|08-12-2009, 09:38 PM||#1|
Join Date: Feb 2009
Suppose I'll start this off by talking about why I'm really interested in your thoughts on this issue. I'm a Studio Arts major, thoroughly interested in toys, imagination, and the psychology of play. Ironically, all of this started with customizing Joes, but I'll get to that later. As I've been developing my themes and work, I've been trying to hone in on.. something. Something that can invite an audience in a gallery to actually touch, to play with something on display. All of my sculpture is intended to carry some manner of 'play' value; they make sounds, have articulation, are made of tactile materials, and in one case, spit a noxious-smelling fluid.
With the movie coming out in the last few years, my interest was once again piqued in GI Joe. Now, I've never *not* been a fan, but my interest waxes and wanes with actually buying and playing with figures, but it was always about GI Joe. I was raised on them, they're a part of my colorful family life, they always remind me to be yourself despite all manner of pressures (dolls and makeup never did it much for me).
Now, I was going through storage and fished out a bunch of my old Joes, and a few of the 25th anniversary ones that I had picked up over the years. As I was moving them around, fiddling with the accessories and what-not, something struck my mind's eye. My god, these are good toys. Maybe even a perfect icon of a boy's toy. I ran out and spent a bunch of commission money on the new movie toys, fiddled with them some more, and realized again. Daaaayum, these are good toys.
I've been struggling to find some locus of understanding as to WHY these make such good toys. Since I got my Cobra tattoo, I've had the pleasure of people stopping me on the street and screaming "Yo Joe," or other such wonderful nonsense. Most of the people I've talked to aren't really fans, but everyone, and I mean everyone, had a couple Joes. They used them with their more clearly-written Star Wars figures, or Transformers or Polly Pocket, and they just imagined what the toy would be like based on how they looked, or what they came with. In terms of engineering, there's a lot of seriously good aesthetic designs in Joes. I mean, Cobra's fashion sense is really awesome.
So part of it is projective, people using Joes not based on some fragmented narrative between a comic, a cartoon, and filecards, but just relying on their imagination to fill in what a character should be. Part of it is design aesthetic, both in costumes and the really incredible articulation and body design of the toys. But there's something more, something else that I can't quite get my mind around. Something that if I can figure out, would make my work much stronger. Heck, if we can figure this out in discussion and debate, then just think about how much this can help us understand the nature of toys themselves.
So I call upon all of you: share some thoughts you have on the nature of GI Joe, be it the figures, the storyline, whatever. Why they work so well, why they affect you particularly over other toys or storylines. And really, I'm interested in any and all kinds of stories, personal or reflective, intellectual or practical. The applications to our fandom would be endless.
All a scientist needs to abandon his or her country is a whiff of the super-cool science happening behind enemy lines.
|08-12-2009, 09:45 PM||#2|
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Northwood, NH
I'm not quite sure why Joe appealed to me compared to some other military toy line.
I think alot had to do with the comic and the cartoon (first the comic). How cool was it to see these guys that you had in hand acting out adventures that you could recreate or create your own.
It wasn't the unique looks so much, remember for the most part the O13 all shared the same basic look.
There was just something about these guys that drew me in. I was getting Star Wars at the time. I don't think it was the articulation so much as just the figures themselves...
The filecards gave them personalties, they had roles to play on the team. No longer had to figure out where to put 'em, they each had a role.
Stalker, Rock 'n Roll and Breaker were pinned down. I knew Breaker could call Steeler and get the Joes some back up.
|08-13-2009, 02:05 AM||#3|
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Litchfield, ME
It's hard to say any one thing attracted me to the Joes. The first thing I remember about them is that commercial from 1982- you know, "Commando, Code Name: Snake Eyes", etc. They just looked so cool to me. And I thought they'd go well with my Star Wars figures. I've been hooked since the first 3 I got. I think it has to do with their visual appeal, acessories, file cards/personalities, plus the comics and, to a lesser extent for me, the cartoon. They're not just cookie cutter characters, they seem "real', in a sense. How many other toy lines can you say that about? The only other one that, to me, comes remotely close is Transformers.
|08-13-2009, 04:13 AM||#4|
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: South Dakota
I think it GI Joe appeals to me so much because my Dad was in the military. He was in basic training when Vietnam ended and was stationed in Germany for a bit. He brought back a bunch of military stuff, flashlights, canteen, gasmask, ect. When you're 5 you all about your dad, so my initial taking to GI Joe was because of my dad. He always had stories and instructions on how to set up a defensive position, strategy for infantry attacks on Soviet armor, using the accessories properly. My dad was no war hero, but when I was 5, he might as well have been. I had my own real life GI Joe. I can imagine those military men and women who have been in combat situations, or had parents in them would have an even stronger pull to GI Joe than I did. GI Joe was just something that I could share with my dad, unlike Transformers or He-Man.
|08-13-2009, 10:59 AM||#5|
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: en la casa de tu abuela
its the possibility of adventure with thiese figs, I first had a duke, then snow job and his snoowmobile. That was my collection for a bit until I got more, but it was with these two figures that the adventure and the lure of gi joe began for me. You're correct about the appeal of cobra and the design of their uniforms, there is just something aboutit. Star wars was for me the first movie, that I remember, that created an alternate world that I would have, and wanted to be a part of, much like gi joe, in fact in the roc movie there were certain scenes that had a star wars feel, especially the panning shots of the desert, anyone else pick that up?
Play is a crucial element in every child's development. As Vygotsky suggests it is through play that we develop our zone of proximal developmen, essentialy we learn about what is around us through play, we learn to negotiate through life as we play.
when something as well thought out like the joeverse we are presented with, it is easy to falli in love so to speak, it is the opportunity as someone has alredy mentioned to recreate the joes adevntures and make them your own.
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