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My best friend had the whole set

I don’t know why these popped into my head today. My best friend had the whole set. I lusted after it.

It took several different keywords to find them, but I think it’s the Johnny West Family 12″ Marx action figures from the Sixties. I pinched the photos from this guy’s collection. It’s a shame it’s a bit out of focus, but you can just make out a viking, a knight of some kind and I think that’s Genghis Khan in the background.

They did more stuff than I realized! The articulated horses were awesome.

My other best friend had the GI Joe with the cheek scar and the real peachfuzz beard. I lusted after him, too.

It’s not so much that I liked dolls, it’s that I loved miniature things. Little tiny facsimiles. Friend #1 above had the Barbie Camper set and I particularly yearned after those teeny, tiny Coke bottles.

My parents stopped giving me dolls. I developed a reputation for dissecting them. This is not as serial-killerish as it sounds – we’re mostly talking about dolls that walked or talked or like that. It was much more fun to take them apart and poke at the workings than it was to play with them in the expected way.


Comment from QuasiModo
Time: May 26, 2022, 9:40 pm

We had Billy Blastoff when we were kids. He had a motorized backback and you put him in things to drive it like landers and such…it was pretty cool.


Comment from Deborah HH
Time: May 26, 2022, 10:08 pm

I do not remember these toys at all. I must be older than I thought!

Comment from Durnedyankee
Time: May 27, 2022, 3:45 am

The original Joe had the scar too, the fuzzy Joe came along later.

We spent a lot of time with the SCUBA Joe and the Gemini Space capsule Joe ( With the capsule of course ) in the swimming pool.

And we had to hold a service for the sailor Joe who came off last in a chewing contest with my dog Bunky. Somewhere in a yard north of Boston there’s a Joe buried about a foot and a half down beneath the red maple tree.

Then there was the time the American Joes discovered the “Barbie strip club” while they were relaxing from fighting the German Joes. They even invited the Krauts along for the party. Entertainment was had by all.

I remember the Johnny West toys, but they didn’t have cool weapons or German Kubelwagens or jets or tanks and armored cars. So…dolls. See the difference?

And Mrs D drowned her Chatty Kathy.

Comment from blake
Time: May 27, 2022, 5:31 pm

Sid is the unheralded creative genius of “Toy Story”.

Comment from BJM
Time: May 28, 2022, 7:03 pm

I had a collection of Madame Alexander dolls…my mother was obsessed and they lined the walls of my bedroom…perfect in their cellophane boxes…she particularly liked national costumes…a parade of nations stared back at me in the dark. I loathed them. I was more into puzzles, games, tools, and science kits…toys that did stuff. Yes, I was a girlie disappointment for sure, no frilly dresses and Mary Janes for me; just Teeshirts & jeans with my hair in braids. Mom soon had a girlie girl and I was left to my own devices.

Oh…and one more…rather apropos, eh?

Comment from Pupster
Time: May 29, 2022, 1:22 pm

My sister had the complete Jane West and Thunder sets, I had forgotten the names.


Her Thunder was hastily renamed Silver, and she hated to have me play with either of these as I broke everything I touched as a pup.


I remember breaking the saddlebags off and chewing on some of those other plastic choking-hazards you couldn’t sell these days.

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