November 20, 2009

Part 1: Dressing Up Is Hard to Do When You Wear Yourself on Your Sleeve

Filed under: GIJoe, nostalgia — fairplaythings @ 1:06 am

Thought I’d shake things up a bit here at the blog and tell you the tale of five recent purchases in serial style. This is part one.

Back in the 1980s, there were a number of licenses granted to the likes Collegeville and Ben Cooper to make Halloween costumes of your favourites characters, from Gobots to Strawberry Shortcake, Micronauts to Star Wars. What they all head in common was the style. Instead of today’s style where you look like you came right out of the cartoon, you wore a costume that made it seem that the character came right out of you.

Yes kids. The 1980s were a time just like those described by Jerry Seinfeld, with rubber bands and Superman flying right off your chest. And let me tell you it really did suck when it rained on the big day and you had to wear your snow coat over your once-a-year danger suit.

Having said that, having survived my own experienced as Yoda, Darth Vader and Stormtrooper (possibly Boba Fett too - those Star Wars costumes were awesome!), the old and highly flammable costumes of yore hold a special place in my heart. Yes, they are plastic pictures but the masks are often brilliant. So I’ve been tracking them slowly on eVay, but tend to balk at the shipping prices. So when I saw two of the eight Collegeville Transformer costumes* (Megatron and “Jumpstarter”) in tiptop condition, I jumped at getting them sent to me. At the same time I put a bid in on a third costume, that of “G.I. Joe”, or as he was represented in 1982, Grunt. I then forgot about the auction until it was too late to rescue my bids. No formers for me.

But I still won G.I. Joe.

This was a mix-up really. Grunt was only on the list because the shipping of three suits would be negligible. Now I was shipping just one suit. But a bid is a bid is a bid (particularly when the seller is fair about shipping rates) and Grunt arrived Monday (November 9th). He’s in incredible shape and even the elastic holds firm. As you can see, it amazingly still fits almost thirty years later.


*(Collegeville Transformer costumes included Optimus Prime, Megatron, “Jumpstarter” (Topspin), Snarl, Superion, Silverbolt, Ultra Magnus and Metroplex. They weren’t much for villains apparently, and you could go as Superion and your brother could go as your chest piece (coming out of his chest piece…)

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