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Memories of how it all began


Samantha
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I am starting this thread to hear others tell there story.

My story is as follows:

 

I began collecting in 1983 with my brother. He had a few cobra soldiers and Hawk with jump pack while I had a Scarlet. Our mother gave them to us after she found them at our local Gold Circle store. Our collection grew from there. We both delivered news papers and used our money to build our forces. I had two Hiss tanks, my first foray into army building while my brother purchased 4 Vamp’s. Our battles where governed by a set of two dart guns used to shoot at each others army, what you hit was damaged or injured and the person with the last figure standing one. I can still remember the sound of Joes and Cobras being hit into the air and then falling back wards onto the wood floor.

 

It is thanks to those memories that I became a collector of GI Joe. My brother and I still have most of our original guys and vehicles as well as many Kodak instant camera pictures of our epic battles. Since then I have picked up a few of the Valor Vs Venom toys but to my amazement it was the 25th anniversary that brought back my thoughts of long ago.

 

So how did you get into GI Joe collecting?

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I am starting this thread to hear others tell there story.

My story is as follows:

 

I began collecting in 1983 with my brother. He had a few cobra soldiers and Hawk with jump pack while I had a Scarlet. Our mother gave them to us after she found them at our local Gold Circle store. Our collection grew from there. We both delivered news papers and used our money to build our forces. I had two Hiss tanks, my first foray into army building while my brother purchased 4 Vamp’s. Our battles where governed by a set of two dart guns used to shoot at each others army, what you hit was damaged or injured and the person with the last figure standing one. I can still remember the sound of Joes and Cobras being hit into the air and then falling back wards onto the wood floor.

 

It is thanks to those memories that I became a collector of GI Joe. My brother and I still have most of our original guys and vehicles as well as many Kodak instant camera pictures of our epic battles. Since then I have picked up a few of the Valor Vs Venom toys but to my amazement it was the 25th anniversary that brought back my thoughts of long ago.

 

So how did you get into GI Joe collecting?

 

I was there from the beginning thanks to my dad. In 1982, when the Joes were first introduced to the aisle of Child World, my dad brought home Stalker. I enjoyed the figure--almost too much. It unfortunately broke soon after. But my dad then picked up Rock 'N Roll and the VAMP. Those survived. :) And they were just the beginning. I have fond memories of making trips to Child World and Toys 'R Us after school with my dad to add to my collection. I still own all of my original toys to this day.

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I'll be the first to admit, I was NOT there from the beginning. I did not experience GI Joe in the way many folks did... mine came primarily from the Battle Corps figures and DIC series. I was born in 1984, and while I loved GI Joe as far back as I can recall (There are childhood photos of a little five year old Tom playing with v1 Beachhead, Airtight and IG Destro) but the real mental bond formed during the latter years.

 

A huge help was my local Blockbuster and Palmer video - I would rent and re-rent the old Sunbow GI Joe flicks, with the very cool comic book style layout on the back of the box. To a kid, that's as good as sold. And considering my parents were video rental junkies, we ended up at those places once or twice a week! I was so into them, I admit there was one or two ocassions I accidentally "lost" the casette somewhere ; D

 

To me, I look at the Original 13 and know they're where it started... but for me, it's all about blue and red Flak-Vipers, Eco-Warriors, Night Creeper Leaders and GI Joes going to space. : D

 

Tom

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I actually started out with corps figures, made by Lanard, and only got my hands on a few gi joe figures that i can remember. my first was a 1993 cobra night creeper that i think we got from a biglots or k-mart or something. I was only 3 or 4 when those came out but they got me into that style of figures. I liked the articulation :) I got some sgt. savage figures and corps guys up until 1998 when i got a cobra winter 3 pack and the gi joe 3 pack with the divers and the stinger that was repainted blue/black. all of which are gone now except for firefly. but tru was far away and we never really got that far. I always got corps figures and vehicles from ames, k-mart, and the newly made walmart which were all actually in the same city as my house. Then when the figures started coming out again in 2001? my brother started buying me every gi joe figure he saw. My brother grew up playing with the original figures and when he saw these at the store he bought them all for me. he lived in Florida with his wife and would send me boxes of unopened toys all the time. he bought them for me up until 2003 and i was kinda on my own since then. grew out of joes for a bit and then came right back in not long after. I got back out of gi joe when the dtc figures started showing up in stores. they were pretty much all crap except for the vehicles. the 25th anny toys got me back into buying joes again, but now i've sold them all and am sticking to building up my arah collection... I'll never forget opening that huge box full of viper/mirage and venom cycles. it was the beginning of my army building

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My brother had this old G.I.Joe who I have no idea what wave or who he was and I thought he was cool and as I grew older I got these WWII figures and I thought they were Joes (cause I was dumb when I was 5 lol) and then Valor Vs. Venom, blah blah blah, got more and now I'm a big fan and like lots of other stuff.

