Does a toy you want not exist and therefore you can’t have it? Then make It.
I started collecting G.I. Joe Classified figures in 2020. I’ve been a fan of the “Joe-verse” since middle school way back in 1982, both for the comic book stories and characters penned by the brilliant Larry Hama for Marvel Comics, and of course the action figures, vehicles, and playsets by Hasbro. This latest incarnation of 6-inch scale action figures made by Hasbro in many ways, is mostly improved over the 3 & 3/4 inch-sized originals that I grew up with in the 1980s and sparingly into the 90s. Mostly.
One of the things I found lacking of the Classified line is vehicles. So, I made one; well, not so much as “made one” out of nothing, but rather created something I imagined out of existing pieces and materials. Here it is:
I dubbed this toy the “Cobra KILLER TWIN” assault motorcycle (monickers and code names are kind of thing in the G.I. Joe universe). I’d never done anything like this before. For a mix of reasons, ranging from wanting to continue to challenge myself and learn new things as I cross the middle-age threshold, keeping busy during the pandemic lockdown, and most of all, scratching that nerd itch to have my fictional heroes and villains be realized, however possible, I was going to make this happen.
But this was more than just me fulfilling a fan-driven wish. This was an experience that reminded me that even as I get older and even more set in my ways, there’s still opportunity for me to learn new skills and be creative at a level I never imagined for myself. I can say that the old adage of “you can’t teach a dog new tricks”, is an absolute lie you can either choose to believe or call bullshit on. I choose the latter.
I’m going to continue to share the journey of making this toy. But if this is as far as you choose to go with this story, I hope you take one thing away with you, and that’s this: short of you losing any physical abilities or your mental faculty, you can still learn new skills; you can grow your list of abilities, even as you and the rest of us move into that age in our life where most of the employees at Target are folks we can literally refer to as “kids”.
There’s still time. Use it. Enjoy it.