The recent GI Joe movies were troubled in many ways: the bad criticism for the first movie, below-average toy sales (the good thing is I bought many figures for half the original price), and the crazy release process for the second installment, Retaliation (they spent the money for a Superbowl advertisement in 2012, only to launch the movie weeks after the 2013 Superbowl).
Last month, I visited Latin America’s biggest toy fair, Abrin, and saw the figures for this movie few people I know have watched. I was disappointed at the fact that the poor timing in the release process has impaired the mass-market toy distribution (for instance, I don’t think Brazilian shelves will see the figure based on Bruce Willis’ character).
I wondered what Larry Hama would think about Retaliation. Hama put souls in the bodies of the toy soldiers: his comics and the file cards he wrote for the toys shaped a ludic experience cherished by many who grew up in the 80’s.
Zaki Hasan had done the job better than expected: he managed to talk to him on the same day Hama had watched the movie (which, in Hama’s case, may have tuned the experience up a bit).
Hasan did a long interview with Hama, covering the origins of the comic book (which no writer wanted to take, because it was a “toy book”) and the legacy to which the recent movies refer. An edited version was published in The Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/zaki-hasan/interview-igi-joei-creato_b_2993233.html