Total Retaliation - A celebration of the G.I. Joe Retaliation toyline is het eerste boek van Brian Hickey & Paddy Lennon, tegenwoordig bekend van de boeken Total Action Force 1 & 2.

Zoals de titel doet vermoeden, brengt dit boek de speelgoedlijn in beeld welke naar aanleiding van de film G.I. Joe Retaliation op de markt kwam. Het boek in in een kleine oplage in 2014 gepubliceerd. Het is nog even via Etsy te koop geweest, maar inmiddels is het niet meer verkrijgbaar.

Via een blog en een Facebook pagina werden er updates gedeeld. Van uitleg tot foto's, een greep daaruit vind je hieronder terug. Helemaal onderaan staat de tekst van het soort van Kickstarter project, zoals het gelanceerd is. Hierin valt ondermeer te lezen dat het boek ook als PDF is verschenen, er van ieder figuur filecards zijn gemaakt, dat jouw naam in het boek kon komen en dat je prints van diorama kunst kon bemachtigen, ieder pakket met een eigen budget.

Het is een paperback met 88 bladzijden, vol met referentiefoto's van alle figuren en voertuigen uit de speelgoedlijn en diorama kunst om het plastic speelgoed nóg beter tot zijn recht te laten komen. De speciaal gemaakte filecards waren zowel digitaal als fysiek op papier beschikbaar.


Titel: Total Retaliation - A celebration of the G.I. Joe Retaliation toyline

Auteurs: Brian Hickey & Paddy Lennon

Jaar: 2014

Oplage: 100

Pagina's: 88

Kaft: Paperback


Total Retaliation Facebook

Paddy Lennon Twitter

Brian Hickey Instagram


Some designs just don't make the cut


A key part of the design process when working on a book like Total Retaliation is exploring different design and layout options. The image below is an example of one option that didn't make the final cut. Here, I experimented with animating the character (Roadblock) by adding adding effects and muzzle flare to the image. It was a lot of fun to create but it doesn't really showcase the toy. The cleaner page design, that you can see in some of the earlier posts here, is much more effective at letting the action figure and it's accessories take centre stage.

I hope you enjoyed this little look behind the scenes of the design process. :-)


29 september 2013

Total Retaliation Blogspot

Total Retaliation: A guide to the GI Joe Retaliation Toy line

In 2012, Hasbro began to release a tie in toy line to the film GI Joe: Retaliation, itself based on characters and concepts on the nearly fifty year old brand that Hasbro introduced to the world in 1964. GI Joe began life as a twelve inch tall military inspired figure and invented the concept of an "Action Figure". The brand has experienced numerous ups and downs during its existence, finding itself at the centre of popular culture during the early to mid-nineteen eighties and relegated to the wilderness during most of the nineties and mightiest except for brief periods. One thing had remained true however: GI Joe figures have always remained at the forefront of toy design when it comes to playability, posability and design. The toy line for Retaliation is no different. Despite a weaker economy, higher costs and a movement away from traditional toys the retaliation line of action figures and vehicles still manages to outclass its competitors on the shelves of your local toy store.

Our planned guide book aims to celebrate this fact with high quality photography of every figure, vehicle and accessory released in the course of this exciting line. Our aim is to provide Joe fans with both a useful reference guide and a handsome "coffee table" style book that showcases this line at its best. Planned contents include:

  • Reference photos of every figure and vehicle.
  • Diorama photography of the figures showcasing their unique design features and posability.
  • "File cards" for every release that give background on the characters.

Our aim is to produce an 88 page (approx.) paperback that covers every aspect of the four inch figures released in 2012 and 2013 as part of the line. We want this to be something that fans will be proud to own and will refer to again and again. We've pulled together some sample pages to show you the standard of quality we want to bring to the finished product. In order to provide limited print run of paperbacks we require €5,500. (Around $6,800 depending on currency exchange rates.) In order to reach this goal we've prepared incentive packages that we feel will return excellent value to our backers.


Who are you people? I've no idea who you are.

Hi, we're Brian Hickey and Paddy Lennon. We're massive Joe fans. Brian is a professional graphic designer with almost 20 years in the business. As well as books and magazines, he’s designed album covers, advertising campaigns and websites. Paddy is an aspiring writer with one novel and dozens of short stories to his credit.

Why Retaliation toys?

Because they're really good, if underappreciated, toys that deserve some time in the spotlight.

Why a book?

There are a handful of other reference and guide books that cover other GI Joe toy lines. We feel that the Retaliation toys are just as deserving of a reference guide.

Why are you doing this now?

Mainly as the line is coming to an end in the coming months with the final vehicles and figures currently making their way to store shelves and we want to strike while the iron is hot.

What are you going to use the funds raised for?

Most of it will be spent on printing a run of paperbacks for backers. The remaining funds will be used to prepare the additional rewards (prints and posters) for the higher reward levels and get materials to build diorama stages for the figures. We won’t be spending any of it on toys, we own all those already!

What if you don’t hit your target?

That’s a risk, It’ll mean we won’t be able to do a print run or any of the additional prints or posters. We will make the book available as an ebook via the usual marketplaces. This is happening no matter what!

What are your rewards?

We want to give everyone who contributes an amount of bang for their buck. We’ve priced out different reward options and we thing the following options will give backers their money’s worth.  Dollar values are approximate and will change based on exchange rates.

Level 1 “Cobra Trooper” €10. ($15)

A copy of the book in PDF format plus an electronic version of a new File Card for each Retaliation figure.

Level 2 “Cobra Viper” €30. ($40)

Printed copy of the book plus a copy of the book in PDF format and an electronic version of a new File Card for each Retaliation figure.

Level 3 “Alley Viper.” €60. ($80)

Credit in the Acknowledgements page of the book, One signed copy of book, plus Level 1 rewards above

Level 4 “Astro Viper” €100. ($130)

A print of Poster print of one of the Dio Images from the Book (Size: 18 x 24) and  Action Figure art print of a G.I. Joe Retaliation figure of your choice (Size: 18 x 24), credit in the Acknowledgements page of the book, One signed copy of book, plus Level 1 rewards above

Level 5 “Night viper”. €130. ($170)

One copy of the paperback, e-book,  the prints and posters from level 4 and your name included on one of the diorama photos (a street sign or similar) plus a print of the relevant diorama shot and a credit in the acknowledgements.

Level 6 “SAW Viper” €180 ($240.)

A complete set of original, new file cards, beautifully designed and printed on 400 gsm board, gloss laminated and trimmed to size, plus everything from Level 5 above.

US backers will have to add €17 or $22 for shipping for levels 2 to five.

Please see sample pages below to give you an idea of what to expect and feel free to contact us on if you have any further queries. The project will be officially launched at Roll Out Roll Call 4 in Southhampton on the 13th of October 2013 at 10.30am at a panel presentation where we will share some more information about the book and show off physical copies of some of the rewards!

We're also hoping to line up interviews on various Joe and geek oriented podcasts to get the word out and make this a success so be sure to check back for updates.