What are this year's "hot"
collectibles? We're not fortune-tellers by any means, but we are always interested in tracking trends. And the trend
that we expect to continue is the demand for 'boomerabilia'.
What's that? Well, it's a term that's applied to everything from classic
toys, like erector sets, to classic cars, like those old Thunderbirds with
the great big fins. It's amazing that these relics from childhood have become such coveted collectibles.
For instance, young girls treasured their collection of Barbie dolls.
Their brothers though, played with G.I. Joes. Their "America's Movable Fighting Men" would wreak havoc in our playroom.
1964 talking G.I. Joe
Not too long ago, a rare G.I. Joe collector's edition created to celebrate
the doll's 30th anniversary came up at auction at Christie's in
New York. It was an exact replica of the first G.I. Joe made. There was a
lot of buzz about how much he would fetch. After all, an original sold new
for $4. Today they're selling on eBay for hundreds of dollars.
Because of boys like my brothers, the G.I. Joe craze started almost
immediately after the first four dolls were introduced in early 1964, one
each representing the four branches of the military.
Of course, you couldn't really call them dolls.
Search ToyRus below for GI Joe:
G.I. Joe was so popular among the latter-half of the boomer
generation because it was a first.
Prior to G.I. Joe there wasn't any real 'action figure' for boys —
that's how new it was.
These 12-inch-tall Army, Marine, Navy, and Air Force men came complete in
perfectly scaled down fatigues, dog tags, jump boots, and insignia
chevrons. There was even a Field Training Manual. By the end of that first
year the G.I. Joe fan club not only started, but had 150,000 members.
(They're probably all collectors today!)
G.I. Joe collecting, like lots of hobbies, is a mania, complete with
international conventions, thick guides to pricing, and scads of web sites.
You'd think that there'd be enough to go around, with more than 250 million G.I. Joes in existence.
But collectors prize G.I. Joes that have been kept in their original
packaging, with their perfectly designed versions of military uniforms and
hardware untainted, the colors on the box unfaded by sunlight, the
cellophane untorn, and all of G.I. Joe's 21 movable parts still moving perfectly.
And that's the problem. Most originals were bought with playing in mind
— and not collecting. Generations of boys (and some girls, too) fought
the good fight with their G.I. Joes — in mud, puddles, and grass in the
backyard. Like soldiers everywhere, most G.I. Joes are scuffed, banged up,
and a little worse for wear. It turns out that even 250 million G.I. Joes aren't enough.
Remember that 30th anniversary collector's G.I. Joe? Well, it must have been pretty perfect. It sold for $5,570.
Now that's a boom! Search ToyRus below for GI Joe: