1982/83 Rock ‘n Roll

Of the original nine GI Joe figures released when the 3.75” line arrived at retail in 1982, Rock ‘n Roll is probably the best. The first series included a number of indistinguishable greenshirts, but Rock ‘n Roll was part of a subset of figures – with Snake Eyes, Stalker, Scarlett and Flash – that were […]

1988 Storm Shadow

My childhood playtime was devoid of the two most popular GI Joe characters from the ARAH comic world: Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow. I had once owned a straight-arm Snake Eyes, acquired from the hardware store in the village of Fort Simpson, NWT, while visiting family friends in 1984. But his arm snapped off at […]

1985 Armadillo

Growing up, selecting a group of friends to invite to a birthday sleepover was always a juggling act. When I turned ten in 1987, I decided to only invite three friends, starting with my best friend, Donny. I also invited Carlos, who had been a friend for as long as I could remember. He was […]

Update: September 2021

This summer was not the best for me, personally. A few weeks ago, I lost a cherished uncle. My Uncle Bill passed away rather quickly from bone cancer. I would like to have gone east and been there, in New Brunswick, if not when he passed then afterwards, to hug my mom and my cousins […]

1990 Saw Viper

I’ve admitted before that I was once addicted to teen dramas and no one called me on it, so here I go again… In 2003, I was living in Whitehorse. I had just graduated university in Edmonton, and had moved to the Yukon to take a job in product management for a telecommunications company. My […]

1994 Action Marine

As a kid, I left GI Joe while the 1988 figures were still at retail, and came back for a brief period in high school, finding the Shadow Ninjas and ordering 1980s Joes through mailaway inserts with the 1990s figures. But I didn’t stay with it quite long enough to find the 30th anniversary boxsets, […]

1987 Lt. Falcon

The 1986 figures were a high point for my childhood collection, as they carried the crescendo from 1985 just a little bit longer. Everything seemed consistent, and the GI Joe and Cobra sides were well matched. They were both grittier and more sophisticated. But by 1987, GI Joe and Cobra were moving in entirely different […]

1985 Cobra Rifle Range

You ever get the feeling that a toy might have started as an inside joke…? In 1985, Hasbro released the Cobra Rifle Range, a set that allowed the inept cadre of soldiers Cobra Commander had assembled to practice the skill they seemed to lack more than anything: hitting a target with their rifles. In both […]

1984 Mutt

1984 was one of the key years for the GI Joe brand. 1983 had created the recipe for continued success (evolution) and 1984 was the year that Hasbro proved they were committed to executing that recipe. The toys – headlined by the Killer Whale and Rattler – were incredible, and the individual figures really hit […]

1983 Cobra MSV

The Cobra Combat Set MSV was a Sears exclusive released in Canada in 1983. It combined two iconic GI Joe toys in the Vamp and MMS, cast in black plastic with dark grey wheels and Cobra decals. Unlike the two toys it was based on, the MSV was devoid of any driver. A Cobra Officer […]

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