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Aye, it was a dark stormy night.  The small town of Waldwick all but prey.  The small houses, shaking and creaking from subtle winds approaching, feeling, feeding.  The skies were black and wrought with doubt.  Looms of dark clouds spilled over like fountains of clumped thread.  Heavy.  Trapping all bits of confidence, bundling hope into small tombs, into dark lonely places, lost and aimless.  No key in sight.  Something, somethings lurked beyond the mountains of black.  Emanate.  A quiet before the storm.  A chill penetrating, weaving through the skin of all who breathes, shortening breaths.  Uncertainty.

Um, wrong story.  Sorry.  Must have copied and pasted by accident.

Actually, it was a bright sunny day.  Waldwick is a beautiful town snug in the crease between Bergen County and Paramus, New Jersey.  A Norman Rockwell like town.  The train station was across the street from the neighboring houses.  An old Victorian House had been converted into a bank.  A sort of American town which embodies all of the great adjectives which describe those literate and illustrated versions of America - Main Street.  Pursuit of Happiness.  Large Cumulus clouds bloomed like cultures of cotton.  Truly a delicious day.  Hot too.  The air was thick.  Tangible.  A beautiful East Coast summer day.  What a day.

The good folks over at Suburban Vinyl (Rob Lumino and his generous crew) were kind of enough to host and spring up a classic summer cook out right next to the shop.  Hotdogs, Burgers, Chips, Sodas, families, kids, artists, friends - the whole nine.  Perfect accents to celebrate art, pop culture and G.I. JOE.  The shop was packed.  High energy and filled with a banding spirit - artists excited to show off their skills, applying thoughtful imagination to the canvas which once was the G.I. JOE minis Series #1.  We had never intended for the Series to be a platform, however those creative eyes, Rob Lumino and Benny Kline (Tenacious Toys), immediately saw the potential.  Big thank you(s) go out to Rob and Benny for curating a great show and compiling the great list of artists who participated.  Each one giving 100%.  Truly impressive.   Les Schettkoe was on hand (the mini series designer).  Les was engaging, sketching and signing throughout the day.  The Suburban Vinyl/Tenacious Toys crews really bonded with Les and it semed the artists bonded with the history, energy and passion that is G.I. JOE and the the creative spirit infused in the mini series.  It was a fantastic vibe all around.  Several of the pieces selling, some selling for $400.00.  Some impressive debuts by AVES, Luis DeVille, and Mark Maher.  It's difficult to single out any one designer.  The artists definitely brought their "A" Game.  A great supportive, creative atmosphere and so happy to see everyone interacting with the G.I. JOE Universe.  It truly is a rich Universe.  The G.I. JOE: RETALIATION  Movie costumes featuring Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow were show stoppers.  Literally.  Like true Ninjas, they blended in with the walls.  Almost inconspicuous.  Or at least we like to think playing into the Ninja characterization.  They were there, on opposite sides of the store.  Ready, watching, observing.  Quiet.

Big shout outs to our Hasbro friends - Nancy, Sharon, Michael, Luis, Mark and Eddy.  It was fantastic to catch up with some of you.  Especially enjoyed the conversations consisting of Les Paul guitars, screaming amps and Jimmy Page (who wouldn't?)  Benny and Rob, again, what a job.  You knocked it out of the park =)

Here are a few snaps from the day.  I hope that you enjoy.

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New Destro 1

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