G.I. Joe has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. My grandparents had 12 inch figures and they were awesome growing up. I have always enjoyed the 3-3/4 inch figures and they were a huge part of growing up as well. 1982 was that magical start to the 3-3/4 inch figures and 1983 and 1984 where major growing years and each character got a unique figure, but they also had the file cards where each character got their own unique back story. The card art was also one of those great draws that G.I. Joe had, and I’m sure that drew me in to each character, especially when you got 1 figure and on the back you could check out all the other characters on the back, and that was a huge draw to want to get to the store and try and convince a parent that this was something you needed.
I don’t remember seeing a lot of commercials for G.I. Joe, but the sears catalog was a holy grail when it came to checking out the new line up for the season. 1985 was one of those magical years that produced some awesome figures and vehicles. One of the holy grails of G.I Joe toys was one toy every kid wanted, but me unfortunately have never had the pleaser of even seeing one in person, but that doesn’t spoil my thoughts of one day owning one.
At this point the G.I. Joe franchise was in full gear and it opened the door to create lots of cool figures and vehicles over the next several years, right up into the mid 90s, until there was a bit of a slump for a couple years. By this point I all but parted with the franchise, not because I didn’t like them any more, because I hit high school and work and girls became my new pass time. It wasn’t till after I was married and was very close to starting a family that I stumbled back into the Joe world. I had found some discount Joes at Big Lots and picked them up for a nostalgic reason. I went home to where I grew up and found any remaining Joes I had from my childhood and put a few back together and held on to them. Then in 2007 the 25th Anniversary figures rebooted G.I. Joe not only for me but millions of others.
Hasbro did an awesome job bringing back the G.I Joe name, but somewhere between 2007 and 2016 the Joe was different. Different from when I was a kid when I would receive one here and there for birthdays and Christmas. The price grew from Roughly $5.00 a figure to $60.00 a figure. The Joe was no longer a kids toy, now it was an adult collectable. Me I gave up on the modern Joes and decided to look back at 1982 through 2006 for Joes I never had. The workmanship has never disappointed me for the O-ring style Joes. Recently my 9 year old was helping me clean up some early 90s vehicles I picked up. He took a very fond liking to many of the spring loaded projectiles on the vehicles plus the battle copters were one of his favorites. The vehicles, the playsets, and the figures were just so cool to him. I believe that GI Joe could make a comeback as a kids toy, but for now, I will enjoy watching my son setting up all the vehicles and reliving my childhood through him. Long live G.I Joe.”
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