If you have had the opportunity to attend any Weekend of Heroes Expos in Glendale, California, you would have seen some of these scenes. [One day I will attend the Dragon Expo.] The Hellcat, a great airplane of WW II, above.

We wish you a nice day!

As stated in my bio, I have been a GI Joe collector for many years. The world of GI Joe was to me an adventuresome world where as a youth I could use my imagination.

Gen. George Patton and his Third Army field commanders over in Europe. Kindly wait for movie to load. I have ADDED my GI Joe Club videos taken at Florida's DisneyWorld. If you click below, you would see my take on the world of the 12-inch action figures.

Over the life-span of some 40 years, I have seen the official GI Joe grow to a mighty Joe two times, from his debut in the mid 1960s. When he first came out in 1964 I did not get one, but I do remember by 1970 owning a Marine with black hair and a soldier with brown hair. My brother George had a red-haired army Sgt, and he was the boss.
Who was to know the brunet would be hard to come by. Believe it or not, I nearly flipped in Spring of 2005 when I finally got to see another “brunet” original Joe, in a 40th Anniversary box! When I saw him, WOW!!
It’s as if I found buried treasure on some island, and with not a soul around.

Diorama from the official 40th Anniversary GI JOE convention, convention held at DisneyWorld.

I remember well, in 1970 shopping with my mom in the big May Co and buying a clearance of original GI Joes, at $1.99. I still have them.
I do not remember when I got my first real-haired GI Joe, but I possess three, including an Afro-American (Tom Stone) and a bearded guy I quickly put into an Australian jungle uniform; he really looked like a jungle fighter.
Luckily, I never brushed off my admiration for GI Joe. One Christmas, I awoke to two beautiful GI Joe jeeps next to the Christmas tree, the Desert Patrol jeep with a blondie and a 5-star jeep with trailer and light. The Desert Patrol had another jungle fighter inside. Around this time, the Rat Patrol was still a hot TV show, starring Christopher George. He and his Rat Patrol team were in the Middle East blowing up Germans of the Afrika Korps and the Arab traitors with them. Unfortunately, I do not have either jeep and that is a long sorrowful story involving Goodwill and my mother I don’t want to talk about.
They say by 1977, Hasbro stopped making the 12-inch GI Joe, and for nearly 20 years I had forgotten all about it. Sorry, what was produced under the GI Joe banner from 1982-1994, I know very little.
The 1960s USED to be the only Golden Age of the 12-inch GI Joe.
Not anymore.

To make it short, the original line was fine, and the originals had fine packaging and innovative things--the originals still command collector’s prices, with original jeeps in the $500 range and up, but the assortment that became available from 1997-2005, I dare to say eclipses almost everything that was found in the 1960s by a country mile!

1/6 scale: Red Ball Express supplying U.S. forces going to Berlin.

1/6 scale: Red Ball Express ETO 1944 diorama.

One of the last 1/6 scale items that was sold about 10 years ago by Hasbro (above).

I believe the GI Joes from the 4 armed forces and action types of our current era have surpassed whatever was available back in the 1960s. The original soldiers of the world were topped, too.

The original astronaut was topped, with the exception of the valuable 45 rpm record of actual recordings from the cockpit of the spacecraft--those were the days before computer chips. The clothing reproductions of today, intricate attention to detail and variety of assorted equipment both in the WW II genre and modern world have been so remarkable, that I honestly believe the 1997-2005 time period should deservedly be called the Golden Age.
This mini-era began after the 1994 30th Anniversary of Hasbro’s GI Joe. It saw the blossom of incredible figures, like Bob Hope, General Eisenhower, Buzz Aldrin, and Colin Powell.
You had nothing like them in the 1960s! By God, that’s only the tip of the iceberg.
Hasbro’s GI Joe line in this era had Nisei- Americans, Navajo Code Talkers, dolphin handlers with a dolphin too, hero firemen and dog-and-rescue guys, a range of Medal of Honor recipients, Tuskegee airmen, Apollo and Space Shuttle astronauts, and a whole range of Joes from big shots like General Patton to Audie Murphy to a wide-range of races, skin- color, nose jobs, eyebrows, eye-colors you can dream up. Truly remarkable stuff representing all-Americans.

Remembering 9-11

Center stage General Douglas MacArthur

More dioramas from 2004 including Mademoiselle Marie, a French resistance exclusive in 1:6 scale. Bott: Liberating the poor concentration camp prisoners deep inside Nazi Germany, 1945.

Lamentably, the Hasbro line of 12-inch GI Joe was announced that it was stopped after Spring of 2005. [I don’t think you saw them for $1.99 as it was in 1970 but if you looked, you might have found a prized 40th Anniversary Edition in Toys R Us for like $19.99.] Springtime was the timing. It is not easy to top the pose-moveability and durability of the original Joes made by Hasbro. The 40th Anniversary edition has the same vintage figure as the original of the 1960s, although the army shirt collar stinks, but that can easily be replaced.
It is the equipment and the astounding variety of the Dragon brand as well as some of the other competitors that are replacing 1/6 scale Hasbro, and they are extraordinary. I am not ashamed, however, to admit it but they are pricey. They produce quite a few items that seem better than Hasbro.
For a collector, it is part of the dream that forms the MODERNE era.
I admit, I’m lucky to: #1. To have lived through the original 1960s and now to be able to compare it. #2. Lucky to be a World War II historian. #3. Dam lucky, to be able to buy things I liked because the prices were just right (Admit it, computers and China made it possible.) But, like I said today the new items have like wow balooned in prices.

#4. When I have the chance, I like to attend some of the fun conventions where you can get some pretty unique items. #5. I am able to marvel in person at the things that are possible to share thanks to the awesome power of the computer.

Historically, the 1997-2004 marvels form a renaissance of all equipment and figures that will probably not be surpassed! ie. jeeps with cloth canopies, 9-11 heroes, WAVES, WACS, JUMBO TANKS where a 12-inch soldier can fit in (some with remote-control), space capsules, intricate Apollo space suits, rescue outfits, oxygen masks galore, knights in shiny armor with real cloth not plastic, remote control tanks, gigantic Bradley armored vehicles that you cannot buy anymore, Roman centurions with armor so shiny you can see your face in it, Desert Storm heroes, paratroopers with working parachutes and the list goes on and on.

Through the help of the computer which made miniaturization possible, we were even presented with the dark forces, bin Laden, Hitler, the Nazis and Imperial Japanese. Some were cheaply done, for $4.99.

Once upon a time, the Apollo astronaut with space camera, ancient Romans or Major Galland the Luftwaffe flying ace exclusive by Cyber Hobby (above) easily commanded over $70 bucks apiece. But, within the fantasy land of fantasy land, things you like today, BROTHER, you need to fish out 100 or 200 bucks each. I always wonder with the economy being lousy, why haven't prices dropped, too?
Iraqi Freedom Air Controller
USC football player
Miss Fear
The Blond Knight
Sportsman tents
Rosie the Riveter
F.A.O. Schwartz specials
Talking Leyte Gulf Set
T’is but a sprinkle of the remarkable Golden Age of the big 12-inch poseable figure, the adjectives knew no bounds during the heyday.

I will try to post more pictures, including Doolittle and some cool shots of Joes in dress uniforms including their descriptions.

Meantime, I will update an analogy on the Soccer World Cup which hit the international scene in 2014. If you want to Press Sentence