Letter #1
Stayin' Alive

"Excellent website. Thanks for taking the initiative to do something like this. Keeps the hobby alive!"
--Greg Brown
Letter #2
You Are Not Alone

"I don't know who is in charge of the website, but the scuba mask on the GIjOE in the James Bond Thunderball get-up on the front page is upside down. The clasp on the frame goes at the top, not the bottom. Otherwise, I think its good to be nuts! I can't wait to show this website to my wife. She will be glad to know that I am not alone in my madness." :-)
Letter #3
Remembering Frank Zappa

"I think a site such as this is a great idea. I too, have sterilite containers full of either vintage or new GI Joe stuff. I have put together figures and vehicles to create the most awesome 1/6th scale dioramas, yet it all waits in these containers. My plan is to build an addition. I see no other way. I want to call it "Joes Garage" in memory of Frank Zappa."
--Steve K.
Letter #4
Rotating Robert

"I personally have never had my collection grow to an unmanageable number where I had to put stuff in storage. Maybe that's because I'm very selective when buying/adding to my collection. I imagine that if I had to put stuff in storage due to lack of space that I would set up a system where I rotate the display every season. WW2 themed toys in the winter, Modern military in spring, Sci-fi in the summer, Super Hero in the fall. etc. This insures that you play with all the toys you've ever bought or at LEAST handle them."
--Robert DeCastro
Letter #5

"My collection is only around 100 or so figures, half of which have some kind of TV or movie connection. I built some bookcases in the basement and have the figures down there. In the center of the whole display are my TV and other electronics. So, when I'm watching TV I can also gaze upon my figures."
--C. Martin
Letter #6
A Joe Conga Line

"I have been seriously contemplating starting at one end of the house and creating a "Joe Conga Line." I could start in the entry hall, head through the the office, then out through the dining area, then it could proceed into the family room and start its way back through the rest of the house depending how many figs are in a festive mood."
--Jeff Goff
Letter #7
His Wife Insisted

"At the insistence of my lovely wife, I have an entire room that is filled on all four sides with shelves for Joes. People come into the Joe Room and most of them are staggered. My neighbors bring their friends over to see (and play with) all the Joes. My biggest issue is VEHICLE space; I'd love to see how others have solved THAT problem."
Letter #8
Posed for Action

"I don't buy quite as much as some other collectors, but I want to see them out of the box and posed for action. I'm making plans to build another section of basement into diorama space. I think I'll take some before and after shots."
Letter #9
Using "Dead Space"

"I've got a lot on display, but I've got tons more in storage, and I'll bet I have way more space than the average person. I've got a shelf or two of kitbashes and media figures in the house and a full shelf of vintage and vintage-repros here in the office. I also have 40 linear feet of what I call "eyebrow shelves" (12" deep shelves mounted on L-brackets) about 12-14" down from the ceiling which is typically "dead-space" in most rooms, all around my office for vehicles."
--J. Steven York
Letter #10
His Old House was Better

"At our old house, I had one whole bedroom wall for my current stuff, and then UPSTAIRS I had a huge table and a set of shelves for playin' with stuff!

Now, most of my collection resides in boxes except for some 1960's cowboys (we had to move to a TINY apartment until my wife finishes grad school)."
Letter #11
His Wife Insisted v2.0

"I used to have a whole stall in the garage dedicated as my Joe room. Alas (due to a flood), that Joe room is no longer, and the majority of my collection is currently in various types of storage. Inside the house, I have my original GIjOE and a vintage/repro German displayed on a bookshelf in our bedroom. That's ALL the wife will allow."
--Alex T.
Letter #12
Don't Be Shy

"Thanks for showing off my 'Man Cave.' I'm enjoying your website that showcases various collections from other collectors. I appreciate you including mine. I've been SHY about showing them off, but hopefully I'll get mine a little more organized as I continue to put the finishing touches on my Joe Room/Computer Room/Game Room/Art Studio."
--Scott McCullar
Letter #13
Get a Job!

"I just checked out what you did for me. It's GREAT! You should design websites for a living. Fantastic site you have there. Thank you!"
--Joe Iazzetta
(I've already got a job. See at left. --Mark)
Letter #14
Good Karma, Dude

"Hey Mark, I really like what you have done with the website. Great Job! Good Karma. We have been needing this for some time."
--Paul Nordstrom
Letter #15
That Vintage Magic

"Nice site! Although I don't collect vintage stuff anymore, I still get a kick outta looking at them. The Joe's of the 60's to early 70's still have a special magic to them."
--Chris, Southern California USA
Letter #16
Great Idea!

