Moms always know…

Welcome to TOYHEM! For the holiday season, we’re bringing you a series of features and columns celebrating the toys of our youth, which often made for the best memories this time of year. You’ll be hearing from comics creators, regular 13th Dimension contributors and more. Click here to check out the complete index of stories — and have a Merry Christmas, a Happy Chanukah and Happy Holidays! — Dan

TOYHEM! isn’t really a single series of stories. It’s sort of a series of series. We had the 13-day Custom Mego Box of the Day, for example. (Click here.)

But we also have TOYHEM! MEMORIES – a collection of guest essays by comics creators on their favorite childhood toys.

In this latest go-around, artist/writer Jamal Igle — best known for Supergirl, Molly Danger and The Wrong Earth — recalls a special Christmas starring G.I. JOE…


We didn’t have a lot of money when I was growing up. A lot of Christmases, my Mom, who was a working single mother with two small children, could only afford a few gifts. They were usually discontinued toys that she got from Conways or some such. We were appreciative of what we got.

One year, however, I really got into all things G.I. JOE. I was consumed by it. Everything revolved around the Joe team.

My best friend’s Mom worked for a toy distributor, so he and his brothers constantly showed up with the latest and greatest. I was a little jealous, but I always understood my mother’s position. He and a few other buddies of mine had made a pact to get the Cobra Rattler, a VTOL plane that had been introduced to the line a few months before. It was expensive, too expensive I thought. I didn’t bother to ask, because I knew my mother couldn’t afford it.

So Christmas day of 1984 comes along, and I’m expecting the same small smattering of sweaters and discontinued action figures, when in the corner I spy a fairly large box with my name written on the side. I crawled past the tree to pull it into view. I pulled a small strip of the wrapping paper from its surface to see the familiar box art.

As I tore the rest away a smile came across my face that made my cheeks ache. My mother bought the Rattler, I couldn’t believe it!

Not Jamal’s copy. Courtesy of

I never discovered how she knew I wanted one but it was my favorite gift for a very long time.


— The Complete TOYHEM! Index of Features and Columns. Click here.

— From MEGO STAR TREK to G.I. JOE, by DAVID MACK. Click here.

Author: Dan Greenfield

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