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G.I. JOE: RETALIATION

Toys/Vehicles
To satisfy the cravings of the toy enthusiasts and action-genre fans, the film is chock full of souped-up vehicles that the G.I. JOE brand is known for and an elaborate cache of diverse weaponry sure to be fun for fans.  For Luke Freeborn, the vehicles art director, it brings out the kid in everyone.  "Creating these giant toys and making them come to life is like being a kid all over again.  We were all giddy with anticipation to see them actually put to work," he says.

The film features a wide array of weapons and vehicles that included two different kinds of tanks, three different helicopters, two different kinds of planes, a souped-up motorcycle, swords, knives, sais and other weapons.  Said di Bonaventura, "Bringing these toys to life makes you feel like a kid again and I think people are going to be thrilled seeing something they've never seen before."

When first creating the vehicles, the team was very mindful to push the envelope while still honoring the G.I. JOE legacy.  "The directive has always been to make the vehicles as real and formidable as possible with dynamic silhouettes," says Freeborn.  "We strove to incorporate some of the toy language that we're familiar with and hope to see."

One such toy incorporated into the film is the COBRA Air Boat.  This massive and ominous looking boat is loosely based on the water moccasin toy with added elements that included twin engines, counter-rotating blades and enough horsepower to push it across dry land.  

Inspired by another classic G.I. JOE/Hasbro toy and sure to excite fans from every age group, the film features a new version of the iconic COBRA HISS Tank.  To create this massive vehicle the production team started with a M548 base that took 12 weeks to build before adding the outer shell and flourish of a cockpit and extra weaponry.  Vehicles art director Luke Freeborn explains that, "our biggest challenge was figuring out exactly how all of it would go together, how the base would work with the top and how it would be shaped together. We thought about the aesthetics of it and how to make it look scary and formidable.  It was a true team effort to then make sure that the guns, tracks and steering all work and perform on camera."

A significantly smaller but faster tank seen in the film is the Joe Colton tank that Roadblock uses to mow down his enemies.  Although seemingly less formidable than the HISS Tank, the Joe Colton tank's power comes in its speed and agility.  Considered to go as fast as a ZR1 Corvette in the grass, the Colton tank has 750 horse power and can go up to 65 mph.  In addition, the tank is outfitted with rocket launchers as well as a 100 lbs. 50 cal mounted on top that the Roadblock character utilizes in a show of his great ingenuity and physical strength.

The production team made a great effort to design each character's weapons to compliment their individual fighting styles and strengths.  Not one to shy away from hand-to-hand combat, Roadblock was given special accessories that were incorporated into his wardrobe. "Roadblock has specially designed brass knuckles attached to the vest that could split your skull and have the ability to attach onto different weapons.  With the combination of the weaponry and fighting style you're really able to see his raw brutality," explains Dwayne Johnson.

To differentiate the ninjas and their skills, each character was outfitted with a specific sword and way in which they were incorporated into their costumes.  "The weapons of the ninjas were especially fun because we tried to define how each of them is different," explains Jon M. Chu.  "Jinx has 2 swords on one side, Storm Shadow has two swords on two sides and Snake Eyes has 1 sword which helped distinguish which ninja was who from the profile."

Even more challenging, however, may be creating an action figure that lives up to the characters seen in the film.  "I don't know if they have enough plastic to fill out how cut the real Roadblock is," jokes Chu.  "I'm not sure they'll be able to give it enough action movements because Kung-Fu grip is not enough for this one.  They'll need to up the ante with the capability to body slam as well as a neck breaker and sleeper hold."

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