I'm a little late to this week's League question - Well, later than normal anyway.
This week's topic - Listicular Fortitude, Top Ten...
Much like last week, vagueness is the name of the game.
For my top ten, I decided to go with my most memorable G.I. Joe figures. As a kid, I had a ton of Joes. From figures to vehicles to playsets, my room was covered with them from wall to wall. However, I was a little late to the game, so I missed out on several of the classics that these days will set you back a second mortgage to obtain. My top ten list contains figures that are my favorites for a specific memorable reason, and not just because I thought they were rad....Which for the record they are.
Here we go;
1 - Barbecue (1985)
For some reason, 1985's Barbecue stands out as the first figure I ever got in the Joe line. His bright orange suit, mysterious mask and awesome ax lured me in as a kid.
Not only was he a great figure, but he was also featured in one of the most memorable episodes of the series,"The Viper Is Coming".
Though I don't recall which store I got this figure from, it would have either been the local Kmart - Which was actually useful for getting figures back in the 80's, or a toy store located in the mall. I'm leaning more so towards Kmart - Which coincidentally is where I also got all of my Willow figures back in the day.
2 - Hooded Cobra Commander (1984 - 1990)
As a kid my parents really didn't go in for the mail away figures all that much - With the exception of the early Star Wars figures. Perhaps I didn't nag them as much with the Joe line as I did with Star Wars.
Regardless, Hooded Cobra Commander was one of the very few figures I got via the mail, and mind you it was more so around 1985 or 1986 - Remember, I didn't jump on the Joe wagon until 85'.
Hooded Cobra Commander was also only one of the two Commander figures I had. I never got the original metal helmet version - At least I don't recall getting one. Instead, my next version was the all metallic silver suited version.
3 & 4 - Tomax and Xamot (1985)
The Crimson Guard Commanders. AKA Tomax and Xamot - Which blows my mind every time it dawns on me that Xamot is just Tomax backwards. For some reason I missed that for the longest time, and oddly enough keep forgetting only to have it blow my mind again.
Xamot and Tomax were the first Joe figures that a kid gave me when we were outside playing one day. It wasn't my birthday. It wasn't Christmas. We were just outside goofing around, and he said, "You can have these." Blew my mind!
Sadly, I don't remember who that generous kid was. In fact, truth be told I think he was just some unpopular kid with very few friends, and I happened to come across him one day outside playing. He may have even been trying to buy my friendship. Clearly it didn't work since I can't really remember him.
5 - Scarlett (1982)
Then there was an actual friend of mine - Josh McIntyre. Josh had a Joe collection that rivaled mine, and he even had the privilege of having the classics from 1982.
Scarlett became the first figure I (clearing throat) borrowed from Josh without his knowledge. Yeah, I know, right...What a terrible friend I was.
Before I moved away I gave the figure back by way of putting it back in his Joe collection without his knowledge. I even later confessed in a phone conversation with him (from many miles away) that I had taken it back when we were younger. He didn't seem to care at that point.
6 - Snake Eyes (1985)
Of course you can't have a Joe collection and not have Snake Eyes. Though many kids loved Snake Eyes as a character, and for hours of enjoyment of playing with the figure, I have a memory so vivid for a completely other reason.
Snake Eyes became my one and only figure I stuck in a Vaseline jar. I was playing one day, and however these things come about I decided that he needed to sink in a swamp of sorts. The jar of Vaseline became that swamp, and the figure was never the same again. His joints were a wobbly loose mess after that, and he never was able to stand again. He also retained a very slick texture.
Morale of the story - Vaseline and toys don't mix.
Side note - I was the uncredited voice actor of Snake Eyes in the show. Feel free to send requests for my autograph.
7 - Sci-Fi (1986)
It was right around the time that I first saw Robocop that I also got Sci-Fi. Bad parenting allowing a child to watch such a morbidly graphic film aside, Sci-Fi quickly became my G.I. Joe Robocop figure.
Paired with General Hawk's 45 caliber pistol he schooled Cobra villain after Cobra villain. I spent hours on the floor in my bedroom shouting, "Drop it," and "Dead or alive you're coming with me!" Of course this was all followed by machine gun noises and groans of pain. Good times!
8 - Storm Shadow (1988)
Much like Snake Eyes, you can't have a Joe collection without Storm Shadow. As a kid I never actually had the original version - Despite my memories telling me, "Yes you did." So, maybe I actually did. I don't know.
What I do know is that when I got this particular version of the character I had a blast!
I vividly remember setting up zip lines across the den of my parent's house and spending hours that day acting out a ninja based story surrounding the character. It was great times until I heard those dreaded words, "Bed time!"
9 - Low-Light (Slaughter's Marauders) (1989)
Low-Light here from the Slaughter's Marauders line is memorable for a very sad reason. He was the last figure I got in the G.I. Joe line as a kid.
Truth be told, by the time he found his way into my collection I was well on my way out of toys (as a child). Video games had taken my mind by storm, and I was more so into playing NES.
We were traveling from Oregon to Virginia when mom and dad stopped at a Toys R' Us off the highway - Probably because they were tired of hearing my brother and I saying, "We're bored!"
As I made my way down the toy isle I spotted the character and asked if I could get him. Even my mother said, "You don't play with them anymore." After my protesting, she finally said, "If that's what you want."
I think he kept me entertained for a few hours, and then was thrown into the pile of boxes I didn't open for years when we got to our new home. I guess mom was right.
10 - Steel Brigade (1987)
The last figure on my list is memorable for a sad reason as well. Steel Brigade was the one figure I wanted so very, very much as a kid, but my parents wouldn't yield. I filled out the mail away order form so many different times that I don't even remember how many at this point.
Every time I got a new figure that had the mail away offer I gave the form to my mom, crossing my fingers that this time she would bite. It never happened. As I said from the start, I had a lot of G.I. Joe toys. Sadly, this is one of the very few I was never allowed to get.
So there you have it. (Some of) my most memorable Joe figures from my childhood. There were many others, but since the list is limited to ten, I'll leave it at that. Maybe the League will have a "Listicular Fortitude II" round. Maybe I'll just do my own anyway. I don't know.
Other League members have jumped in already with their lists. Check them out if you're into the whole reading thing;
Brother Midnight provides a couple lists - My favorite being his list of spooky cartoons.
20 Years Before 2000 links ten commercials which popped into his head! Legend of Zelda for the win!
Toy Break also takes the path of G.I. Joe, and I swear I didn't read it until after I had mine typed up.
Mr. Smith's Plastic Bubble lists ten influential toy lines - Which G.I. Joe also makes an appearance on.
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