Monday, August 06, 2007


I admit...I'm really a big kid at heart! The neat thing about being a big kid is that I also have a wife that puts up with a lot...and even, on occaisions, allows me to indulge in something for no other reason than the pure joy of re-living the excitement and joy of one's childhood.

First...a little history: a long, long time ago, there was a humble, 12" soldier figure known as GI Joe. With his authentic military gear, spindly, jointed limbs, and painted hair and scar, GI Joe soared in popularity. Unfortunately, politics affected marketing (something that rarely happens today..not!) and the outcry over the war in Vietnam forced Hasbro to give GI Joe a makeover.

Enter..the GI Joe Adventure Team: "five rugged men with lifelike hair. They're outfitted for action...and they take their orders from this man: the Adventure Team Commander (voice of Commander: "I've got a tough assignment for you.")." No, I did not look up that spiel: I remembered it after all these years! The Adventure Team was less military and more into solving mysteries and helping people. There was a Sea Adventurer, Land Adventurer, Air Adventurer, and Adventurer. And, of course, the Adventure Team Commander, who talked and was one of my most treasured Christmas presents! I also worked my proverbial tail off at a summer job in order to buy the Sea Adventurer--the last one in the store! But I never got the rest of the team (that honor was reserved for my friend Billy, who was content to bring his guys to join my guys to form one team until he managed to get all five figures himself but I'm not bitter, really!). My Sea Adventurer was lost somewhere on a mission. I performed a voice box-ectemy on the Commander because I wanted to try his underwater scuba set on him. Unfortunately, I never could get the thing to work after that. And like most of the toys from my youth, the Commander vanished.

I moved on. I actually began a real collecting hobby in college with the 3 /4 inch GI Joes. I developed a fairly large collection before the sheer economics forced me to give it up. But I always had a fond spot for the Adventure Team.

Fast foward to a short time ago. I was in our local Wal-Mart with my wife looking for supplies. I told her I was going to the toy section to see if there were any bargain action figures for my "Playtime Parables" (a low-tech teaching techique inspired by the Kidologist's "Toybox Tales."). That's when I spotted them. I blinked...I could not believe what I was seeing. Four of the GI Joe Adventure the narrow, cardboard boxes! Apparently, they were a limited re-issue or something. And they were incredibly affordable. I held off the urge to jump up and down in front of my wife and say, "Oh, please, oh please....can I, huh? can I, huh? PUHLEEEESE...I'll clean my room, I'll feed the dog." I have more dignity than that. But my wife, ever perceptive to the historical value of my interest (and no doubt fearful that I really would cause the above described scene), told me to go ahead and get them.
So all I need now is the Adventure Team Commander. And the three or four guys that joined afterwards. But since I don't know how long the re-issue will last, this might be it. But that's okay. After decades, I have the Adventure Team.

Thank you, sweetheart!

No comments:

Post a Comment