G.I. Joe

G.I. Joe: “Real American Hero” no more

Now the Global Integrated Joint Operating Entity? What happened to “One for all and all for one?”

Murdoc never owned or played with any of the 80s line of G.I. Joes, but he played a lot with the earlier generations of Joe.

I had a plain jane Joe for which I acquired a cool diving set which included a bronze helmet, white dry suit, and hoses which plugged into a little mouthpiece you could blow in to (sort of) inflate the suit if you sent Joe to the deep end of the bath tub. The mouthpiece had a compass in it and I used that for many years. There were metal (real metal) weight shoes. Oh, and a black rubber octopus. Get yours here for only $499.

I had some sort of yellow and black underwater sled, like this except it was yellow where this one is white. Here’s a shot of the yellow one, but I don’t think I had the SCUBA gear. However, I might have had the harpoon gun, so maybe I just don’t remember. That also appears to be the giant clam with the computer inside that I thought had come from the diving suit set.

I also had the Secret Mountain Outpost, a sort of base with a locking door and radar antenna. One side of the base’s interior had a radar display, but I don’t remember what was on the other (left) side.

Later, I got a talking G.I. Joe. You’d pull a string in his neck and he’d say all sorts of cool and kick ass things. (“Let’s check with headquarters in Belgium first” wasn’t one of them…) This seems to be him, though I really don’t remember him being black.

I think, except for a bag of extra weapons, gas masks, grenades, and such, that was the extent of my G.I. Joe collection. I shifted over to the Six Million Dollar Man at that point, but you can bet that there were uncounted G.I. Joe – Steve Austin alliances over the next few years. Kicking ass and taking names (as long as there was time to take names) never stopped. My brother and I had other various 12″ scale figures, as well, and I sure wish I had some video of our games. My psychiatrist would probably be interested, as well.

The guy across the road had an extensive (and older) Joe collection, and when we got together it was basically critical mass.

My G.I. Joe toys were from the early 1970s, and it’s pretty cool checking out the stuff online.

Comments

  1. Any news of the GI Joe that was kidnapped in Iraq? Did we get him out alive? As a someone who grew up with hand-me down classic 12′ WWII vet GI Joes (oy, if I had them now. There’s my kid’s college education!), I thought GI Joe salt+

  2. OK, now I’m ticked I didn’t meet Murdoc until ’81. All my good ’70’s memories are out the window. MURDOC RESPONDS: In about 2nd or 3rd grade JD and I spent the night at ABs. All three of us had our Evel Knievels and we spent the evening shooting them along and over these long wooden ramps AB’s dad had helped him set up. Oh, and not all of the crashes were accidental.

  3. I had Joes when I was a kid too. I had the same diver kit that you had. That a bunch of other Joe uniforms. I’m still pist at my parents for selling them at a garage sale! BTW, I had the $6M Man too! Go JOE! MURDOC RESPONDS: The guy across the street had a boatload of uniforms, about three or four figures, and a TON of guns. My favorite gun, the one we all said was the most powerful one, was what turns out to have been an M-14. No poodle shooters for Joe.

  4. You sure were a spoiled brat. When I was a kid, all I had to play with was a broken hockey stick and a sharp piece of glass. MURDOC RESPONDS: We certainly weren’t well off, but I did have more than my share of toys as a youngster. I grew up in Minnesota, so broken hockey sticks were treated reverently. And I was never allowed to play with broken glass…someone might get hurt. So I drove tractor on the farm instead.

  5. Shipmates, I had the 12′ ones also, but mine had the Mercury Spacecraft and Astronaut suit, etc. Also had the Flight suit, survival raft etc. Basically anything to do with flying or space. Later, I graduated to the ‘Major Matt Mason’ astronaut stuff. Man, if I had it today I’d also be able to pay off the kid’s student loans. :) The nest stuff any of us had, though, was our army gear. Mattel, I believe, although it might have been Ideal Toy Co., made a series of ‘soldiers of the world’ playsets that included a helmet, grenade(s), canteen, weapon, etc. These were all WWII, and so you could get German, Russian, Japanese, British or American. Some of my friends had the German stuff, and others of uds had actual WWII surplus stuff, and we’d fight these huge battles in the lower 40, even digging foxholes along the irrigation ditches (which really pissed off my old man, dontcha know). Ah, the Halcyon Daze of youth :) Respects, MURDOC RESPONDS: Funny you mention the Mercury capsule Joe. In the basement of the house where my dad grew up I found in the mid-70s some old Sears catalogs (from the early-mid 60s, probably) and was very jealous of the cool Joe stuff (and other toys). The Mercury capsule was one that I kept looking for in stores, not knowing that it probably wasn’t to be had anywhere. Even back then toys were better in the olden days. I grew up on a farm, and there was a lot of room to run and fight small-scale wars. Unfortunately, living on the farm also meant that there often weren’t other kids around to fight with. I sure beat the living heck out of countless imaginary enemy platoons, though. Oh, and my brother, too.

