A New Joe Memory

On the Flag Points podcast, we often discuss Joe memories with guests and one another. I don’t think I’ve shared too many on the show since my first apprearance almost two years ago. Of course, this blog is also an outlet for me to remember the old days (and sometimes not so old days) of my Joe collecting experiences. I had intended to write today about one of the new GI Joe Kreons, Flash. It probably would have been the usual fare for me and this blog. But a funny thing has happened after I’ve had this little figure for about a week, and my post has morphed a bit.

My son, who is just over three years old, has become incredibly attached to Kreon Flash. Normally, he finds most of the toys I buy of some interest, but it’s usually in passing, and he fairly quickly moves on to something else, especially his own toys. But Kreon Flash has been different. He’s been drawn to it each day for about a week now. I’ve been keeping all the Kre-o items safely tucked away when I’m not home, and we only play with them together. It’s hard enough keeping accessories straight when we play with the regular figures, and these things are just begging to get lost in the carpet. So they only come out when I can keep an eye on him during play.

It’s interesting to see his fascination with the mini figures, and with Flash in particular. I can’t blame him for being enamored with it. After all, its predecessor is still one of my favorite Joe figures. This one has all of the same attributes that hooked me all those years ago: the bright red chest pads, awesome laser gun, and most importantly, the visor. He’s constantly flipping it up and down, and when he does, I can’t help but see myself in him, as I’ve never really been able to decide whether Flash looks cooler when displayed with the visor down or up.

Seeing how much he likes the Lego styled figures, it’s no wonder that building toys are a bigger hit with kids than traditional action figures. In a time when GI Joe seems to be waning as a brand, and when at least one great former steward of Joe has called for the concept to be reinvented in order to stay relevant, this fantastically kid friendly angle may really be the way to go to keep things fresh and exciting. I’m certainly more enthused by the little blocky guys than I am with the latest wave of ultra-poseable, highly-detailed and accessorized main line GI Joe staction figures. The Kreons have hooked a three year old and a forty year old at the same time. Impressive.


  • Very neat post, Rob. I’m glad to see that kids are finding as much fun in the Kre-O side of Joe as us hold warhorses are. While I’d be sad if the Joe line as action figures falters post-Retaliation, if they can keep Kre-O going strong, I’ll be a happy Joe fan (though full disclosure, I’d kill for it to be a mass market line instead of a Toys ‘R’ Us exclusive). They’re really managed to recapture the fun of the brand with these little Lego guys and that’s something that I wasn’t necessarily expecting. I’m on record in the Anniversary Podcast as saying I figured Kre-O would be a “one and done” for me–I was only after the Thunderwave because I love Cutter–but HANDS DOWN Kre-O has been some of the most pure fun I’ve had with the Joe line in a long time. Don’t get me wrong, I love my figures, but anymore they just go on display after I open them. I don’t play with them, but darn it, Kre-O is fun to play with and is a cool concept.

  • None of the Joe Kre-o sets have been released down here. I did pick up a small Battleship one [its has a diver, scuba sled and alien] and i was quite impressed with it. It was great value for money. I have seen a few kids pick up the Kre-o sets with interest; which is good. It is so good to see kids play with toys and not electronic gizmo’s.

    I’ve taken to calling the diver from that set “Torpeedo”

    I hope to have a few of those large USS MISURI battleship sets one day so i can build the U.S.S New Jersey

  • It’s great that your son is keeping the torch alive. The 80’s line began with vehicles which worked like model kits, not unlike building toys where you have to put stuff together before play. That might be why the vintage line appealed to us much like Kre-Os do with today’s kids. They both involve mind development and offer a challenge of sorts.

    For the record, I kept Flash’s visor down unless it drooped under his nose, (same with other figures) which meant that the only way to go was visor up.

  • Really a great post.
    I just saw a picture of a friend/user on Joedios, Fabio Betsa, that’d be linked to this post of Yours: http://www.joedios.com/dioramas/showimage.php?i=45071&goto=previous&c= !
    Now my wife is pregnant of our first child, a male, and I am really happy! I’m dreaming about playng with G.I.JOEs (and naturally COBRAs) together, but not tha ARAH ones!
    YO JOE and let our “Joe world” go on!

    P.S.: I do not like Kre-O G.I.JOE, but I thank God they exist!

  • @ Neapolitan Joe-awesome set up and that Iron Maiden album T-shirt is cool-that’s a terrific album-the best since Dickinson rejoined the band. Up the Irons! We metal heads need more recognition in the Joeverse.
    As far as Kreo-s…my kids love Lego’s and they know they’re dad loves Joe so I was a little surprised how much my kids enjoyed putting the Command Center together. Once again, Rob you hit it out of the ballpark. The “play factor” with these modern-mini-statues is low. They barely even fit new vehicles they’re designed for! Like it or not, Hasbro has to bring the “fun factor” back to Joe somehow. I’ve constantly seen kids in the toy aisle walk right past the Joe figures as if they’re not there.

  • Awesome. Glad to hear it! I’ve been buying my nephews modern Joes for years, in part to get my retail therapy itch scratched and to not start my own modern collection, but also to get them indoctrinated!

  • Thanks Napolitan Joe! Congratulations for your first Child!! COOBRAAA!!!!

  • Congrats on the coming baby boy!

  • Great post! Maybe he will be talking about his first Joe memories in 30 years!

  • And that is what it’s all about. Watching someone you love discover the same joy as you did all those years ago. Building memories that will stay with you a lifetime. One day, your boy will be 40, and he will remember playing GI Joe with his dad. That makes the hassle of being a fan worth it, for you, and for him.

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