The PopCulteer
August 4, 2023

We are in the eye of the hurricane, in terms of cool toy shows. Last weekend your PopCulteer was at The Kentuckiana GI Joe Toy Expo in Louisville, and next weekend I will be dividing the days between JoeLanta in Atlanta, and MEGO Meet at PowerCon in Columbus.

And with all that coming up, I haven’t even told you about Kentuckiana yet. So today we’re going to rectify that a bit. In fact, over the the next week I’ll bring you a series of photo essays that will run here alongside our regular features, and if all goes according to plan, I’ll have a Kentuckiana video ready for you this Sunday.

Today’s photos are just a sampler. Over the next week you’ll find photo essays dedicated to the collectors, the custom figure entries, the cool dioramas (including a huge Spy Island display that showed off the varies convention sets offered by different vendors) and of course, the cool toys.

The Tenth Annual Kentuckiana GI Joe Toy Expo happened last weekend in Louisville, Kentucky. The show was open to the public Saturday, but there was a fun Friday preview night, which is where many of these photos were taken.  This was the first Kentuckian (following a Winterfest event in January) at the Paroquet Springs Conference Centre, at 395 Paroquet Springs Drive, in Shepherdsville, KY. The new location is huge and was filled to the brim with dealers and collectors.

The new location

The idea for today is to just give you a taste of the fun. We’ll go more in-depth over the next few days, and hopefully have our coverage of Kentuckiana wrapped up before we turn up at JoeLanta.

These shows are great ways to get back in touch with old friends and find new treasures for our toy collecting hobbies. In my case, I sort of blew my budget on not one, but two “holy grails,” which you will see at the end of this batch of images.

So let’s dive in, shall we?

This pick just hints at the vastness of the vendor area.

As does this pic, which was three or four rows away from where I took the first one.

This shot was in the middle of the vendors room.

This is what you saw when you walked in, if you looked to the left.

This was the main convention set, a collaboration between Steve Stovall and several of the other vendors.

One of those vendors was Brad Curry, of Bee Active Toys, who built a giant diorama that I’ll show you next week. This is just a tiny part of it.

Cindy Scott, from Cinncinnati, was on hand with dozens of custom figures and three cool dioramas, which you will see in detail in the coming days.

This was Cindy’s mad scientist lab, for which she fabricated all the tables and furniture.

Christopher George brought this huge aircraft carrier, scalled to the RAH GI Joes, and you’ll be seeing a closer look at in sometime in the next week.

Cobra Commander was on hand, buying up all the GI Joe: Classified figures, but I mainly ran this photo because, if you look real close at his face cover, you can see me reflected in the middle, only I’m really skinny.

As usual, Pawtucket Platoon was knocking people’s socks off with their cool boxed custom figure sets.

At my request, I was dragged away from this table before I could get my credit card out.

No such luck with Greg at Cotswold. I got lots of cool stuff, and I’m going to get more from him at JoeLanta.

With my lightning-quick reflexes I spun around and grabbed a photo of what I thought was a cool new Adventure Team windboat at the Mattsquatch Customs table, but it turned out to just be a table fan.

What I got At Kentuckiana

Okay, this is not everything I got at Kentuckiana, but here are the highlights. This photo has four of the inter-related convention exclusives, from MattSquatch Customs, Cotswold Collectibles, Tearle Ashby and the main set, from Steve Stovall’s My Vintage Toys and Trains. I had to order one other set that I missed at the show, and I still need to get an add-on accessory from Brad Curry.

The top three items were also snagged from Steve Stovall (the boxed set is another convention set add-on). The little guy on the bottom is a custom I’ll tell you about later. He’ll be going to Arizona.

Okay…I didn’t get these at the show, but Sunday morning we hit the Meijer in Richmond, KY, and they had these MEGO guys I’d missed out on before.

This is Aurora, a CyGirls astronaut figure who was released about twenty years ago when your PopCulteer was broke. I finally found here at a decent price and she’s going to be joining my science fiction space brigade, probably hanging out next to Robbie The Robot. This was the first of my “holy grails” I found at the show.

It was especially cool to meet Rocko Jerome and pick up a tabloid-sized indie comic at the show. I’ll be telling you more about G.H.O.S.T. Agents in a few weeks, when I have time to read it. It looks cool as hell.

A small moment of joy in the midst of all the coolness at the show was when I found this matchbox model from the 1960s. I had one like it when I was a kid. Turns out Mel had one, too.

And here’s that other “holy grail” I was telling you about. It took up a good chunk of real estate in the trunk, but when Dave Roth has a 1/6 scale Batmobile for sale, and then makes you an offer you can’t refuse, you come home with a Batmobile. As you can see, it’s going to need a lot of work, but then, what fun is it just buying something that’s perfect out of the box?

And that’s our first look at The 2023 Kentuckiana GI Joe Toy Expo. Check back, even over the weekend, because there’s more to show you. And also, look for PopCult‘s regular features and fresh content every day.