|A Real American Hero...|
In 1982, my dad brought me to the States for the first time. I was 6 and had nothing but Star Wars in the brain. That’s all I cared about. Going to the “fabled” amazing store called Toys R’Us and getting me more Star Wars. Surprisingly, my brother, the same one who got me excited about Star Wars in the first place was suddenly telling me to FORGET THEM! There was this new toy that I should get….called G.I.Joe. G.I. WHAT? I thought what kind of toy goes by the name Joe? Star Wars just sounded so much cooler. But my brother was insistent….I MUST get a G.I.Joe.
So when we got to Toys R’Us, he led me straight to the G.I.Joe aisle. Admittedly I wasn’t really THAT impressed….they were the same size as Star Wars…but they sorta all looked the same….all predominantly green men. I don’t really think I spent too much time trying to figure out who was who….I just wanted to get my brother off my case so I grabbed the first* Joe I laid my hands on dropped it into the cart and headed over to the Star Wars aisle.
|Ok admit...he did look|
When we got back to our place I excitedly started opening all my Toys R’Us loot….naturally I opened up all my new Star Wars stuff but eventually, I came to the lone G.i.Joe. I did a quick scan of the package…the art work was nice enough…and his name was Short-Fuze and he was a Mortal Soldier (nope that’s not a typo…I actually read it wrong, he was actually a MORTAR soldier, not that I’d really know what that was back then). The name didn’t make sense…and it definitely didn’t sound as cool as Luke Skywalker. Ah well…I thought…might as well open him up. And almost instantly I realized the action figure I held in my hands was a totally different animal. All of a sudden, everything Star Wars got erased from my brain. This action figure was…..AMAZING!!!! He could bend his elbows and knees! He could twist his waist! WOW! But that wasn’t all! He came with ACCESSORIES! Well aside from his weapon (which admittedly looked a little wonky….I had no idea what a mortar canon was) he had a back pack and a helmet that YOU COULD REMOVE!!!! And as if THAT wasn’t enough….his helmet came with a clear visor that you could actually move up and down! Again….AMAAAAAAAZING!!!!!
|Hmmm...so he has a tendency |
to blow his stack...
After getting over my initial awe of this figure I quickly picked up the cardback which I initially tossed aside and soaked in every single detail. First and foremost there was the filecard…something no Star Wars figure had….it told the story of Short-Fuze, who he was and what his specialty was. It was so detailed that after reading it I felt that I was best friends with this guy. Then I looked over all the OTHER G.I.Joes that were available… and what initially looked like a bunch generic green clad men slowly turned into the coolest bunch of characters I had ever laid my eyes on and all I could think was that I HAD TO GET THEM ALL!!!!! At this point I was totally converted. Star Wars was nothing but a distant memory….ok from then on I still picked up an ewok or storm trooper here and there…but basically from then on out, it was all about creating my own G.I.Joe Mobile Strike Force!
|Even back then I knew that Scarlett was hotter than Leia...|
gotta love that uniform !
*Actually on second thought, I didn't pick Short-Fuze because he was the first Joe I saw, I picked him because he was blonde! Back then, Luke Skywalker got me thinking that all leaders were blonde, so I assumed Short-Fuze was the leader of G.I.Joe cuz he was blonde! Turned out my reasoning wasn't too far off...I just picked the wrong blonde!