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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