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.”
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.”
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!