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Question For The Those That Grew Up In The 80's


Lady Jaye
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This is asked to those of us that were lucky enough to be around and old enough to collect The GI JOE A Real American Hero line in the 80's.

 

My question is this, do you remember the stores you would get your figures and ships at?? What were they named??? Do they still exist??? And what fond memories, if any, do you have of shopping with your parents????

 

I'm just curious as to what others remember of thier childhood. I know I still remember a lot of the stores that I got my figures at. And for several of my figures, I can give you an exact store of where I got them from, can anyone else do the same???

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I distinctly remember getting Tomax and Xamot at Sears. I remember looking at how cool the double pack was in the hardware section. I also remember Looking for a Storm Shadow in K-mart. I was trying to sift through the huge rack of joes. OH! And I remember getting a Scarlet at a Cracker Barrel! She was like the only Joe they had! But her rubber band broke the same day I got her and I remember throwing her away. I was so upset!

 

I sometimes can't remember what I ate for breakfast but I can remember all that!?!

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The store that holds the fondest memories for me would be Gemco.

That was the store where i first saw the Joe figures back in 1982, I can still vividly remember walking in there and heading over to the toy section and spotting G.I.Joe. I walked out that day with a Snake Eyes and Cobra Officer figure.

Another great thing about Gemco, I would call them up and they would hold figures and vehicles for me.

 

The other two stores i still remember finding Joe figures at were Consumers Discount and Toysrus.

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Well one of my memories of GI JOE collecting is a funny one to me. It was sometime in 84 and my mom took me to a dept store chain that was only in Texas, Joskes, which was later bought by Dillards. Anyhow they had a massive Toy Dept, like all good Dept Stores, on the fourth floor!!! Well I was looking at all the toys, and one cuaght my eye; Mutt and Junkyard. I thought his package was the cooolest!!! With Mutt shooting straight at me, wearing his awesome mask, and then Junkyard coming at me too. It was just to awesome. Anyhow to convince my mom that he was cool I pointed out Junkyard out to her and that none of the other figures had a dog!! The argument wasn't sound, but she got it for me anyhow!!!!

 

Ahh Joskes, so many memories of running up the escalator to the fourth floor and seeing that beautiful Toy Dept. Everything I wanted in one place!!! Sniff sniff brings a tear to my eye!!!

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Most of my Memories are of Sears and KB Toys.

 

When GI Joe first started coming out, you'd see them displayed all around Sears in the strangest places. I have vivid memories of finding all the originals there along with the Dreadnoks and my CAT II.

 

As for KB Toys, as I got a little older and I had an allowance, I would go to KB every Friday night with my Father and buy myself a new figure. It was like a $5 allowance. I have fond memories of buying my Stinger there and years later the Desert Fox.

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Right. I remember the TRU that opened up in Capital Plaza which was just a hop skip and a jump away. Oh when I finally got passed the annoying maze at the begining, remember that? And getting to the middle aisle and there they were an endcap display full of GI JOE's!!!!!! Oh it was a beauty to see. And when it came time for the new stuff to arrive, it was like a surprise all for me!!!!!!!

 

And let's not forget seeing the mother of all toys, the USS Flagg way up high for all to look up and gaze in awe!!!!! I probably could have got it had I saved my money, damn me and my need to spend!!!!

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I come from Covington, a small town about an hour north of Memphis, so, of course, Wal-Mart was my primary source. There was a small hardware store, Sanford's Hardware, were I found my APC. There was also a small department store called Ben Franklin's. But when we came to Memphis, there was:

Service Merchandise - I got my original straight arm figures there, Flash, Short-Fuse, Rock N' Roll.

Sears - I know I got the Crimson HISS w/ MMS there.

JC Penny

Dillards - I remember getting Destro there.

Woolworth's

Zayers

This was back in the day when EVERY store had a toy section.

Children's Palace - I got my USS Flagg there. We had Children's Palace before Toys R Us came to town.

 

Oh yeah, and the Naval Air Station Memphis Exchange.

 

And of course you could get comics in any corner convienence store, gas station, grocery store, Wal-Mart, Fred's, Target etc.

 

Sigh. Those were the days...

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Looking back, I think I bought GI Joes at just about every store around as a kid. I got my first GI Joe from my Aunt when I lived in Texas in 1984, and don't remember any of the stores down there. I moved to Missouri right before I turned 5, and remember getting all the Dreadnoks and General Hawk for my birthday. After that, I know I got a lot of GI Joes at Wal-Mart, Toys R Us, Service Merchandise, Target, and Venture. I left Missouri ten years ago, so I don't know if Service Merchandise and Venture still exist.

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Yup a toy dept in every store, and a comic book rack in every convenience store!!! Those truly sir, were the days!!!! Being a kid must suck now. Before you could go and get whatever you wanted because there was bound to be a store that carried toys or comics, now you have to go to the mall or one of those far off strip malls. Sigh I grew up at the right time!!!!

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Great Topic!

