Yo Joe! Quiet but not gone

Just a quick update, there’ll be some posts coming soon. Just didn’t want anyone thinking this blog had gone silent. But a busy couple of weeks (new job, new hours, etc.)

Very exciting rebuild on the way, which I’m very happy I was able to do.

G.I. Joe began, and ‘ended,’ for me in 1980s

Snake-Eyes, version 4, released in 1991.

Snake-Eyes, version 4, released in 1991.

When I think of my childhood and playing with my toys, it’s always my G.I. Joes.

I used to go outside and play in front of my apartment building with the figures in the dirt and bushes. They’d have elaborate adventures, battling Cobra while climbing through the branches and hiding behind leaves.

But as the 1980s came to an end and the 1990s began, my interest in the Joes waned. Not in the figures that I had, mind you. Or the animated series I watched religiously, the Find Your Fate books I loved to read or the comic books I still have. It was in the new figures and shows being produced. It was during this time that the figures started to get… silly.

Glimpses of this began in 1989, but really took hold in the years after.

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A little vinegar is all you need for those rusty old G.I. Joe action figure screws

Airborne's 30 year old screws have seen better days.

Airborne’s 30 year old screws have seen better days.

I decided to carry out a little experiment.

While putting Airborne back together again, I noticed something. The screws in his legs, as well as the one in his back, were covered in rust. Upon removing them I discovered that while the threads were nice and clean, the heads were pretty bad. The one that had been in his back was especially discolored.

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Heartbreak and regret: Tossed my G.I. Joes in trash and I don’t know why

What's an ex-Viper to do when all his friends are gone.

What’s an ex-Viper to do when all his friends are gone.

There was a time when I easily had dozens of G.I. Joe action figures. Many had been lost over the years, but I would say that at its height my collection reached around 50 at its peak.

I was heartbroken to realize the other day that many of my oldest and most significent ones are gone… and it was basically my own doing.

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There’s nothing worse than broken rubbers

The rubber o-rings on the right are from my old G.I. Joe figures. Both are probably around 25 years old. They've become dried out, cracked and broken in that time. The one on the left is a brand-spanking new one.

The rubber o-rings on the right are from my old G.I. Joe figures. Both are probably around 25 years old. They’ve become dried out, cracked and broken in that time. The one on the left is a brand-spanking new one.

Figured I’d take a moment to talk about the rubber o-rings I’m using to fix my G.I. Joes.

Contrary to what you may think, those aren’t regular old rubber bands that keep the Joe action figures together. They are actually plumbers o-rings, generally used to prevent leaky joints in faucets. The strong rubber circles can take a lot of stress, which is undoubtedly why Hasbro chose to use them.

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Getting started rebuilding my G.I. Joes

My assortment of unassembled G.I. Joe action figures

My assortment of unassembled G.I. Joe action figures

I recently cleared out the last of my stuff from my parents home. Hadn’t quite realized I’d left so many things behind in a place I haven’t lived in more than a dozen years.

One of the things I left behind were my old G.I. Joe action figures. I loved those things. Played with them all the time as a kid. And now they look like it. The figures are worn down, the details faded, their body parts all separated. The rubber bands that once held them together are dried, brittle and broken.

As a result, I’ve been left with a bag full of torsos, waists and legs just living free. Disconnected.

So I’ve decided to put them all back together again.

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