1991, the year I got back into Joe collecting, was also sort of the birth of my adult geekdom. It began for me with the release of Heir to the Empire, the Star Wars novel that appeared to be the sequel story we had never gotten. The sudden appearance of a new Star Wars book was exciting. Did it mean a new movie, toys, etc? Whatever the case, I read it voraciously, and was hooked on all aspects of the galaxy far, far away all over again, from the movies to the toys. That interest also fueled other nearly forgotten remnants of childhood, GI Joe being one of them. I had seen the latest figures in a toy magazine that I had picked up to read about old Star Wars toys, and my curiosity was piqued.
So I eventually got up the gumption to make a trip to Children’s Palace. I hadn’t been there in years, and felt kind of weird about it. After all, what adult goes to a toy store to buy toys for himself? But the lure of the toys was greater than any potential embarrassment. I went in and perused the GI Joe section, and saw most of the current year’s figures on the shelves. I suppose I could have bought all of them, but two stuck out to me. The first was Snake-Eyes outfitted in a fashionable new blue getup. The other was an odd-looking fellow who I found intriguing even though he was unfamiliar to me. I picked up both of them. I was back on the Joe wagon, and haven’t looked back since.
Maybe I’m missing something, but Tracker sure has an odd look considering that he’s a Navy SEAL. He looks to me like he’s out on some PT rather than a combat mission. His look is just plain strange, and some aspects are downright inexplicable, like his Geordie-esque visor and high-powered running shoes. 1991 was of course the first year of missile-firing gimmicks, and although Tracker doesn’t include one, he does have an inflatable raft, a real first for a 3 & 3/4 inch Joe.