 

I had a TG&Y store in my hometown, which was the only dept. store for a few years until a K-Mart opened up. I remember TG&Y having this whole long aisle of nothing but Joes. The two that I have always remembered seeing were Baroness and the BAT.

 

In the next town over they had a Zayres*. That was a cool store. It was like a precursor to Target. I guess it later became Ames, and than something else and then went out of business all together.

 

For Christmas and birthdays and stuff, my folks would drive about an hour to the nearest "city"(pop:60-80K) to go to Sears. Thats where my Transportable Battle Platform came from #US1# .

 

A couple years after my first Joes a Wal-Mart finally tore into town. My allowance as a kid was just enough for a Joe figure a week, and when the prices went up, so did my allowance. My dad would take me every Saturday after he got out of work to WM and I'd get a Joe. If they didn't have it, we'd drive over to K-Mart and look for what I wanted. I remember looking for weeks for Hit and Run.

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Great Topic!

Thanks. I always try to think of ways to ask everyone what they remember from the good ole days!!! I love talking about our memories of buying GI JOE's and stuff. Glad you enjoy, and keep the stories coming. If need be, just tell one story and then come back and tell another, no need to rush. Take your time and enjoy the memories!!!!

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JC Penney was the first place I saw them. I also bought them at now-defunct Hess's (part of John Wanamaker's), King's, Lionel Kiddie City, Children's Palace, Service Merchandise, and The Globe Store (local dept store). The only thing I remember getting from Sears was the Crimson HISS set. Toys R Us and Walmart didn't even exist in my part of the US until I was in High School, Target just arrived there 2 years ago.

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Back in the late 70,s into the 80's(I was 5 back in 1979),The place that I bought a good portion of Star Wars,G.I. Joe,Transformers and so on was called TG&Y.They have been out of business sense the mid 80's.Walmart,TRU,Sears catalog,Circus World(KB Toys now a days)And so on.Thats where I found most the my stuff.

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My Wal Mart GI JOE stories were fond. Back before Wal Mart was this global beast that we all shop at, they were just located in small towns, like Family Dollar until recently. Well back home in Texas there is a town well known for bar b que called Lockhart, in fact if you've seen Varsity Blues, it was mainly shot there and in Austin. Anyhow as a lil girl weekend meant a lot of times we would take road trips to small towns, well Lockhart was a favorite becuase of Kruez bar b que. And afterwards we would always go to the Wal Mart. And there they had a great selection of GI JOE's and Transformers, but I'll tell that in the Transformer thread. ANyhow I distinctly remember getting Iceberg and Torch there in one trip. I think I got more in other trips, but they don't stand out for me!!! But all I know is day trips were a chance to get to a Wal Mart in a small city!!!!

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Well one of my memories of GI JOE collecting is a funny one to me. It was sometime in 84 and my mom took me to a dept store chain that was only in Texas, Joskes, which was later bought by Dillards. Anyhow they had a massive Toy Dept, like all good Dept Stores, on the fourth floor!!! Well I was looking at all the toys, and one cuaght my eye; Mutt and Junkyard. I thought his package was the cooolest!!! With Mutt shooting straight at me, wearing his awesome mask, and then Junkyard coming at me too. It was just to awesome. Anyhow to convince my mom that he was cool I pointed out Junkyard out to her and that none of the other figures had a dog!! The argument wasn't sound, but she got it for me anyhow!!!!

 

Ahh Joskes, so many memories of running up the escalator to the fourth floor and seeing that beautiful Toy Dept. Everything I wanted in one place!!! Sniff sniff brings a tear to my eye!!!

lol. wow thats awesome. I think the tallest dept store Ive been to was 3 stories. I couldnt imagine 4. your argument was funny too--hey it works though!

 

*sigh* I have to admit I dont have any memories of getting Joes as a kid, because Mine were hand-me-downs from my brothers, which I loved a bunch. I dont even know why I started playing with these toys...I think they were stacked in a small basket in my room with some hot wheels and other toys, and my imagination kicked in and I was game to start creating stories with them. All I remember having is Crystal Ball (the main character in my "Joe"verse), Ace, Zarana (key for ample 'love' scenes :D ), and Tamox/Xamot. I had lots of good times with those guys.

 

But I vaguely remember looking for MOTU at Woolco near my house, Kmart (actually still there--my mom works there part time even!), and "Richway" which became "Gold Circle" which became "Target". Those were the good old days.

 

It just never even dawned on me to ask my parents for new Joes when I was playing with them so much...I was so happy with what I had! Its probably best too, since they all got sold at an evil yard sale..

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Hey, Freedom. I'm in memphis too. I used to get my toys mostly at Zayres which was just a couple of blocks from my house. I would also go to Children's Palace, Circus World, Toys by Roy, and Fred P. Gattas. I miss Children's Palace too. They owned TRU. Well, I guess TRU owned them since TRU bought them out. Oh well.

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This is asked to those of us that were lucky enough to be around and old enough to collect The GI JOE A Real American Hero line in the 80's.

