Saturday, February 28, 2015

Garage Sale Finds: Look Back At What I Found.

So I seriously thought I had started posting these already only to find out I had them stashed away in a random folder. What these short posts will be are looks back at items I found out garage sale hunting years ago. Not only is my ability to go out garage sale hunting severely restricted these days, the amount of great sales is too. I figure it would be fun to post these up since I didn't use them back at the time the pics were taken. I recall not feeling 100% good about posting these, it was almost too much like gloating. These days that's about half of what the net is, with social media accounts over flowing with "me-me-me" posts. This should fit right in.

 October 2004: Garage Sale #1
This sale had some great finds. Not only did I get a fantastic Ultraman CD Soundtrack, but also another CD with anime and tokusatsu themes. Better than that and the gem of the find, a Sylvanian Families Terrace Party Set in box and a few rabbit family figurines. The Super Sentai book to the far right is a cool memorial of the entire past of the series. The Go-Go Five book and the 2 Sentai toys were just impulse buys that I later got rid of. The 2 Pocket Monsters rice bowls still sit in my cupboard. They are amazingly good quality bowls, perfect for ramen/soup, chicken & rice or ice cream.

 October 2004: Garage Sale #2
Kamen Rider tokusatsu 戦隊シリーズ バンダイ ウルトラマン Sylvanian Families Super Sentai toys Super Link Convoy Transformers
Also found at an October '04 garage sale, here's a few decent items. I got a Kabaya Transformers Fatimus Convoy, a pair of Kamen Rider and Ultraman figures, and a TelebiKun magazine with Sentai figure. I also scored a Sylvanian Families candy house, and a few rag tag figurines. The house is incredibly incomplete, but it was super cheap so no rel complaints. The Rider, Convoy and Sentai toys were sold off at some point in the last 2 years. The tore the magazine apart and just kept the pages I liked.

Japan sentai tokusatsu Ultraman Sylvanian Families 戦隊シリーズ バンダイ ウルトラマン

Friday, February 27, 2015

Some New Things Added Into The Collection This Week: More Imaginext!

The CyberCop figure I got in yesterday may have been the only cool import item I got this week, but not the only toy. After I was able to free up some cash set aside for another item, I kinda went on an Imaginext run. I picked up 7 single and double pack DC comics figure sets, the newest DC Super Friends Penguin Copter, and the Ghost Pirates Island. I was also able to snag a few of the latest blind bag figures. It was a fun buying week, and not overly expensive.

Fisher-Price Imaginext batman dc comics アメコミバットマン イマジネックスト

The Penguin figure included with the Copter is a new sculpt of the character. Like the Joker, Bane and Killer Croc, Penguin finally gets an upgrade. I do really like that Fisher-Price refreshes these figures, but I cant help but feel it takes the place of new characters being created. The Ghost Pirate Island is an awesome little play set. I haven't photographed it just yet, so here's a FP stock photo. I'll write up a bit about these in more detail later on in the week.

Fisher-Price Imaginext Penguin Copter 2015 new toy batman dc comics アメコミバットマン イマジネックストFisher-Price Imaginext Ghost Pirate Island new 2015 batman dc comics アメコミバットマン イマジネックスト

The blind pack figures have always been fun, and these 2 I picked up are no disappointment. I got the basketball player which has a few high points and one pretty big low. The high points include the fact that is always nice to see some more diversity added to this line, the figure comes with a clear stand to mimic going in for a lay up, and as usual, it's a nice new and unique sculpt. The glaring downside, the basketball is molded to his hand. Grrr. The witch figure is the better of the two I bought, or at least in my opinion it is. I love that the entire hat, cape and ugly face piece comes of to revel a less scary, almost attractive witch. Silly yes, but fun. She also comes with a broom, of course. I was surprised they didn't just issue the black cat that came with the DC Super Friends Catwoman as well.

