The Power of Packaging: Emergency Rescue
GI Joe’s short-lived but super funky post-Adventure Team series doesn’t get enough exposure when the history of the brand is discussed. A few sites like 3DSuperJoes and Plaidstallions bring the SJ love regularly, but it’s difficult for me to write much about the toys themselves due to scarcity. I have a few more figures to share, but all require some repair, as the Super Joe joints and hands deteriorate. Not just some examples suffer from this, but all. It’s weird, and the leftover dust inside of the figures’ arms and legs is more than a little scary.
I recall seeing pegs full of Emergency Rescue back in the mid-80s during trips to a local closeout store. Not to tangent too much, but the place was called Dirty Don’s. The name was not a misnomer as the building was, well, dirty. Along with piles of overstock and closeout merchandise were pallets of more than slightly expired canned goods. Yikes.
Back to the matter at hand, I had no idea what Super Joe was back then, and passed on this oddity. I also remember a few Mego World’s Greatest Superheroes figures hanging out in the store, which I never bought. On the day I spotted the SJ gear, I picked up a copy of the first edition Champions RPG set. Score! I still love that game by the way, it’s a stats nerd’s dream compared to the Marvel RPG. Man, I am all over the place tonight.
Again, back to the subject. I find the Super Joe package art delightful. It is I daresay the most artful of all the brand’s packaging themes, yet the least recognized. It was produced by artist Mike Hinge, an amazing creator whose work was at once psychedelic and futuristic. Check his stuff out when you can.
Super Joe art is the kind of work that really needs to be preserved and presented in book form, if original paintings or even high quality packaging samples exist out there to document. I’d kick in if someone Kickstarted it. Heck, I’d do it myself if product was in reasonable traveling distance to photograph.
What is he rescuing: a radioactive gumdrop? This has that evolutionary step art. It’s sharp and less “artsy” than the earlier part of the decade, but not as literal as the ’80s (or the ’90s, when photos of the toys came into fashion).
I like that emergency rescue gear includes silver overalls.