Initially, I was going to treat Memorial Day like a regular Monday because my review backlog is really piling up of late, but none of the usual suspects seemed like a good fit. And it didn’t seem right to just skip the day either. Luckily, I thought of the perfect Joe.
I know there’s a lot of bad press revolving around G.I. Joe right now because of the delay in the movie and ramifications it could have on the franchise as a whole. I haven’t really weighed in on it because I don’t generally worry about G.I. Joe like I do other lines. While Hasbro must tread carefully at times with the franchise (and it’s definitely gone through some low periods), I don’t worry about G.I. Joe because, at its core, it’s based on a very permanent archetype: the soldier.
Pardon me, as I’m about to get a little philosophical about toys here… Some archetypes rise and fall as time goes on. Toy Story coyly pokes at how outer space replaced the wild west in the hearts of children. And science-fiction has long since replaced that simple interest in the real outer space. MOTU Classics simmers along despite a seeming lack of mass interest in its swords and sorcery core. The super-hero archetype is somewhere in the middle depending on the specifics. Hasbro makes a lot of money on robots. And Hasbro makes a lot of money on soldiers (even if they’ve occasionally made them not-soldiers).
When Hasbro brought the Joes back to the soldier archetype in the early 80s, I wasn’t quite old enough to play along. So I missed out on the earliest basic Joes like Grunt, Clutch, Steeler – the years when G.I. Joe was predominantly a bunch of green-clad soldiers with a couple slightly fancier dressed comrades. By the time I was getting Joes for birthdays and Christmas, there were orange-clad firefighters, bright red medics, and half-naked martial artists. While I cherish those guys and still love a good zombie viper to this day, I think GI Joe is at its best when it sticks near its soldier core.
My grandfather was in the Air Force and my uncles served in the Army, the Air Force, the National Guard, and the Coast Guard, but by the time I was born, all of them had served and retired, so I wasn’t exposed to the family aspects of having relatives in the military directly. It doesn’t sound right to say that I come from a military family, but I really do. One way that I have to remember that is G.I. Joe. My grandfather and uncles all encouraged my interest in GI Joe. They all had their favorites, from Cutter to Mainframe, that reflected their service. I never really thought about it at the time, but it’s always been something cool to think about since I realized it was their experiences that influenced their likes and dislikes.
I got two of my all-time favorite Joes from my uncle that had served in the Army: Footloose & Bazooka. As far as I remember, I don’t think those two ever did much together in the cartoon or the comic, but if you were like me as a kid, then you might’ve closely associated toys that you received together with one another. Martian Manhunter & Red Tornado became inexplicably linked in my Super Powers play because they were received around the same time, for example. And so, Bazooka & Footloose became two peas in a pod when I’d play with them. And since I never had the original Joes like Grunt, Footloose became my basic, de facto infantry trooper (fun fact: Larry Hama at one point suggested that Footloose be an update of Grunt!).
Footloose and Bazooka went everywhere together until something happened that gave Footloose an even more memorable role in my childhood. When I was maybe seven years old, I was playing with Footloose and Bazooka at the living room coffee table, a usual spot for Joe & Cobra battles. When dinner time came, I left the Joes at the foot of the coffee table and ate at the dining room table with my parents. When I went back, Footloose was gone!
To this day, nearly twenty-five years later, I still can’t tell you what happened to Footloose. My parents didn’t sneak away from the table to steal him (but leave Bazooka), there were no pets who could’ve absconded with one of my most treasured figures, the pesky little brother was still too small to move about under his own power. Footloose just wasn’t where I left him. My parents looked all around for him. They moved the table. They moved the couch. They checked the nearby black holes (floor vents). They questioned my recollection of events thoroughly and concluded I simply must’ve been mistaken. I know I left him at the foot of that table, but I’ll never know what happened to him. Continue to Page 2…
28 thoughts on “G.I. Joe Collector’s Club
Great review, ND! Your recent Joe reviews make me kick myself for not picking up the 25th figures when I had the chance. I’ve had no luck finding the Dollar General Joes, either, and with the movie being pushed back, I guess I won’t be collecting them this Summer.
I almost didn’t buy the 25th line either, so I can understand. Do you have DGs in your area at least?
There is one about 20mins to the South and another 35-40mins North. Neither of them have the Joes when I’ve checked.
Great review! I love the little backstory. And you’re right–the best thing about Joes is their, um, soldier-iness! That helmet and his webbing look simply awesome!
Thanks, Ewan! There’s just something fun about soldier figures.
I was gonna join the club this year but the whole store being down screwed it up so I’m gonna join next year and hopefully order an extra footloose when the store is back on my friends membership. Great review!
oh and I forgot to add that when I was young I lost a secret wars spidey in much the same way….
