If you are of sufficient vintage (i.e. age) or you are a toy collector, you might know that, before they were 3 ½ inch soldiers comparable in size—and, more importantly, capable of being played with alongside—Kenner’s STAR WARS action figures, GI JOE figures were 12 inches tall and had removable uniforms. I had a couple of these figures, picked up at a yard sale for me by my mom. I wasn’t around when they were first sold in stores. For me, GI JOE was the toyline so popular in the 80s. Oh, the many battles that took place between Darth Vader’s Stormtroopers and Duke, Scarlet, Snake Eyes and the rest. And when I would introduce the 3.5 inch Remco Universal Monsters figures into the mix, I could create dream battles no one will ever see in a movie! Ah, childhood.
Like the anonymous artist profiled in this article, I too had one of the original GI JOE “Secret of the Mummy’s Tomb” playsets Mummy sarcophaguses. (Picked up at that aforementioned yard sale.) Like the artist, I too dearly loved mine. And like his, which he lost at the beach when he was a wee tyke, mine too was lost with time. (Yes, I have since replaced it via trusty ol’ eBay.) To commemorate his love for the sarcophagus and the mummy figure within, and as part of an art project this past summer, the guy created 74 concrete replicas of the GI JOE sarcophagus and buried them at various beaches in New York and New Jersey, hoping that kids playing in the sand will find them and thus gain a memory for a lifetime. Nice one, mate. Salute. And if I lived in New York or New Jersey, you can bet I’d be hitting the beaches with a shovel. “Kid” is a relative term, after all, not always in reference to a person’s age.