Frank Coroneos, Senior Product Designer, worked at Hasbro from 1986 through 1989. Frank's real-world defense and automotive vehicle design and modeling skills honed at Cadillac Gage Textron (Commando Combat Vehicles), GM's new Advanced Vehicle Group (Fiero), and a freelance 10-Meter Assault Watercraft "side job" scaled to G.I. Joe led him to Hasbro, and free from Detroit's unions, and metal and armor's design limitations.
Hasbro's great teams, culture, resources and commitment allowed him to create original vehicles including the Hammer, Raider, Avalanche, Condor Z25, Retaliator, and Destro’s Razorback. Frank especially enjoyed creating feature-packed vehicles with surprise reveals that were "beautiful, believable, and futuristic", and could separate into multiple vehicles for multi-player play. He is especially proud of fathering FFT “Finger Flick Technology” as a new and safe way to fire projectiles with no mechanism.
What were some of your favorite moments working on G.I. Joe?
“Cassaday's early design mentorship, Bill Young's ‘Animal noises’ and superlative design ability and legendary graphics, Kit-bashing door details on the Defiant gantry during an amazing team effort modeling marathon, Joe Team Paintball trip, and design trip to Smithsonian Air & Space.”
What is your greatest accomplishment with the G.I. Joe line?
“Surviving brain-cell killing near death routine marketing-sanctioned AdMarker color study torture sessions, fathering FFT "Finger-Flick Technology" as a safer and better way to fire projectiles and eliminate the stored-energy mechanism, maintaining great personal and professional relationships with most of the guys over the years and post-Hasbro, and being given the privilege to design original vehicles and dedicating each vehicle to honor family, friends, and co-workers.”
“Sharing my toys, drawings, and stories over the past 28 years with kids in classrooms, including girls, especially many who have never seen toys this cool before. Especially loved dropping the Condor from 36" with landing gear extended repeatedly to show how the gear popped off, and then back on.”
Who is your favorite figure? Why?
“Baroness. Wife would shoot me if I told truth, so I'll just say ‘great boots’.”
In your opinion, what characteristics made the G.I. Joe brand team successful?
Who is your favorite vehicle/playset? Why?
“Everyone, and everything, great talent, dedication, diversity, and leaders and co-workers in every facet dedicated to creating truly great, safe, imaginative, original, and believable real-world futuristic toys.”
“Enormous resources and commitment at all levels to creating a remarkable world of collectible figures, vehicles, play sets, and memories. Great leaders, risk-takers, and guys like Bob Prupis who treated us like the magicians (as he called us) we became because of the confidence he and the entire organization had in a team of young and unproven guys.”
“Of my own that was produced, tie between Retaliator and Condor due to styling, innovative features, and surprise reveals. I like real-world Retaliator styling better, but Condor maybe #1 due to better toy engineering, durability, 2-in-1 vehicle bonus, overall play-feature richness and simplicity, and ‘would love to fly one of those-ness’.”
“Of those not produced, the Grizzly, as I loved the ‘closed-system’ turret with recyclable round, which eliminated loose projectiles kids might accidentally swallow.”
“Defiant Space Complex. Truly a collaborative masterpiece, and an even greater honor we were able to give our own personal one Hasbro gave us to Make-A-Wish, so a kid who might not be able to have one could get one from one of its creators.”