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"The 1980's were dominated by two children's cartoons, the Transformers and G.I. Joe. G.I. Joe "The Real American Hero" followed the adventures of an elite military force dedicated to protecting the world (and America) from the forces of evil (in the form of terrorist organization Cobra). In the midst of all this a TV series ran for several seasons in first run as well as re-runs and millions of toys were sold. Finally, after 20 years, the two original mini-series that began the Mania are finally released on DVD.This two-disc set collects the first two G.I. Joe mini-series (5-parts each) that aired in the 1983 and 1984.Disc 1: Mini-Series One - A Real American Hero (AKA "The Mass Device") (1983)This is the story arc that introduced the world to the Joes and intros most of the main characters.THE STORY: Cobra has stolen a device ("The Mass Device") that can automatically transport anything, anywhere. Can the Joes stop Cobra and the Mass Device from destroying the world?Disc 2: Mini-Series Two - The Revenge of Cobra (AKA "The Weather Dominator") (1984)This story arc sees Cobra returning to wreak more havoc than ever and introduces even more Joes and Cobra (Zartan and the Dreadnoks)THE STORY: Cobra and Destro have built "The Weather Dominator," a device that gives them control over the weather and uses the forces of nature to destroy the world. But what happens when Cobra loses control over their own device? Can the Joes save the world before the world destroys itself?THE COOL STUFF:Easily the best feature of the DVD is the series itself. Not a bad deal where you get nearly 4 hours of action for the relative cheap price of the DVD.THE CRITICISM:Too bad there's no DVD extras, although from my understanding another set of these will be released with them (thus potentially negating the reason to purchase THIS set if you are into the extras).THE VERDICT:Well conventional wisdom says (if rumors hold true) to hold off on this set and get the deluxe set with the extras HOWEVER, this set is still a bargain at the relatively cheap price and may be the better purchase depending on the extras that come with the other (remember the ... extras on the Transformers movie DVD???).Highly Recommended purchase (with or without the extras, for all fans)"
Andrew Merriman | Charlestown, Indiana USA | 02/16/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This set is the perfect release for G.I. Joe fans and TV purists. As these were the first 10 episodes before the series started with actual seasons, it is the perfect way to release them. Now they can release season box sets, which, of course, would not include these episodes as they were not part of any season. I am not sure why people would have a problem with this. Don't wait for a season box set to get these episodes, because you can probably bet your jamies that this is the only way that these 10 episodes will be released, as they predate season one. Sorry to run that point into the ground, but some people seem to forget this fact while unjustly complaining about it.I was also very excited that these were not cut into whole movies, but that the discs actually preserve the complete 10 episodes (including the end credits on each episode and even the "will return after these messages" bits!). While I rode home from buying this I worried breifly that they had cut them all together, but not for long, knowing well that Rhino (unlike many home-video companies that own cartoons) actually has respect for the people who made the cartoons and respect for the people who love them."
The G.I. Joe Series is Finally coming to DVD!!!
Kenneth Garrett | Kansas City, Missouri United States | 01/22/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This DVD starts out with two great episodes. In "A Real American Hero," the G.I. Joe team faces their greatest challenge ever. The ruthless, evil, terrorist organization named Cobra has developed a powerful device that allows them to turn objects into beams of energy and transport them anywhere in the world.In the second feature "Revenge of the Cobra" Cobra commander steals a powerful device capable of changing the world's weather patterns, and uses it to launch an attack on Washington, D.C. Only the G.I. Joe team can stop him.These two G.I. Joe movies are great and I cannot wait until more episodes from the series are released."
It's been a long, long time
hardcorekingpin | Garland, Texas United States | 03/02/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I was pleased to learn of this set coming out several months ago. I'd been picking up Rhino's Transformers box sets and couldn't have been more pleased to see that they were adding GI Joe to the mix.This set contains the original two mini-series' of the show. The first one was aired in 1983 and the second one in 1984. GI Joe hadn't become a regular series until 1985, so these actually pre-date the daily afternoon series. Personally, I hadn't seen them since they had originally aired, as they were not part of the daily TV series rotation back then.The restoration is great. Bright colors, no dirt that I can see on the film, and fantastic sound over our stereo system. I'm a little puzzled as to why the recaps of each episode, though, were not restored. You can see the difference. Perhaps the episode recaps were added at the last minute.Some reviews complain about the series recaps, opening and closing credits, commercial bumpers, and so on, but I feel that they help add to the nostalgia of it all. That is the whole reason we are watching this stuff, right? I think it's the right way to go, as it just wouldn't feel right without them. Though it wouldn't hurt Rhino if they put an option in there to cut them out, for those who complain about them. For me, though, they are every bit as much of a part of it as the rest of the show.Overall, I certainly recommend that any fan of this classic cartoon and toy line pick this one up. You'll enjoy it. Plus, if this sells well, the regular series boxed sets can't be far behind. Thanks, Rhino, for bringing GI Joe and Transformers cartoons back to my television screen!"
