Field Report: GI Joe Shampoo
by Jeremy Troublemagnet
Today, Joe A Day friends, we talk about follicle hygiene. Throughout life, until we’re bald, we’ll be using shampoo–and what better way to clean your lettuce than with some GI Joe soap! Today I have before you Flint, Bazooka, and Sarge Slaughter in all their rigid glory!
These beauties are from the mid- 80’s,some as late as 1988, as one of the pieces I’m missing is Storm Shadow wearing his ’88 uniform. The sculpting is well done in a cartoonish style that instantly brings to mind the Sunbow series, the colors are still bright and vibrant 25 years later. These are a throwback to the molded statues that carneys handed out as prizes at carnivals in the 1940’s,Superman being the most notable. There is also a Repeater bottle that I’m searching for. They rarely appear on E-Bay, and when they do Sgt. Slaughter is easily a fifty to a hundred dollar item. A quick perusal of YoJoe reveals that these were made by Ducaire Bioessence Incorporated hailing from the NY/NJ area. Apparently, this company made several different molds for a number of properties including Masters of the Universe, Silverhawks, Muppets, and others. These seemingly insignificant bottles seem to be quite in demand especially to collectors of kitsch or those who seek to collect the whole set. These were made of cheap plastic and the paint rubbed off with repeated play.Most of them were probably played with in the bathtub a few times after the shampoo was used. Most likely, the rubber head which covered the white screw cap probably went missing first, consequently moms probably threw the bottle out relatively soon, considering them clutter, which would explain their relative rareness. The characters they were inspired by were made in to action figures and sold in the millions and were cherished, but most of these bottles (probably not nowhere near the production levels of the actual toys themselves) did not survive the 90’s.
For some reason, there is an odd green tab molded to the back of their heels, most likely a culprit of the production process, but the answer is lost in the mists of time. Slaughter’s usual crisp campaign hat looks more like a boonie or bush hat, but overall the imperfections are minimal and the likenesses are nicely sculpted.It seems that two different paper stickers were utilized on the base, a full sticker (not shown) and another version with a much smaller logo and character description stamped on.
As you can see, they’re not quite in scale with the 12 inch statuettes currently being made by Hasbro. I’d like to get Repeater and Storm Shadow to complete the set,even if the Storm Shadow bottle shown on YoJoe is VERY ugly. In fact, I don’t understand why YoJoe doesn’t list Bazooka –could there be other specimens in some one’s attic just waiting to be discovered? Could it be that there are some molds that went extinct and were never documented–because, let’s face it–most people did not care to preserve such an odd item?