“Aged” Commander is Older, But “Not Bitter”

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The “Aged Commander” GIjOE as envisioned by California-based artist, Maura Condrick, sports a wrinkled face and neck, a wider waistline, and walks with the aid of a (pretty cool-looking) cane. So…where can collectors get one of those nifty 1:6 scale canes, Maura? (Photo illustration: Maura Condrick)

The memorable "Aged Adventurer," as created by the GIjOE Collector's Club, featured an all-new bald headsculpt and unique balding flocked hairstyle. (Photo: Sean Huxter)

The memorable “Aged Sea Adventurer,” as created by the GIjOE Collector’s Club, featured an all-new bald headsculpt and unique balding flocked hairstyle. (Photo: Sean Huxter)

Illustrator Creates Images of Aging Toys

We were sitting around the offices of The Joe Report this morning when our new-fangled teletype machine began chattering away and spitting out pages full of the following so-called (GIjOE-related) “news story.” It’s about an illustrator based out of Venice, CA (‘natch!) named Maura Condrick, who had recently completed a series of photo-paintings portraying a variety of classic toys. (Not so interesting, we thought at first). But…what makes Condrick’s work unusual is that her art imagines what our favorite toys would have looked like if they had continued to age—along with their owners. (Ah! Now THAT’S intriguing!)

Of course, fans and customizers of GIjOEs have been playing around with that sort of “what if” idea for years, the most famous being the club’s very own “Aged Sea Adventurer” (see photo at right). Created as a convention exclusive, the club went so far as to create an all-new, balding headsculpt, flocked with a unique receded hair pattern (see complete review and photos by Sean Huxter on his excellent website HERE). In the article written by Margot Peppers for the UK’s Daily Mail (found HERE), Peppers notes:

“When children grow older, they outgrow their toys, but one artist has imagined what the toys would look like it they aged, too. Maura Condrick’s series ‘Toy Story: The Later Years,’ shows classic toys including Barbie and Ken, GIjOE, Mr Potato Head and Thomas the Tank Engine exhibiting signs of old age like grey hair, wrinkles and a stomach paunch.”

Customizers have taken their creative liberties with famous GIjOE's physique, such as Don Hanke's hilarious "Pot Belly Joe." Now THAT's hilarious! (Photo: Mark Otnes)

Customizers have taken their own creative liberties with GIjOE’s famous physique, such as Don Hanke’s hilarious “Pot Belly Joe.” (Photo: Mark Otnes)

The images of Barbie with sagging breasts and a spindly-legged Ken are humorous to be sure, but we were more interested in what has become of “America’s Movable Fighting Man.” Apparently, he’s not quite as “movable” as once was, poor guy. According to the article:

“GIjOE now stands with the help of a walking stick and has certainly seen better days. But GIjOE wants to make it perfectly clear—he’s not bitter. He wasn’t bitter when Hasbro reduced him in size to better compete with Star Wars toys in the early ’80s. He wasn’t bitter when Channing Tatum played him in the movie version of his life, and despite rumors that have dogged him since the mid-’60s, the ‘real American hero’ continues to insist, ‘I’m not a doll, I’m an action figure.”

Bottom Line: If you wondering what all this silliness is about, Condrick’s art was created for an entertainment and lifestyle blog called “The Purple Clover” (found HERE) and her imagery works well with the clever commentary penned by blog writer, Larry Carlat. While it’s not a GIjOE “news story,” it IS a pleasant and irreverent diversion for fans (ala a Mad Magazine satire) and an enjoyable trip down memory lane. Hmm…did I take my pills today?

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