Archive for the 'G.I. Joe' Category

Toy Aisle Zen, 1987/1988: Rambo and G.I. Joe

Big Business 1988-4

Big Business 1988-2

Big Business 1988-3

Stills from the movie Big Business (1988), which I haven’t seen. Is Body Count a Rambo parody made specifically for the film? I can’t find anything on it. The toy store is New York City’s FAO Schwartz, once the oldest toy store in the U.S. and the scene of the famous Hanks-Loggia piano dance in Big. Owner Toys “R” Us  closed the store in July 2015 “to save money.”

That’s 14-year-old Seth Green in the shots above, by the way.

There’s more toy aisle goodness in 1984’s Silent Night, Deadly Night.

Target Toy Ads, 1985/1986

Target 1985-1

Target 1985-2

Target 1986

The first two are from 1985, and the last one is from 1986. I talk about Photon here. Some close-ups of the Karate Kid action figures are here.

I never had any of LJN’s Thundercats toys, but they look really good.

(Images via tOkKie-Pokie)

Christmas Morning, 1984: GoBots Command Center

Christmas Gobots 1985

You can also see a Cobra Rattler in the background. There’s another G.I. Joe box on the left. Can’t make it out.

All I wanted for Christmas in 1984 were Transformers, and I got GoBots instead. My bitterness has faded with time. The truth is, both Hasbro and Tonka made imaginative toys based on superior Japanese productions.

The Command Center commercial is great (“Your parents put it together”), and the toy is actually pretty neat.

(Photo via Miles Smith)

Christmas Morning, 1984 and 1985: G.I. Joe Headquarters Command Center and M.A.S.K. Boulder Hill Playset

Christmas G.I. Joe 1986

Christmas Mask 1985

The happy kid is Bo Nash. Competition among toy lines, particularly lines geared to boys, was never fiercer than in the ’80s. Despite the shrinking middle class, parents continued to save up and shell out to make their kids happy. My mom would often put toys and other Christmas gifts on layaway in the middle of the year, or even earlier, so that they would be paid off by Christmas. M.A.S.K. is after my time, and clearly derivative of G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero, but Kenner didn’t disappoint: the toys and package design are excellent.

G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero Shampoo and Liquid Cleanser (Avon, 1988)

G.I. Joe Shampoo 1988-1

G.I. Joe 1988-3

G.I. Joe 1988

G.I. Joe 1988-2

G.I. Joe 1988-6

G.I. Joe 1988-5

G.I. Joe 1988-4

Wacky. The art isn’t Norem, but it’s bright and catchy. The set came with tattoos, for some reason, and the Storm Shadow one is pretty sweet.

(Images via eBay)

The Art of Earl Norem: G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #3 – Fool’s Gold (Ballantine, 1988)

Norem Fool's Gold 1988

Norem Fool's Gold 1988-2

Norem painted the covers for all six of Ballantine’s G.I. Joe young adult novels, having previously illustrated covers and/or interiors for a number of G.I. Joe storybooks, two of which can be seen in full at Geektarded.

Even in space, apparently, Cobra agents are required to keep their noses and mouths covered.

(Images via Comic Art Fans and Yo Joe!)

Christmas Morning, 1982: G.I. Joe and Tron

Christmas 1982-1

Christmas 1982-2

Compulsive Collector (see lots more Christmas toy cheer at the link) patrols the living room on his G.I. Joe Laser Defense Patrol Power Cycle. Coleco released a number of Joe trikes and ride-on vehicles starting in 1982, some of which you can see here.

There’s an empty Tron Light Cycle box on the ground to his right. The Light Cycle (orange) is on his left. In the second photo, he’s holding the Tron action figure and the Raiders of the Lost Ark Read-Along record. You can also see The Pac-Man Album (1980), a two-sided picture disc, playing on a Smurfs record player.

As toy and game vintages go, 1982 was extraordinary.

Christmas Morning, 1984: G.I. Joe

Christmas 1984

Here you see the Cobra Stinger, the Cobra Rattler, the Wolverine, and the Dragonfly—some of the most beautiful toys ever produced in arguably the most distinctive toy packaging ever designed. I still get butterflies in my stomach when I see the boxes and cards.

(Photo via Eric Anderson/Flickr)

G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero Sheet Set (1985)

G.I. Joe 1985

G.I. Joe Sheet 1985-2

G.I. Joe Sheet 1985-3

G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero Underoos, 1982

G.I. Joe Underoos 1982

The ad is from The Evening News, December 8, 1982. The package and shirt graphic are below, courtesy of Yo Joe!

G.I. Joe 1982

G.I. Joe 1982-2


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