Friday, August 24, 2007


More Figures of Action

Last month I bloviated a bit about action figures, and I'm about to do so again, so stop now if that's of no interest to you.

Okay, so tomorrow I turn 37 years old. Not really any significant milestone, to be sure. But every year around my birthday, my parents ask me if there's anything I want for a gift. Usually I tell them not to go to any trouble, since I haven't made a big deal of holidays for years, and ours isn't much of a gift-giving household. But this year there's something I want that I can't buy for myself, so when they asked I had a ready answer.

See, we have a "no action figure" rule in our house, after I wasted a bunch of money ten years ago on toys that I had no reason buying. I've still got a huge box in the attic filled with nifty "figurines" of comic book and movie characters, which were purchased, allowed to gather dust on shelves or on my day-job desk, and then packed away when space became a premium.

But a strict interpretation of the "no action figure" rule says that I can't buy toys for myself. It says nothing about receiving them as gifts. And if my loving parents were to purchase one for me, it would be rude to refuse, right?

Which brings me to this.

Can you make that out? They're reproductions of the 1974 line of GI Joe Adventure Team toys, sold through Wal-Mart.

Adventure Team? Remember them? Only about the coolest that GI Joe ever got.

And 1974 Adventure Team means only one thing. Kung. Fu. Grip.

That guy right there? In the box? That was the exact model of Joe I grew up with, fuzzy "lifelike hair" and all. Mine was lost by the wayside years ago, and I shudder to think what a mint version would net on eBay. So in terms of recapturing my lost youth, picking a brand-spanking-new Land Adventurer off the shelf at Wal-Mart for just a few bucks was too attractive to pass up. (Of course, for accounting reasons, it's my parents paying for it, not me, so no rules have been violated.)

Of course, every Wal-Mart in the country immediately sold the damned things out when they appeared on shelves earlier this month, and a two city search came up empty.

Internets to the rescue.

Last weekend I found someone reselling one of these reissues for a not-unreasonable markup, paid the nice man, and then this morning I find this little big of awesome waiting on my front doorstep.

How kick-ass is that? Allison was taking Georgia to preschool as I was opening it up, and I had to assure Georgia that she would get to play with Daddy's new toy when she got home.

And the fun doesn't stop there. See, a couple of weeks ago I discovered that Diamond Select was doing a reissue of the original Mego-mold Star Trek action figures, starting with Captain Kirk and the Klingon. My Mego Kirk is one of my few toys to survive from the seventies, though his clothes disintegrated or vanished years ago. So the poor bastard has been knocking around in boxes for thirty years in nothing but his blue plastic underwear and black boots. This was the second thing my folks agreed to get me for my birthday, again skirting the no-action-figure purchases rule. And again, the local comic shop had sold out of this one, too. But once more, internets to the rescue, and by next week I expect to get this dapper little dude in the mail.

I'm tempted to take the clothes off this guy and give them to Naked Kirk, since he's suffered long enough. But either way, by sometime late next week Land Adventurer and Captain Kirk will be adventuring again, as they haven't for thirty years or more, only this time it'll be my daughter directing all the action. More than likely at this point that'll mean tea parties and dancing to Yo Gabba Gabba, but hey, it beats staying mint in the box, right?

Now, honestly, what else could a 37 year old want for his birthday, anyway?

(Oh, and Georgia has insisted that we have a birthday cake and party, and so we're letting her manage the whole thing. The people at the grocery store's bakery looked at us a little askance when we told them that the Winnie the Pooh birthday cake should bear the inscription "Happy Birthday Daddy," but hey, when a three year old is driving the bus, you take what you can get...)

How come with the Adventure Team, the black guy is the only one without a beard?

jeff ford
He grew one the next year, actually. Check out the Hasbro catalog from 1975, and see for yourself.
I was never a big action figure fan (my dad frowned on such things, lol), but that Kirk one looks really cool.
You want your GI Joe with the kung-fu grip? Check out what my buddy Scott McCullar is doing with this project.
He looks cooler clothed than in his skivvies, Howard, but yeah, the Mego Kirk stands the test of time.
Man, Jayme, that is awesome. I'm enormously jealous.

Well...of course he stands the test of time...he is Kirk.
he is "the" Kirk.
I love me my Mego Trek figures. Got the bridge set with the rotating transporter too. :-)
I'm jealous, Win. I only ever had Kirk. I did, though, have the whole Flash Gordon play set, along with the Gordon Mego, which I believe was one of the last ones they did. And amazingly that's one of the few toys of mine from that age to have survived more or less intact.
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