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Big Box G.I. Joe Vehicles

Not too long ago I added a total of three vintage, boxed G.I. Joe vehicles to my collection of the first wave that was released in Europe in 1987. As regular visitors to this site will know I try to collect all of the first couple of waves of  G.I. Joe figures and vehicles that were released in the Netherlands. Hasbro went all out with the introduction of their G.I. Joe line in Europe in 1987 by creating specific packaging and promotional material for each individual European country. So for example, the Netherlands got all Dutch packaging and France got all French packaging. Even Belgium, which is not your biggest European market, and which is a country where the predominant two languages are Dutch (in Flanders) and French (in Wallonia) got their own specific packaging, featuring Dutch and French!! How about that for commitment to their European market? The Dutch G.I. Joe figures and vehicles are some of the most hard to find. In fact, even though Belgium is a lot smaller than the Netherlands, G.I. Joe was quite big there and as a consequence it’s easier to find the signature dual-language French/Dutch G.I. Joe’s than it is to find the all-Dutch Joe’s.

“Cobra Hydrofoil (Moray)”

The first of the three big box vehicles that I scored is the Cobra Hydrofoil (Moray), which is pictured above. It’s a big ass hydrofoil boat with room for seven action figures. I remember wanting the Cobra Hydrofoil badly in 1987, but there was just no way I could afford it, because it was one of the most expensive vehicles of Hasbro’s introductory European G.I. Joe line up in 1987. Recently I spotted the Cobra Hydrofoil on a Dutch classified ads site as part of a giant lot full of loose G.I. Joe action figures and vehicles and to my astonishment the photo in question also showed the Dutch packaging of the Cobra Hydrofoil. I quickly struck a deal with the seller for just the Hydrofoil and its Dutch box and got them really, really cheap. When the package arrived in the mail I was pleasantly surprised to find that the seller had included a shitload of extras in various states of completion. Good times! Only problem was that the Cobra Hydrofoil and all the other goodies that came along with it were not exactly…. well, clean.

So after letting the Hydrofoil and all its parts soak for a while in the sink, everything came out nice and clean! I removed some of the really worn stickers. I might decide to order a set of repro stickers in the future. Here’s the all cleaned up Hydrofoil together with some Cobra action figures !

Much better! The original action figure that was included with the Hydrofoil is missing as are some parts here and there, but I really can’t complain, because I paid a very modest amount for this item.

“Transportable Tacticle Battle Platform”

I also scored the Dutch packaged version of the Transportable Tactical Battle Platform which was known here as the “Transporteerbaar Tactisch Gevechtsplatform”. Yes, “Gevechtsplatform”. You read that right. A total of six consonants strung together there in one word. Crazy Dutchies. I’m not even going to begin explaining how that is pronounced.


The Skystriker jet is one of the coolest vehicles of the initial G.I. Joe line up in Europe if you ask me. Although I wasn’t able to secure the all-Dutch packaged version yet, I did score the Belgian version, which features French and Dutch on the packaging. One of my best friends had the Skystriker in 1987. It was such a cool toy until we made it blow up a couple of years later by stuffing it full of fireworks, while throwing it out of a second floor window in a pathetic attempt to create a mid-air explosion. It fell straight into his dad’s small fish pond where it exploded under water (and probably took quite a few fishes with it….). In-depth features and photos of the insides of the Battle Platform and the Skystriker in a future article!

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Puzzlin’ Times


Some cheap stuff that I bought recently online here. First of all I bought a MOSC (mint-on-sealed-card) Dutch Cobra Action Pack from Hasbro’s vintage 3.3/4-inch G.I. Joe line. This is the Mountain Climber action pack, or “Bergbeklimmer” as it is known by its Dutch translation. The Mountain Climber action pack is a motorized accessory that was released in the US in 1987. The Dutch version was released in 1988, as will have been the case with all the other European versions of this toy. It was probably part of the last wave of G.I. Joe toys that were released in Dutch-only packaging. From 1989 Hasbro switched to dual language Dutch-French packaging for both the Dutch and Belgian market in order to cut costs.

On the back of the card it is interesting to note that although the copyright year is 1988, the company name is still listed as Hasbro Bradley, Inc. As readers of my funky new series of articles on MB Transformers will know, Hasbro Bradley, Inc was only used between September 1984 and June 1985, after which they switched to just Hasbro, Inc. Now, of course it can take some time for this name change to trickle through to all their products, but 3 years???

