Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The Adventures of G.I. Joe - Rookie to the Rescue

The Adventures of G.I. Joe
Rookie to the Rescue

Packet No. B5851974

The various diorama View-Master reels are just about the coolest thing ever. This G.I. Joe set in particular is one of my favorites. Besides probably being just about the most fun photo shoot ever, it also brings to mind that long ago forgotten skill of playing with toys. And, whether G.I. Joe was your toy of choice, or not, it makes one nostalgic for childhood. Or, if nothing else, nostalgic for toy commercials of the seventies.

This fantastic reel packet is actually three separate stories, Rookie to the Rescue, Peril in the Depths, and The Buddha's Treasure. It is hard to imagine that there were any young boy (or girl) out there that didn't beg for this reel set.

And how often does a parent get a chance to buy their child a toy commercial of their very own?

First up - Rookie to the Rescue.

G.I. Joe and
Sarge were
training recruits
in the desert.

The G.I. Joe Adventure Team was on a training mission in the desert land of Utah and Arizona.

G.I. Joe and Sarge, his assistant, were training a group of recruits in the use of rescue and survival equipment.

One afternoon Joe set up the portable training tower near the edge of a canyon. He had rigged up an Escape Slide from the tower to the ground.

"Nice going, Greg," he said as one recruit started down the slide. "Come on Diego - up the ladder on the double!"

Red, who had flown the helicopter to the training site from the team's Mobile Headquarters a few miles away, watched the progress of his fellow recruits.

Sarge arrived
in Turbo Copter
as Greg flew
Flying Rescue.

Just then the men heard the buzz of a Turbo Copter, and Sarge flew down to join them.

"Sharp-looking class you've got there, teacher!" he joked to G.I. Joe. "Say, what's that flying out there over the canyon? Is it a bird, or a plane, or Superman?"

Joe grinned. "That's our newest rookie, Greg, trying out the Flying Rescue chair with the rocket pack."

Together Sarge and Joe watched Diego take his turn going down the Escape Slide. Meanwhile Luke, a Navaho Indian, started up the ladder briskly, trying to beat the others' time.

"Everything's quiet at headquarters," reported Sarge. "I'm going to take a reconnaissance flight over the area. I'll keep in touch by walkie-talkie.

At headquarters,
Joe received
a call from Sarge ...

It was just sundown as the team returned to Mobile Headquarters. Sarge was still out on reconnaissance. Shortly after they returned, Joe's walkie-talkie began to beep. He answered it.

"Joe, this is Sarge," came the voice. "I'm about three miles due southwest of you. I saw a little burro tied to a tree right beside a deep gash in the ground. I flew over to investigate, and found an old prospector down in the hole. He fell in and has hurt his leg and his head. Over."

"We'll be right there," Joe promised. "Over."

..."A prospector
has fallen into
a crevice and
is injured!"

"Hang in there, old timer!" Sarge called to the prospector, shining the high-intensity beam of his signal light down into the hold. "Help is on the way. By the way, what's your name?"

"Zeke," said the prospector feebly. "Zeke Simmons. I seen some shiny rocks down here and clumb down on that there rope, but the rope busted and I landed in a heap. Sure glad you happened along when you did!"

The Adventure
Team sped to
the rescue of
old Zeke.

By the time the Adventure Team, riding across trackless desert land in the jeep and its trailer, reached the place where Sarge and Zeke waited for them, it was beginning to grow dark.

G.I. Joe drove the jeep as close to the edge of the hole as he safely could. In the back of the jeep were a Flying Rescue unit, a rescue sling, and several coils of rope. The trailer contained a searchlight and a first aid kit.

"Okay, Luke, aim the searchlight down into the hold," directed Joe. "Sarge, better lead the burro out of the way."

"This is Bessie, meet my partners. Come on, old gal."

Greg and Sarge
flew down into
the hole and
gave first aid.

The team worked rapidly as darkness fell. "Greg," said Joe, "here's your chance to put the Flying Rescue chair to work in an actual situation. It hasn't got enough power to pull both you and Zeke out of the hold, but if you and Sarge go down together, you can bring him up between you on the rescue sling. Sarge, you fly down into the hold with Greg. You better take the first aid kit with you. Each of you take along a coil of rope."

Greg and Sarge flew down into the hold - Greg in the Flying Rescue, Sarge in the Turbo Copter.

"Just relax, old timer," said Sarge as they knelt beside Zeke. "We're going to bandage your head and that hurt leg of yours, and then we're going to get you out of here."

Rescued, Zeke
proudly showed
"shiny rocks"
he had found.

Before being pulled up, Zeke insisted on bringing along some samples of the "shiny rocks" he had found at the bottom of the crevice. He hugged them tightly in his arm as Greg and Sarge, expertly piloting their different flying craft, brought him carefully up ot ground level in the sling and laid him gently on the ground.

"I'm sure mighty obliged to you gents," said Zeke as he hobbled over to Bessie and gave her an affectionate pat. "Dunno what I'd-a done if you hadn't of come along."

Proudly, he held out his "shiny rocks."

"Ain't them pretty?" he declared. "I betcha they's uranim in them rocks. I'm gonna stake me a claim here!"

Joe smiled. "Sounds good, Zeke, except for one little detail. How are you going to get the rocks out of that deep hole?"


  1. I never realized how gay the Joe team was until I saw them in this context. The beard, "training mission", and let's not even mention the last sentence. I had no idea. YO JOE!

  2. Rob!: Really? You'd never noticed that BEFORE this? You obviously just weren't paying any attention at all.

    And, not to take anymore away from the Joe Team's dignity, but they just look SO cute being all adverture-y!

    Here's a link for you: http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_w-SKKd4lZYw/TGCjLc4UrfI/AAAAAAAAC9o/C7eoiYJVdJE/s1600/Image+%234.jpg

  3. Gosh, can you imagine the work it required
    to put this together? Great work of great

  4. As an Englishman, G I JOE will always be known as ACTION MAN to me! These reels almost certainly never made it to this side of the pond (just as the DOCTOR WHO reels probably never made it to the USA), so this is probably the only chance that I'll ever get to see them. Thankyou.

  5. Tim: I am sure the amount of work had to have been incredible. And on an interested note, I did just discover that the prospector outfit used was actually the Old Prospector outfit for the far smaller Lone Ranger.

    Anonymous: Wow! Doctor Who! What I would give to get a look at those reels. Which doctor was it? I would assume it must have been Jon Pertwee or Tom Baker. Though William Hartnell or Patrick Troughton would both be cool!

  6. There were two sets of reels. The first was from the Tom Baker story FULL CIRCLE. The second was Peter Davison's debut CASTROVALVA. Some specially posed scenes done during the dress rehearsals, and on location by the look of it.

  7. These pictures really need to be seen in 3D. The pictures inside the cave? really have little impact flat. 3D is not a gimmick, it is an important part of the visual system that we depend upon. I suppose people who like black and white would call color a gimmick, and photography would be a gimmick to painting mavens. The artists took great care and effort to make the depth look real.

    1. Yep. The blog tag line is just a joke because, obviously, I can't share these images in 3-D. But since most people will never get a chance to even see these at all it seems a shame not to share.

      And yeah, the cave scene through my view rocks!