Is Arkansas About to Become a “Joe-Free” State? Lone G.I. Joe Collector Declares He is Unable to Locate Enough Fans to Create a New (AR) Division

Longtime GIjOE fan, Douglas Kidd (hown above, posing with his first childhood GIjOE), has revealed to The Joe Report that he has been unable to locate any other collectors in the entire state of Arkansas. Kidd's goal for the past year has been to assemble enough fans to create a new "local division" of the official GIjOE Collector's Club. But as this date, he has had little to no luck. (Photo: Douglas Kidd)

Loyal GIjOE fan, Douglas Kidd (shown above, with his first childhood GIjOE), has revealed to The Joe Report that he has been unable to locate ANY other 1:6 scale Joe collectors in the state of Arkansas. Kidd’s goal for the last year has been to assemble enough fans to create a new “local division” of the GIjOE Collector’s Club. But as of this date, he has had no success. (Photo: Douglas Kidd)

One Man Does Not a Club Make

Has GIjOE fan, Douglas Kidd (60), become “The Omega Man” of GIjOE collectors in the State of Arkansas? According to Kidd, he’s been trying for over a year to locate other fans in the “Natural State” so as to form a new local division of the official GIjOE Collector’s Club. But luck hasn’t been with him. In fact, he’s had NO replies to his repeated public inqueries—whatsoever!

It’s difficult to believe GIjOE made so few inroads into the retail outlets of 1960s and ’70s Arkansas. Wasn’t the product line distributed evenly across the entire U.S? Or did Hasbro’s delivery trucks simply barrel through the region on their way to bigger, more lucrative markets? Kidd doesn’t know anything about that, but he does admit that he’s begun to feel he is indeed, “all alone in Arkansas.”

Curious about the possibility that some sort of GIjOE collecting “void” actually now exists in Arkansas, we asked Douglas to elaborate on his childhood experiences and memories of GIjOE, and to recount his frustrating and ongoing modern-day search for like-minded fans in 2013. According to Kidd:

“I received my first GIjOEs in 1965, a Soldier and a Marine. Back then, some of my friends also had ’em, so everybody played together. And I still have all my originals. I’ve posted on the general discussion forums that I really enjoy making dioramas, too. It gives a 60-year-old mind something to do. In fact, I’ve probably played more with my Joes at 59 and 60 than I did as a child. And I still enjoy the heck out of them! But now, even though I’m looking all the time for enthusiasts, I haven’t found anyone else still collecting in my area.”

Kidd's vintage GIjOEs are not boxed or locked-up in fancy display cases. Rather, they're simply out, about, and enjoying their freedom throughout his house. (Photo: Douglas Kidd)

Kidd’s vintage GIjOEs are not boxed or locked-up in fancy display cases. Rather, they’re simply out, about, and enjoying their freedom throughout his house. (Photo: Douglas Kidd)

We asked Douglas if he had ever been able to attend a GIjOE show or convention, so as to ask other fans about the possible whereabouts of fellow (Joe-collecting) Arkansans. He said:

“No, I haven’t been to any shows. I do wish I knew of some other collectors here locally. Actually, I know that SOMEONE in my same Zip-Code buys a lot of Joe-stuff off of ebay, because I’ve bid against him (or her) many times. Maybe someday we get together and I’ll have someone locally to share my toys and treasures with again.”

Douglas' beautiful vintage Desert Jeep still has the machine-gun ring, flagpole and spare tire. VVROOM! (Photo: Douglas Kidd)

Douglas’ vintage Desert Jeep still has its machine-gun ring, and spare tire. (Photo: Douglas Kidd)

Shelves full of vintage Adventure Team Joes await Doug's next assignment. (Photo: Douglas Kidd)

Shelves full of vintage Adventure Team Joes await Douglas’ next assignment. (Photo: Douglas Kidd)

Kidd's GIjOE collection appears to be mostly authentic Hasbro. (Photo: Douglas Kidd)

Kidd’s GIjOE collection is clearly well-loved and played with often. (Photo: Douglas Kidd)

It warms our hearts to see so much vintage geared-up and ready! (Photo: Douglas Kidd)

It warms our hearts to see so many vintage Joes geared-up and ready to FIGHT! (Photo: Douglas Kidd)