The U.S. version of this toy carries a (correct) 1987 copyright notice of Hasbro, Inc., so it’s kind of strange why this Dutch version of the toy that was released a year later still manages to carry an outdated company name on the copyright notice. Also interesting to note is that MB is mentioned on the card back as MB International B.V. in Utrecht, Holland. This was one of Hasbro’s many European MB subsidiaries after their takeover of the Milton Bradley Company in 1984. Hasbro continued to use MB for the distribution of their products like Transformers and G.I. Joe in the Netherlands up until the 1990’s.


“MB Puzzles”

I also got these G.I. Joe and Transformers puzzles. Since MB was well known for its puzzles and board games it was only logical for Hasbro to have MB create and sell puzzles based on two of their hottest properties. The Dutch MB factory was located in Ter Apel, Groningen and primarily created puzzles and some board games. It closed down in mid 1994.


“One More Thing”

For those who are waiting for the second part of my MB Transformers article series, stay tuned! The next installment should be online within 24 hours!


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Spring 2011 Utrecht Collectors Convention

“Spring is in the air”

Yesterday I visited the Spring 2011 edition of the Collector’s Convention, which is being hosted twice a year in Utrecht, the Netherlands. It has grown to become the biggest convention of vintage collectables in the whole of Europe. Several giant halls are filled to the brim with everything you’d want to collect, ranging from stamps, coins and postcards, to antiques of all sorts and one hall dedicated exclusively to vintage toys and comic books! It’s as close as you can get to all those major conventions you find in the U.S. The Spring edition is traditionally a little less crowded than the Fall edition, but I had a great time nonetheless with some great bargains that I snapped up!

“Yo Joe!”

Right off the bat upon entering the convention I found a nice MOSC (mint-on-sealed-card) motorized G.I. Joe Cobra vehicle on a European card for the measly sum of 3 euros. After pocketing that I encountered another MOSC Batman: Animated Series character that I swiftly added to my growing collection of this wonderful toyline.: Bane! Can you believe this was just 5 euros?

“And now the leg, huh…”

Strolling along further across the countless of rows of vintage toys I soon saw these two posable Scarface action figures. Scarface is one of the coolest gangster flicks of all times (“Now the leg, huh…”) Truely one of Al Pacino’s coolest roles ever. Mezco Toyz created a total of eight 7-inch Scarface action figures in 2005 and these are “The Player” variants in white and blue suits and at 13 euros a piece I just couldn’t pass up on snapping them up both! They look amazing up close with real nice paint jobs. You can even see Tony Montana’s tattoo on his left hand. How cool is that!

“Masterfully crafted classics”

Most of my money went to a set of 4 Masters of the Universe Classics from Mattel. Now, I usually only collect vintage MOTU stuff, but I have been sitting on the fence for quite a while wondering whether I should buy some of these amazing MOTU Classics that have been coming out since 2008. They’re basicly the same as the vintage He-Man action figures, but crafted masterfully by the Four Horsemen and with way more articulation than you ever had with the vintage stuff. Having been on the verge of buying one of these online for so long, I finally decided this was the time to invest in this toy line and I bought a MOSC King Randor, Buzz-Off (which I originally owned when I was a kid), Orko and the Mo-Larr vs Skeletor set! I wasn’t disappointed!! The articulation and detail on these action figures is so frickin’ cool it’s unreal! Just look at King Randor here with his big ass sword!

I busted open the Mo-Larr vs Skeletor set and placed the MOTU Classics Skeletor next to a loose vintage Skeletor I had lying around. Just look at the difference.

Pretty cool, huh? I have a sneaking feeling these won’t be the last MOTU Classics I will be adding to my collection….I will leave you now with some more cool poses that I quickly whipped up of the dark lord Skeletor!!

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New Stuff: G.I. Joe, Action Force, Transformers & Playmobil

Been a busy week. I managed to score some nice goodies that have been added to my collection. First off, I managed to add another Transformer to my ever growing MB collection: Snarl! Snarl himself is in pretty awesome shape, with only a loose joint here and there. The packaging also came with its original, multi-language instruction booklet and all of Snarl’s accessories are present. For the connaiseurs; the copyright stamping on the bot itself is Takara-only with year, i.e. no Takara-Hasbro stamping, which seems to be in line with most of the MB releases and leads me to believe this bot is an original MB. The box itself is pretty worn and has seen better days, but I don’t mind, because it’s another addition to my MB collection, so I’m pretty stoked about getting it in the mail this week, regardless!

