1984 Cobra Firefly

Growing up, I had a clear sense of right vs. wrong, and always sided with good over bad. My favourite Star Wars characters were always the Rebels. I always saw the sports teams I cheered for – the Oilers, Jays, even the Pistons – as the good guys. And my favourite wrestler was always the […]

1985 Cobra Moray Hydrofoil

When I talk about my days growing up in Fort Smith, Northwest Territories, I will often refer to two people as my best friends in elementary school, Donny and Corey, since both functioned in that capacity during extended stretches. Donny had been my friend since Frobisher Bay in 1980, so we had two extra years […]

1983 Cobra HISS

As an adult, the idea of collecting action figures, vehicles and playsets that I didn’t own as a kid excited me. It was the gateway drug that got me hooked on collecting, purchasing the OG Kenner Millennium Falcon at Cherry Bomb Toys. A few days later, I went out searching for the GI Joe Headquarters […]

1985 Mauler MBT

It’s hard to doubt 1985 as the peak for Hasbro’s 3 ¾” GI Joe line. They released the definitive version of Snake Eyes with wolf, fellow icons Flint, Lady Jaye and Shipwreck, and, of course, the biggest toy ever produced, the USS Flagg. The military realism, which represented 90% of what we had seen to […]

Star Wars AT-AT

For me, Christmas 1983 was a fairytale as imagined by a six-year old. It was the transition year where GI Joe had made its initial strikes on Star Wars, but the two still coexisted in my world. My sisters and I woke up as early as our parents would allow and headed under the tree […]

1983 Polar Battle Bear

GI Joe should have had an impossible battle becoming my favourite toy, given my devotion to the Rebellion from 3-5 years old. But Hasbro killed it in marketing every aspect of the revitalized, reintroduced GI Joe line. For me, more than anything, I loved Joe because I could draw direct lines between the toys and […]

1986 Cobra Viper

In 1985, Hasbro was firing on all cylinders. They had the comic and the cartoon, and were telling great stories in each. The Joes themselves were extremely well designed – detailed, distinct and well-characterized. The marketing machine had been firing from the start of the line with the gorgeous card art, flag points and mailaway […]

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