1985 Eels

Of all the environment-specific figures, the underwater troops might be my least favourite. As a child, I could imagine my bedroom floor being anything – jungle, grasslands, desert, snow, water, the surface of the moon, but imagining swimmers under my carpet required significant suspension of disbelief. Regardless, I owned all the frogmen – Torpedo, Eels […]

1987 Steel Brigade

The Steel Brigade promotion was a stroke of genius for Hasbro. In recent years, they had been pushing harder to make kids feel like they were part of the GI Joe team in commercials where kids shrink down to the size of the deck crew on the USS Flagg, in the 1986 catalog that featured […]

1984 Duke

I bought Duke in Banff, Alberta, in the summer of 1984. He was only the second Joe figure that I acquired from the remarkable third series. A few weeks earlier, my grandmother had bought me Blowtorch at the Bay in Fort Smith. She had come to visit our family in the Northwest Territories, accompanied by […]

1987 Cobra Commander

One of the more interesting stories my mom tells about buying toys for me involved the purchase of Battle Armor Cobra Commander. My mom was on a trip to Edmonton and bussed from her hotel to the mall to shop for my 10th birthday present and some stuff for herself and the rest of the […]

1986 BATS

My friends and I lost our shit when the series five GI Joes showed up at the Bay in Fort Smith, NWT, around May 1986. I don’t remember having a great fondness for Cobra’s Battle Android Trooper though. There were probably six or eight figures from that series, and a couple stragglers from 1985, that […]

1984 Baroness

My parents enforced a six-friend limit on invitations to my 8th birthday party, and that meant a few difficult decisions. The most significant absence was my buddy, Laren, who lived a few houses down the road from us. I couldn’t invite him, though, after his mother had forbid us from being friends in the aftermath […]

1987 Hardtop

1987 was the last year I was fully invested in GI Joe. I collected some of the carded Cobras and most of the Joes, but I didn’t go as deep into the vehicles and playsets as in previous years. The only vehicles I owned were the Mobile Command Centre and the Eliminator, so although Fast […]

1983 Airborne

Before the pandemic changed so much of our shopping habits, I was in Cherry Bomb Toys and was asked by Aaron, B’s second in command, “Who is your favourite Joe?” There are standard, expected answers for just such a question: Snake Eyes. Storm Shadow. Firefly. Maybe Flint, Roadblock or Destro. My answer was Airborne. Aaron […]

1984 Autobot Mirage

The mid-sized Autobot cars and trucks in the first series of Transformers were among the most impressive toys ever created. They were incredibly realistic toy cars and amazing robots too. I was really feeling Transformers the first Christmas they were on the market. But somehow many of the first series had already passed me by. […]

Top 10 of 2020

2020. What a terrible year! But 2021 will be better and we can take comfort in that. My family has been doing alright. We’ve been fortunate in our health and have tried to focus on the bright side. We’ve spent more time together than we would have in any normal year, so there’s at least […]