Fisher-Price Imaginext blind pack series 4 Basketball Player batman dc comics アメコミバットマン イマジネックストFisher-Price Imaginext blind pack series 4 Witch batman dc comics アメコミバットマン イマジネックスト

I also bought an item I have kinda wanted for some time now, but the $20-$30 price tag just wasn't justified in my mind. And I know I just got done saying that I wanted to get rid of my Star Wars collectibles the other day, but this is a split brand item. So because it was 70% off, and I was able to get an additional 30% off on top of that, I finally own a Giant PEZ Darth Vadar dispenser. It's silly, fun and even has sound effects. When you open the head he starts breathing in his iconic way for about 30 seconds. And speaking of the head, when you pop it back to get candy out it doesn't dispense the single pieces of candy, it shoots you out an entire PEZ pack! Awesome!

Darth Vadar Star Wars アメコミ PEZ candy バットマン イマジネックストDarth Vadar Star Wars アメコミ PEZ candy バットマン イマジネックスト

Fisher-Price Imaginext batman dc comics Star Wars アメコミ バットマン イマジネックスト

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Japanese Bid Services, This Is Where You Fail Me!

I got the very last package of mine out from Japan today. I now have nothing left in Japan that is waiting for me. It's sad in a sense, the anticipation of getting stuff sent over from Japan is always so much fun. I just haven't had the cash to spend on stuff as of late, and to be honest I needed to take a little break.

Now this last piece was pretty small. I had it waiting in case I could grab a few more things and bundle them together to spread out shipping costs. Sadly the time came that I had to have it shipped. Again, this toy is small, it's light, and really at most should have cost about $15 to ship airmail. I wasn't in a hurry, and cost was my only concern. When I got the $30 for shipping I was a little taken back, but they assured me this was the cheapest rate. So the postal worker knocks at the toy and I open to see a pretty large box in her hands. Not at all the size box I was expecting. I opened it up and sure enough, just crazy packed with excessive amounts of newspaper.

サイバーコップ CyberCop Takara super heroes tokusatsu タカラ おもちゃ

As you can see, when the toy is placed on top of the box there's so much more space than there needed to be. I understand that maybe while I don't care about the extra padding there are some out there who would be super pissed if it wasn't. I will need to make a note of this for later, because the added weight of so much paper and the weight of the heavy duty box really inflates the shipping costs. So you want to know what I got?

タカラ サイバーコップ Takara CyberCop Stealth JupiterBit

I picked up a limited mail-in Takara CyberCop Stealth JupiterBit toy. This is a re-issue of the 80's CyberCop JupiterBit figure done in almost all clear plastic. Aside from his arm gauntlets and antennae he is entirely clear. I would have loved for some chrome highlights, but can't ask for everything. 

サイバーコップ CyberCop Takara super heroes tokusatsu タカラ おもちゃサイバーコップ CyberCop Takara super heroes tokusatsu タカラ おもちゃ

While this was a pretty uneventful tokustasu series, with neat toys, this version really harkens back to Takara's Henshin Cyborg toys. While it was a pretty limited release, it isn't an impossible find. The only real downside to the toy is that for whatever reason, a different plastic must have used for the hands and it discolors to a brown-yellow tint. Very minor nit-pick for such a cool toy.

サイバーコップ CyberCop Takara super heroes tokusatsu タカラ おもちゃ

Contemplations & Discoveries: Cold Heart Or Warm Gesture.

I'll be starting a new ongoing series here with this posting. I threw a few ideas out on FB, but will go into more depth here. These posts will be about and relate to thoughts I have about collecting, collectors, and just the overall concept of buying (or selling) toys.

I wasn't sure I was even going to follow up on this until today. I was walking home from work this morning again in the freezing cold and began to think about stuff to take my mind of the chilly temps. One thing I was thinking was that it could be worse. I could be a lot colder if I did not have a scarf to cover my face. Then my thoughts wandered onto the scarf. I've had this particular scarf for 17 years now, it's been extremely reliable for me.  There's nothing super extraordinary about the look of the scarf, or even its make. I didn't pick out this scarf, I didn't even buy it, it was a gift. This gift actually comes from a former Takara Transformers designer.

