Memories of the Adventure Team
May 12, 2010

Last time out I wrote about my love for The A-Team.

However, the 80s television series is not the only A-Team for which I have great nostalgia. To quote Yoda, "No…there is another."

That other A-Team…in fact, my first A-Team would be none other than the GI JOE Adventure Team.

Long before GI JOE shrunk and encountered the evil forces of Cobra he traveled the world on various adventures. This was the GI JOE of my childhood.

Reacting to anti-war sentiment brought about by the Vietnam War, Hasbro retooled their GI JOE concept from being a military fighting man to the Adventure Team concept. The green fatigues were still present, but adorned with the circular Adventure Team "AT" logo. The green suits were joined by an orange jumpsuit for the Air Adventurer, a blue outfit for the Sea Adventurer, and camo for the Land Adventurer.Like all the 12" Joes of the day, none of the figures had names or any sort of backstory. That was all left to the imagination of the kids. I gave names to all mine. I only remember one of the names. I had named the Air Adventurer "Jim McKay".  I thought I had come up with it. But it turns out there was a Jim McKay who was the host t for ABC’s Wide World of Sports from 1961-2008! Since our family always watched WWoS, I can see where must have picked that up. Boy, I loved those toys. Nothing else got played with as much as my Adventure Team. Not even my Megos! I had most of the figures. I had the six-wheeled vehicle from the Curse of the Mummy’s Tomb set, the Sea Wolf submarine (with real diving action which provided hours of fun in our pool!), and the swamp craft from the Devil in the Deep set. I even had the GI JOE HQ. These were truly awesome toys loaded with play value. I have fond memories of mailing away for a special set called Mission to Spy Island. It came with an all black outfit for Joe, a real inflatable raft and some super-cool spy gear. It was extremely awesome. I loved that set and sent my Joes on many a spy mission.

Tragically, I also had the awesome Adventure Team helicopter. For a few hours.

I had received it for Christmas the year it came out. I had been begging for it for months. That Christmas we had traveled to my Uncle’s house in Larkspur, CA for Christmas dinner. Late that evening we left to head back to my grandparent’s house. I was carrying the now assembled helicopter in my hands. It had been raining quite a bit, and while walking down the walkway to my Uncle’s driveway…I slipped. My feet went out from under me, and I went down as my helicopter went up. I can still picture the helicopter in a surreal, slow-motion as it fell back towards earth and shattered upon the driveway. It was broken beyond repair. I was devastated.

For some reason I can’t recall, my parents (who usually spoiled me rotten) never replaced that helicopter.

Sadly, all my Adventure Team toys eventually went away either in garage sales or flea markets. I miss them. I thought about trying to reacquire some of my favorite items, but never seemed to have the money…or the space, really.Flash forward to 2010, and the GI JOE Collectors Club is releasing 3 Adventure Team sets…in 3-3/4" scale!  There’s the Adventure Team Commander, with Dr Venom (from early Marvel GI JOE Real American Hero comics!) and a man-eating plant, Land Adventurer with 6 Wheeled ATV and the Air Adventurer with Helicopter. They aren’t cheap, but these sets look great. I’ve already got them on pre-order and and giddy with excitement awaiting their arrival sometime this summer.My beloved Adventure Team is returning to my collection, but now in my favorite scale! Talk about "two great tastes that go great together"!  You can check out some pictures of these upcoming sets at the GI Joe Collectors Club site.

Jeff Cope
Jeff Cope has been collecting toys and action figures since he was a wee lad growing up in the 70s, and is still waiting to grow out of it. He's been involved in the online collecting community since he first started writing for Raving Toy Maniac in the mid-90s, and is proud to call AFi his online home.
Read other articles by Jeff Cope.





  • Newton says:

    I’ve got a new found love for the Adventure Team myself. Great to hear these old tales. Also like to hear about what people named their Joes. It’s crazy, but I love that whole “blank slate” concept.

  • Lt. Clutch says:

    I had a couple of those guys in the European Geyper Man packaging complete with lifelike hair/beard and Kung-Fu Grip! Sorry to hear about your helicopter, though. Old school RAH fans have been asking for Dr. Venom since the 80’s, too! He was best villain to ever come out of the comic book.

  • Russ says:

    I’ll give those Adventure Team sets this much: better giving them *something* to do rather than just a bunch of military guys standing around and staring at each other in different outfits.

    Can you say either Village People’s “In the Navy” or “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”?

    I’m just callin’ it as I see it…

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