Gone, But Not Forgotten: Part 1 – 1982

As a child of the 80’s, I recall toy stores with entire isles dedicated to singular lines like GIJoe or Transformers being common.  Clearly just-in-time inventory systems were not widespread, and larger toy stores like Toys-R-Us and Children’s Palace often stocked like they were hoarders, preparing for a toypocalyse.  It made finding new toys easier, as well as making older ones less scarce if you were saving up to buy something special.

I once had grand plans to recreate that 80’s toy store atmosphere in my own collection.  In fact I did, collecting every single carded GIJoe figure from ’82-87 along with a lot of vehicles and foreign carded figures, all in one glorious sprawling wall-mounted display.  But once I did, practical realities set in, and I decided to liquidate.  The money and space I had tied up in these Joes was tremendous.  And then the elephant in the room was the dreaded “O-ring Dilemma”.

Spending countless hours over many many years amassing this collection, I learned how easily an expensive investment in vintage unopened Joes could turn to dust when a rubber o-ring decides to give up the ghost, rendering the untouched figure worth pennies on the dollar.  And the reality is that all of those O-rings will give up, sooner or later.  And rather than watch my collection slowly disintegrate, I sold the vast majority, simply holding on to the memories and photos of the awesome setup I had recreated.

This is that collection.  Bear in mind, I was not collecting for monetary value but primarily for nostalgia’s sake.  I was not concerned with pristine examples or AFA graded figures.  My figures had bent corners and little blemishes everywhere, and I was fine with that.  They made me smile every time I walked by, and that was the point.

I’ll be putting up a series of posts, each with a gallery of pics of the Joes I collected.  This gallery is from the first series of 1982 characters… gone but not forgotten.

Before anyone corrects me, I do know that the carded version of Cobra Commander didn’t come out until 1983, but the figure was available in 1982 as a mail-away.  As such, I still count him among the class of ’82.

Aaaaaaand, just for nostalgia’s sake, here’s a typical 1982 cardback.  Gotta love those 🙂

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