Years back on a trip to Japan I was meeting my Japanese friend for dinner and while out he thought me an a travel buddy were crazy for being out in winter with so little clothing. I think I had a flannel shirt, and my friend a t-shirt and a vest. To be honest neither of us were really all that cold, me being from Michigan and him Edmonton, we see our fair share of pretty cold weather. Tokyo winters were not too menacing to us. I later met up with my Japanese friend again later on in the trip and this time after telling his wife about us, presented us with a few gifts. I got the scarf I've been talking about, and my Canadian buddy got a hat if I recall. That gesture really kind of shook us, it's was really sincere and heartfelt.

Through the years I have never asked my friend in Japan for prototypes, or production art, or promo materials. Never asked for any real "inside" product at all. I never wanted to take this friendship in that direction. I know people who collect protos and production bits, and they can be real assholes. They often will take what could be a good friendship and suck all the warmth, emotion and goodness out of it. I wouldn't say I despise them for this, but I definitely pity them. Every time I wear my scarf I think about that gesture my friend made to me and it reassures me that I would never trade it for anything. This scarf, this small bit of fabric and yarn means more than any Transformers prototype I could have ever asked for.

Transformers prototypes Takara

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

The Thin Line Between A Collector And Hoarder.

A few weeks back I was supposed to be writing up my 100th blog post here, but instead on strong encouragement from my wife, I cleaned out our closet. To say I've packed a bit of stuff (i.e. junk) in there would be quite an understatement. Going through boxes upon boxes of stuff started a bit of self examination. Add to this the passing of Gary Head (aka Gary Goggles) of the G.I.Joe collectors community at such an early age that weekend, my feelings surrounding collecting and what it means to do so in the present began to trouble me a bit.

In my cleaning I didn't exactly find anything I didn't know about, but did get an idea of just how much crap I have when it was all placed out in the open in one room. And I'm not even including toys in this really. But that is a problem as well. The issue that sparked my current thoughts was my attraction to design, product design mostly. I love packaging. I love packaging art and I tend to place packages away that really strike me. However, when you have 3 large totes, and 5 boxes full of empty packages and containers, well, it's something. And when I say something, it's just a nice way of saying kind of fucked up.

Monster Cereals Frakenberry Lucky Charms Creme Soda rare pop Ferrara Pan candy

In one tote was a collection of empty cereal boxes. The oldest goes back to 1994, not old if you are a cereal collector of course, but I'm not. No, I just collect the boxes because I like them, any general value is probably lost due to not having the cereal itself, and being flattened. I also had a bunch of boxes that held pop/soda cans. By far the largest amount of packaging I have collected has come from candy. Again, some of my packages go back 20-25 years.

Japanese pretz candy Carl snacks Pocky Hello Kitty toys candy chocolate

Now as if collecting packages from items I grew up on wasn't bad enough, I have also collected items from Japan rather heavily. My last trip to Japan I spent $250 on candy alone. But I don't just hold on to Japanese candy packages, it's also boxes that held curry, or corn crisps, and potato chips, or microwave cake mixes. I had a box for Gundam popsicles at one point but seem to have lost that to time.

Japanese Ramune soda bottles Creme Soda vanila Fanta soda melon creme Japan

I don't limit myself to just keeping paper goods, I am more than willing to hold onto glass bottles and metal pop cans. Canadian creme soda cans, Japanese ramune soda bottles, a Coke bottle from China. All things that I feel have some artistic merit to them, and that I just have a fondness for. I don't just keep 1 of each though, in some cases I have 4-6 of an item. Why do I need 6 Red Creme Soda cans from a Canadian grocery store? I don't.

Hostess Twinkies box banana original Sara Lee cakes KB Toys In-N-Out Burger awesome

I have a number of Twinkies boxes, but not to be left out I've also collected what I consider to be Twinkies knock offs.  I have bags from old toy stores that have long gone out of business, some of which I guess I didn't even really frequent often. I also have Steak 'n Shake and In-N-Out Burger take out bags just for good measure.

