Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Let's.... uh... Joe?? May 2015

This month, we explore the question "what is a Joe"? No, not really but these two might stretch the definition just a bit. Our troops for May were produced in around 1999 and sold under the Saru-Inu Ya label. From what I recall, they were first sold at the 1999 Tokyo GI Joe convention then they were later available at other Joe shows and through some hobby retailers. What defines them as GI Joes for me at least, is that they are based on reproduction vintage Joe style bodies produced by US  based Cotswold Collectibles. Since Cotswold figures are produced with the knowledge and at least tacit approval of Hasbro, and they are aimed at collectors of vintage Joes, think they can technically qualify as GI Joes. Well, that's my excuse anyway!

So, our subjects are Ichiro and Masaru, two infantry rifle grunts in the Japanese Ground Self Defense Force circa late 1990s to early 2000s. Both carry the Howa Type 89 5.56mm rifle (made from die-cast metal) and wear the standard Type II "Jieitai" camouflage uniform along with the Type 88 helmet. In reality, the helmet is probably a US PASGT version standing for the Japanese helmet but I didn't bother to tear the cover off to check for sure. As mentioned, both guys are based on Cotswold vintage GI Joe style bodies with Kung Fu Grip style hands. In fact, they're both pretty much identical except for different headsculpts and that Masaru also includes a yellow artillery branch scarf in addition to the red infantry scarf both are wearing here.



Masaru with the Howa Type 89 rifle.

Sorry that the photos turned out so wonky. I'm not sure what happened and I didn't have time to reshoot.


  1. I think the photos are fine. :)
    Thank you for all the Joe-related information, seems like a vast new world in collecting that I should explore to decide *what* it is exactly that I want to collect. (as in should I pick up a certain theme or just collect Joes that I like).

    1. I'm glad the photos look OK.
      As far as what to collect, I've followed all sorts of strategies over the years. I think my approach has been far too unfocused and I've often misused my financial and space resources on dumb, quixotic pursuits. At least initially, I recommend finding a theme and stick with it. Leave room for things that catch your eye but don't let it distract you to the point of missing out on things you really want.

    2. I should also mention that I'm not a collector in the typical "mint in mint package-ultra rare variant-unreleased prototype" style. There's also nothing wrong with taking a quirky and eclectic approach. That's MY excuse anyway! ;)