Friday, August 5, 2011

The G.I. Joe Project

I've never been too big on collecting toys and not opening them.  I always thought what is the point?  Part of the fun in collecting is fiddling around with the actual toy.  I would never buy a box of trading cards and not open them so why do that with toys?  Well one reason is the packaging.  I've always been a big fan of how toys are packaged.  Unfortunately a lot of the toys aren't packaged (esp. blister carded action figures) in a way you can remove the toy without butchering the packaging.  I guess that's where my appreciation of Japanese toys comes into play.

Being a child of the 80's I have many fond memories of acquiring several G.I. Joe toys the Christmas of 1982.  I was full blown G.I. Joe until Transformers rolled into the scene 2 years later in 1984.  That didn't mean that I didn't like G.I. Joe anymore, it just meant my attention was divided.  When I had the opportunity to get a new G.I. Joe figure (or the rare opportunity to get a new vehicle) I always gravitated to choosing a Cobra character.  I guess I liked the crazy designs of the characters better than some of the "vanilla" G.I. Joe characters.

The appreciation for packaging and Cobra met in a head on collision when the 25th Anniversary series of G.I. Joe toys appeared nearly 5 years ago.  I'm not sure where I got the idea from, but I thought it would be cool to make a wallpaper like border around the top of my toy room w/ carded Cobra figures.  This idea led me to buying at least 2 of each Cobra character for the next few years.  One to open and one to hang on the wall.  I searched out some nice plastic cases to encase each figure in before going up on the wall. 

I was pretty successful as I found most of the figures easily at retail.  I was even able to grab the San Diego Comic Con (SDCC) exclusives of "Pimp Daddy" Destro and Cobra Commander to add to the wall.  Towards the end of the line my enthusiasm started to wane and combined with not being able to find the last 2 waves of figures readily available at retail I think I missed a few figures.

I started in the upper left corner and worked my way to the left, wave by wave.
I had to be careful not to set this top shelf too high or my Transformers would cover up the Joe figures.
"Pimp Daddy" Destro...the SDCC exclusive that started all the acquisition nightmares!
I love the little Head Robots Snake Headmaster! (far left)
The wall mounted smoke detector got in my way!  The DTC Copperhead (far left) was an after thought.  I didn't care for the DTC line, but Copperhead was another favorite character of mine.
So, how does it look?  Over time most of the figures have wanted to shift to one side so they don't line up as good as they did when I figure put them up on the wall.  If a section of my Transformers shelves did go up to the ceiling I'd have the figures wrapping the entire room.

I really wasn't planning on adding anything else to the wall until I saw the packaging for the Pursuit of Cobra (POC) toys.  Wow, what a beautiful design and far cry from the Rise of Cobra movie line.  About the same time however it seems that Hasbro started having distribution issues with the toys and I wasn't able to find many figures outside of the first wave.  Thanks to some unforeseen reason Walmart stores across the country have started to carry the G.I. Joe line again and the POC figures have returned to the pegs.  Recently I've been able to find a few that I drooled all over my keyboard when first saw the pictures online.  Since I've been able to acquire a few Cobra POC figures I decided these deserved a place on the wall in my toy room alongside the Cobra 25th Anniversary figures.  The problem though was did I really want to use clear push pins to attach them to the wall as I used for the figures high above?

I've been thinking about this for awhile and trying to find an alternative to putting small pin holes in the wall where it would be much more noticeable if I ever decide to take the figures down.  My wife has introduced me to the whole line of wonderful 3M Command products.  We've used a lot of the different hooks and what not to hang pictures, Christmas stockings and posters all over the house.  So I decided to check out the picture hanging section @ Walmart to see if there were any small hooks I could use for the G.I. Joe figures.  Luckily I found these:


Who knew 3M made clear mini hooks like these?!  I was excited to find something that could potentially work so I grabbed them and headed to the checkout.

This new Iron Grenadier looks so freakin' tough!
With packaging as beautiful as this how could I resist from wanting to display them sealed?  I decided to forego using plastic cases this time around and just hang the figures "naked".  The hard part of doing this is that the packaging needs to be pretty darn mint.


This Rock Viper's packaging didn't fare to well in the mail so he won't be up on the wall.  It's OK though as I can't wait to crack him open.  Just look at all the gear packaged inside.  I'll eventually find a Rock Viper specimen in better condition to display.

Eh...I may have to redo those hooks now that I stand back and look at them.  I hate being a perfectionist sometimes!
I'm really happy w/ the outcome of using these new mini hooks.  I think they hold figures really well and look great on the wall when displayed with other figures.  There are only 6 hooks per package so I'll have to pick up another pack or two before I can have all of my POC figures displayed.  I was in a hurry so the figures aren't as straight as I'd like them to be.  I knew I should have had my wife help me...she's good at hanging stuff on the wall and making it look good!

I know I've teased about sharing pictures of my whole toy room, but the room itself is a project of it's own!  I blame it partly on being so busy, being a new dad again and just a lack of time in general.  I promise that I'll get pictures posted once I sort through the room and get everything organized.  Until then you'll just have to settle for my carded Cobra collection!

I love the Tim Seely sketchbook comic.  I bought it and had Tim autograph it at the 2004 OTFCC convention in Chicago, IL.  Devil's Due had set up a booth since the G.I. Joe versus Transformers comics were just hitting shelves.  The poster is a 2003 G.I. Joe convention exclusive.
Some old Devil's Due comic cover posters on the back of the door.
Rock 'n Roll and Scarlett were two of my favorite Joe characters as a kid so I couldn't help displaying their carded versions.  Being a big Transformers fan I also tracked down their Japanese Takara released versions!
That's it for now, but stay tuned for an update on the progress (or lack there of) of organizing my toy room.

1 comment:

  1. Looks nice. I was only into GI Joe for a short period until Transformers came around.

    I can remember trading some Joe stuff for Soundwave once TFs hit the scene.