Collector Matt Babek’s GIjOE granted official display status in Smithsonian Museum

Imagine having your own, personal GIjOE become part of the national collection at the Smithsonian.
That fantasy has become a reality for collector Matt Babek. (Photo: Smithsonian)

Hot off the wire and Exclusive to The Joe Report…

The card beneath Matt's Joe is simple and to the point. Click to enlarge. (Photo: Smithsonian)

After waiting for several years, long-time GIjOE fan and collector, Matt Babek, was recently notified by officials at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History, that the vintage GIjOE Action Soldier he had given them is now on official display.

Babek’s GIjOE has been transitioned from being one person’s plaything to a VERY special public representative. The painted-hair Army figure has been positioned “front and center” inside of a large, glassed-in display case, adjacent to a vintage Barbie. During regular museum hours, Matt’s Joe can be seen standing at perfect attention, eager to greet his visitors. Here’s how Matt describes the events…

“I’m a longtime vintage GIjOE collector. Back in the mid-90’s, I heard that GIjOE was in the Smithsonian. I did some research and found out that they only had a fuzzy-haired Joe from the 1970’s.

I contacted the Smithsonian to let them know that I thought they should also have an original, 1964 painted hair GIjOE in their collections and that I would be willing to donate one.

After several months of letters and pictures, in 1996, I was very pleased to learn that the Smithsonian had accepted my gift of an original GIjOE boxed Action Soldier into their permanent collections.

I was recently notified by them that the GIjOE is currently on display in the Smithsonian National Museum of American History. They sent me a few pictures which I have attached for you. Thanks”

Our heartiest congratulations to Matt and his entire family. His generous gift of one of his personal GIjOEs has become a “one-in-a-million” action figure. We’re sure this Army Joe will faithfully execute his new duties, to the best of his abilities, for generations to come. Hooah!

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3 thoughts on “Collector Matt Babek’s GIjOE granted official display status in Smithsonian Museum

  1. Joseph Benedetto says:

    This is so incredibly cool … CONGRATULATIONS — and Thank You! GiJoe really does belong in the Smithsonian for all the impact he had on this American generation.

  2. Philip Mahe says:

    Right on! Very happy for you and all the Joe collectors out there. Joe has been a part of most kids lives from 64 to to day. Had a huge impact on my life from my first one in 66 to today.

  3. kneonknight says:

    Look, if they’ve had Archie Bunker’s chair in there all this time, it’s only fair that “America’s Movable Fighting Man” has his spot as well. If anything is an icon of the 60s, it’s G.I. joe.

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