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I use to play with naked, headless Barbie Dolls!

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Before 1982 the only toys I remember having that were not baby toys or preschool toys were little green army men and a dozen Star Wars figures.

 

In 1982 I was seven years old. I saw the Joes at a store called 3D and I thought they were the coolest things ever. They were army men but could do more than the little pastic guys and they were close to the Star Wars figures that I liked. I could only get one figure and I picked Zap. I think I picked him because he had the biggest weapon that could do the most damage. I think Breaker was my second and not long after that it was my bithday and I got the VAMP. For a few months I had Clutch driving the VAMP, Breaker in the passenger seat and Zap was trying to stand in the rack for the gas cans and man the gun. Before '82 was over I had a Cobra Trooper and Officer, Stalker, Grunt, Short-Fuse and the Whirlwind and Flak.

 

After that I got pretty much everything. Most of it I got on hollidays. Easter was when I got most single pack figures, medium vehicles I got for my birthday and anything I did not have by Christmas I got then.

 

It's pretty much been like that for the past 25 years.

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My first full fledged purchased figure was GungHo v1. The I got the Mail away Night landing... but at this point it was pretty much gonna be from the DIC series, and mainly the 87+ figures. Then i got a Countdown which got ran over by a bus, and in preschool got a ton of the 87' figures.. heat viper, annihlator, ect.

 

then when i got older i found the 98' joes at TRU and picked up a Trubble Bubble pack with viper.

The ordered a Tomahawk off the old Tomart boards and just went crazy after that.

 

I grew up on the hated time of the RAH run, and i loved all of it.

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I use to play with naked, headless Barbie Dolls!

 

 

its not disturbing untill you say they are headless! @smilepunch@

 

 

It was 1968, I was only 6 years old, and the long blonde hair was all I thought distinguished a woman from a man. Didn't give no mind to the boobies.

 

It fortunately caught the attention of my parents and disturbed them so, they ran right out and bought me a G.I.JOE!!!! btw....the barbie's were my two older sisters, my two older brothers only had models and hot wheels to play with. I was the first to require "dolls" and little green army men. @lol@

 

 

OH WAIT!! This is going back a little TOO far isn't it? My early days of G.I.Joe was in the 60's. :P

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I remember I had to go to the B-day party of a kid I didn't really like.

My Mom pulled 4 figures out of her closet and asked me to pick two to give to him as a present.

 

The Choices were:

 

Killer Kane and Draco from Buck Rogers

 

Snake Eyes and Rock n Roll from GI Joe

 

 

Poor kid never had a chance.

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For me it started in '82 at the age of 5, with the purchase of Zap. I remember seeing the Joes for the first time in a local toy store on an end cap. I also got Snake Eyes, Grunt, Scarlett, Rock 'N Roll and a Cobra Soldier that year. I collected them through '88 until I got the bug again in 2000.

 

The Sunbow cartoon was also huge for me, I remember coming home from school and watching it at 4 p.m.

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As a kid I think the first time I actually remember buying joes must have been around 84 cause i remember getting Storm Shadow on a trip to visit my Grandmother in Ocala Florida. I know i had Joes before that, cause i had a Vamp and I remember having Stalker but I don't remember ever having ANY Joes from 83. I know i had The Baroness, Blowtorch, Spirit, Ripcord and Recondo as well as the WHALE and the Rattler but i don't remember actually getting them. 85 is really when the MEMORIES of getting Joes started. I know that Christmas was one of the BEST ever! I got almost everything from the 85 Line up.. minus the Flagg... Then every christmas for the next few years i got 90% of everything Joe related on Christmas... I still remember waking up to find the Terrordrome in the living room! And then the Mobile command center and the Defiant the next year together!

