12 April– A Doll A Day 2018
Mint-in-Box Marches into April:
Hasbro GI Joe Masterpiece Edition Action Pilot (1996).
Didn't we already see this figure? Well, we saw a very similar one. I previously posted a photo of the brown-haired version. This is the yellow-haired version. It's another recent eBay acquisition that I picked up for cheap.
I have a theory as to why this 1996 "Masterpiece Edition" is currently bringing low prices on the secondary market. It's because there are a lot of them, obviously, more supply than demand. But why are there a lot of them for sale? And why doesn't anybody want them?
I believe this release, a reproduction of the original 1964 era GI Joe, was marketed to the late "Baby Boomer" generation who remembered GI Joe from their childhoods. I think a lot of guys who were in their mid-thirties to mid-forties in 1996 either purchased this figure as a nostalgic keepsake, or received them as gifts from family members.
GI Joe was originally released in 1964 as an 11-inch action figure. By the early 1970s, GI Joe had a "life-like hair and beard" rather than painted hair, and, later, "kung fu grip." By the late '70s, the 11-inch GI Joe line had been discontinued, replaced a few years later by a 3-3/4 inch line that a later generation remembers fondly. The "Joe years" were a pretty narrow window to begin with, and the painted hair years were a small slice of that time period.
The guys who were thirty-something to forty-something in 1996, and at the peak of their "nostalgic collectible purchasing years," are now more than twenty years older, late-fifties to almost seventy: retirement age. They're downsizing and selling off the collectibles... most of which are now merely clutter. Some of these guys are even starting to die off. The twenty-year old "collectible" GI Joe box sets that have been gathering dust on the bookshelf or in the closet are turning up on eBay... where, sadly, it's hardly worth the effort to sell them. I paid $30 for this figure including shipping, and it cost the seller $22.50 to mail it. Factor in eBay and PayPal fees and the seller probably netted about a dollar and a half for their effort.
It's kinda sad. The original GI Joe generation is dying off, leaving almost nobody who is interested in America's Movable Fighting Man; or at least, nobody is interested in a twenty-year old reproduction of a fifty year old toy line.