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G.I. Joe vs Transformers: Final Conflict

Dawn of War. Part 1 of The War on the Floor

by Dave McAwesome

In an effort to streamline my life, I've thrown out a lot of junk to prepare for my latest move. But now I'm starting to cut into stuff I care about: books, unused board games and 80s action figures. Oh sure, you say, the sculpts on today's figures are so much better. Gads, man, don't you see? We're talking about early 80s action figures! The invention of the swivel arm battle grip! Vehicles that looked like vehicles and not some gangly Dr. Seuss contraption with bombs stuck to the side of it. I don't expect you to understand, man. I grew up during the golden age of action figures, when 3 3/4-inch Davids blew out all the 12-inch Goliaths.

George Lucas wanted action figures that could sit comfortably in scale X-wing fighters, Kenner obliged with 3 3/4-inch Luke Skywalkers and my childhood reaped the benefits. Reaped, I say. Goodbye Mego superheroes; hello power of the force. As I aged, so too did the toy industry. Enter Transformers. They were robots in disguise. I know this because I read the packaging. But the mother of all toy lines was G.I. Joe. Once a boring line of 12-inch dorks, G.I. Joe got with the program and shrunk down to fit inside an affordable tank and jeep and jetpack (okay, the jetpack was stupid, but the motorcycle from the 1st series was cool as hell). The new enemy of the Joe team was Cobra, an army of blue uniformed terrorists that were extremely well camouflaged in the blue jungles of Blue Land. Joe didn't stand a chance, so Hasbro made, like, four times the amount of Joe stuff for every Cobra grunt.

If there are any intrepid young ladies still reading this, I'm sorry, but this is about to get a lot more action figure centric. So here's a pony.

Illustration by Frank Pittarese

I can't stress any further how cool this stuff was. Oh, wait, I guess I could use italics...this stuff was so cooooool. Okay, NOW I can't stress any further how cool this stuff was. Surely, you can imagine my predicament. Here I am with boxes of cool. And yet I couldn't complicate my life by cramming all these toys into a new apartment. Having space is cool too. Boxes of cool versus cool space. Quite a dilemma. I resolved to pit these toys against each other in one last savage battle: The War on the Floor. The loser would be tossed in the garbage. The winner would also be tossed in the garbage, but on TOP of the garbage (and we all know that being king of the garbage pile is better than sitting on the bottom with all the juicy snot drippings that invariably work their way down, as gravity is wont to do).

Box o' cool.

Up next: team captains pick sides in a very special Unexamined Life column I like to call 'Choosies.' In part 2, Choosies.
Or go back to the main War on the Floor page.

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