Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Lamar: A Real American Hero

I've talked about video games. I've talked about childhood fun. And I do believe I've talked about Transformers. With all these and other fun stuff happening in my life, some things have a tendency of getting overlooked. One thing that falls under this category grabbed my attention from 1983 to 1987. It's been around since 1964, but it's the mid 80s run that sticks in my mind. They are The Real American Hero - G. I. Joe.
1983, for my birthday, my parents got me my first G.I. Joe toy. It was the Dragonfly helicopter and it came with Wild Bill. I was all ready familiar with the cartoon that Sunbow produced and I thought it was the coolest show, even if at the time it was a five episode mini-series. Getting that copter strengthened my imagination about Wild Bill flying in and out of danger while rattling of some Texan metaphors at the enemy. Then Christmas came, and my brother and I were blessed with more fun. I got the M.O.B.A.T. (a motorized tank - batteries weren't included) with Steeler (he was great because his file card said he's from Pittsburgh - home of the greatest football team ever!) and my brother got the V.A.M.P. (a jeep) with Clutch. And so the battles began.
Over the next four years, toys and vehicles would come and go. My brother would get the Rattler (VTOL jet) and Firefly (wish I had him now) but by 1994, they would be all gone.
I don't know what happened to them. Like a lot of things, they were lost, sold, or broken. Of course over the years, if I'm at a flea market and see a G.I. Joe toy from the 80s, I try to get it. In fact last year, I went to this stand at the local farmers market and found a box of toys sitting there. I saw one vehicle I always wanted and ask the guy how much for it. He said he's asking $60 for the whole box. Well, the picture just above this? This Battle Platform was in the box. In the condition it's in, it's worth about $50 to $60. The wifey wasn't too mad but she wasn't too happy either. Me, it just ignited my search for the classic 80s toys. But everything changed. Yes Alex was part of the change, but on the G.I. Joe front, this man I've never met personally. He goes by the screen name Savage and he runs the website Old Man Musings.
Savage did an article about the 25th anniversary collection of remakes of the 80s version Joes. I was reading this, and thinking, yeah they're cool, but I don't know, interesting, but (bad English is all over my thoughts) I'm gonna pass. Until they came out with a version of a figure I had back in 87. The reissue of Battle Armor Cobra Commander completely changed my 'meh' outlook on the toy line. Detacthable hoses, small details in the figure and accessories, and the biggest thing, a removable helmet. That sold it for me!

I now have thirteen of them and plan to get more. It's tough though, not only getting the new ones, I'm still trying to get the stuff I had as a kid. Plus try to get the stuff I wanted but never got. I'm looking for the Dragonfly with Wild Bill (of course!), I'm looking for the hovercraft (it was called the Killer W.H.A.L.E.), and a few miscellaneous figures. Ebay has this stuff, but I hate online auctions. You never know what you're gonna get. So for now, I'll talk to friends looking to unload their toys (I won't cheat them either, I'm not a total heel) and check out yard sales and flea markets. Meanwhile, the Room of Doom grows smaller and smaller. Much to the wife's disappointment.. Sorry honey, but remember the biggest thing I collect in this world is your love. Catch you on the flipside and YO JOE!!!
Next Time: Alex - The Boy, The Legend, The Ladykiller
P.S. : One more shout out - Thank you, Savage! Check out his website www.oldmanmusings.com Tell him Lamar sent ya!


Anonymous said...

Just remember that collection you have is worth alot. But your family is priceless.

Savage said...

Yo Joe! You've got quite the collection. I'm lucky that I've got all of my original figures and a few vehicles too. (But no place to display them...)

We're super lucky to have good, understanding wives. :)

Paul said...

"Just remember that collection you have is worth alot. But your family is priceless."


Anyway, that's an incredible price for the battle station, much less for the rest of those toys. You'd have had to be dumb to pass that up!!