Joshua Hill | Red Hook, NY | 04/06/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"In today's comic book and toy/action figure industries, there has been a serious influx of 80's nostalgia. From Transformers and He-Man to Care Bears and Strawberry Shortcake, all those old favorites are back. Personally, the most enjoyable and satisfying has been the exceptional updating of Masters Of The Universe. G.I. Joe, however, didn't quite return to my favor despite being a major passion of mine as a child. The initial comic books released by Devil's Due were mediocre, as were the unimpressive paint and sculpts of the new Joe toys from Hasbro.I remember being in the first grade and promising myself I would always buy toys, even when I got older. I could envision bookshelves proudly displaying, specifically, my G.I. Joe action figures. This double DVD set of the first two animated Joe miniseries brought me back to those wonder years and reminded me exactly why I made such a promise. It wasn't simply that toys just look cool and I'll always be a big kid at heart. It's also about the story and characterization (as complex as both may or may not be) of the likes of G.I. Joe. Lincoln Logs and Legos are a hoot, but they don't exactly have histories and personalities behind each and every piece, do they? The cartoons on this DVD re-introduce us to those glorious icons of Joe lore. Duke, Scarlett, Destro, Zartan and his Dreadnoks, Flint, Baroness, Roadblock, Cobra Commander, Spirit, Storm Shadow, and the perennially popular Snake-Eyes, among others, are all present and accounted for. While not much time is spent on in-depth characterization (which was to be found later in the ongoing animated series), every hero and villain of note gets off at least a couple of lines to establish their role and identify them seperately from other characters. In the 1980's, this worked well to help sell action figures. Today, it's a great re-primer. For example, I didn't recall Shipwreck being such an interesting character. In "The Revenge Of Cobra", Shipwreck comes into the story first as an outsider, a bit of a wild card/rogue, and alligns himself with G.I. Joe. At the age of 27 today, I previously only recalled him as just another face in the crowd dressed up like a member of the Village People. Now, 'wreck is one of my personal favorites. It's just one of the benefits of strolling down memory lane with this set.As for the actual material on "G.I. Joe: Real American Hero/The Revenge Of Cobra", you get the two miniseries broken down into each individual chapter just as they aired on weekday afternoon television, complete with the opening/closing credits and commercial breaks (minus actual commercials, of course). The first miniseries stars the earliest Joe and Cobra characters (Duke, Snake-Eyes, Scarlett, Stalker, Cobra Commander, Destro, Major Blood, etc..), as the baddies craft something called the MASS device to wreak havoc on the world. The heroes scramble around the world to counteract Cobra, culminating in the first of many "final" battles at Cobra HQ. Significant sub-plots include Duke's romance with a female Cobra slave and Snake-Eyes being contamined by radiation, leading to his first encounter with his pet wolf, Timber. The second miniseries brings in more of the classic names (Flint, Lady Jaye, Roadblock, Spirit, the aforementioned Shipwreck, Storm Shadow), with Cobra returning to similiar methods as in the first mini, this time brandishing the "Weather Dominator". G.I. Joe once again chases them around the Earth to a new Cobra snake-hole. Sub-plots of note include Shipwreck's introduction, Roadblock teaming up with a truck-driving Southern belle while the prisoners of Cobra, and Spirit and Storm Shadow doing battle and earning each other's respect as warriors. From the first chapter of "Real American Hero" to the last of "The Revenge Of Cobra", this is a ride of purely guilty pleasure, heavily influenced by super-hero comics, classic sci-fi and adventure serials, and of course, military intrigue. Hokey, unrealistic military intrigue, but still a blast, nonetheless. While it may be a tad disappointing for DVD's to be released minus any extras, considering extras are one of the main selling points of DVD's and helped to push them ahead of VHS, this is one instance where it's nearly completely forgivable. The cartoons are remastered, looking and sounding like brand new. The fact that they are presented in their original format, with the credits and breaks, further helps to complete the trip back in time. I'm sure not everyone will have the same experience as I did with G.I. Joe: Real American Hero/The Revenge Of Cobra. You really need to be a child of the 80's to have a true understanding and appreciation of it. However, it can still be entertaining for anyone, old and new fans alike. If the current Joe toys and comics don't do it for you (which, honestly, are starting to shape up a bit, after their first re-launch), this DVD set should most assuredly do the trick."