by Brian Lashley
He fights for freedom; wherever there’s trouble, G.I.JOE is there. YO JOE! As a boy of the 80s this was a popular battle cry for boys combing the toy aisles. Oh, sorry, dad is filling in this week, didn’t want to confuse the readers.
Now in 2013 the boy is obsessed with all things retro-JOE. Hours and hours of the classic afternoon cartoons… check. Growing collection of comic books…check. Countless hours scouring the hallowed pages of Ebay searching for vintage toys…check.
The hits keep coming in the form of questions, which my brain has to go almost 25 years back to find the answers. It’s a wild and awesome ride seeing him get so interested in something that I had interest in as a kid. I also find it interesting that in toy aisles filled with so many toys, most are those that were seen in the aisles 25 years ago. Ninja Turtles, G.I.JOE, Star Wars, Transformers, and more I’m sure. The boy has had interest in all of the above thanks to movie theaters, and kids cable networks.
While visiting family over the July 4th holiday the boy was presented with a small box by my cousin. Once the box was opened, inside was vintage-treasure for him. My cousin found a mixed lot of action figures that contained you guessed it…G.I. JOE’s. Some were in pieces, which I can fix, while others though whole, but battle worn. Didn’t matter to the boy. He was so excited. “Who is this?,” “What side is he on?,” “Did you have this?,” was all I heard for hours. He could barely contain himself. Thank you cousin Blake!
So since returning home he has played with them non-stop and produced more questions. Over the weekend Mommy joined the club after purchasing a vehicle, not exactly vintage but based on a vintage design. He is completely immersed in all things JOE and it’s a blast. He gets to play and have fun and so do I, while also taking that proverbial trip down memory lane. The boy is even sharing his newfound knowledge with other children. He has hopes of starting a full-scale resurgence in popularity one kid at a time.