One surefire way to get the kids emotionally (and financially) invested in a toy line is to have special offers that place them in the very same universe as their heroes. Marvel did it with a Captain Universe comic book years ago ($14.95, and yes, I WAS Captain Universe), but prior to that, Hasbro offered up a sweet, sweet deal: enlist to become A Real American Hero!
Yep, YOU could be a G.I. Joe! How awesome is that?! Screw being in a comic, I want my own action figure.
You name yourself, you get to pretty much write your own file card, it was GREAT! Too bad I never actually did it. This mail-in was offered back in 1987 and I remember seeing this ad in numerous comics that one of my friends had, and maybe even an issue or two of my own. I’m pretty sure I even bothered to fill the application out (even years AFTER the deadline I still did this). Oh, how I fantasized about just how amazing of a Joe would be! I’d be the BEST! The most heroic, the most noble, the bravest of the brave! The combined attributes of Sgt. Slaughter, General Hawk, Duke, and Super Trooper wouldn’t compare to moi.
So why didn’t I ever send it in? The same reason I never sent off mail-in offers, *I* didn’t have the money and my parents wouldn’t give it to me even if I pleaded with them that I really, really, REALLY needed that GI Joe figure. I can hear my mom now, “You have enough GI Joes.” >=|
For your viewing pleasure, I bring you my GI Joe Steel Brigade Application, The 2007 Edition. Why I use a different style of handwriting while filling it out, I don’t know.