For those who love GIjOE, it’s hard to let go of anything toy-related, even if it’s something we no longer care about. Why? Because Joeheads see kitbashing potential in practically everything. As a result, over the years, many fans of 1:6 and 1:18 scale Joes have amassed growing “sell and trade” piles at home, typically comprised of unwanted and broken parts, imperfect figures and busted-up vehicles.
Faced with disposing of such toy detritus, fans can either trade or sell it, donate it to a charity or thrift store (i.e. Goodwill, Salvation Army, etc.) or…”reuse and recycle” (R&R) the items back into their collections by producing all-new custom creations. The R&R method of disposal is the one we’ll be discussing (most enthusiastically!) in today’s article.
To demonstrate the sort of creative thinking behind R&R, we thought it best to seek out the expert counsel of well-known master-customizer, and regular TJR contributor, Gary Stair. Readers of The Joe Report (TJR) will recall Mr. Stair from previous articles showcasing his custom creations for Captain Action (CA); see HERE and HERE.
Ideas from an Expert
Most customizers work with existing vehicles, adding details such as custom paint jobs, extra parts, “weathering,” waterslide decals, etc. But Gary prefers to create all-new, original toys by mixing and combining parts from a variety of unrelated sources. He describes the process this way:
“Well, for example, what do you do when you have a severely burnt, bad-smelling GIjOE Adventure Team headquarters and a fairly decent one that you bought for cheap? By themselves, neither is much of a prize, but together…? After thinking it over, I realized that neither Hasbro nor Ideal had ever made a Moon Base for GIjOE or Captain Action. However, Action Man ( in the UK ) had created many of the components I needed to make a really cool base. So…I gathered a few more odds-n-ends and wa-LA! It was base-buildin’ time!”
“As you can see, I kept most of the old AT HQ structure intact (above), although I decided I didn’t really need the storage room area. So, I converted that section into a bedroom (see below), complete with a flat screen TV playing ‘My Favorite Martian’ HA.”
“Next up was my conversion of the communications room. First, I updated all the photos. Then, I cut out some equipment panels and glued balsa wood behind them to give ’em all a more 3-D look. Finally, I added some new shelves to hold testing equipment, rock samples and chemical containers.” (see closeup below)
“My new moon station is also equipped with several vehicles for exploration including a one-man jet pack for short aerial trips, a Moonraker space buggy for long terrain trips and a ‘Space-Pod’ for long-range excursions of the lunar surface.” (see below)
But Wait! There’s More!
Just when we thought we had seen everything, Gary sent along some additional photos of a newly kitbashed custom ATV, a mini-submarine and even a Captain Action train! Here’s a peek at the pics:
“In the photo above, my Captain Action is shown checking the controls of his new mini-sub as he prepares to hit the water in a new underwater adventure. In the photo below, you can see that the sub has a complete interior with an upholstered seat and a new set of gauge decals from Patches of Pride.”
“I call my custom Captain Action attack ‘copter (above), ‘Big Nellie’ in honor of the similar-looking one made famous by 007. GIjOE fans will recognize that a lot of the parts came from an Avenger Pursuit Craft. But I added many things to make the scale and mechanics more accurate. I also think I may have improved on Bond’s ‘Little Nellie’ (see artwork above) somewhat by adding gadgets such as smoke-screen projectors, rear and forward-firing missiles, laser turrets, front air-to-ground missiles and an easy to access control panel. Whoosh!”
“Originally, my old ATV was in really bad shape. But after giving it a thorough cleaning, I repaired and restored it to like-new condition. Then, I added a pair of hydraulic arms and a trailer hitch (shown above) that I had taken from an old Kenner ‘Aliens’ power loader.”
“To complete my ATV’s restoration and customization (see above), I installed an interior conversion kit from Patches of Pride (PoP), cargo cans from Lowes hardware, and a pair of PoP bungee tie-downs.”
Bottom Line: What ISN’T possible with a little imagination and creativity? We’d like to thank Gary Stair once again for his generous contributions to The Joe Report and to this article. His creative customs never cease to amaze and undoubtedly serve as a continued inspiration to other fans around the world. Go, Joe! Go, GARY!