When I saw GeneralsJoes friend Twitziller post about an experiment using specialized magnets to post and display his G.I. Joe figures, I knew immediately that I wanted to showcase this information on GeneralsJoes.
An ingenious idea, and I’m very happy that he has taken the time to write this guest article for the site. Big thanks to Twitziller, if you don’t already follow him on Twitter, you definitely should, he’s funny and he supplies some great G.I. Joe conversation. Check this great article out below.
Fewer Poses May Require Hand Support
Stand by Me
G.I. Joe fan loves to display their figures and, since 1983, we’ve been able to do so with the assistance of Hasbro’s display stands. First available in the Battle Gear Accessory Packs of the 1980s ARAH line, the first stand was a simple rounded rectangle of plastic featuring one peg that fit tightly into the peg hole in the heel of almost every figure. This stand then became a standard accessory for single-packed figures from the early 1990s through the early 2000s, before being retired during the “New-Sculpt Era”…
When the “Modern Era” dawned on 2007 with the 25th anniversary collection, the radically redesigned figures came with radically redesigned stands. These featured detailed Joe or Cobra faction symbols molded in relief on the top surface and the character’s name printed on the front. The first releases featured one foot peg, but a two-peg standard was quickly adopted that has served through the Modern lines to the present. With the new stand’s debut, the footpeg hole was moved from the heel area to the ball of the foot, but the fit of the peg to the peg hole was not always a strong and secure one, which hampered the utility of the stands.
Stylized versions of the Modern Era stand were offered during the Rise of Cobra movie line in 2009 but these offered a less functional configuration and their unwanted visual association with the film toyline led Hasbro to revert to the 25th anniversary style stand for the Pursuit of Cobra and 30th Anniversary/Renegades lines of 2010-2012. The figures of these later lines benefited from vast improvements in almost all areas, including sculpting, articulation, paint applications, and accessories, but of note in this case is the impressive connection between the foot hole and stand peg. The connection system had evolved to provide an excellent display opportunity.
One thing that’s not so great about these stands, however, is their large size. There’s nothing subtle about them, and in a diorama setting or a group display, that can be an unwanted distraction. A few third-party vendors offer excellent stands that are smaller and less visually obtrusive, but what if we could eliminate the stands altogether and still display the figures together in exciting action poses?
Rules of Attraction
Coleco’s Starcom line from 1986 featured military astronaut figures that could be posed “spacewalking” by virtue of small magnets in the figures’ feet and metal plates mounted on the vehicles and playsets. This led me to wonder if the same could be done for G.I. Joe. Provided a ferrous metal surface on which to place the figures, by placing small magnets in the foot peg holes, could one possibly display figures in action poses without the need for a visible stand?
With today’s strong rare-earth magnets readily available in many shapes and sizes, it was simply a matter of finding the right length and diameter of Neodymium rod magnets to properly fit the foot peg holes of a modern era Joe figure. Having taken measurements from the figures and stands, I ordered a set of magnets that seemed likely to work from Amazing Magnets, and they were very reasonably priced. I purchased a 30th Anniversary/Renegades Scarlett figure and a 30th Anniversary Cobra Trooper as test figures, and I found that a rod magnet of .09375” (“3/32”) diameter and .0125” (1/8”) length would fit into the foot hole and stay without adhesive. Unless you want to glue the magnets into the feet, it’s important to use a figure whose foot holes haven’t been stretched by a stand peg for a long period of time. It works better, in this case, with figures fresh out of the blister. On Scarlett, the magnet protrudes slightly beyond the sole of the boot. On the Cobra Trooper, the fit is flush. A flush fit on Scarlett could be achieved by shaving off one end of the magnet or deepening the foot hole.
The magnets are strong enough to support the figure in a wide variety of poses. By placing a metal plate or magnet underneath a paper, cardboard, or plastic surface, you can pose your figures as you wish anywhere on that surface.
Scarlett, being very light and extremely poseable, works well with the peg hole magnets. The Cobra Trooper works fairly well, but his heavier body limits him to less extreme poses. Additionally, variation in temperature, such as the heat of intense lights, softens the plastic and loosens the magnets, and therefore gluing them into the foot holes may be the proper approach for longer-tem use. The results have been largely successful. I’d like for the magnets to be a bit stronger, but they’re remarkably effective. I should note that the larger rare-earth magnets do require some care in handling, as they are strong and can be a pinch hazard.
If your figures didn’t come with a stands, or you want to avoid the excessive size and visual distraction of stands, magnets and a metal surface are a different way of posing your figures that might be worth trying for your Joe figure display.
Amazing Magnets http://www.amazingmagnets.com/
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