Vintage Toy(s) Of The Week: G.I. Joe!

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In 1982 the 3 ¾ inch G.I. Joe figures came out to straight arms that could bend but not rotate and very basic molds. These vintage selections are the remains of my collection. Starting with a 1984 “Hooded” Cobra Commander, this was a mail-away item. The Commander had come with a small gun which snapped into his back—this is long gone… Reviewing these Joes brings back a lot of memories and even sadness. The sadness is caused by remembering what I had. I actually had the Terrordrome! Now how does something that big disappear!?

I had a few “Stuns” and now I am left with the “Python Patrol Stun” which is cool in itself, however the flags and engine covers are missing.  I remember having “H.I.S.S.” tanks 1 and 2 and Sgt. Slaughter’sTriple-T” tank and so many others.  My favorite though was a small, blue battle “pod?” called the “Cobra ASP”, that thing was so damn cool and could be towed behind certain vehicles.

Anyhow…my walk down memory lane can go on forever, so I’ll just describe what I am showing in the pictures.  In the picture with the full layout from the left is “Sgt. Slaughter” from the “Slaughters Marauders” figure line.  It’s simply a repaint of his tank top in blue.  He’s in great shape, they should make a movie figure of him—and he should be a surprise character in the movie—“Sarge, you let yourself go!”  Personally, because most of my figures were Cobra’s I thought he was cool.

The big Jet is called the “Phantom X-19”, it had everything shown and 2 sled missiles which are missing—also the figure “Ghost Rider” is missing.  I remember it was less than $20.

Next, riding the “Python Patrol Stun” are:  Front, “Annihilator”, and mail order “Major Bludd”.  “Major Bludd” was one of my favorites; he was pretty cool and had a bionic arm and this frightening aura about him.  “Annihilator” has his gun still but his copter pack is long gone, I can always open my “Matt Trakker” (Specialist Trakker) figure and give him the green one he comes with!

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Driving is the one and only ‘Hooded’ “Cobra Commander” which was described above, he really stood the test of time at 25 years old!

On the decks—left side are “Armored Cobra Commander”; AKA: “Fred VII”.  Described as still being The Commander, this was a great figure to take into battle, he still has his gun and back pack, I had to remake the air hose out of metal wire.  Behind him is a “Cobra Officer.” I remember getting him through the mail with “Major Bludd”.  On the right are “Alley Viper” in the orange and blue camo, he was my favorite character—the tough description alone made him cool, one bad ass soldier!  All of “Alley Vipers” weapons are there and his face shield is still perfect.  Behind him is “Frag Viper”, he is missing a lot, including his gun and an air hose, most of the grenades are on his back pack, and his tossing scoop is perfect.

The gold 2 wheeler is called the “Evader” and is driven by “Darklon” a cousin of “Destro”.  Except for one missile, it is complete, I even have his gun.

Along the bottom on the right are “Iron Grenadier”, “Tomax”, “Xamot” and “Big Boa”—they are lying down because their rubber O-rings have dry-rotted.  As luck would have it, I found a few places where I can get some new ones and then they will be revived!

The pile of animals featuring the “Hydro-Viper’s” Manta Rays and “Serpentors” snake are all perfect.  Assorted back packs and finally “Dreadnok”: “Gnawgahyde’s” hat and Boar.

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"Missile" Viper, Serpentor and Night Viper Customs.

The last group features some customs:  The paint is chipping, the joints are loose and the intended equipment is missing.  He was formerly “H.E.A.T. Viper”, now he is Missile Viper.

Being my number two favorite figure, “Serpentor” had been abused to the point of his cape becoming tattered string.  I had replaced his cape with a nice blue cloth and had to repaint him in some nice Cobra attire of blue and black.  There is some chipping, but other than the joints in his legs being loose, he is still in one piece.  Now I am hunting for an affordable “Serpentor” with his “Air Chariot”, but a 23 year old figure and vehicle is hard to find.  I might have to go with the current one that is available.

The last is in sad shape, he is the rebuilt “Night Viper”, I thought he was better loaded down with some tough equipment and that is what I butchered “H.E.A.T. Viper” for.

All in all, I look back and remember how nice the figures were, they were affordable and that is why I had so many.  I wish I could go back and tell myself to be more careful, but the reality is: The movie and 25th anniversary figures are new and improved, I have my own money and I’m a serious collector who takes care of everything as best as I can.  Most of the figures are affordable and I can collect to my hearts desire.

Tell me “Reader” what do you remember about G.I. Joe?

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