G.I. Joe at 50: A look at a Jacksonville man's collection

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Ed Tucker's Mandarin home is full of some very impressive collectibles.

He's got hundreds of 16mm films and a couple projectors to play them.

He has video game consoles from the mainstream to the obscure.

His comic book collection is vast, and also something he prides himself in.

But ask him what his favorite collection is, the answer is his toys.

Hundreds of different types of toys, but number one of the list:

"My G.I. Joes, without a doubt," Tucker said. "My mother bought me my first one when I was five years old and ever since then I've been a collector."

Tucker has hundreds of the figures, and now he takes them to shows, always looking to buy and sell.

"Prices can vary widely," was his disclaimer, "But some of these I could get a couple hundred dollars for, others close to a thousand."

He runs his own collectible business, Retrorama Collectibles, where he does promotions, appraisals, and buys and sells.

He hosts his own shows and will travel the region to put his toys on display.

And he says now that G.I. Joe is celebrating its 50th anniversary, he's seeing more interest from people hoping to buy.

"During my last show, I sold five pieces, and that's a pretty good bit for the times," he said.

G.I. Joe was first introduced in February of 1964 by Hasbro as an answer to Barbie.

"They needed something for the boys, and you don't ever call these dolls," he said laughing, "They're action figures."

Later, in the fall of 1964, the first G.I. Joes were on store shelves.


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