GI JOE could beat up your dad

by Crom

I was standing around, waiting for my brother the other day in Sears. I happened to be standing next to the toy aisle, and in a moment of regression, snatched up a plastic sword and had at the stuffed bear display. It broke in half. I quickly shoved it underneath several other swords, and made haste to the other end of the aisle. I came upon the action figures, the preferred toy of my youth. I was met with many episode one throwbacks, racing spectators and endless jar-jars. I picked up every ones most hated sidekick and made him run across a shelf. 4 points… that’s all. 4 points of articulation, and they were crappy points at that. He couldn’t bend at the knees, or elbows. Once again I was forced to compare this toy to the toys of my youth. GI JOE.

GI JOE was the toughest fucking toy ever made.

I personally owned upwards of 50 GI JOEs, now of course let me point out that when I say “GI JOE” I mean both the characters who belonged to said group as well as the dreaded COBRA. I had the best of the best:

Snake Eyes Storm Shadow
Roadblock (he had no competition… seriously)
Lady JBaroness
Duke Cobra Commander
Gung HoDestro
Bazooka Major Bludd
General HawkSerpentor

(Note: Serpentor was a chicken shit, he got kicked to the curb.)

The GI JOE figures had 10 points of articulation. TEN for Christ sake. How does 4 compete with that? He could move his head for one, knees, hips, elbows, shoulders, and his waist. His movement was ultimately the best of any figures to date.

This made him ideal for fast mission involving stealth, or if he had to kick a COBRA in the face. Also, his body was made from some form of plastic that for some reason is no longer produced. The only weak point on him, and I think anyone who ever had a GI JOE will agree, was his thumb. His god damn thumb … ALWAYS broke off. Well, not always, mostly on the ones you really liked. But, his body was damn near impervious. My buddy Nd used to stick firecrackers in them and detonate them, and they’d walk away unscathed (sometimes). You could melt him, burn, blow him up, smash him, throw him, no matter what you did, JOE kept coming back for more. Toys these days are useless junk. The toys of our day were constructed for the sole purpose of putting up with the abuse of children. Transformers were practically real robots. Metal pieces for their articulation (and since they transformed, they had a lot) made them unbreakable. I still have one of the Decepticons intact.

Considering that the Christmas season is upon us, this is an especially noteworthy topic. How many of the toys you buy your child this Christmas will last till Easter? I bet you it will be around 50% if you’re lucky. My GI JOEs lasted 4 years. Rumours of a re-production of the original Transformers float around the toy world. Most of those are followed by lit up eyes and “Holy shit, I’m on that”. Me too. Hopefully we’ll cycle around to quality toys again by the time I have kids. I have faith, I mean after all, it’s up to us. Have a great holiday people, and , YO JOE!

  • GI JOE could beat up your dad
  • by Crom
  • Published on December 1st, 2001

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