"Hey Mark, I'm really enjoying your posts (in the Sandbox forum) about the collections. Great idea. Thanks!"
--Chris Kennedy
(Here's what I get for thinking. --Mark)
Letter #17
Super Thanker

"Thanks a million Mark, it looks great. You did a fantastic job! I'm really glad you asked me to put my collection up (on the GIjOE Collections website). Many, many thanks, Mark."
--Duart Noordhof
(You are very, VERY welcome, Duart. --Mark)
Letter #18
Aussie Encouragement

"Thanks-- I have enjoyed your site a LOT!"

--Rob Marshall (aka "Woozle" )
Letter #19
Shout it Out Loud

"Very nice displays! Also want to give a big shout out to Mark for doing such a great job showcasing everyone's collections! "
--Jeff Goff
Letter #20
Gettin' Hardcore

"Dang Mark, I just perused your page...WOW!!!!
I need to get back hardcore into collecting again."

Letter #21
Doing Good Works

"I've had your site linked in my favorites for a while now.... Great site - keep up the good work..."
--Joe Papsedero

(Am I working hard, or hardly working? --Mark)
Letter #22
Building His Joe Room

"The luxury of seeing what everyone else is doing <with their collections> has given us the ability to take our favorite elements...and really create something a bit different. We literally started the renovations on our own house with a joe room as one of the cornerstones of the overall plan. If that's not an understanding wife, I don't know what is."
--Buddy Finethy
Letter #23
Paul Writes Again

"Thanks for the continued great work on showcasing GIjOE collections from around the world. I have spent quite a bit of time browsing them all. I enjoy your site very much. Thanks again!"
--Paul Nordstrom
Letter #24
SEEing People's "Stuff"

"Thanks for the job you're doing on GIjOE Collections. It's great to see people's stuff on your site. Keep up the great work."
--Jim Catero
Letter #25
Pete and Repeat (see letter #24)

"Thanks for the job you're doing, It's great to see people's stuff on your site. Keep up the great work."
--Jim McCulloch

(C'mon, guys. That's just freaky! --Mark)
Letter #26

"I went to your website, and was like 'Wow, that's colorful! OK, I'll take the tour.' And then I read 'Your amazing journey back through time and cyberspace begins right here!' followed by THAT MUSIC! Once I stopped laughing (and picked myself up off the floor) I called my wife in and let her experience the same moment. Man, that is SO cool!"
--Joseph Benedetto

(BTW, that music is the theme from 1960s "Time Tunnel." --Mark)

Letter #27
Wise words from "the Chief"

"I'm not a GIjOE collector, but I WAS a big fan of the Adventure Team toys as a kid in the early 1970's. Recently, I got the old action figures out to give to my younger son to play with. As with most "attic toys" there were some parts missing and broken.

My wife suggested we go on Ebay and see if anyone was selling some of the parts that we may need. WOW. I had no idea that there were so many collectors, clubs, and people who loved this stuff like I did when I was a kid. It brought back lots of great memories of these toys and the story lines they followed. Heck, I didn't even know they had brought back the 1/6th scale figures for a time in the 90's!

Anyway, I think it is great. I know a lot people probably don't understand action figure collecting, but if they could see the cool stuff all the people who submitted photos to this website do, they would appreciate the talent and dedication to this hobby.

Nothing was more fun to me as a kid than the Adventure Team figures, vehicles, and accessories. I appreciate everyone on this website preserving that culture and reminding me how much fun it all was. It is truly a great thing about this country."

Keep up the good work.
--John "Chief" McClendon

(Dear Chief, on behalf of all GIjOE collectors out there, we thank you for your kind words. It is OUR pleasure to preserve "that culture." --Mark)

Letter #28
Givin' out the Props

"Looks AWESOME, Mark! Thanks for the props and keep up the good work on your end."
--Steven Johnson


Letter #29
Spreadin' the Love

"I love this website. It is really neat to see what others are doing, and how they display their collection."
--Bill Hojecki


Letter #30
Let me comment...

