More GI Joe Anniversary Photos…
From 1994! Okay, okay, I’m sorry for the cheap ploy for views, but couldn’t resist. It’s Toy Fair week, there’s been GI Joe anniversary news, and I’ve been on a Toy Fair catalog kick of late. So what better way to cover a bit of a past Toy Fair catalog than with GI Joe’s last big anniversary celebration. It’s the 30th Salute. Without a really grand, all-encompassing commemorative series for this year’s 50th, why not take a look back at how the 30th was marketed to toy buyers? I can hardly believe it’s been 20 years since this all happened. It makes me feel really old.
I still remember finding out about the coming 30th Salute product via 1994 media outlets. I have vague memories of looking at flat, colored pieces of paper affixed together with staples. What were they called again? Magazines, that’s it. Tomart’s Action Figure Digest was the name of the ancient tome, I believe. Yes, it truly was a comparative information stone age, when one had to wait weeks to get the latest information from New York Toy Fair. Although, I guess BBS systems, Usenet, and email lists were around back then. However, I don’t recall much in the way of GI Joe chatter in the emerging new media. Regardless of how I came across them, I was absolutely in love with these photos when they surfaced, and couldn’t wait to get the figures in my hands. I suppose the marketing department did a fair job at hyping up some interest, at least wihin the adult collector segment. Despite the fact that
the marriage of eras in the modern small scale was incongruous, I was happy to see the 60s classics adapted into little guys’ format.
I truly miss this era of toy advertising. Gone are the elaborate environments, replete with rocks, foliage and even scale buildings. Instead, the promoted figures these days reside in a white void, and in many cases with Hasbro, are Photoshopped to give them an artificial detail that the actual toy paint jobs simply don’t replicate.
Old Toy Fair catalogs can also be a treasure trove of clear photos of unproduced and pre-production figures. For those of us who can’t sink fortunes into obtaining the rare actual items, the pictures serve as an economical alternative. I tried to serve these up in a fairly high resolution, if you view the images individually via your browser. Look for more coverage of the Real American Hero era’s final Toy Fair catalog soon, but for now, enjoy the 20th birthday of GI Joe’s 30th birthday.