The cover of James DeSimone’s first GIjOE guide has almost become as iconic as its subject matter. While not 100% accurate, it’s nonetheless quite handy and widely respected among collectors for what it DOES provide: a quick visual reference to GIjOE figures, equipment sets and vehicles produced between 1964 and 1978. Self-published by DeSimone back in 1994, the guide originally sold for $75. Copies can still be purchased from Cotswold Collectibles for $20. (Photo: James DeSimone)
GIjOE fan, collector and show organizer, James DeSimone of Glenoaks, CA. (Photo: James DeSimone)
James DeSimone, undeniably one of the most famous (and active) names in the world of GIjOE collecting, is hosting yet another of his famous GIjOE “Action Figure and Toy Shows” on May 5th in Burbank, CA.
Over the last couple of decades, DeSimone has proven himself to be one of GIjOE’s most vocal and effective advocates. Today, “GIjOE’s #1 Fan” (as Hasbro called him) still acts as a leader for fans out on the west coast, and is highly regarded by fans around the world for his multitude of past accomplishments.
As far back as 1985, DeSimone formed the first fan-operated, “GIjOE Collector’s Club,” eventually achieving a total membership of over 500 members. Later, he would produce and host various GIjOE conventions, thereby convincing Hasbro to produce convention exclusives. Permission for official licensing soon followed, and with that, the manufacture of a line of highly popular reproduction vehicles, uniforms, parts and accessories.
The base of a trophy presented to DeSimone by executives at Hasbro bears this unique “#1 GIjOE Fan” designation. (Photo: James DeSimone)
A total of three DeSimone GIjOE identification guides would ultimately be published, and while each has both fans and detractors, the guides have undeniably been of great assistance to many collectors. And… despite all the time, trouble and expense of hosting GIjOE shows, DeSimone still seems to enjoy being “in on the action.” According to the official press release about next month’s event:
“I want to thank you all for wanting me to do another show. Our next one will be on Sunday May 5, 2013, at the Ramada Inn Hotel at 2900 San Fernando in Burbank, CA. Dealer set up will begin at 6AM and the show is from 9AM to 4PM. Admission is $5 and dealer table spaces are $40 each (limit 2). If you’d like, you can pre-pay with PayPal to: firstname.lastname@example.org, or mail a check to James DeSimone 150 s. Glenoaks Blvd, Burbank CA, 91510. For event or dealer information, you can email us at email@example.com. Please help make the show a success. Tell (and bring) some friends. Parking is free!”
GIjOE fans agree that one of James DeSimone’s greatest triumphs was this superb reproduction of the beloved 1960s Irwin Panther Jet. Simply OUTSTANDING! (Photo: Cotswold Collectibles)
Bottom Line: DeSimone is clearly a “Man of Action.” While others may “talk the talk” year in and year out, this is one GIjOE fan who’s proven he knows how to get things done. James’ shows are still some of the best opportunities for fans in the West to gather together and talk, sell and swap GIjOEs. If you can, we highly recommend you attend this upcoming event in Burbank. Go, James! And… Go, JOE!