 

My question is this, do you remember the stores you would get your figures and ships at?? What were they named??? Do they still exist??? And what fond memories, if any, do you have of shopping with your parents????

 

I'm just curious as to what others remember of thier childhood. I know I still remember a lot of the stores that I got my figures at. And for several of my figures, I can give you an exact store of where I got them from, can anyone else do the same???

I got a lot of Joes at Target and at various grocery stores that sold toys.

I got a small few at Wal-Mart, but not many.

 

There also used to be a small store chain called "Winns" that always had a decent selection of both Joes and Transoformers, and I got quite a few of both from there. They went out of business in the early 1990's.

 

Locally, Albertson's, where I bought a ton of them, no longer exists in South Texas. It was ran out by a regional monopoly grocery store chain called HEB in the 1990's.

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Hey, Freedom. I'm in memphis too. I used to get my toys mostly at Zayres which was just a couple of blocks from my house. I would also go to Children's Palace, Circus World, Toys by Roy, and Fred P. Gattas. I miss Children's Palace too. They owned TRU. Well, I guess TRU owned them since TRU bought them out. Oh well.

Heck yeah! I forgot about Circus World in Raleigh Springs Mall!!

Zayre's on Hwy 51 right before the interstate!!! That's where I got my fist Yoda!

I never heard of Toys By Roy, but wasn't Fred P. Gattas on Summer?

I thought Children's Palace was the shis-NIT! The way the floor plan was laid out made the store seem a lot larger than when it became Toys R Us. That's where I where got Zartan and swamp skier. There was only one left and I heard another kid tell his mom that's what he was looking for, so I snatched it and ran! Now *sob* that store sits empty due to urban blight. sigh...

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I got a lot of Joes at Target and at various grocery stores that sold toys.

I got a small few at Wal-Mart, but not many.

 

There also used to be a small store chain called "Winns" that always had a decent selection of both Joes and Transoformers, and I got quite a few of both from there. They went out of business in the early 1990's.

 

Locally, Albertson's, where I bought a ton of them, no longer exists in South Texas. It was ran out by a regional monopoly grocery store chain called HEB in the 1990's.

 

Speaking of HEB, I distintly remember getting Recondo there!!! Like always it was the Friday grocery trip. And like always I would walk off to look at the toys. And there he was one of the most unique figures, with his awesome hat and mustache. He was soo cool And of course the card art was beautiful!!!!

 

Suffice to say I added him to the shopping cart!!!!! With or without my moms knowledge, don't remember!!!!

@loll@

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I would get mine from either TRU or Lionel Toys . . . which, in a strategic marketing move, were right accross the street from one another. If TRU didn't have it, it was a quick hop over to the opposite side of the street to see if Lionel did. I also got some of my early joes at a small store in a a small mall . . . I remember they had two rotating racks with joes on them . . . Crimson Guard, Snake Eyes, Eels, Snow Serpents, all there. It's just amazing how fun toys were back then, and how vast the selection was. Now there just seems to be the smallest space for action figures . . . when TRU used to have about 2 solid HUGE isles dedicated to them. It really kind of makes me sad that my kids will never have that joy of standing in awe of all the toys, and spending hours just looking around at all the different lines.

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It seems like there was a whole wack of stores where I got my Joes...

 

One that really sticks out was a store called Consumers Distributing, which was really cool. You went in, but it wasn't really a store. You looked through a catalog and filled out a form, and a guy went to the back and got it for you. Pretty weird. I LOVED getting their catalog, though - it had everything, and they put all the Joes, SW, and TFs in cool diorama setups.

 

There was also K-Mart, Zellers, Sears, Shoppers Drug Mart, and Toys 'r' Us (but we had to drive to the next big town, so that was a real treat!). There were some smaller chains as well - one was called Toys and Wheels.

 

What I remember most was that EVERYWHERE had huge amounts of GI Joes and Transformers. And the waves were HUGE and lasted two years.

 

Man, what happened? Is it all because of Walmart???

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I got a lot of Joes at Target and at various grocery stores that sold toys.

I got a small few at Wal-Mart, but not many.

 

There also used to be a small store chain called "Winns" that always had a decent selection of both Joes and Transoformers, and I got quite a few of both from there. They went out of business in the early 1990's.

 

Locally, Albertson's, where I bought a ton of them, no longer exists in South Texas. It was ran out by a regional monopoly grocery store chain called HEB in the 1990's.

 

Speaking of HEB, I distintly remember getting Recondo there!!! Like always it was the Friday grocery trip. And like always I would walk off to look at the toys. And there he was one of the most unique figures, with his awesome hat and mustache. He was soo cool And of course the card art was beautiful!!!!

 

Suffice to say I added him to the shopping cart!!!!! With or without my moms knowledge, don't remember!!!!

@loll@

HEB still sells Joes, but they tend to be a few waves behind. The last tme I was there, they still had JvC HISS tanks.

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