One indispensable tool I’ve found to help me identify figures and accessories, as well as playsets and vehicles is this book right here <CLICK> It’s called “The Ultimate Guide to GI Joe 1982-1994: Identification and Price Guide” by Mark Bellomo. It’s got great clear color pictures, it lists variants, accessories, and is just all around a really great guide for research or a trip down memory lane. When I got this book a few weeks ago, and started flipping though it, I was instantly a kid again saying “I remember that guy!” and “I remember wanting that SO bad!” So if you’re a Vintage Joe collector or admirer, I can’t recommend this book enough.
Saturday night while “window shopping” for Vintage Joes on Ebay, I came across an auction for a brand new Tomahawk. I never got a Tomahawk as a kid but I knew of it’s greatness from Donald, the kid who lived across the street. Now, this particular specimen wasn’t in a sealed box, but it was however, sealed in the original plastic bags. All of it. The parts, the sticker sheet, the Lift-Ticket figure, and the instructions all sealed in the exact MINT condition as when they rolled off the mass production assembly line. I had to have it, screw the cost. I’m not a Vintage vet yet, but how many times do auctions like these come across right? a SEALED Tomahawk! it just so happens that the auction was scheduled to end at around the same time I was going to be running some errands with my kids but I had my handy Ebay app all locked and loaded on my Iphone. I had nothing to worry about right? I started counting down the minutes and finally the auction was winding down to the final seconds. I was in a bidding standoff with two other parties, with bids flying like there was no tomorrow, price be damned! All was going well until my app became non-responsive. “NO, NO, NO, NO!” was all I could mutter as I looked at the upper left hand corner of the phone screen to see “Searching….” – That’s right, I lost my Tomahawk to a spotty signal. When I finally got my signal back the toy sold for a measly 194.94$ Some lucky SOB is going to have the pleasure of assembling my Tomahawk as if it was Christmas morning 1986. Oh well, You lose some you win some.
That was the response from my wife when I told her I was going to attempt to put together a collection of vintage 3 3/4 GI Joes. Like any red-blooded American kid who grew up in the 80’s, I have very fond memories of playing and carrying out missions with GI Joe in the schoolyard, backyard, and living room. Joe and I spent hours fighting the evil forces of Cobra who were hell bent on backyard domination. I had a pretty sizable collection of Joe’s that culminated one Christmas morning when I ran to the living room to find a box that as big as I was, No it wasn’t the Flag nor was it the Defiant, but as far as I was concerned was just as impressive. I’m talking about the Mobile Command Center. It was the grandest thing my young impressionable eyeballs had ever seen up until that point, toy-wise anyway.
Sadly, like most kids, I left GI Joe and my childhood behind when girls came a’ calling. I honestly don’t remember what ever happend to my Joes, Nor does my mom or so she claims. Throughout my adult life though I’ve always kept an eye on the GI Joe toy line and saw it go to bizarre places like adding Street Fighter and even Mortal Kombat characters to the teams and then back to it’s roots with the 25th Anniversary figures not to long ago. A few years ago Sideshow Collectibles started releasing high end 1/6th scale version of classics “A Real American Hero” era characters which I quickly started collecting. That’s when the fire was lit. I was instantly flooded with memories of all those adventures I had shared with GI Joe as a kid and so I decided, “to get the band back together” I quickly started doing feverish research on where the toy line went after I left. I started buying visual guides, started watching documentaries, reading Yojoe.com’s extensive database to get me up to speed on GI Joe. Here now, with this blog, I hope to chronicle my quest to complete my collection through photographs, stories of Ebay triumphs and failures, conventions experiences, and the people I meet along the way. Now you know…and I’m sure you know the rest.