My friend and I once threw the Battle Beast porcupine up in the air in the backyard and it just…never came down. We looked for that thing for hours.
…because it was my brother’s, and we ended up having to buy him another Battle Beast two-pack.
One time while playing outside I heard a loud BANG and then something crashing into the street. I ran out there and down the road a little bit was a Robocop figure tied to a giant bottle rocket and all burned up.
The kid who did it must have been an executive of OCP.
I lost a Secret Wars Spidey too!!
Though, on him, my parents replaced him and then the originally magically appeared…
Great review. I enjoyed the backstory.
I’ve got a theory about what happened to your original footloose:
Do you have a time machine? If so, then it’s likely that you’ll soon use it to go back in time and steal footloose from your original self. Viola! Temporal closure of the unresolved event….
Or, you might not be recalling things accurately. I had the same issue with tiger force duke when I was a kid. He just disappeared one day and i was convinced I’d left him in plain sight in the living room. 15 years later, I found him in the battery compartment of my Return of the Jedi shuttle tyderium.
I love the idea of stealing my own Footloose! I have never gone back and picked up a vintage one…
And poor Duke? That’s a cramped living space for all those years. LOL
Pretty cool fig, especially to round out the 25th collection.
That said, he looks a little too 25th. Guess I’ve been too spoiled by the 30th/POC figs.
I do think he could’ve had too heads. One big nitpick with a lot of RAH figures was how frequently oversized and clunky the helmets looked, and Footloose was no exception, and hasn’t fared a ton better here. But he’s still nice and it’s awesome how close to complete the early years are getting.
Btw am I the only one who heard the Muppets “Together Again” ditty in my head looking at that Bazooka reunion shot? 😀
D’oh . . . *TWO heads . . .
He does have that basic uniform look, but he’s mostly 30th and the extra articulation in the wrists and knees helps him quite a bit.
I do suppose they could do the two-heads route for helmeted figures, but I do enjoy it this way…
It’s very cool that your family has a such strong military history and that they encouraged your love of Joe collecting. Wouldn’t you know it? I got Footloose and Bazooka on the same day along with Shipwreck! They were the first figures I found from the ’85 series featuring the new ball jointed neck. (The Dreadnoks had shown up the previous Christmas on ’85 cards but sporting the old neck joint.) I always associated Footloose and Bazooka due to their helmets, which marked a huge change from the more generic ’82 originals. That is weird how you lost your Footloose, though. Dude, grab one off eBay so you can reach further closure. They’re easy to find and not that expensive.
I liked the Club update a lot. The Selleck look jives well with the 80’s and sharing his noggin with Claymore makes perfect sense. The hips on mine are a bit loose and I’m not sure if it can be fixed like we used to do back in the o-ring era. Otherwise, I am grateful to Hasbro for bringing us closer to completing Team ’85 in particular and the vintage era in general.
I should go back and get a vintage Footloose. I loved that figure!
I was reading a fix about loose 25th legs somewhere. I think it involved removing the legs and coating the metal balls in something (super glue?), letting it dry, and putting the legs back on. Not sure if that was a long-term fix, sounds like something you’d have to redo every once in awhile.
So you’re going to blame the “living challenged” on the abduction of your toy, huh? ;p
I never had a figure go missing, but I did have a couple instances where accessories were lost, found, and lost again, most notably, Snowjob’s rifle and StormShadow’s swords. Mom found the rifle while vacuuming the couch, but it disappeared again, shortly after. The swords I could never find, but turned up at my great-grandmother’s a few months later. I forgot to grab them out of the silver tea set (where she kept a handful of random small items), and the next time we went, they were gone. I think my cousin might have taken them, tho?
Also, That head just screams HARDCASE to me. Aren’t we supposed to get a new AWE Striker soon? (and how was that NOT constantly pimped during the Gulf Wars?)
Maybe we can get a blue AWE Striker next year (as Beachcomber)!
I display my Footloose with the RoC head. The Club’s head doesn’t work for me, and the RoC head matches skin tone perfectly while also being closer to the original card art. Also, if anyone is bothered by the web gear, try using the DVD Roadblock webgear. It fits well and the color is a close match.
I’d have to get rid of Airborne to use that head! Bugs me! But I’m glad you found a configuration you like.
Thanks for the info. I’ve got the DVD Roadblock, so I’m going to look for a RoC Footloose and give mine a try.
Good luck. Some think the RoC head sits too high, but I like where it’s at. If it does, you can always drill a little out of the head to make it fit.
I passed on Dial Tone for reasons I don’t remember anymore, but I was excited when Footloose was announced. He was one of my top 10 favorite RAH figures. The only thing I wish this figure included was a holster somewhere for the pistol.
Definitely need more holsters…
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