G.I. Joe wasn’t a go to toy line for me in my childhood years. I owned a handful of figures as a kid, mostly random buys from my mom. I don’t think I missed out on anything by not playing or buying Joe’s. Cut to thirty something years later… I’m stopping in vintage toy stores looking to buy the same G.I. Joe figures I had.
The first G.I. Joe figure I remember owning was Beach Head. I always thought this guy was some type of ninja because he wore a mask that covered his face but his eyes. But he was a Ranger, didn’t know that until years later. Beach Head has become my favorite Joe character.
The next set of figures I got all at once, looking back I remember playing with these three figures so much outside, mostly in a ditch next to a culvert. That became my outdoor play set for the Talking Battle Commanders. Hawk, Overkill, and Stalker. These figures had oversized backpacks that had a talking mechanism inside. When you press one of the three buttons on the backpack you’ll hear different phases like Yo Joe! Wipe Out, or Attack. Each figure had their own sayings.
Now! When it comes to vehicles I only had one and still think it’s the coolest G.I. Joe vehicle ever made, the Cobra Rage. This low to the ground two seater vehicle host a huge gun turret, rear land mine dropper, and many foot pegs for your Cobra soldiers to stand on.
The next figure I got was at a yard sale. I think the only reason I bought it because it was orange and orange is my favorite color… So, Incinerator made it to my toy box.
The last two figures are G.I. Joe branded but from two different lines. Street Fighter II Blanka, and Mortal Kombat Shang Tsung. Being a fan of both games in the 90’s I couldn’t wait to see toys of these playable characters, instead of four or six inch figures we got 3.75, the likeness was there for some, but have you seen Guile’s face or Ken wearing a red gee with weapons attach to his upper body?
Anyways… I remember Tsung having an action feature where his arm would do a karate chop. My dislike for action features was left when I found out something restricted my play time. Why could he just been like every other G.I. Joe, there’s nothing wrong with that model.
As for Blanka, yea he was wearing boots and had some type of weapon strapped to his leg but the figure overall was a good representation, minus the hairy parts. Green body orange hair.
Those were the figures I had as a child and now I have them again… These are the figures I never had but find them interesting. Zandar and Zarana, this brother and sister duo I knew nothing about until after I bought them. I thought they both looked really cool in neon and having that 80s punk style. Come to find out they are siblings to my favorite villain in G.I. Joe, Zartan.
There you have it my history with playing, collecting, and rebuying G.I. Joe. I looked at getting other key figures but I’m fine with what I have… I still need a Zartan, heard there’s a punk rock version like his brother.