Stunning News From California:
In an exclusive to The Joe Report, the son of famed GIjOE collector and entrepreneur, James DeSimone, has revealed that his father recently suffered a heart attack and has decided to sell off the majority of his vast GIjOE and vintage toy collection. Dubbed “GIjOE’s #1 fan” in the 1990s by Hasbro executives, DeSimone is famous for forming the first GIjOE collector’s club back in 1985, hosting numerous GIjOE toy shows, publishing a series of popular GIjOE price guides, and manufacturing numerous reproduction IRWIN vehicles, some of which can still be purchased from his well-known “GIjOE Information” website (found HERE). The news of DeSimone’s condition first came to our attention thanks to Eagle-Eyed Field Reporter, Michael Dunn, who alertly wrote in to The Joe Report with the following intel:
“James DeSimone recently suffered a heart attack, or so I have been told by someone selling off his collection. The only GIjOE-related item (so far) is a banana box full of sandbags that he had used in one of his giant dioramas. I have not heard of anything else (GIjOE-related) of his for sale yet, outside of the sandbag auction found HERE.”
Further investigation by The Joe Report has revealed that the “someone” referred to in Dunn’s account is Jame’s own son, Jonathan DeSimone. When asked to comment about his father’s health and the source of the sandbags being auctioned, Jonathan confirmed our questions, by declaring:
“I am his son, Jonathan. And yes, Dad had a heart attack and we are clearing the attic. His heart is about 1/3 of what it should be, for the past year now. You can contact my dad through his website.”
We tried contacting James as his son suggested, but apparently he is resting much of the day and has been unable to reply. According to Jonathan:
“My dad does need a lot of ‘down time.’ All I can suggest is to try again.”
Bottom Line: Just how extensive Jame’s sell-off of his massive (and famous) toy collection will end up being remains to be seen. Our thoughts and prayers go out to James and his family during this difficult time. We wish him the speediest of recoveries and the best of success with his future auctions and GIjOE shows. And thanks to TJR Field Reporter, Michael Dunn, for his assistance with this article. If you’d like to send James a “Get Well” message of your own, we suggest you email him HERE. He may not be able to reply for a while, but we’re sure he’d love to hear from you. Go, James!