"The webpage looks great. Thanks for organizing this "virtual museum" of our collections! I enjoy seeing others' collections as well as the commentary you add to the photos. Cheers!"
--Rene B

Letter #31
Bigger photos, Please

"Your website is absolutely beautiful and very well thought out. It functions well and is user friendly. However, I think the small sizes of the photos really don't help show off the collections enough. I think people get too caught up in the whole "quantity" of their collections thing when they should be focusing more on quality. Good luck with the site, I will keep an eye on it."
--Dan McKee

(Since you've written Dan, I've increased the size and number of closeups for each collection whenever possible. Thanks for the suggestion. --Mark)

Letter #32
Opening Doors and Makin' Friends

"I have made more friends, opened more doors, and had one hell of a ride in the GIjOE community. It's now my home away from home and the place where everyone knows your name...even the bad guys!

But there is nothing in the world like going to someone else's website and reading about all those friends you've made, seeing their Joes and checking out everyone's great collections! Thanks Mark! Thanks for being part of the GIjOE community."

Letter #33
Bringing it Together

"Hi, Let me say how nice it is that you are bringing all these collections together and putting them on a website. It is really fantastic to see what is being done by everyone. A big thank you to all for sharing and three cheers to Mark for bringing it all together!"
Letter #34
Beautiful Collections

"Hi my friend! You have a great, great website. The GIjOE hobby is the best in the world. Congrats to all the collectors in the USA and elsewhere, they have a very beautiful collections."
--Carlos Alberto Vargas Casanova, Mexico
Letter #35
Aaaaaaa! It's Uber Cool...

"Dear Mark, THANK YOU...IT IS SO COOL!!!!! I thought my collection was cool before, but you have just made it Uber-Cool. I love your creativity with my photos, and your captions. Thanks again!"
--Neil Uricoli

Letter #36
We're the NEXUS!

"Hey Mark! What I need to be doing on a nice day like today is cleaning up my house, but instead I've been looking at some of the awesome collections on your GIjOE Collections website. You really have made it a wonderful nexus for people all over the world--hats off to you!

It has only gradually dawned on me how much you've put together here, or I would have told you so months ago. James DeSimone and that guy Savage both may think they are the ultimate authority on Joe collecting, but for my money, YOU are DA MAN! Your captions are a key ingredient in making it all hang together with plenty of humor and encouragement for everybody."
--Dave Thompson

Letter #37
It's His Honor

"I'm honored that you would consider including me in the GIjOE Collections website. I think the site is GREAT and feel privileged to be part of it (if you'll have me). Thanks again."
--Alex Teo

(It's OUR honor to have your collection represented here, Alex. Thanks for sharing it and thanks for the kind words. --Mark)

Letter #38
A Real Jaw Dropper

"I LOVE the GIjOE Collecitons website! It's really remarkable to see what's out there --and we would never know about it if it wasn't for you and your website collecting them all together to share images with the rest of us. (Jose Serrano's church is utterly unbelievable. I literally had to pick my jaw up off the floor after seeing that one.)"
--Joseph Benedetto
Letter #39
Let 'em out and set 'em up!

"I just came across your site the other day and I love it. I moved to a new house a couple of years ago and hate to admit that my "good Joes" are still packed in a box. After spending hours checking out the fantastic collections of my fellow Joeheads, I am inspired to get my stuff out on display where it belongs. Thanks a million!"
--Bill Smerdon, Southern California
Letter #40
Bringin' Smiles to Faces

"I have bought so much GI Joe stuff lately I told my wife two things.... "I think I have enough now" and "I will slow down." Since my promise, I've only bought a handful of guys. When I figure out how to add to your article, maybe I can give your readers a few more smiles as my goofy stories are pretty much the way I live each day. I don't mind making fun of myself. If what you did with all your hard work brings a smile to one person's face, than I guess it was all worth it. GREAT job."
--Jack Juka
Letter #41
Check those Links

"There are some really cool looking collections here. And guys, be sure and check out some of the other links on this site. Many great-looking customs and
dioramas. Thanks for sharing!

Letter #42
Keepin' it Awesome

"Mark: I love your GIjOE Collections website and all the updates. Please keep up the awesome work."

(Thanks for the kind words, Chris! --Mark)

Your feedback is VERY important. Please let me know what you like about this website, what you dislike, what you collect, how you display your collection, what you'd like to see more of on this website, etc. This website is very much ALIVE and is updated regularly. Thanks again to all of you who've contributed photographs and information regarding your collections and all the kind words of encouragement. It is definitely MY PLEASURE to maintain this website. ---Mark Otnes
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Address any questions or comments to webmaster Mark Otnes, at 303 E. Sherwin Drive, Urbana, IL 61802, or Phone: 217-337-1706 or Email: mark@patchesofpride.com