Tuesday, March 14, 2006

I Have A Different Name For Her

How about "Lutheran Barbie?"

Lutheran Lucy has a couple of posts here and here about Barbie.

Which reminded me of the great GI Joe. He was every 1960s boy's hero. A military man at heart, he even bore a scar on his right cheek. And I'm sure he could kick the crap out of Barbie's Ken. In the late 1960s, they made him an astronaut. I remember I had the version below, complete with command module that seated only one. He also had a cool shiny aluminum foil spacesuit and a plastic helmet. In the early 1970s they jazzed him up a little and gave him a carpet of hair and a beard for special operations forces. Whether they ever made a Lutheran version, I don't know.

And in the early 1970s there was also Big Jim.

Big Jim was the athletic GI Joe. He didn't get involved in too many military escapades. He was an athlete. A fisherman, hunter, baseball player, football player, and basketball player. And a black belt in karate. He could realistically flex his biceps when you bent his elbows. And if you pushed a button on his back, his right arm would come down in a karate chop motion. He even came with a board to break.

It's strange, but the Barbie Camper (below right) looks a lot like the Big Jim Sports Camper (below left). GI Joe probably co-opted it from Barbie on some special-ops mission and repainted it. Then gave it to his buddy Jim. That Barbie was such a Commie.

The only thing missing from the pictures of these old toys is that funky vinyl/plastic smell. I love that smell to this day. Only a new car smell is as distinct as this.

I think the world ought to smell more like these things.


  1. Hey, I had that motorhome..

    Doesn't that early GI Joe look like Dr. Bones - Star Trek?

  2. "Doesn't that early GI Joe look like Dr. Bones - Star Trek?"

    Yes, he does! So I did some further research.

    It turns out that in Episode 52 of the original Star Trek series, it is revealed that Bones is a direct descendant of GI Joe.

    Which explains the resemblance.

  3. Here's to hours spent playing Barbie! Maybe that could be a new strategy for working out the world's problems, go back to playing Barbie. Men and women. The guys could just play war with Ken dolls. The girls would just pick up where we left off at about age 12.

  4. "The guys could just play war with Ken dolls."

    Huh? Playing war with Ken dolls is like bringing a hockey stick to a baseball game- utterly useless!

    The guys will stick with GI Joe!

    My wife keeps talking about getting all of her old Barbies out and playing with them. Maybe she should call you gals.