CHARGE!!!!! Take Hill 49, men! (Photo: Douglas Kidd)

CHARGE!!!!! Capture Hill 79, men! (Photo: Douglas Kidd)

Bottom Line: Despite appearances, it’s unlikely that Douglas Kidd is the last GIjOE collector in all of Arkansas. More likely, he’s just encountered a run of bad luck. Wouldn’t it be ironic if the person he’s constantly bidding against over on ebay turned out to be one of his long-lost, childhood “Joe buddies” who used to live nearby? Hmm… For his sake, we hope Douglas is able to build his new local club division in Arkansas. There’s no better way to enjoy the GIjOE hobby than by SHARING IT with friends. If you have any suggestions for “Kidd’s Quest,” please leave a comment HERE on The Joe Report or send Douglas an email HERE. He would LOVE to discuss the matter—with anyone!

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14 thoughts on “Is Arkansas About to Become a “Joe-Free” State? Lone G.I. Joe Collector Declares He is Unable to Locate Enough Fans to Create a New (AR) Division

  1. Greg says:

    Yep. I worked at the USS RAZORBACK museum in Little Rock for eight years. Often donated Joes to the museum to sell in the store. Had them sit on the shelves for as much as a year, and we get about 25,000 or so visitors a year.

    • Travis (son) and Ron Garriott (father) are interested in getting a hold of Douglas Kidd. Located in Rose Bud, Arkansas. Ron is a 50 year original Cotswold and GIjOE collector. Please consider emailing us back to speak further on creating an Arkansas Division of GIjOE collectors.

    • doug kidd springdale ark. says:

      I will be in Little Rock this Friday the 19th and Sunday the 21st and would love to see your collection and meet you sir!

    • doug kidd springdale ark. says:

      greg would like to met you some time

  2. GIJOEBILL says:

    That sucks for Doug.
    Doug is a great Joehead and you fellas in the sticks of Arkansas should look him up!
    Great collection Doug!!!

  3. Wayne Faucher says:

    I would be curious to find out what Hasbro’s Joe distribution (and sales) in Arkansas were like, back in the day. Is it possible that it was just a region that was never reached by GI Joe?

    • I’m not sure of Arkansas’ population, but if it’s significantly lower than other states, that may play a part in all this. And who knows what Hasbro was thinking back then, and what their distribution figures were for Arkansas. Interesting…

  4. Daniel says:

    This may bear no relevance, but I am from the UK and when I visited Florida a couple of weeks back, I read the directory and asked just about everyone I could, even visited a number of comic book stores, model shops and flea markets, and no one could tell me where to obtain a vintage 12-inch GIjOE. 😦 Lots of 3/4 size joes (vintage), however. So I came to the conclusion that GIjOEs are much rarer than Action Man is in UK.

    I put it down to them being out of production longer than here in UK. I was so gutted. I couldnt find my State Trooper. I had taken $1000 for him alone. 😦 What a shame if he losing his appeal in the USA. It’s Action Man’s birthplace! Fingers crossed for Joelanta in March 🙂

  5. Wayne Faucher says:

    Well, I certainly remember the days when you could find Joes at flea markets and yard sales. Probably into the mid 80’s. In that era they were still too new for anyone to care about. Once Joe became a “collectible”, he quickly vanished from those venues only to be seen in antique shops and collectible shows….If I go to a regular toy show now, I may see one vender with vintage Joe stuff. Hate to say it, but Ebay and Joe sites are about the only place nowadays, unless you can travel to an all Joe show…

    Do you still see Action Man at yard sales? If so, I’m UK bound!

  6. GIJOEBILL says:

    Daniel,
    Vintage Joes in Florida ARE rare. Especially in “the wild.” At flea markets and yards sales, they’re hardly available, and if they are…they’re overpriced and common items. Florida is a transient area. Lots of folks move here for business and then leave. For us locals who grew up here, it’s not the same as the rest of the U.S. Other than older parts of Florida, most homes do not have attics or basements. Parents would not be able to store our childhood toys the way they do up North. The majority of my collection came from OTHER States. I am guessing I have something from almost every State in the Union!

  7. Anonymous says:

    Have a Gen. George Patton …Classic Collection …never opened the box….now pushing 80….anybody have a need……send email………..Glen

  8. Allen Yuen says:

    Great Collection Doug!

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