As I said, this isn't really about toys, or at least wasn't that weekend, but I have to admit in some ways toys will no doubt factor in. As a collector who can "go all in" rather quickly as evidenced by my rapid build up of G.I.Joe Kre-O toys, I have to be more cautious about what I spend, and what I take in. I have a finite amount of space living in an apartment, and sharing that space with another. And with each step I take to try and limit myself, like selling 80% of my modern G.I.Joe toys, or attempting to sell off my Star Wars collectibles, it doesn't help when I bring more of those particular things in. Even though most of my Star Wars items are up for sale, I still went out on grabbed an 18inch Biker Scout and a Black Series Speeder Bike on my birthday. I bought these because I love the Biker Scout design, always have. But I have to put more effort into thinking about what is best and maybe what is best is for me to not have bought these. Even if they are really damn awesome toys.

One other collection of items in storage was 2 totes and 4 boxes of Sylvanian Families toys. I haven't made much if any mention of those here on this blog yet, but my God I have a lot of them. Well at least a lot for someone who isn't even a hardcore collector of the toys. Sort of. I have actually been to the Sylvanian Families restaurant in Tokyo.

I think I've been able to hide a lot of these things I collect from others, and really put them out of my own mind because they are light, they are easily stored away and just don't really see the light of day. My other hoarder-like vice isn't so easy to conceal. I love books. Art books, music biography books, movie guides, comics, graphic novels, how to's, cook books, language books, pictorial travel guides, jut so much more than I can list. And they are heavy, and they take up a lot of space, and I just need to let some of them go. As I continue to collect toy and anime/manga related books I am bringing in too much, and maybe some of the less collectible type books find new homes.

I don't want to give the impression that I am somehow ashamed or embarrassed of what I have accumulated, but I'm pretty honest with myself, and I can see if this isn't a real issue now (and I think it is), it could become much worse later. There no reason I couldn't scan all these items, or maybe at the very least half of them while keeping just my absolute favorites. I feel a change could help lift me out of a collector's funk that I've been in for some time now. We'll see.

toy collector hoarder pop cans Japanese candy Japanese ramune soda

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Missing Microman: Chameleon Goods Protos & More.

One of the misconceptions out there is that Microman was a dead toy line by the end of 1984, and that it was cancelled because it was a bad seller. Neither of those internet theories are true. Microman was promoted right up to the time Takara began promotion of Transformers in mid-1985. Microman toys were still selling in stores with new toys still in development right till the end. Some of these un-produced toys is what I want to focus on here.

Beam Robo
The most recognized of the un-produced Microman toys. This toy was not just solicited in retailer catalogs sent out by Takara but actually advertised to the public as coming out soon. Of course, it never did make it to stores. The Beam Robo was part of Takara's Chameleon Goods push, and the toy would have been a working flashlight. The pic below shows the early working prototype, and the final prototype that would have been sent to production. The robot's alt mode would have been a flashlight, and had a third configuration as a desk top lamp. Several Japanese fans have created pretty accurate versions as garage kits for sale over the years and they've even carried the Takara licensing trademark. This has caused some to believe the toy was in fact released or that they have seen loose samples at auction.

Transformers Beam Robo 1984 1985 Microman unreleased prototypes Takara ミクロマン タカラ

Camera Robo II
A second camera was developed for the Microman line, this one a single unit as opposed to the earlier 3 robot Camera Robo. I like that the Camera Robo II robot has a bit more personality than the original Camara Robo. Not having to split apart rally helps to make a better single robot. Microman designers loved their shoulder mounted guns.

Camera Robo Reflector 1984 1985 Microman unreleased prototypes Takara ミクロマン タカラ

Sandglass Robo
This would have been a much later toy, issued in the Chameleon Goods campaign. It's a quirky design for sure. The glass tube would have contained sand to make it a fully functional item. I file this along with the Kagi Robos as cool in concept, but not overly fun as toys.

1984 1985 Microman unreleased prototypes Takara ミクロマン タカラ Micronauts Diaclone

Gun Robo Walther P-38
While this toy was ultimately released, here's a look at some early development designs. When the body design was chosen, the style and head still sort of resembled the Browning Gun Robo. The two alternate head designs are cool, but the actual humanoid face the toy had works better as a heroic Microman robot companion.

