Wednesday, November 30, 2016

GI Joe and the Adventure Team

My friend Joe Plum follows a site called Atlas Obscura on Facebook and I find many interesting things on the site.
I don't have to follow it because Joe does all the work for me,but this article on GI Joe made me think back to childhood.

I knew about the origin of GI Joe and why the Vietnam War contributed to the downfall of the toy line,but what actually happened was memories of toys that I didn't actually have,but wanted desperately.

The GI Joe of my childhood was actually the least popular of the toys.
The original was extremely popular before the Vietnam War and the smaller figures that were re-introduced with the GI Joe "Real American Hero" cartoon series were the big hits for the toy line,but my age group was right in between those two.
My childhood featured the GI Joe Adventure Team,which didn't have the military aspect,but tried different angles to get kids to want the toys.
"Realistic" hair,Kung fu grip,"talking",beards and "eagle eyes" that moved were a few of the gimmicks that were used to sell the Adventure Team to an audience that had challengers from the Mego Super Heroes and other stars of the age such as Steve Austin-the Six Million Dollar Man and Evel Knievel..
It didn't matter much because the team didn't sell as well as their military counterpart or the smaller version of the 80's and other than guys like me from that narrow time frame,these are not nearly as well thought of by collectors or fans of the line

The line sold several of the "playsets" that such things sold through the years to kids to accentuate the figures and the one that I remember best was "Search for the Stolen Idol" which basically was a helicopter with a Buddha looking idol.
This (and secret of the mummy's tomb) looked to be the coolest thing that I could imagine and of course,I wanted all of this stuff.!

I really wanted the blond and red haired Joe because they looked so radically different from the standard Joe (there was an Air,Sea,Land,Adventurer and Standard,each with a different hair and beard color) and they would have been such a cool addition to my other toys.
Other than playing sports,I don't remember being much of an "outside" kid,but I do remember taking various figures outside and putting them in various scenes in my yard or even at my parents cabin on our weekend trips there.
Those toys might have been the only thing to get me out of the house!

In the end and I'm sure my parents would have no idea what I'm writing about or even remotely remember why.
I remember being pretty disappointed,which is likely kinda selfish,but I'll give an 6-8 year old a pass,but the story continues years later...

I'm walking through Wal-Mart and suddenly I see piles of these Joe's lying around.
I collected a lot more at this time than I do right now,but I had no idea why these were and ran to the shopping cart and the lovely Cherie with my find.
She wasn't quite so thrilled with what turned out to be a limited re-issue of the original's for Wal-Mart only.
In the end,I reluctantly put my haul back,steely in my resolve to buy them next week.
Next week,they were off to wherever unsold (or maybe someone bought them) toys go to-never to be seen by me again.
I think I'll get by,although they look so neat and they'd make a great display whenever the day comes that I am able to display such things-(keep in mind,if you happen to have these things-let me know),but I've got lots of cool stuff already (wait til you see the Star Trek figures).

All these memories (or in this case non-memories) brought up by a website that didn't even write about what I really wanted!!!

Hope you enjoyed a little bit of reminiscing of G.I.Joe and his Adventure Team,drop me a line,if you like these types of stories....

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