Sunday, September 13, 2009

Back Then>Right Now

I finally saw G.I. Joe (the movie) today. A bootleg copy that I got in exchange for a pack of Newports, so I can't/won't complain about the quality. It beat the hell out of watching NASCAR & college football all afternoon though, so s'all good.

The movie itself, was actually very entertaining. I removed my childhood memories of setting up rosebush wars & backyard battles & just watched it for what it was; a movie based on an old ass toy Army man. But, as character's names were mentioned & Marlon Wayans cracked a "Kung-Fu grip" joke, I couldn't help but reminisce. See, when I was a kid, G.I. Joe ='d warfare, more so than the other toys we lusted over. He-man & Thundercats seemed like most of the dudes were gay (no offense), Transformers had to go through some sort of sex-change operation to engage in conflict, Voltron sucked if you didn't have all 5 lions, & unless you spoke some variation of Asian-Pacific dialect, you couldn't even read the instructions to your Robotech mech.

G.I. Joe on the other hand, came with some guns, maybe a knife & an awesome bio-card to inform you about the type of killer you were about to unleash into your bedroom. It let my generation re-enact the violent war stories our grandfathers told about WWII, & our uncles crazed tales of Vietnam, without the drugs & hookers, of course (unless you owned Jane or Scarlett). G.I. Joe's didn't fold up into magical balls &/or have to be summoned to a playing field to banish the other dragon warrior to a dark zone (or something to that effect). It was, "Yoooo Joe!", then let the gunfire (or flame thrower) rip. Simple, American fun.

Back then, toys, cartoons, & movies were different. It must be hard on kids nowadays, or easy, depending, with the level of play they have. Not for nothing, but nothing ushers a boy into manhood like a little bald-headed Black guy with a machine gun the size of a Hot Wheel. The first time I saw a Pokemon card I felt the same way as the first time I saw a 16 year old boy wearing skinny jeans; confused & slightly disappointed. With video games being the #1 time waster/babysitter, today's youngster knows nothing of mud rock fights & building their own diabolical bike ramps in the driveway. Who say's a broken arm doesn't build a little character?

During my last trip to a toy store (around the time G.I. Joe was being released), I happened to notice that Hasbro had begun selling the toy again, almost identical to how it was when I was a kid. Once a kid got past all the shiny, asexual, robotic fantasy warriors, there the Joe's were, on the back shelf like haggard old war vets. I didn't see one kid buying any though, movie or not. Maybe if they re-released the cartoon also, it would make a difference.

By the end of the movie, I was telling my son stories of my G.I. Joe days, only to have him look over the top of his Nintendo DS, nod his head & go back to playing Yu-Gi-Oh. The saga continues...

Oh yeah, check out that movie, it's pretty good. I just wish they put a real life Black actor in the movie to play as "Rip Cord", instead of a caricature of the proverbial Black comedian. Really though, I was waiting for Marlon Wayans to clap his hands & say "Dy-no-miiite".


Federal Ranga said...

G.I. Joe movie was aight... but the kids today, although I'm barely 23 myself, are bitch made by today's standards and so are their play things [||].

I knew it was a wrap after they invented Pokemon, which taught us the joy of softcore violence, homotions and life long journeys with almost NO purpose.

Kids are trying to be pretty, clean and pretty damn clean by all means possible... shit, some of toys they make nowadays you cant even play with outside. FUCK YOU TOY INDUSTRY...

Grand$, I'm sorry dawg... but Voltron was my shit along with Ronin Warriors. Power of the wildfire!!! TAAAIIIII-CHIIIIIIIII!!!!!!!!!!!!


Tony Grands said...

Whatupdoe Fed!?

When Voltron first came to the states, I was like 8, 9 @ the most. This was 84-85. The cartoons were even obviously dubs, straight off the Oriental boat.

If a kid (like me) only had one lion, even if it was the Black lion, it wasn't worth it. Because some other kid with all 5 would show up with Voltron!, & shit on your one little robot. I never got all 5 either. Sad shit.

Few years after that, they became less expensive, more available, but by then I was stuck on Nintendo.

I didn't say it wasn't the shit, it just was pointless if your parents couldn't get you all 5, which mine didn't/couldn't.

Phlip said...

"With video games being the #1 time waster/babysitter, today's youngster knows nothing of mud rock fights & building their own diabolical bike ramps in the driveway. Who say's a broken arm doesn't build a little character?"

I was sitting and thinking about JUST that the other day. My house now is 3 blocks from my grandmother's house we grew up in and had those kind of things.

The fact that I had a twin brother made it easier for us to have like all the lions and a metric shit ton of transformers, but being boy children, they're long demolished now that they might have had some value.

Meh, live and learn... I have a closet full of toys now that I been buying the last few years in case something takes off in value.

Tony Grands said...

Phlip, my dude. The ONLY thing I didn't manage to set on fire or feed to someone's dog were my comics. Although, now I'm just going to give them to my son. I'm sure he'll be able to get his E-Bay on.

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