Last weekend your PopCulteer made the trek to Louisville, Kentucky, for the Winterfest show, put on by the folks who bring us the Kentuckiana GI Joe Toy Expo every July.

We had a lot of fun, and I’ll be bringing you a few more photo essays and video over the next couple of weeks, but today we’re going to take a quick look at some of the fun we had.

I should also explain here, and this is probably not news to anybody who listens to our shows on The AIR, your humble blogger and his wife have been a bit under the weather for several weeks. It’s mostly that lingering cough that folks all over the country seem to fighting right now. We fought this before we went to NYC earlier in the month, but then it came back during that trip, and we’ve been juggling sick days and the like ever since.

So Friday, I was feeling pretty good, and Mel seemed to be on the mend. The preview night was great. Saturday the weather took a turn for the worse, and we went along with it. We exited the show after getting plenty of video and photos, and spent the rest of Saturday shopping our way to Lexington.

Sunday, as we made our way home, we pretty much felt like we’d been beaten with baseball bats.  I would’ve posted this photo essay earlier, but I needed a couple of days to recover.

I am feeling much better now, and will be writing full captions for the photos.  Over the next couple of weeks you can expect a music video of Winterfest, with music from Sgt. Van and the Highway Dogs, plus a post with photos about Greg Autore’s extremely cool inflatable “Ghost Tank” project,  and at least a few more photos from the show, along with a look at some cheesy knockoffs we found on the way home.

But now….it’s time for Winterfest photos…

Greg Autore is producing a very cool and historically accurate 1/6 scale GI Joe accessory–it’s an inflatable Sherman Tank, like those that were used to decoy the Germans prior to D-Day. I’ll be telling you more about this in a few days.

Just a shot at what you see when you walk in the door.

…and another look. The new space for these shows is ample and inviting.

Everywhere you looked, you saw cool, rare stuff, like these Talking GI Joes from the 1960s.

Many dealers had a wide variety of cool stuff that spanned several decades.

There were plenty of huge Real American Hero-era items at the show.

The new GI Joe: Classified series was well-represented.

Of course, the attraction for me was the wealth of vintage era GI Joe items.

Ace Allgood, who always brings a ton of primo vintage rarities really outdid himself this time…

On one side of Ace’s table, a Flying Space Adventure set, and The Mouth of Doom…both boxed. The Lost In Space Robot B9 in the background was on another vendor’s table, though.

Back to Ace’s stuff, a boxed GI Nurse is flanked by several other examples of the most rare action figures ever made.

Ace had so much incredible stuff that this tub, filled with figures ranging from six hundred to three-thousand bucks each, was sitting in the floor.

Sgt. Van, box-maker extrordinaire, and the man who will provide the music for the video from this show.

Greg Autore (in the Captain America hoodie) talking with legendary GI Joe collector, James DeSimone.

We briefly caught up with Charlotte and Scott Beckmann, the first couple of The Trenches Forum, a longstanding online collector’s forum.

A candid shot of Dana White, the former lead singer of Holden Caulfield, standing in front of a drool-worthy wall of Adventure Team and Captain Action items.

Jason Schiermeyer from White Elephant Toyz, who has collaborated on some of the coolest limited-run toy projects over the last couple of years. At this show Jason was showing off Strike Force Alpha, his new line of 3 3/4″ O-ring figures. Expect a review of some of them next week.

I swear, I had never seen this cool kid-sized vintage GI Joe mask before, and I was so stunned that I forgot to ask what he was selling it for. It’d be so cool to have around the house to creep Mel out.

More really cool vintage goodies. All the cool kids love Bulletman.

Finally, we have a shot of a vendor’s table with two of my favorite childhood Adventure Team playsets (one of which I never got until I was an adult). Expect more photos and video later.