Do you remember playing with the G.I. Joe toys as a kid? I grew up in the 1980’s and my big brother and I played with all of the G.I. Joe toys! We built forts, had battles, and played with these toys until they worn out or broken. We buried them in the dirt, launched them in the sky, hit them with hammers and dissected the pieces.
Knowing what I what I know now, I would have purchased a few extras of each toy and put it away to resell when I got older. These old toys are worth a fortune now. Some of them even sell for several thousand dollars a piece.
Some of my favorite figures were Snake Eyes, Hawk, Duke, Gung-ho, and Deep Six. We also had a bunch of the vehicles, equipment and accessories.
In addition to playing with the G.I. Joe toys, we also watched the G.I. Joe cartoons every Saturday. My mother limited our television intake, but we always waited for these cartoons to come on. Back in the day, I knew every character and loved following the episodes.
G.I. Joe was definitely one of the highlights of my pre-adolescent years. I loved these toys from the time I was about 7 until I was about 12. I lost interest in G.I. Joe about the time I entered junior high.
The reason I’m writing this post is I think that G.I. Joe somehow influenced me and prepared me for the Army. I know that might sound a bit crazy to some of you, but I think it’s true. By the time I reached high school, I knew I was going to serve in the military. Of course, I can’t “physically” prove that I reached that decision because of my G.I. Joe toys, but I believe it’s one of the primary factors.
The idea of being a Soldier, traveling to exotic places, and doing fun, wild and crazy things seemed very exciting to me at the time. I figured even if I did 10% of the stuff the G.I. Joe characters did, the military would be pretty exciting. Besides, I didn’t have many other options. I didn’t know what I wanted with my life, so the Army seemed like a good fit. I ended up enlisting in the Army on my 18th birthday, just a few days after high school graduation.
Now, nearly 20 years later, I still have fond memories of my G.I. Joe toys. I’m still a big fan. No I don’t have the toys anymore, but I do enjoy the movies. Sometimes I spend a little time on YouTube and watch a few old cartoon clips to reminisce my childhood. Who knows who I would be today or what I would be doing, if it wasn’t for my G.I. Joe toys and my decision to join the Army.
I just wanted to share this quick story how G.I. Joe shaped my early childhood years and prepared me to be a Soldier when I grew up. I’m wondering if anyone else had a similar experience. If you played with your G.I. Joe toys as a kid, I would love to hear your story. Just leave a comment below to share your thoughts. Thank you.
NOTE: G.I. Joe is a registered trademark of Hasbro.