12294919_939284719442269_8471567765054815079_nThe PopCulteer
March 4, 2016

Next week your PopCulteer will be making his fourth trip to Joelanta and The Great Atlanta Toy Convention. This has become a much-anticipated annual Southern trek for your faithful correspondent as he gets to head to Georgia and cavort with like-minded action figure collectors in a fun, family atmosphere.

On March 12 and 13, the Marriott Century Center becomes a wonderland of toyish coolness, filled with happy people and neat stuff. We are Joeheads, in our natural habitat.

Because I am still neck-deep in video editing from last month’s International Toy Fair in New York (look for new videos popping up at an alarming rate all weekend long), today we are going to forego the usual “Stuff To Do” section of our Friday column. However, I would like to mention that there are all kinds of events happening this weekend tied to the Celtic Calling celebration, and you can find a complete list and schedule at this website. Check it out, and if you’re not chained to the editing desk like I am, get out and soak up some of the great music, poetry, and Celtic culture all over Charleston.

12509640_957386884298719_3018009301283256821_nBack to the matter at hand, Joelanta and The Great Atlanta Toy Convention is simply the most fun toy convention I’ve ever attended. Every year it’s an almost criminally-fun gathering of GI Joe collectors, and now toy collectors of all types who enjoy the hobby to its fullest extent, collecting, customizing, building models and dioramas, cosplaying and meeting experts and creators like Larry Hama.

Originally dedicated to the 12″ GI Joe, JoeLanta and The Great Atlanta Toy Convention has grown to include everything from GI Joe, Transformers, MOTU, TMNT, Star Wars, Sci Fi toys, Superhero toys, Monster toys, Anime, comics to all things pop culture. It’s also the only major toy collector’s convention that I know of with a house band, Radio Cult, who put on a killer show on Saturday night during the convention weekend.

Up above you see this year’s promo clip for JoeLanta and The Great Atlanta Toy Convention. This is once again the work of Tim and Lisa Weedn of Studio Joe, and this dynamic duo will return to host the film festival part of this year’s annual convention for die-hard GI Joe collectors. We’re going to be treated to a new Studio Joe epic and several other cool, short GI Joe films.


Visit the JoeLanta website if you want to make a spur-of-the-moment trip down South for the fun. It’s a better vacation than Acapulco because there’s toys and cool people and, weather permitting, the 1966 TV Batmobile and other pop culture cars will be there. Joelanta and The Great Atlanta Toy Convention is more fun than humans should be allowed to have, but it’s all legal, even the indoor fifteen-story action figure parachute drop.

JoeLanta is created and run by The Cody Lane Foundation, a non-profit organization who’s goal is to create The Cody Lane Memorial Toy and Diorama Museum. All proceeds from JoeLanta go directly to The Cody Lane Memorial Toy and Diorama Museum.

Here’s last year’s PopCult round-up clip…

This year's exclusive Commander's package figure.

This year’s exclusive Commander’s package figure.

This year PopCult will be attending as a three-person crew as we kidnap Lee Harrah and force him into service as our third cameraman. I’ve got my housesitter lined up and I’m cranking out radio shows and PopCult posts in advance so that you guys don’t have to go without during my absence. I will also try to post some updates from the road.

Of course, once we get back, my nose goes back to the video grindstone so we can bring you panels, music, dioramas and all the other cool stuff that goes on down in Atlanta.

The plan for this weekend is to try and clear out most of the video that we shot during Toy Fair last month, so don’t be surprised if PopCult updates every hour or so during the next few days.

In the meantime, check out just a few of the cool things you can expect from this year’s JoeLanta and The Great Atlanta Toy Convention…