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Jack Kirby would like you to get acquainted with Big Jim’s P.A.C.K., which sounds V.E.R.Y. perverse

April 9, 2012

What’s the first thing you spot when you see this ad? If you’re like me, it’s the distinctive square-tipped fingers of a Jack Kirby character. Hard to miss. His influence didn’t just extend to the above Kirby-infused promo art, either. Big Jim, a popular, G.I. Joe-esque line of Mattel toys back in the 70s, had multiple waves of figure releases, and the first four figures of the second P.A.C.K.-themed wave had packaging featuring original art by none other than the King himself. Mazel. You can see a picture of three here.

I have to imagine those shoddy old boxes would be unbearably desirable for the most devoted Kirby collectors, sending them into a frothing, acquisitive lust.

Big Jim and his compadres were more diverse than their military-themed Joe contemporaries, and in that regard they sort of remind me of the jack of all trades milieu of Buckaroo Banzai and his entourage. And that’s probably a big part of the reason why I don’t care all that much about them, though Big Jim’s deflating leadership style, with its “I can’t promise anyone will come out of this mission alive!” defeatism, is the biggest negative.

Hey, there were also some short comics that came with some of the later figures, and you can check those out, as well as more looks at the line if you dig around a bit, here. No Kirby art in the comics, though. Some bum named Buscema, who also tackled some of the package art. Oh well.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. phil permalink
    April 16, 2012 5:16 pm

    I remember these ads and would have bought these toys just based on Kirby. But alas I lived in the UK at the time and to this day I have no idea what they look like in reality.

    • April 18, 2012 8:30 pm

      They’re G.I. Joes by any other name. Not a lot of Kirby made it into the plastic molds.

  2. bluekatt permalink
    November 9, 2012 1:12 pm

    the slack jawed dead eye gaping lifeless gobs on these monstrosities dont really do much to win one over either
    probably not done on a good day

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