Hasbro: Draft Mark Weber for G.I. Joe!
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The G.I. Joe brand is a celebration of the American spirit. From its inception in 1964, toys and games associated with Joe have brought joy to millions of children around the globe. Whether as a “modern fighting man”, a globe trotting adventurer, or a deep space explorer, the name “G.I. Joe” has represented the best in all of us. It’s the embodiment of the potential that exists in all of us, regardless of our race, socio-economic background, or even gender. The brand has always been a trailblazer— including developing an entirely new way to children to play with the introduction of the very concept of the “action figure.”
From a business standpoint, the G.I. Joe brand has propelled Hasbro to new heights of success on multiple occasions—first at its inception and again in the 1980’s. The success of the brand transformed Hasbro into a global leader in toy and game development. Such an indomitable brand deserves the right leadership. It deserves someone who can shepherd its evolution as household name in an increasingly connected digital world.
In Mark's own words,
"I love the G.I. Joe story that launched in 1982, and I think it doesn’t get enough credit for the racial and gender inclusivity it ushered into the toy aisle, I absolutely agree that there are parts of the story that haven’t aged well and need updating. As beloved as “A Real American Hero” is, G.I. Joe can be and should be bigger than that. The core of G.I. Joe has always been courage and the call to defend against evil and tyranny. That can still be accomplished with brilliant storytelling and character development. G.I. Joe has always evolved with the current culture, while keeping its core ethos intact – a poseable, collectible toy line with interchangeable weapons/equipment/vehicles, celebrating the courageous fight against the forces of evil. A brand that has a positive, action packed message that says everyone can be a G.I. Joe!
A new era of G.I. Joe must have a strong digital tie-in. The pull of the tablet/phone/computer screen is incredibly powerful for today’s kids and will only grow stronger with the next generation – smart toy companies and brands will focus on leveraging that synergy between physical play and evolving technologies, to strengthen their physical products rather than compete with it."
Mark Weber is the BEST candidate to bring the G.I. Joe brand to unparalleled success in the 21st century. He will bring the type of leadership and vision that Joe needs to connect with the children and culture of today. Tech-savvy, social media adept children who eschew traditional media for platforms such as YouTube and mobile apps. For over five years, Mark was responsible for steering the direction of two of Hasbro’s flagship brands: Transformers & G.I. Joe.
During his tenure, both brands experienced innovation and efficiency. (His expansion of the Transformers Generations/Exclusives segment by 800% speaks volumes!) In addition, Mark proved himself to be an adept listener of his current audience—cultivating valuable brand intelligence from consumer and die-hard fan reaction and feedback. He also worked with these core brands during critical media-related phases such as merchandise tie-ins with film releases. He also understands the importance of brand synergy—as evidenced by the development of the Hasbro Revolution San Diego Comic Con exclusive set which brought together for the first time many of Hasbro’s most unique IP’s.
Mark brings experience from not one but two different toy companies, leveraging his prior experience at both Hasbro and McFarlane to hit the ground running as the G.I. Joe and Micronauts brands enter their next generation. In addition—Mark isn’t just a brand manager, he’s a former customer. A conversation with him invites stories of buying G.I. Joe figures during his formative years in Bend, OR. He understands the brand’s past-- an essential ingredient is in helping to take it to the future. However, he’s also one to recognize the need for the brand to evolve.
There is no individual as qualified—who understands both the company culture of Hasbro as well as the legacy of the brands, than Mark Weber. He will bring a renewed focus going forward; as a Hasbro brand manager he knows the industry, he knows the toy landscape, and he knows what it takes to succeed!
G.I. Joe is a brand that must evolve in order to connect with future generations of children. The same is true of the Micronauts—a property that has languished in obscurity, it was last marketed as a children’s property nearly four decades ago.
We, the individuals signing this petition, are putting our support behind Mark Weber as the next Sr. Manager – Global Brand Development & Marketing for G.I. Joe and the Micronauts. We believe that with his hand on the wheel, both G.I. Joe and the Micronauts, will see a bright future that will be the delight of children around the world for generations to come. Yo Joe!
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