  6. Jeeez, I always wanted the G.I. Joe diver or any G.I. Joe for that matter, but we simply did not have the money when I was growing up. We had a neighbor a few doors down that had the diver Joe along with the cooolest yellow hi-tech six-wheeled vehicle that had articulated parts and a sliding door that opened up. MURDOC RESPONDS: That thing was sweet. At least, it looked sweet in the store. I didn’t know anyone who had it.

  7. GI Joe – the 12 inch version – rocked. I had an Adventure Team Joe, who was ready to explore deep jungles and do all kinds of humanitarian missions. My (older) cousins had three or four complete with all of the WW II gear – helmets, packs, rifles. We had a neighbor a few doors down that had the diver Joe along with the cooolest yellow hi-tech six-wheeled vehicle that had articulated parts and a sliding door that opened up The vehicle was my Christmas gift when I was six. That was a friggin’ awesome toy. The cab unhooked for solo missions (it was tippy without the command post hooked to the back – don’t stomp on the brakes, Joe), working searchlight, maps, a frggin’ office chair. The back story was that a radioactive satellite had plummeted to earth and Joe’s mission was to find it. MURDOC RESPONDS: I had totally forgotten the whole ‘save the environment’/humanitarian mission GI Joe theme, but looking over the photos of the old stuff reminded me of it. One of the things that I had thought was cool about the Joe stuff in the old catalog was that it was WAR stuff. I remember being confused about a ‘Stormtrooper’ figure, though I can’t remember if it was GI Joe or not, because, of course, didn’t stormtroopers wear white armor? It was some serious stuff. Probably had a lot to do with the fact that almost everyone had had some part or other in WW2 and was a little more grounded in reality. I mean, seriously, was there much in the way of Smurf or Care Bare equivalents back then? Sort of reminds me of the post on the wussy Super Friends from a while back…and lo and behold there’s a comment about the original GI Joes in there.

  8. Ugh, what a bunch of crap. Laming out the title isn’t even going to help publicity overseas. A ton of people would go see it to relive their childhood, and everyone else who hates the US will see it just to watch our guys get shot. (Ala Blackhawk Down) Not that anyone ever got shot in the cartoons, but thats besides the point.

  9. ‘ had a plain jane Joe for which I acquired a cool diving set which included a bronze helmet, white dry suit, and hoses which plugged into a little mouthpiece you could blow in to (sort of) inflate the suit if you sent Joe to the deep end of the bath tub. The mouthpiece had a compass in it and I used that for many years. There were metal (real metal) weight shoes. Oh, and a black rubber octopus. Get yours here for only $499. Geez Murdoc. Didn’t you get the word? Those ‘real metal shoes’ were solid lead made in China. They were recalled by Matel years ago. Over exposure to those lead shoes affects the brain and makes the person grow up and want to be a professional blogger!

  10. And after ‘Team America’, will anyone take GI Joe seriously again (if they ever did) ?’ The things I loved about Team America: World Police, are: 1) It made fun of *everybody*. In today’s PC world, that’s not so usual. 2) Its not-so-subtle message has some validity. Nobody wants to be the world police, but somebody has to do it, and that somebody will likely be hated for it. But would the world really be better if nobody had the brass to act when action is necessary? I guess you can take from the movie what you want to. I think Trey Parker and Matt Stone have shown a great deal of understanding and maturity when you look through the layers of stupid (and sometimes disgusting) and childish humour. Besides, it made fun of Hollywood actors, what’s not to like? :)

  11. All this talk about 12′ Joes and Team America made me think you were going a whole different direction with this. I thought it was about Mitt Romney’s good buddy Larry Craig. With good Republicans like that in office, it’s no wonder we never got that ‘defense of marriage’ ammendment we were promised.

  12. I too had the Diving Joe. I later obtained the sub and a Helo for him… and while living in the UK he went mobile with an armored car. My brother and I spent hours in the pool with that sub…probably explains why I joined the Army!

  13. Being more a member of the Hasbro era, my G.I. Joe memories are divided between intense envy of my friends who had better collections than I did (which was most of them- some days I felt like Tom on the Mom Always Liked You Best album cover), and my devotion to the comic book. The TV show was little better than a 20-minute commercial but the comic turned out to be pretty darn good.