The Power of Packaging: Big Jim by Jack Kirby

It’s Jack Kirby’s 100th birthday, and I wouldn’t be a good geek if I didn’t pay tribute. Although the man didn’t contribute to the GI Joe brand, he did some work on Mattel’s Adventure Team-styled competitor Big Jim.

While the Big Jim concept was interesting and the toys decent, things had to be shaken up a bit in light of the emergence of a certain bionic 70s Steve. Big Jim went from a staid, everyman outdoors/sportsman to full-on adventurer in 1975, gaining a team of operatives called the PACK, as well as a host of villains.

Who would you think could spark some interest within a series of toys that seem more than a little boring? How about Jack Kirby? The King contributed package and ad art to the series, and to me, it’s a real kick in the pants. That’s the power of Kirby–big, bold ideas and dynamism. I think that’s what make Jack’s illustrations irresistible. How can you not get excited for these toys? The only downside is that the action figures themselves aren’t nearly as compelling as the two-dimensional renderings. That’s the Power of Kirby! Happy Birthday, Jack!

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