Transformers Megatron 1984 1985 Microman unreleased prototypes Takara ミクロマン タカラ

I'll leave you with this illustration from late 1984 by Amuro Ray (a pseudonym, not the anime character). Pretty cool to see the Lady Command remembered so many years later.

Micro Change Saran Lady Command Acroyear 1984 1985 Microman unreleased prototypes Takara ミクロマン タカラ

1984 1985 Microman Takara ミクロマン タカラ unreleased prototypes

Saturday, February 14, 2015

On this Feb. 14th...

Here's to a Happy Valentines Day!

My wife left me a little treat before she went off to work. A cool Frute Brute Hot Wheels car, and a bottle of curry powder. Really happy to have the car, but maybe even more excited to get some curried chicken cooked up.

Frute Brute Hot Wheels car Matchbox Monster cereal

Slow day here for now. With intermittent mini blizzards outside I am sorting tubs of clothes indoors. Some stuff dates back to 1989. Yeah, 26 year old Cure and Depeche Mode t-shirts. :)

Valentines Day holiday love Frute Brute Hot Wheels car Matchbox Monster cereal

Monday, February 9, 2015

Future Of The GanguStars Website And Collection.

The last bit of 2014 brought on a period of reflection for me. Thinking things over the last few weeks, if I knew I could get it done quickly, and without collectors bitching about, trying to low ball and overall balking on asking prices, I'd start selling my collectibles this week. At no other point in the last 8 years I have felt less interested in in. I know though that even partial collections going unsold creep into ginormous rebounded collections in a few years. It's happened to me several times. It is always hard committing to just selling it all.

I should point out something that has kinda taken me in again, vintage/retro manga. There's a hardcore market for some of it, but it doesn't seem as cutthroat or monetarily/celebrity motivated as vintage toy collecting has become. There's nobody ignorantly throwing $5000-$6000 for what is perceived to be rare copies. It's just fun and I need more of than in a hobby.

comics Japanese Robots manga tokusatsu toys vintage toys おもちゃ  まんが ローボット 電人ザボーガー

comics Japanese Robots manga tokusatsu toys vintage toys おもちゃ  まんが ローボット 電人ザボーガーcomics Japanese Robots manga tokusatsu toys vintage toys おもちゃ  まんが ローボット 電人ザボーガー

I do regret not having been able to get a collectibles site up and running, but nothing is totally off the table yet. I still have the desire, and the actual site structure planned out. I'm just missing the funding for the site. This blog was never meant to cover a great deal of in depth researching and analysis. The blog side of my GanguStars plan was just for quick reviews or to sound of on new toy buys.  need a bigger canvas for what I want to create with my toy knowledge.

The other stumbling block I have it lack of actual toys. I'd love to do a nice Air Raiders online checklist, but I'm missing a good chunk of of the toy line. I'd also love to do some figure galleries, but my choice in action figures that I buy are rather tame and could come off a little boring.

Star Wars Kenner Hasbro action figure toys galleries www.gangustars.comAir Raiders 1987 Hasbro action figure toys galleries

I also haven't figured out where I'd put random rare page scans yet. I could draw them out into actual articles, but I feel that being so lacking in content, maybe a handful of scans are better suited for a blog. And what about chapters of manga? Not best for reading on a blog. Then there's of course the idea of doing the same thing that's already out there. Sure I could cover some of the same material that other sites get wrong, but what atmosphere will that create? And should I continue to post info that has been sort of posted online before but with missing details? I feel maybe it takes time away from other projects.

Macross マクロス アニメ Robotech vintage art toys media action figure toys galleries www.gangustars.comDragonball Z keshii gomu Bandai action figure toys galleries

As it stands I have a lot of things underway, I just need to commit to them. Like I said, I have the basic structure and design of a website planned and ready, I just need to find a way to pay for it. I have a few collectors guides planned and being worked out. I have been working on content for a bi-monthly/quarterly fanzine, I just don't know if there's enough interest to cover the costs of it. All things that require a little more though.

