformerstheark at yahoo.com.

Hosts for Episode 3: Gary Head (Gyre-Viper), Kevin Watts (KrymsynGardImmoral), James M Kavanaugh, Jr (KuuKuuSon), Jared Bunnell (Jaimanstone), Eduardo M Freyre (LordEd1976), and Glenn P Winkler (Barefoot Jedi).

Intro:  Moira Hunger (Mo & Order)

We are on iTunes, just search: jdso

We are on Stitcher, just search: Declassified

Website: JoeDeclassified.com (owner Sam Damon)

Forum: JoeDeclassified.com/forum

Twitter: GyreViper

Facebook: Joe Declassified

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EP 2/ TOY FAIR 2012

• March 1st, 2012

Ep2: Toy Fair has come and gone. But the community is still firmly locked onto the GI JOE reveals from a few weeks ago. Articulation Loss” continues to cause quite the ruckus. But with offerings like Joe Colton, Blind Master, Cobra Trooper, and Zartan… it seems the Retaliation line will be just as invigorating and nutritious as it will be frustrating and noxious to adult collectors who believe certain elements of the line are quite literally a step back (if not worse), in some regards, for a brand that has always seemed to look forward and push the boundaries. So the Declassified team takes on these Toy Fair reveals wave by wave and figure by figure utilizing GeneralsJoes.com’s Retaliation Toy SuperPage for reference. And the Declassified team is not necessarily in agreement with each other over a few of the offerings. Friendships are tested, hearts are torn, and virtual fists fly…. (no, not really).

The team IS, however, joined by a surprise guest!!!!!!! JoeDeclassified owner and visionary, Sam “Nomad” Damon…

who shares a little secret about the Retaliation Wave 5 Night Viper and Crimson Guard. What they really are and how they most likely came to be in the Retaliation line.

What are Night Viper and Crimson Guard? Where have we seen those motorcycles before?

Zebras, Ninja Turtles, and clones OH MY!

Welcome to Joe Declassified: SPEC-OPS.

Find us on iTunes (search: jdso)

Find us on Stitcher (search: Declassified)

Find us on the web: JoeDeclassified.com

Ep2 Hosts: Sam Damon (Nomad), Gary Head (Gyre-Viper), Pat Stewart (notpicard), Jay Hunger (Smokescreen), Gary Godsoe (cmderinchief), James M. Kavanaugh, Jr (KuuKuuSon), Mike Irizarry (Beachhead), Josh Carlson (Roshan), and Jared Bunnell (Jaimanstone).

Intro: Moira Hunger (Mo & Order)

Intro/Outro Song: Gemini “Destiny” used with permission (Beta Recordings).

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• February 23rd, 2012

We ARE on iTunes!   Just search jdso.       http://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/jdso/id506344731

We ARE on Stitcher!  Just search Declassified.

Pilot/Ep1: Despite the number of times this recording was almost completely eaten or horribly disfigured and corrupted during editing due to the short-comings of a certain ‘came-with-the-laptop’ software application… somehow enough of it survived to bring you MOST of the first episode of Joe Declassified: SPEC-OPS. For this podcast premier, we tap the renowned GI JOE collection of Chris Murray (TOPSON)… as he allows not only us, but you the listener and viewer… a 16 page glimpse at preproduction sketches for the unproduced COBRA ISLAND PLAYSET designed by legendary GI JOE vehicle maestro, Guy Cassaday!!!!!!! Chris takes you on the tour of the Cobra Island Playset from top to bottom, inside and out: how big was it, what did it do, why wasn’t it made… and how would it have compared to the iconic GI JOE playsets that were produced!?

The sketches for the unproduced COBRA ISLAND PLAYSET can be found at www.JoeDeclassified.com/forum in the JoeDeclassified: SPEC-OPS (JDSO) Podcast thread or by following this link:


We also jab at the pre-Toy Fair Hasbro reveals from a few weeks ago, and dissect the importance (or unimportance?) of the controversial articulation changes in the GI JOE Retaliation toy line.

Oh, and James the KuuKuuSon pocket dials us from a bar.

All this and more on this trial-by-Dragonfire pilot episode of

JoeDeclassifed: SPEC-OPS.

Welcome to the Hidden World of GI JOE.

Ep1 Hosts: Gary Head (Gyre-Viper), Chris Murray (TOPSON), Kevin Watts (KrymsynGardImmoral), James M. Kavanaugh, Jr. (KuuKuuSon), Phil Donnelly (PjDonnell), Gary Godsoe (cmderinchief),  Josh Carlson (Roshan), and Jared Bunnell (Jaimanstone).

This recording contains samples from John B "Secrets" (Beta Recordings) used with permission.  Outro song John B "Secrets" used with permission (Beta Recordings).



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