Tuesday, June 30, 2020

The Year of Joe - June 2020

Kind of a light month, given COVID19, starting a new job, and not getting first paycheck yet, and actually taking a vacation. During the last few days of the June, I focused on completing series 1 from 1982. Didn't finish but added two key figures and three vehicles. The goal for July is to finish series 1 - HAL, JUMP, VAMP and Clutch, Cobra Officer and Cobra Trooper, and if I find one for a decent price, Cobra Commander.

Monthly Recap
New Year's Day
New Year's Day Addendum

I added Snake-Eyes and Scarlett, two figures I had as a kid but sold off decades ago. Both of these are straight arm versions.

I was going to get Grunt, but being a Chicagoan and finding the Fridge with his hammer and card for a fair price, I jumped at it.

Also managed to pick up the following from a single seller. I had the RAM as a kid, but never the FLAK or MMS. All of them came with their blueprints and one catalog insert. Awesome.

Saturday, June 27, 2020

GI Joe - Remembering the Korean War - Second Diorama - 2ID Soldiers

Following up to yesterday's post...same weekend, out in the background, pulling out the 12 inch Joe collection. This image popped into my head because I had seen this photo.

Not sure if these guys are from the Second Infantry Division (2ID) - The Warrior Division. But the photo looked cool, all the more important because the Korean War was our first war with integrated racial units. At the start there were a few segregated units, but those dissolved quickly. I served in the 2ID so I always snagged any Joes that had the Indianhead patch on it.

The two soldiers up front with the 2ID patch are from Hasbro though the uniform came from the Soldiers of the World (SOTW) sets. The Captain in the back is a SOTW figure.

Pretty sure the jeep is from 21st Century Toys. The three soldiers come from the SOTW Heartbreak Ridge three pack.

Mine detector, mines, and barb wire come from Hasbro. The mines and barb wire are from the awesome D-Day playset.

Friday, June 26, 2020

GI Joe - Remembering the Korean War - My FIRST ever diorama - Inchon

The year was 2000. I had just finished three years being stationed in Korea and then out in the deserts of California. The GI Joe Classic Collection was in full swing but I was moving from temporary housing on different army bases. I got out in 2000 and bought my first home. One Saturday, I decided to take out my Joes and do some simple dioramas in the sandy corner of the backyard. No idea where the concrete blocks came from. Probably left in the backyard by the previous owner.

I used two Inchon Invasion Joes from Hasbro, the Navy Corpsman from 21st Century Toys Ultimate Soldier line, and Jack, the Marine Sniper in Korea from Dragon.

These were shot on 35mm film, so after taking the photos I had to rush to the local grocery store that had one hour photo to have them developed. Old school!!!

Thursday, June 25, 2020

GI JOE - Remembering the Korean War - 70 Years Later

70 years ago today, on June 25, 1950, the North Korean army crossed the 38th Parallel and invaded South Korea. The peninsula had been split into two halves of influence at the end of WW2, with the Soviets controlling the North and the US controlling the South.

It would be a savage war that cost the lives of over 54,000 US soldiers with almost 8000 still MIA.

The Korean War in a nutshell.

  • June 25, 1950 - North Korean forces invade the South.
  • South Korean army gets waxed. They had no tanks or anti-tank weapons because the US was afraid the South would invade the North. The South was also ruled by a corrupt dude.
  • US and allies pledge assistance via the UN.
  • US forces are woefully out of shape and training, living the good life while on occupation duty in Japan. First US units get waxed.
  • UN forces get pushed into a small corner of southern South Korean known as the Pusan Perimeter. This defensive position buys them time to build up forces. The North over extends its supply lines. They thought this war would be done in three weeks.
  • General Douglas MacArthur lands behind the North Korean forces via an amphibious operation at the port city of Inchon.
  • UN forces crush the North Korean forces and push them back up the peninsula.
  • UN now gets overconfident and decides to push the enemy all the way to the Yalu River, bordering China.
  • China not happy about UN forces being so close. They sneak several hundred thousand troops across the border at night. They have no armor or air forces. They are all foot soldiers, using camouflage and the night.
  • Chinese troops wax the UN forces again - look up the Chosin Reservoir. MacArthur and his staff continue to underestimate the Chinese Communists, who by the way, had defeated the Chinese Nationalists the last few years. Never get into a land war in Asia. 
  • MacArthur gets fired. General Matthew Ridgeway takes over and tells UN forces they will no longer retreat. They will die in place fighting.
  • The two sides fight to a stalemate for the next two years until a cease fire is agreed upon.
  • The Korean War is technically still going on.  There was no peace treaty, only a cease fire.

I served in Korea for two years - from late 1997 through the middle of 1999.  I loved my time there. The people were fantastic, the country was beautiful.

When I returned home from Korea, that was about when GI Joe Classic Collection was on the upswing. So over the next few weeks, I'll be focusing on my 12 inch Joe collection and the Korean War. Not just from Hasbro, but other manufacturers as well.

Starting with the Soldiers of the World series which were typically sold in KMart and Walmart. They cost about $10. Quality was not as good as Hasbro but they pumped out a lot of uniform sets which was pretty cool.

Next is the Hasbro Invasion of Inchon Marine figure. Comes with a BAR rifle and the climbing ladder.

Finally, the "Defense of Seoul" army soldier in winter gear. The interesting thing about this figure is that most of the soldiers didn't get winter clothing issued during the offensive into the North and it was minus 20 degrees most nights. Also, the bazooka this figure comes with couldn't penetrate the armor of the Communist T34 tanks. Not until they got the larger 3.5 inch bazooka. A great figure and another fantastic painting by artist Larry Selman. www.larryselman.com

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

GI Joe Classified Series Wave 1

I've waited for these for a loooooooooooong time. I always liked the Joe toys. Had several as a kid and am currently rebuilding a collection this year.  I know traditionalists would say the line has to stay at 3-3/4 inch because of all the vehicles, but I disagree. I think this new 6 inch line is exactly what was needed to put some energy and excitement back in the line.

Wave 1 finally showed up on my doorstep today. The case of six figures include Roadblock, Snake-Eyes (x2), Destro, Duke and Scarlett. Now, why wasn't there a Cobra army builder troop in the first wave, who knows. But this line is screaming for an army of bad guys.

So here are the individual boxes. I'll be showing more as they are free from their packaging. I think Hasbro struck a good balance between their original costumes and some modern design. Would have preferred completely original costume design, but this is still very nice.

And I need to retake a photo of Duke since I deleted the photo.