Sunday, August 5, 2012

Heroes Force

Yesterday's post was about Can-Con on the G.I. Joe team.  Today's is about what some call Canada's version of G.I. Joe.

But Heroes Force isn't really a Canadian G.I. Joe. At least not the modern day version of that team.

Heroes Force is far closer to the original (bearded) version of Joe than it is the "Marvelized" one, as you can clearly see from the picture of the first edition below.

Photo credit to Harry Sullivan for Truro Daily News

They are inspired by G.I. Joe, mind you, but certainly not intended to copy that team.  They are meant to accurately represent the Canadian forces while raising funds for the "Soldier On" Fund.

All is explained in this National Post article from January, some of which is copied below in case the link goes dead.
Shannon Thibodeau is a vintage toy collector, a father with two young sons and a member of the Canadian Armed Forces, with two tours of Afghanistan to his credit.

He is proud of everything he is and everything he has done. But the aircraft metal fabricator instructor at Canadian Forces Base Borden, near Barrie, was also deeply perplexed and mildly miffed by the fact that whenever he went shopping for military action figures for his boys he could never find a figure that resembled him.

Sure, there were G.I. Joes to be had, but no brave Canucks. Nothing to commemorate the Canadians Mr. Thibodeau served with and, in some cases, helped bury.

“Shannon wanted to make something that would represent his buddies and acknowledge our troops,” says John Alan Sperry, a civilian and longtime friend of Mr. Thibodeau’s from Truro, N.S.

Mr. Thibodeau articulated his vision to Mr. Sperry, a graphic designer, who then brought it to life, or at least helped render it in plastic, using computer illustration software and his muscular soldier buddy as a model.

The result was “Heroes Force,” a series of Canadian military action figures that has stormed the toy market and struck an unforeseen emotional chord among buyers.

Heroes Force has seen about 4,000 sales in six weeks. The figures retail for $10, with $1 from each purchase earmarked for Soldiers On, a charity for injured military personnel.

The Canadian action figures were not intended as a money-making venture. They were conceived as a hobby, by a hobbyist, and are looking to break even, which isn’t going to be a problem now.
The action figures can be bought from the Heroes Force website, but shipping costs as much as the figures themselves.  I'd rather work towards getting them in stores first, if you get my meaning.  But one way or another, one of these guys (or maybe one day gals??) is finding his way into my little Canadian hero collection.  Terrific idea, Mr Thibodau.

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