Make way for the Homo Superior.

Remember kids, the toy show is coming up this sunday! Keeping that in mind, I give you today’s article:

G.I. Joe is the greatest toy line of all time.

The reasons are many. Firstly there’s the truly kick ass animated series and comic books. Back when Hasbro brought G.I. Joe back they decided to go all out and really kick our asses. As such they commissioned a mini series “G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero” and it was awesome. the animation was of considerably higher quality than was the norm on North American television at the time. It was basically 5 episodes, meant to be played Monday through Friday. When it originally aired it came on our local networks as a special week long after school event. At the tender age of 5 it was truly epic.

So successful was this initial mini series that the greenlight was given to the second miniseries “G.I. Joe: The Revenge of Cobra”. In my humble opinion, this second miniseries was even better than the first, and by the time it ended its 5 day run, we were salivating for not only the toys but the accompanying television series.

With the phenomenal success of this second mini series, a third and final mini series was commissioned. This series “G.I. Joe: The Pyramid of Darkness” would lead into the animated series itself. Such being the case, the quality of animation was noticeably lesser than the previous 2 series. However, it was still sufficiently better than the majority of American animation of the day.

I know what you’re thinking: “Hey Geoff, that’s really awesome about the cartoon and all, but what about the toys?” Well, I’m getting to that. You see the cartoon and accompanying comic series brought to the toy line something that had been largely missing from the toy lines of the past: Story. Suddenly we had figures to which we could attach personalities and goals. I can’t even tell you how much this enhanced the experience of playing with them.

There’s more though, much more! Not only did these toys come with a wealth of imagination fodder, but they were also, technically speaking, the most well designed figures ever and remain so to this day. At 3 and 3/4″, the Joe line was the perfect size. They fit in your pocket easily, you could take them anywhere, they were nicely detailed, they looked like their characters form the show and they were small enough that detailed vehicles could be made for them that could be easily handled by children.

The articulation was the key though. Never before had there been a series of figures that could emulate human movement so perfectly. Suddenly a whole universe of action poses became available to us. They could look like they were running and not goose stepping. They could crouch, they could fight, they could hold their weapons. You could set up exciting action scenes. In short, they were as close as we were ever going to get to having a 3d cartoon we could mold with our thoughts.

Eventually the animated series and toy line ran out of steam, but it was a good long run. Today they’re coming back strong. The 25th anniversary Joe line is beyond brilliant and I hope it signals a return to the fun filled days of my youth, when the Joe team battled Cobra to keep the world safe and my afternoons filled with adventure.

Yo Joe.

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~ by Pagz on April 17, 2008.

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