But that’s not all the Transformers I got! I also got the European versions of Ramjet, Bumblebee and Blurr! Bumblebee’s packaging has been opened, but in such a way that it still looks very nice. The bot itself is missing its rub sign and is in pretty dire shape. I plan on replacing the bot in the near future with a better looking specimen. Still, it’s nice to be able to finally add the most popular mini-vehicle of all to my collection. Ramjet has some loose joints, but is otherwise in pretty good shape and Blurr is even MISB (mint-in-sealed-box). Unfortunately (one of) the previous owner(s) has touched up the box with marker to mask some very minor wear. A real shame, because the wear is very light and these unnecessary restoration attempts automatically disqualify this MISB Blurr from ever getting an AFA rating. Nevertheless, from a collector’s perspective I’m still extremely happy with this European MISB Blurr finding its way into my collection!

And still another Transformer: I also got the European Metroplex! As a kid I really, really wanted Metroplex every since I first saw him in my local toy store in 1986. I thought it was the coolest and most bad ass Transformer ever made (and still do). Unfortunately he was just way too expensive for me to afford back in 1986 as a kid. Thankfully, 25 years later my financial situation is a lot more positive and I finally managed to add him to my collection!

On to the Joe’s! I’ve lamented numerous times about the scarceness of vintage carded Dutch G.I. Joe’s form the toy’s initial European release in 1987 and onward. The only Dutch carded item I had up until now was the 1988 Dutch Battle Gear Accessory Pack #1 and that’s not really an action figure. Well, I finally managed to add my first Dutch actual action figure! It’s the second edition of Gung-Ho in marine dress blue uniform. In the Netherlands, this was the first release of Gung-Ho though, and for some reason he’s not called Gung-Ho, but Chung-Ho! Chung-Ho is part of the third series of G.I. Joe action figures that were released in late 1988. He’s also part of the last series of G.I. Joe toys that were released in Dutch-only packaging. The next series of G.I. Joe action figures featured French/Dutch language backing cards, which were also slightly over sized. I’m so glad to be able to finally add a MOSC (mint-on-sealed-card) Dutch G.I. Joe action figure from the original 1987/1988 series. Many more to go! As part of the same deal, I also managed to score the Dutch Battle Gear Accessory Pack #2! Good times!

Also arriving in the mail this week are three MOSC Action Force action figures. As most European G.I. Joe collectors will know, Action Force is the name of the toy line that was the predecessor to the G.I. Joe line. Before Hasbro introduced G.I. Joe in Europe in 1987, a lot of G.I. Joe action figures were available in Europe under the Action Figure moniker. This particular lot of Action Force figures does not feature any G.I. Joe molds (they have less articulation points), but they were so cheap I could not pass them up. The cards are Dutch and French so I assume they were originally sold in the Benelux countries and maybe also in France.

And lastly, I also bought this very nice Playmobil Esso Station from 1981!! I’ve been buying some vintage Playmobil stuff in the past couple of weeks of which I hope to add some photographs soon. I’m totally nuts about vintage Playmobil trains and most of their late 70’s and early 80’s line up. I just love the early 80’s design of the packaging and the toy itself. As you can see the box is in exquisite state for its age. More Playmobil soon!

posted by 20th Century Toy Collector in Action Force,G.I. Joe,MB Transformers,Playmobil,Transformers and have Comments (2)

G.I. Joe Dutch promotional flyer 1987

G.I. Joe burst onto the European toy scene in 1987. The first series of toys that were released on this side of the Atlantic were mostly lifted from the 4th or 5th U.S. series of G.I. Joe toys. Hasbro released the first two series in the Netherlands in all-Dutch packaging. The promotional material was all Dutch too. Below is a scan that I made of the very first promotional flyer of G.I. Joe toys that were released in the Netherlands in 1987. The scans are relatively large so please have patience while downloading them!

This flyer was included with most of the boxed G.I. Joe toys and was also included in an edition of the weekly Dutch Donald Duck magazine in 1987, which is how I remember seeing it for the first time. This same flyer was probably also translated into all the other European languages in countries where Hasbro were pimping their G.I. Joe stuff. I have an identical, all-French flyer inside a French Snow Cat box. My goal is to obtain each and every item from this flyer boxed and/or carded. I’m already quite a long way towards collecting all of the boxed items, but so far I have none of the carded action figures. MOSC (mint-on-sealed-card) Dutch G.I. Joe action figures are so hard to find it’s unreal. If you have any for sale, please contact me!!

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