Monday, June 5, 2017

Rarities - DeSimone Convention Figures

In the 1990's, there were G.I. Joe conventions.  They were, largely, the bastion of 12' Joe collectors.  But, Hasbro was often in attendance and offered merchandise to help support the endeavors.  One such promotion was the DeSimone convention figures.  James DeSimone was a prominent collector of the day who is best known for his guidebooks on 3 3/4 Joes that were released in the '90's.  At one point, he created some convention "exclusive" figures for sale at the various 1990's era conventions.

Hasbro offered DeSimone overstock of a few mail away figures which DeSimone then handpainted with store bought materials to create some exclusive figures.  His first two endeavors were the Police Officer and Race Car Ace.

Race Car Ace is nothing more than a repainted 1983 Ace figure.  He came with a handcrafted race car.  The idea was definitely rooted in the exploits of the 12' Joe mythos when he became less military and more adventurer.  The Ace figure isn't particularly noteworthy and modern customizers would cringe at the quality as you can see in the photo below.

DeSimone Race Car Ace, Convention Exclusive

The second figure was the Police Officer.  This figure is noteworthy because DeSimone used overstock Starduster figures to make his customs.  Seeing high quality Stardusters selling for over $100 in modern times makes it hard to fathom that there was once overstock of the figures.  But, DeSimone got some and painted them up.  The result, like the Ace, isn't stellar.  But, it was something different for the time.

The most famous figure, though, is the convention Infiltrate Jinx.  This figure is popular as DeSimone included it in his guidebooks.  Jinx stepped up the production in that she included a card.  Hasbro "sanctioned" the figure, for what that's worth.  But, it is also known that if you were willing to pay market price, you could still have an "official" convention Jinx made by DeSimone himself after the conventions.  Jinx has two variants, a blue Cobra logo or a black Cobra logo.  The logo colors differentiated when you acquired the figure.  Collectors don't seem to place any particular desirability of one color over the other any more, though.

Today, these figures are expensive.  They can command a few hundred dollars.  But, authentication is tough as anyone could make one with relative ease and there is no way to verify that any figure is the real deal or a later reproduction.  So, buyer beware with these items.  In the end, they are glorified customs.  (As are all non Hasbro produced convention "exclusives".)  So, you're paying a lot for something that's easily forged.  The figures are part of Joe history.  But, they are too sketchy for me to ever spend any money on.


  1. Not surprised there was Starduster overstock. Starduster was a available via mail-in on and off for more than a few years since he was introduced. Probably someone somewhere has a big box of bagged Stardusters.

  2. It was Canadian bagged overstock that DeSimone purchased, not US, and got them for a few dollars a figure (i.e. really cheap). They didn't come with file cards in the baggies though.

  3. a LOT of that hasbro canada bagged overstock ended up in the hands of various sleazebag toy dealers in the NY metro area in the mid/late 90's. i can remember seeing stardusters fairly frequently when i was crawling through manhattan during those days, lampreys and hooded CC's were probably the other two you saw the most. these guys stumbled on or knew about this hasbro canada backstock going back to probably when the line was still active. at a railroad memorabilia show in clark NJ of all places in the winter of 1999 i stumbled into a guys booth that had a whole grip of the bagged glendas that hasbro had bagged up for one of the desimone shows. in my infinite wisdom i left them all sitting there.

    i had the blue logo jinx for a short time then traded it off. the paint was about the quality that you'd expect from a vintage figure with its factory paint job covered up by a hobbyists enamel ie: pretty goddamned shitty and fragile. maybe these days its a funny reminder of where joe and toy collecting in general was at in the pre-internet 90's but back in the early 2000's when one came through my hands it just seemed like someones crappy custom.