1983 GI Joe Product Catalog – Part 3
The 1980s were a grand time for playset fans, as most major toylines received at least one HQ or similar item as a play environment for their figures. GI Joe was no different, even in only its second year of the relaunch. The amazing Headquarters Command Center dominates the next section of the 1983 catalog. It sits on the same sort of rocky terrain that the figures occupied, only this time with a few more large stones dotting the landscape. The base is staffed mostly by the first series Joes, though Gung Ho and Airborne are present as well. The VAMP and MOBAT sit in the two vehicle bays, and the new Dragonfly XH-1 awaits flight on the helipad. It’s a wonderful diorama pic, and one that I’ve wanted to recreate.
Photo insets show off the main features of the playset. A side view, with the bay removed, provides a clear shot of the control center and stockade, and illustrates the depth of the toy. Figures have plenty of space to be moved about, and the quarters aren’t at all cramped. The stockade is featured in another inset photo, and though all of these shots are small, the components of the playset and its overall function comes across well. The small pictures just further served to whet the appetite of young toy fiends. You had to buy this thing to see all the cool details up close!
Next, Cobra gets its own special featured spot. In a nice little bit of integrated fiction, the photo is presented as a top secret shot of the enemy forces. Oh, and it’s been taken using special infrared film! I had no idea what that meant in 1983, but it sounded cool. This pic is taken at a lower angle than most of the catalog’s other shots, and provides a compelling eye level perspective. The HISS tank looks particularly menacing. There’s an onset describing Destro, and I can see the reason for the focus on the new Cobra agent, as I also remember the Destro push that was on TV, advertising both the figure and his Marvel comic appearances. But that’s a story for another post.
The bottom of this section lays out information for joining the GI Joe Mobile Strike Force. Kids could enlist for one year for a mere $5.00 and receive goodies such as dog tags, a GI Joe web belt, patch, membership card, and a newsletter. Man, I wanna sign up! If I hurry, I think I can get my application in before the deadline of August 31, 1984. Now, where’s my checkbook?
The cornucopia of catalog coverage will continue, with the GI Joe vehicle and battlefield accessory complement. Don’t miss it!