Yo Joe! As much as I would like to say that the decline of America's movable fighting man had been greatly exaggerated, it's sadly quite true. Joe, Cobra, and their ilk have been taking a dirt nap as G.I. Joe had struggled to find a young audience in recent years, perhaps thanks to the fact kids don't really seem to be as engaged in war toys as the culture has moved on to more fantastical pursuits, or certainly less heavy ones. Given its place as a piece of history, it was a real treat to see Derryl DePriest and friends curate a gallery of artwork, prototypes, props, and costumes outside the main convention hall, tucked in the back, and sadly ignored by passers by despite being an important part of toy history.
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The package artwork was stunning. The paint masters - basically roughly 7-inch upsized action figures - were truly wonderful to see. G.I. Joe as a military fantasy was represented with some more outlandish concepts, or things that don't typically qualify as military-ready fare.
A piece of cardboard with a cardback for Snake Eyes was handed out, and a photo experience box for the original 12-inch G.I. Joe was also on display. It's truly fascinating stuff and it's a shame that it's getting boxed up and put away by the time you read this - I'd love to see this sort of stuff in a toy museum.