 

Around 89 I stopped with GI Joe all together and more or less forgot about joes untill around 2000. I was surfing the web at work and stumbled across yojoe.com and it reignited the passion and it has lasted ever since!

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My first Joe piece was a RAM, and that was it. I didn't even collect Joes then as I was still heavily into SW. I think I had a Bespin Han Solo that I used as my 'Me'/everyman figure, and that was HIS ride.

 

Picked up issue #8 of the Marvel comics and got interested in the rest from that point. I got a few other pieces later as an early christmas kind of deal, including a VAMP and a few other figures, but still mixed them in with my SW stuff. Some time around then, I cannibalized the sidecar and Zap's bazooka to make a 'gatling bazooka' for my Chewie fig, which became my de-facto 'me' figure. He was my apocalyptic biker figure with a little BDU tarp vest (that I cut out of an old army jacket) and his bike and gatling bazooka. :rolleyes:

 

(I was a weird kid. I'm an even stranger adult. ;) )

 

After I 'grew' :rolleyes: outta that phase, I got the Viper/Falcon glider (and promptly broke both in 1 afternoon! How cheap were those F'ing things!?) Pretty much picked-and-chose what figures I wanted from that point on. Never really quit collecting, but would only pick up one or two here and there since then. Collecting bug bit down hard in '00 and pretty much been 'biniss' as usual ever since.

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Wow,

 

How it all started... Well, as soon as the lava cooled... whoops! My childhood from way back when. My dad didn't approve of us playing with dolls, so I missed out of the GI joe and Adventure team era. Fast forward to 1991. I'm heavily into Anime of the 80s (Robotech, Bubble Gum Crisis - the first one, etc) and here I walk into the toy isle of a local store with a friend of mine. There they were. 1991 12 inch Duke and Cobra Commander. At $40.00 each I snapped them up.

 

That's when my friend Karl started teaching me GI Joe: RAH class 101, and introduced me to a new world. It was ok, but when I went to the brand new thrift store that had opened about two weeks before, I went BERZERK! Karl showed me all the GI Joe stuff and I bought EVERYTHING I could find. In 1991, not too many people on our side cared about GI JOE. Two Rolling thunders at $10.00 each, and bags of Joes, mostly 83 - 86 for .99 cent a bag!!! At least 10 - 15 a bag! I must've gotten about 5 - 6 Cover girls, A bunch of Recondos, Dukes, Green Shirts (Zap, Grunt, Breaker, etc), Baroness, EVERYBODY!

 

The way I could tell that Joe was in his infancy on my side of the island, was the cashiers were snickering a little when I bought all this stuff! i was sooo in "Heaven", I laughed with them. I loved it! Later, the store I got Duke and CC at, dumped all the Battle Corp for 99 cents! Guess who was the ONLY ONE (Not even KIDS CARED???!!!) buying the Joes??!! Have you ever seen 25 Desert Dukes or 20 - 30 Cobra Troops in one sitting?!

 

Well, After three moves, and having to start collections over, due to needing to sell them to help financially, I am finally starting again! I started out with Power Team, and with the discounted prices of the GI Joe and Legion 5 packs, I put my Joes (5 sets) with the Power Team, and wound up getting over the year, 15 Cobra Legion Sets at $11.99 each. I am happy with troops, so I have yet to buy a single card yet. And here I am...

 

I got so into Joes, I took my Create a Steel Brigade figure's Identity.

 

SkyBuzz

 

YOOOOHHH JOE!!!

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I started collecting Joes by breaking into houses and stealing other kids toys... Since they all collected Joes... I soon had a huge collection going on but I sold them off pretty quick when the cops starts snooping around and brought over a search warrant.

 

I showed them I only had a few figures and didn't know about the 20 or so houses that got broken into... Funny thing about it was the Cops didn't care about all the TV's, VCR's, Atari's, Colecovision's and Stereos I had sitting around...

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I started collecting Joes by breaking into houses and stealing other kids toys... Since they all collected Joes... I soon had a huge collection going on but I sold them off pretty quick when the cops starts snooping around and brought over a search warrant.

