There was a certain call that could be heard on the playground where four square or jacks were cast aside and you would assume your code name. This led one to believe that a certain terrorist organization determined to rule the world was afoot.
Although battle only happened between 12:30 pm to 1 pm during lunch recess, it felt like it was on for days. One side taking good and one side bad strategizing how to conquer the jungle gym base or the launching pad known as the slide.
If you haven't picked up yet what I'm talking about, it just happens to be G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero! Now I know that this line has been around since the 60's, but I want to focus on the 80' version for this debriefing. There is so much to cover so let's roll out!
I received my first Joe when I was 6 years old in 1982. Now opening my birthday presents was a special thing, but I tore through the wrappers like "dey was cans" (Hello Pathfinder commercial). I was surprised that to my sight was not a new MOTU figure but a smaller army figure, a Grunt if you will. Grunt was my first G.I. Joe and was part of the start of a collection that still persists to this day. This figure has so many joints and accessories that it took a while for my little mind to process all that was presented. This was also an in with my dad, who is an avid WWII fanatic, to converse and to be into something more along the lines of what his favorite things are, military. If my parents only knew how many of these figures I would end up with after 30 plus years of collecting.
Playing with just one Joe is fun, but you need more! I mean who is he going to fight against: Skeletor, Darth Vader or Boss Hog? No, the card back had so many more figures to be gathered. Who is this Cobra Commander fellow? Is there more to this organization? The answer was YES! Now, I even got in trouble in school for quoting the back of Snake Eyes file card. I was only trying to keep America safe, thank you very much. Cobra could be lurking around every tree, rock or corner. I know I kept my school safe and the unseen forces were kept at bay. Your welcome St. Francis De Sales elementary school.
Now after getting a few figures, one quickly learns that there are vehicles to go along with all of these figures. Now I got the H.I.S.S. as my first vehicle, but my absolute favorite has to be the Killer W.H.A.L.E., a hovercraft of unsurpassed fun and espionage. One of my friends was lucky enough to possess the USS FLAGG. To put things in perspective, the ship was so big for his room that i was relocated to the living room for my sleeping quarters. So much fun, so big a toy, so small a room. That would be the last time I played with that toy, but the memory remains to this day. But my love for Heman remained, at this same sleepover, my friend had a rather large collection of Masters and I went back to my beloved Eternia to defend against the evil forces of Skeletor.
The majority of my collection came from, yet again, the Canton Texas flea market. I could go on and on about the fabulous finds there, but picking up Joes for next to nothing was the score of one trip! Plenty of Joes to go around, and multiple Grunt's that were intact, mine lost his thumbs and all accessories. Just a pale shell of who he used to be from all of the sandbox warfare.
There is so much to say and there will be more posts, but let this be my introduction to you about the wonderful world of G.I. Joe and the endless great characters. No save your flag points and send 5 with 1.50 S/H for your Fridge action figure!