It was the way you played with the figures

  • The Day Our GI Joes Fought in a Real Jungle

    From our introduction in 1985, GI Joe 3.75 inch figures were the obsession of obsessions. They seemed more influential than the all mighty Star Wars, which by this point, was losing steam (not for me personally of course). They were released in our town as Action Man under the Toltoys brand. If you weren’t reading the Marvel comics, you weren’t in the know. One would assume these were generic army figures, but we knew they were GI Joes. Between a number of friends, we amassed quite a number of figures, although Cobra was poorly represented by only 3 figures. We had played legendary games on the top field and tree…

  • The Final Resting Place

    It was always devastating to lose a figure. A crushing moment! Search parties would last for days and turn up nothing. We never gave up hope however. Even years later, there was a chance they would show up. My earliest lost figure was part of the 1980 Hoth crew, but not of the 5 that perished in the 1981 tragedy. Rather, At At Driver’s fate was on very dry land at the same location of the fate of his friends.. Kilbirnie School! A game was devised in the 1 hour lunch break that had me digging some soft dirt up and burying my At At driver. Then he would be…

  • The Peroxide Baths

    I dedicated myself to collecting Imperials sometime in the mid 1990s. I would amass an army so large that the ultimate game could be played. That was the childhood dream. Though I knew that once the army was amassed, I would have difficulty playing a game as a grown up, it did not matter. They would display all so beautifully, if not nothing else. And that they did…. There came a time when my displays made way for other things. The figures were regrettably stored away in a dark draw. The figures, well they would be fine. I mean, we are talking about my Star Wars figures! What harm could…

  • Why I Quit Collecting and Restarted Filtered

    Ever felt overwhelmed by it all? I once was a dedicated Star Wars figures collector with my sights set to collect the original 92. This dedication was declared around 1987 during the GI Joe heyday. Star Wars had all but vanished and asking other kids for their forgotten figures, lying around unwanted at home, increased my collection big time! I even gave up my beloved GI Joe vehicles (VAMP, Cobra Copter, Snow mobile & Tomahawk) for swaps with glorious Star Wars vehicles such as the AT AT and Y Wing. After this GI Joe loss, I released my protective grip on all figures but Star Wars and allowed them to…

  • Good For Figures!

    Location scouts for our Motion Pictures I really loved action figure playsets! I would obsessively stare at them all so relentlessly in the Star Wars Collections catalogues. If I could play with them just one time, what concept of game would I devise? Then I was introduced to the Playmobil playsets at Kilbirnie School that were unrivalled in their glory. All but lucky fleeting moments in our journey. These elaborate toys cost a fortune and were actually rare in the shops in New Zealand where I was based. And there was the impetus for change.. The unattainable playsets went from dreams to reality! They were located everywhere and this really…

  • Jaws Craze

    Ahhh.. the obsession! Jaws, though a 1975 film, was still running rampant with influence in the 80s. We never got to see it in the cinema, but TV showings on a Saturday night, combined with our VCR taping it, set the stage for total obsession. Obsession for us was nothing but positive. Ahhh.. the obsession! Jaws, though a 1975 film, was still running rampant with influence in the 80s. We never got to see it in the cinema, but TV showings on a Saturday night, combined with our VCR taping it, set the stage for total obsession. Obsession for us was nothing but positive. Matthew and I began to create…

  • Phantom Menace Figures Ruled!

    Oooh the forbidden taboo! Well back in 1999, I loved The Phantom Menace. I had been waiting for the new films ever since reading about them in my 1990 Lucasfilm Fan club magazine. The article said Lucas would start work on the new films in 6 years time. My god! ..That’s a lifetime away! Turned out he was accurate and it was not just idealistic talk. With the Star Wars toy revival in 1995 with that reject first series of figures where they were bodybuilders, things were bleak. Then they took heed and delivered some sexy figures in the next line. So sexy in fact, I felt guilty of betrayal…

  • WWF Figures – Redemption!

    Ahhh 1995… Lets give away 23 LJN WWF figures and the Wrestling Ring! It was a decision fuelled with passion and kindness. I don’t regret those reasons for letting go of them. Besides, I was supposedly grown up. Well, that’s what they told me. A man who does not require toys lying around, especially the wrestling ones in a plastic bag outside in the shed. I bought into in this “Adult thing” for 5 minutes, but even that short time, it was too late… the figures were out the door. Over the recent years, I have missed them dearly. Finally, late last year, some proactive steps surfaced to numb the…

  • GI Joe Guilt

    Yes I destroyed the majority of my GI Joe figures in a vicious 3 year war from 1989 to 1991 (See Battle of Guy Fawkes). The fireworks I amassed did brutal damage! The reasoning was that I had dedicated myself to collecting the now old Star Wars figures, so I began swapping and burning these lovely GI Joes. A few survivors clung to life and lived on in isolation in the wash house. Beachhead, Monkeywrench and a rather clean Serpentor come to mind. I think we all liked our figures getting real battle damage during the course of games (As opposed to the fake offers of battle damage on say…

  • Battle of Guy Fawkes 1989 – 1991

    Oh how I loved fireworks! November 5th was celebrated as Guy Fawkes in NZ. An evening of explosive action. But it was the build up, days prior, that was most exciting! Taking a walk with some Double Happies and going for it. This was until, we came up with the Battle of Guy Fawkes! As mentioned, the Double Happies were it! The thunderbolts, that could blow up letterboxes tied together, were only legend by my time, long banned. The Po Ha’s (as we called them) would follow suit in 1990 but I did make sure I had some for the following battle in 1991. In 1989, my influential friend of…