Transformers Machine Robo Gobots Diacloen Microman G.I.Joe action figure toys galleries
Octonauts Imaginext DC Super Friends Fisher-Price Hasbro action figure toys galleries
Gobots Micronauts Diakron Kronoform Transformers decoys Daiclone Car Robots Hasbro action figure toys galleries

comics, Japanese Robots, manga, toys, tokusatsu, vintage toys, まんが, おもちゃ, ローボット, 電人ザボーガー

Sunday, February 8, 2015

My Joes Found 'round the World.

Blog Post #100!

So I had wanted to do something a little more special, but couldn't really think of anything that I could actually get done in a timely matter. I decided to take a small poll to see what people would like to see instead and with the handful of votes that came in G.I.Joe tied with Takara SF Land toys. With G.I.Joe getting the first vote, I called it in favor of Joe. But don't worry Takara voters, there's still a little Takara thrown in here as well.

I mentioned in my last post that I didn't really get into G.I.Joe until late 1983, and really got going with Hasbro's 1984 assortment. The series 3 additions of Blowtorch, Scrap Iron and Firefly are really to be credited (or blamed) for my love of G.I.Joe. As years went on, and as my options from where to buy Joes opened up, I got into International Joe toys. My first International Joe was a Japanese Takara Firefly that I got in the early 90's. I then got a Chinese v.1 Cobra Commander as a gift in 1994-95. It would be a few years later that I would dip my toes into the foreign Joe market again with more Japanese Takara Joes, and a few more years before I started to move around the World and buy regional exclusives.

I've never had a massive Joe collection as an adult. Once I sold my childhood Joe collection back in the day that was kind of it. And when it came to foreign Joes, I was pretty picky. After jumping in with Japanese Joes, I wanted to start picking up some U.K. Action Force pieces. I had a carded Blowtorch, but had always wanted some Red Shadows guys. Totally unique to AF, and inline more with Star Wars than U.S. Joes I found these guys really cool. The problem was I only like the enemy forces. With each awesome bad guy repainted vehicle or figures was an uncool hero toy.

G.I.Joe Palitoy Action Force Red Shadows Black Major Muton U.K. exclusivesG.I.Joe Palitoy Action Force Red Shadows Red Laser MoBat U.K. exclusives

For the most part, when it came to the Action Force branded toys I bought whatever loose items I could. I didn't really care to spend much money and go in on MISB stuff. That is until I decided I wanted to go after the European Tiger Force exclusives.

GI.Joe Tiger Force Outback UK exclusive tiger shirt Europe TigerGI.Joe Tiger Force Outback UK exclusive tiger shirt Europe Tiger

I feel that Tiger Force gets a really bad wrap for being a straight repaint line, but it showed Hasbro (for better or worse) that sub-lines of recolored per-existing toys could provide higher profits out of the molds. Hell, it worked on me as a kid. I bought all the U.S. Tiger Force toys but the Tiger Sting. I'm sure it was the fact that I liked them so much as a kid that pushed me into getting the Euro ones as an adult, but realistically, I really like the color schemes and detailing of these figures. The Tiger Force Outback is so amazing, with a shirt that has become somewhat iconic among Joe figures. Someone even did a run of actual t-shirts featuring this design about 10 years back. I of course had to buy one. Like I said, I've always had a thing for Tiger Force.

G.I.Joe Tiger Force 2003 Stalker Jinx Dialtone exclusive Tiger ForceTiger Force G.I.Joe Brazil Europe exclusives Lifelinr Roadblock

Now Europe isn't the only place that had exclusive Tiger Force toys, Brazil got some too. I shopped around quite a bit with Brazilian sellers to get most of the exclusive Tiger Force stuff sold there. I didn't branch out too far into Brazilian Joe stuff. It would have been easy I think, there's some great and funky figure designs down there. If you have a second check out their versions of Sky Patrol and Eco Force, and the sub line that all had animal partners Forca Fera. Outside of Tiger Force I only really picked up some Forca Naja (Python Patrol) items. One in particular being the very high in demand Naja Hidro-Helicoptero.

