1:6 Scale Cloth Aprons and Metal Toolboxes Found in Local Hardware Stores Fit G.I. Joe

Lowe’s miniature “Kobalt” toolbox is a great value at only $2.98, with real working latches and simulated drawers. Yes, you can spend a LOT more and get better quality, but for something that sits in the background most of the time, you can’t beat it! (Photo: Mark Otnes)

This weekend, I was visiting our local Lowe’s Home Improvement hardware store looking for some window tinting film. In the checkout area, where they have all the little “impulse buy” items (like batteries, candy, key chains, etc.), I discovered a rack of gift card toolboxes. The idea is that you’ll buy a gift card and then want to put it in one of the little toolboxes before presenting it as a gift.

The boxes are black-painted silver metal, with embossed (but fake) drawers, a plastic handle (like on a kid’s lunchbox), realistic “KOBALT” nameplate and working metal latches—all for $2.98! Inside the box is a padded, slotted area where the gift card would go, but you can place miniature 1:6 scale tools there instead, to great effect.

This cool find at Lowe’s got me to thinking…maybe there were other hardware stores selling similar gift card “props.” To find out, I hopped in my Adventure Team yellow car and quickly drove (the legal speed limit) over to a nearby Home Depot home improvement store.

This closeup of the Home Depot apron reveals it fits 1:6 scale figures perfectly! (Photo: Mark Otnes)

SCORE! As it turns out, Home Depot sells a beautiful 1:6 scale cloth apron ($2.98), just like the one their employees wear. It’s made of the same orange canvas cloth, with the store logo silkscreened in white, a big functional pocket and a nice loop to go around Joe’s neck.

There’s no straps to tie in the back, so I just used a couple of drops of gel-based superglue to hold it against his hips. Superb! And instead of inserting a gift card in the apron’s pocket, I’ll be putting in tools, etc.

For about 10 bucks total, I was able to outfit this sailor (who’s home on shore leave doing some chores around the house) with a “gift card” apron and two metal toolboxes. (Photo: Mark Otnes)

But that wasn’t all. Next to the aprons I found some more metal toolboxes for gift cards. Home Depot’s version is thinner than Lowe’s, and painted in its orange and white company colors. Inside, as with the Lowe’s box, is a felt-covered interior shelf, ideal for displaying 1:6 scale screwdrivers or other tools.

Unfortunately, the last store I searched, a Menard’s Home Improvement store, yielded nothing. Just a rack full of boring gift cards. Hmph! No imagination there, guys. Too bad.

And remember…you can always add some 1:6 scale tools for increased realism. We suggest you look online at dealers such as Patches of Pride (PoP) HERE and Cotswold Collectibles HERE. PoP carries larger stuff like saws, rakes, etc,. while Cots sells the new extensive (but expensive) “Fashion Hommes Tool Outfit” with all the little stuff like screwdrivers, etc.

With so little actual 1:6 scale product being sold in stores nowadays, discovering these cool little items in my own town was a pleasant surprise. With these, I’m well on the way to creating a nifty little hardware store or workshop diorama. Hazah!


2 thoughts on “1:6 Scale Cloth Aprons and Metal Toolboxes Found in Local Hardware Stores Fit G.I. Joe

  1. kneonknight says:

    Great finds, Mark-it so happens I have a couple of jobs around the house that require a trip to Home Depot and/or Lowe’s. At around $3.00 each, I’ll probably pick up several of these nifty items.

  2. kneonknight says:

    Update: I bought a half a dozen of these at each store, just for variety’s sake, and a can of OD green flat enamel spray paint. The guy at the counter laughed as he rang me up, saying “Are you one of those G.I. Joe guys?” When I said yes, he said “Tell that webmaster to keep it up, he’s been great for sales.”

    So, Keep it Up, Mark.

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