A big part of the play value in Hasbro’s 1980’s GI Joe: Real American Hero toy line were the vehicles! after all, the Joe brand transitioned from 12 inch figures to 3 3/4 inch figures specifically so that vehicle and play sets could be produced and sold at a lower price point. When the GI Joe line started in 1982 the vehicles and play sets were small and meek compared to the vehicle offerings from Hasbro that would come in the following years and ultimately culminate in the biggest vehicle/play set ever produced by a mainstream toy company, The U.S.S Flagg. The Flagg clocked in at a whopping 7 ft. long and in the toy collector circles is considered the stuff of legend. A complete Flagg is the pinnacle of a GI Joe collection. As a kid, the largest vehicle I ever had was the Mobile Command Center, I still remember the Christmas morning on which I received my MCC like it was yesterday. I ran to the living room to find the biggest present I had ever seen! I had no idea what it was so I ripped into that wrapping paper with fierce veracity and when it hit me as to what it was, I was in 1980’s kid heaven.In regards to the vintage collection that I’m putting together now and thus the reason for the blog, I’ve decided to concentrate on figures only for the time being and save the vehicles for a later date due to space and cost, but I wanted to touch upon some of my favorite vehicles I had when I was a kid.
I honestly don’t remember why, but I was very attached to the Bridge Layer tank. I think this might have been my very first GI Joe vehicle I played with as a youngster. This was one of those toys I took every where I went, I can still hear my dad yelling “Leave that thing at home!” hahah! I remember driving my Parent’s crazy because I would try to lay down bridges all over the place and at any time including in front of the TV when Three’s Company was on which she was none to happy about.
Ah the Skyhawk. I remember having a ton of fun with this awesome one seater. Even as a youngster, I absolutely loved this design, it didn’t look like an airplane, it didn’t have wings, and yet there it was flying around on TV in after school episodes of GI Joe! I really got a kick of the swivel engines on this toy. I would spend hours just pretending landings and takeoffs complete with kid powered sound FX – FWOOSH!
The Recon Sled actually came from a garage sale and was purchased by my Mom, so even though the vehicle hit shelves in 82, I got this in 86 I believe. This was a fun little guy that I played with outside on “jungle missions” and played with it till it broke. That was one well loved toy!
And finally, the Mobile Command Center! This vehicle was SO large that I couldn’t figure out how to play with it properly! There was so much to do and play with that it was a bit overwhelming, I think I even tried to ride it once. For the life of me I can’t remember whatever happened to this toy, but I assume my Mom sold it or gave it away, which is a reoccurring theme amongst collectors – Mom giving away all the precious treasures of our youth.So there you have it, just some of my favorite vehicles that I played with as a kid and am trying to reconnect with as an adult.
I really can’t wait to start adding vehicles to my collection, I might even cheat a little and buy one or two a bit early 😉
See ya next time!