Força Naja Comandos em Ação Naja Hidro Helicóptero GIJoe Brazil Python Patrol SwampfireForça Naja Comandos em Ação Naja Base Anti Aerea GIJoe Brazil Python Patrol ASP

The Hidro-Helicoptero which most outside Brazil pretty much refer to as the Python Swampfire was an exclusive item to Brazil. It took the bright green Dreadnok Swampfire and coated it in Python Patrol colors. It was a very cool toy, much better in this PP style than the original look. I had also grabbed the Brazilian version of the Python ASP. I thought about picking up a 3rd Forca Naja, the Naja Trimoto De Ataque (Estrella Python Stun) but skipped out on it. I never actually bought any of the Estrella Forca Naja figures either. Just before completing a set of Brazilian Tiger Force toys I got ripped off in 2 separate deals. After losing a good sum of money I kinda cooled off on dealings with sellers in Brazil. I still need a few Brazilian Estrella Forca Tigre items. If you have a boxed Forca Tigre Tigre Caça Bombardeiro (Tiger Rat) as well as the Tigre Oficial De Inteligência-Duque and Tigre Operação Resgate-Paramedico figures to sell or trade let me know.

Plastirama G.I.Joe Cobra Black Ninja-Ku comandos em açãoPlastirama G.I.Joe TNT T.N.T. Blowtorch comandos em ação

I didn't just stop in South America completely, I did grab a few items from Argentina. I think maybe 5 or so, but selling most, including the Ninja-ku, Satan and Ninja (Storm Shadow). I did keep the Blowtorch re-colors T.N.T. and Back-Stop.

I pretty much missed the good finds that have come in the last 10 years from places like Mexico and China, I just haven't kept up with my International Joe collecting. I have been focused on other less popular lines or just not spending the kind of cash that seems to be needed to stay in the running. And to be honest, my first and most loved area of International Joes will always be the Japanese Takara stuff.
G.I.Joe Japan Takara タカラ G.I.ジョー 1986 デューク グラント スカイストライカーG.I.Joe Japan Takara タカラ G.I.ジョー 1986 デストロ ワイルドウィゼル コブララトラー

The packaging art is beautiful, the toys are of the  high quality found in North America and Europe. The line is not very big, it's been called a "Best Of" line of early G.I.Joe toys. I have to agree. I did however cut back on my Japanese Joes selling almost all non-Cobra items a few years back. 

G.I.Joe Japan Takara タカラ, G.I.ジョー 1986 BaronessG.I.Joe Japan Takara タカラ, G.I.ジョー 1986 Baroness バロネス

I have thought about getting back into it, but haven't just yet. While the items are just not as rare as ebay sellers may hype them, there's too many auctions scalpers out there right now picking up cheap items and then trying to flip them on ebay for much higher costs. It cheats collectors out of the chance to get the items at a good price. You of course wouldn't have had a problem 15 years ago, and it was surely a breeze 20 years ago. G.I.Joe didn't take off in Japan. The age group that would have been needed to make it a hit passed on the toys. Funny enough, the group we now call "tweens" are the ones who ran with the Joe concept in part due to the customizing and dio building so many adult Joe fans partake in now.

G.I.Joe Japan Takara タカラ, G.I.ジョー 1986 コブラコマンダー ザルタン Cobra Commander ZartanG.I.Joe Japan Takara タカラ, G.I.ジョー 1986 Snake Eyes

Japan did produce enough cool things though to give collectors a fun time looking for them, toys, books, candy toys, a record, the Movie on VHS among other things. As for the record, it featured the open and end credit songs in their full unedited forms. I uploaded each if you want to have a listen to the Joe songs in Japan. I have to admit, I much prefer the U.S. songs, but you make up your own mind.

World's Greatest Expert Team: G.I.Joe Open theme:G.I.Joe by Rei Ishihara:

World's Greatest Expert Team: G.I.Joe End theme: Again by Rei Ishihara:

Yo Joe!
G.I.Joe Japan Takara タカラ G.I.ジョー 1986 Gung Ho ガンホー

1984, g.i.joe, hasbro, Japan, Takara, タカラ, G.I.ジョー, 1991, 1986, Tiger Force,