 

I showed them I only had a few figures and didn't know about the 20 or so houses that got broken into... Funny thing about it was the Cops didn't care about all the TV's, VCR's, Atari's, Colecovision's and Stereos I had sitting around...

And that led to the nipple shaving.

 

It all makes sense now.

 

(In a Monk voice) Here's what happened. You kept getting stuck in windows while making your escape with the loot. (stops to straighten a picture) You found that if you shaved the hair off your nipples and oiled up you could slip in and out easier. But you forgot one important thing. The guy locked in your basement got ahold of a camera on got a shot of you shaving. (anyone have a wipe?)

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And that led to the nipple shaving.

 

It all makes sense now.

 

(In a Monk voice) Here's what happened. You kept getting stuck in windows while making your escape with the loot. (stops to straighten a picture) You found that if you shaved the hair off your nipples and oiled up you could slip in and out easier. But you forgot one important thing. The guy locked in your basement got ahold of a camera on got a shot of you shaving. (anyone have a wipe?)

 

Ummmm no... Why would I be breaking into houses without a shirt on and why would I have guys locked up in my basement? :huh:

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I played with Joes between 1987-1994. By that point I was 14 years old and well past the age of what was considered acceptable to still be playing with toys of any kind. With the Joe line canceled I moved on to comic book heroes. Mostly Marvel stuff but later Batman:The Animated Series figures. I did pick up some of the Sgt. Savage stuff and even attempted to play with them once but they just weren't the same. When the 15th Anniversary line came out in '97/'98 I was at first happy but after seeing the crappiness of the figures and out of fear that I would actually play with them if I bought them I passed (something I regret). I didn't play with my Marvel stuff (well maybe once or twice) and as such had transitioned to "collector" status. At one point I purchased a Power of the Force 2 Darth Vader figure. I was going to keep it MOC but after seeing a TIE Fighter Pilot figure that I thought was cool I bought it and opened them both. I soon became a Star Wars completest.

 

Then in 2000 when checking out the Star Wars stuff at my local Wal*Mart I spotted the RAH Collection 2-packs. At first I thought they were some kind of strange bootlegs because the names were all wrong. General Tomahawk? Chameleon? I was actually unemployed at that particular time in my life so I didn't get them. My brother however did end up picking up a few items. I thought they were cool so once I got another job I picked up a Rock-Viper/Major Bludd 2-pack to man my vintage HISS Tank (one of the few Joe toys from my childhood I still possessed) [i sold most of them to help fund my Star Wars collection]. Of course I didn't stop there. Next thing you know I'm moving on from Star Wars and concentrating on G.I.Joe.

 

I soon did a search online and came across YoJoe.Com. There I learned there was going to be a Joe comic and ended up joining the forums at Devil's Due. New comic and new figures after 8 years or so of nothing . . that was a more fun time to be a Joe fan IMO than even now. While some of the "new sculpt" era stuff was crappy I liked it for the most part. In fact I liked it more than I do the 25th stuff. Of course, back then I was still living at home and had money burning a hole in my pocket. Wish I had more of that now.

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I think my first Joe was a V2 Torpedo, the Navy S.e.a.l. mission set my uncle bought me when I was 4. Then I would get some 12-inch joes and 3 3/4 joes(all expenses covered by my unc, who I give credit to.). Then I got his left over VvV and JvC when he realized they were shitty figures. I at the time thought they where cool, which I now realize, they stuck! I have an ok collection of about 100. Then the 25th figs came out and those are my favorite joes and I'm also starting to appreciate the ARAH figs too.

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I was in 6th grade when I found the first issue of G.I. Joe the comic book in a pharmacy store. A few days later, my dad brought me my first two Joes: Stalker and Rock N Roll. It was all down hill for his wallet from there... I remember it was not that "cool" to get the female characters, at least not for a kid my age, so my sister started collecting them too and eventually I bought that part of my current collection from her. 1986-1991 those years were very aggressive, I worked with my grand father around that time and spent the money recklessly :) I got together with friends also collecting G.I.Joe around those days and we bought everything we found, keeping those troops in their packages. I still have all of those around (including my friends).

 

1990- Is it just me or anyone else thinks the collection started to go to the drain from then on? I remember seeing Captain Grid Iron and other figures and vehicles that year and thinking... "is not the same thing anymore". I decided to stop collecting them the next year.

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