GI Joe Stamp and Sticker Set
One of the often overlooked avenues of toy collecting is collecting items that don’t fall under the toy/action figure category. These products, such as magazines, clothes, stationery, etc., can be a fascinating avenue to consider when you’re all burned-out on buying toys. It’s hard to believe now, but during its heyday, G.I. Joe was a cultural phenomenon! Who could forget the Corduroy Bear TV special from 1984 that prominently featured a G.I. Joe train set, or the scene from the legendary 1985 movie The Legend of Billie Jean where the Helen Slater character writes an IOU for the G.I. Joe walkie-talkies she takes?
There are all kinds of really interesting ancillary G.I. Joe products that I like to collect as much as the figures themselves. Various issues of Cracked magazine that parodied Joe (G.I. Joke), paper plates, lunch boxes ,table cloths, puzzles, tissue, stationery, (believe it or not I’ve seen a Snow-Job eraser), coloring books, the official G.I. Joe magazine, and many more items really helped support the brand. Seeing how different companies interpret the Joe brand has always been fascinating to me.
I picked up some interesting items recently. First off are some G.I.Joe stampers. I have a Scrap-Iron stamp that is a picture of his standing missile-launcher, a nice Slugger stamp, a really cool Crimson Guardsman bust/stamper, and a BLAM! sound effect stamp, probably directly lifted from the Marvel comic. I like the Crimson Guardsmen stamp in particular, in any event it’s a good conversation piece. A quick curious glance at eBay suggests there were perhaps dozens of these made-at any rate they’re not too common.
I found the G.I. Joe sticker album a few years ago at my buddy’s comic shop. He gave it to me for nothing (Thanks, Don!) and one quick HISS Tank trade later, I had the whole sticker set plus the display box and a few unopened packs. Just looking at that display box and the price (29 cents!) reminds me of my teenage years in the inner city of Buffalo, going to the corner store to buy penny Swedish red fish, where the proprietor actually counted ’em out one by one using his bare hands….
The sticker book includes a “decoder”, basically a red transparent piece of plastic, that when laying over certain parts of the album, revealed secret codes and such. These kind of products, I find really interesting and can really make your Joe collection stand out.