As we mentioned in our last post, Steve Stovall invited us to his house to see is mind-exploding toy collection weekend before last when we went to Louisville for WonderFest USA. Our minds were indeed suitably exploded, but once we put them back together we whipped out our trusty camera and started snapping photos.
One of the most incredible aspects of this was Steve’s collection of Super Joe. Steve’s an expert on the subject, and has a website devoted to this aspect of GI Joe.
For those of you who don’t follow the ins-and-outs of action figure trivia, in 1977 Hasbro discontinued the long-running 12″ GI Joe action figure, and replaced the line with Super Joe, which took some of the look of the larger figures, but added heavy science fiction and super hero elements. They also shrank him down to a little more than eight inches tall. This was an obvious attempt to compete with MEGO’s eight-inch World’s Greatest Superhero line, but for various reasons, the line failed and was discontinued after two years in stores.
One of the problems was that the figures were so darned fragile. Steve has become an expert at restoring Super Joe. Anyone who chooses to collect Super Joe has to become an expert on restoration. The figures broke so easily that it’s nearly impossible to find them intact. Even when found in never-before-opened boxes they often pour out as a cascade of body parts because the joints that hold them together disintergrate. Local customizer Tony DiTrapino came up with a method that replaced the bodies with those of MMA action figures.
Yet these bodies were used around the world for different figures. Steve has examples of many, and showed off quite a few while we were there. Our lead image shows some figures from Japan and I believe some of the American Space Academy figures. Take a look at this unique collection…
Check PopCult later today for part three of our trip to Steve Stovall’s house.