12 Joe A Days: Day 9
So to start over…on the ninth Joe A Day, it’s the 1982 nine back. I’m surprised that there’s not as much focus on cardback versions in Joe collecting as there is with other collecting circles like Star Wars. Maybe it’s due to the fact that 80s-90s GI Joe toy collecting is a “younger” hobby than Star Wars, or maybe there are just more, uh…particular and/or focused people collecting those toys from a galaxy far, far away.
Over the years, the back of the Real American Hero line’s packaging didn’t change much from this initial layout. The design is simple yet effective. The other current figures were cross-sold using small painted pictures rather than the standard toy photos. This practice continued for many years, and the effect was striking. Not seeing shots of figures themselves also added to the fun of finding each year’s new series, since the toys obviously varied from their package art. To further the mystery, the early years’ cards also called out specialties rather than code names. I was intrigued as a kid with finding out the new team members’ names. I suppose I was easily entertained.
In regards to package art, I was interested to compare the unadulterated art, tiny as it was, to the package fronts. I think I’ve said this before, but I’d love to have large scale prints of the old character art. Somebody needs to get on that. I’d buy a coffee table book of Joe art.
The file card naturally takes up a lot of the cardback’s real estate. This isn’t a knock against it, as the bio card concept was an important part of what made GI Joe come alive for me as a kid. The memorable Flag Point is there too, just waiting to be cut out and mailed in for premiums that didn’t even exist yet. The minds behind the marketing and selling of GI Joe in the 80s and 90s really tapped into the buying psyche of a generation. Many of us are still enthralled to this day.