1982 GI Joe Product Catalog – Part 2
Continuing on from yesterday, I neglected to mention the inspiration for going back to coverage of a catalog, and specifically the first year. When recording a recent Flag Points episode, I was struck by memories of the Christmas catalogs of old, sometimes also known as Wish Books. I would spend plenty of time as a kid looking through those wonderful toy tomes between September and January each year. If anything, these product catalogs could be seen the same way, although I’m tempted to call them Wish Pamphlets. Considering it’s close to the holiday shopping season, I thought I would indulge in a little flashback wishing.
The second part of the 1982 catalog focuses in the GI Joe vehicles. First up is what’s dubbed the Combat Series. These are the lower price point items that did not initially include driver figures. I say I initially because the JUMP would later be offered with Grand Slam. I don’t know who this is on the launch pad, as the boots and gloves look black. The designation of different vehicle classes would continue in later years, as assortment sizes were broken down into designations like alpha and bravo. The concept of movable and folding legs supports were a big feature for the year, and bascially anything without wheels had them.
The right side of the page focuses on the Battle Series, or mid-sized vehicles. Classics like the VAMP, HAL and SMS populate the display. Again, there are differences from these vehicles and what would end up on store shelves. Driver figures like Hawk and Short-Fuze have black visors rather than the familiar clear plastic, which make for a cool looking, if impractical design.
Like the file cards that were mentioned on the cover of the catalog, the equipment blueprints get a call out. This simple, yet effective addition to the toys’ mythos was another groundbreaking bit of marketing that really brought the toys to life for kids of the day. Speaking of marketing, the fact that the drivers can’t be found anywhere else is handily pointed out.
Tomorrow, we finally get to the single figures. Stay tuned, as some of the familiar faces of the 80s GI Joes’ first series may look a little different.