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 […]

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 […]

1985 Alpine

Our house growing up had a central, split-level staircase covered in ultra-stylish, fire red, shag carpet. The stairs led up from the entryway to an open-concept, L-shaped hallway on the second floor that spanned the distance from my parents’ bedroom to the dining room. The floor of that main hallway was a continuation of the […]

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 […]

1985 Transportable Tactical Battle Platform

The USS Flagg, the GI Joe aircraft carrier, was a presence that hung over my life in grade three, and the years that followed, as it was such an enormous toy and clearly what everyone was gunning for leading up to Christmas in 1985. But there was absolutely no chance I was going to get […]

1985 Cobra Snow Serpent

A byproduct of growing up in a cold environment is a preference for snow-based figures and vehicles. Snow Job and the Polar Battle Bear are among my all-time favourites. I’ve also become fond of troops, as a larger representation of the Cobra forces, and in the simple, aesthetic appeal of having multiple figures in matching […]