Toys I Never Had: G.I. Joe U.S.S. Flagg Aircraft Carrier

The USS Flagg was and still is my Holy Grail. Never was there another toy that came before GI Joe in my eyes. It was the granddaddy of ’em all. I had most of the figures, the vehicles, the playsets, the action packs, and nearly anything else tied to the GI Joe toy line. But the one thing that always eluded me was this aircraft carrier.

When fully assembled, this toy was a whopping six feet in length! That goes beyond the realm of a toy, and into the realm of something more like a coffee table. It was released in 1986 with a hefty retail price of $89.95, so it was definitely not to be found in my house. My dad would have had an easier time giving birth to one than actually paying that much for a toy.

But for years I would sit and think about all the cool battles that could have been had featuring the Flagg at the center of the action. It was so big, that you could have incorporated many planes and helicopters on its deck. You could have loaded it with fifty or more figures without cramping things too much. Even while typing this, my mind is drifting away to endless assaults on Cobra Island with this thing as the centerpiece.

As an adult in the early 2000s, I tried again to acquire one. Searching on eBay, I found dozens of them, but none were complete. The incomplete ones there were going for several hundred dollars. I actually did see one in a comic book shop one time, still sealed in its original box, but with a price tag of $1500. If I could have ever decided which child to sell, I may have ended up with it.

But who knows, maybe one day I’ll run across a good deal on a complete one and be able to purchase it. Then my friends, the battle for the superiority of the bedroom will resume once more.

Toys I Never Had: Hot Wheels Freight Yard Sto and Go Playset

The Hot Wheels Freight Yard was one of the several Sto and Go playsets that were so popular in the ’80s. It was also the largest of the bunch as it not only opened up vertically into a playest but had train tracks that folded out horizontally as well.

And unlike Hot Wheel’s other Sto and Go sets, the Freight Yard came with vehicles in the form of a locomotive, 2 freight cars, and a caboose. Item B pictured in the shot with the Freight Yard was an additional Freight Master Train Set that could be added to your Freight Yard fun.

Notice that the ad states that no electricity or batteries are needed. Since this was 1984, electric train sets were still sort of en-vogue, and no one wanted market confusion with this playset.

The 1984 price tag of $34.99 on this Freight Yard translates to $101.65 in 2023 dollars, making it quite an expensive playset. Other Sto and Go playsets of the time retailed for $23.99, or $69.69 in today’s dollars. Back when I had a couple of Sto and Go playsets in the mid-’80s, I never knew how expensive of a toy I was playing with.

But as I’ve documented before, I loved train toys when I was young. The trains that Matchbox produced, the Micro Machines train sets, and even an old series of Happy Meal boxes that were train cars in vacuum form. I loved them all, and I pined over this Sto and Go for years. Heck I still pine for it today.

The Evil Horde Fright Zone

The Evil Horde Fright Zone playset was released in 1985 for the Masters of the Universe toy line. It featured a caged cell, a dead tree that could capture action figures and a “snake” that could drag off unsuspecting foes. It wasn’t the largest playset the MOTU line had to offer, but it was a great companion piece to Castle Grayskull and Snake Mountain.

I was still very deep into all things Masters of the Universe in 1985, and already had Castle Grayskull and Snake Mountain. But the Fright Zone eluded me for some reason. Maybe my parents were suffering burnout from all of the MOTU stuff in the house or me running around yelling “I Have the Power!”. Whatever the reason, I never ended up with this.

While a lot of fans my age would rather have had the Slime Pit, the Fright Zone was where it was at for me. Maybe it was the Halloween vibe it puts off or the way it feels like an outpost in some far-off corner of Eternia, but either way, I wanted it then, and I wouldn’t say no to it now.

GI Joe Killer WHALE Hovercraft

Throughout my memories of the mid-’80s, two action figure lines dominated my playtime. Masters of the Universe and G.I. Joe. The cartoon series and the Real American Hero toy line were a powerful combination. I lived and breathed G.I. Joe pretty hard back then. I mean, I still do today, but not nearly like I did back then. The toy line was full of awesome toys, and I still miss one in particular that I never had the pleasure of owning…the Killer WHALE Hovercraft

Like most things I salivate over in old toy commercials, I never owned the WHALE, nor did I ever get a chance to play with it. So watching the kids in this commercial put it through its paces makes me excited even today. The fact that it actually floats on water is a big drawing point, and watching the depth charges roll off into the water almost sent me over the edge. It was a stellar toy in a line full of them, and yet it still stands apart from the rest because of all its cool features.

I mean, it seems like the ultimate assault weapon during playtime. The twin guns, the depth charge feature, and the belly of the thing holds even more Joe figures. And check out the commercial for it below…what about that environment they are playing with it in? I wish I had had a place like that to take my Joes back then and fight out the battles between G.I. Joe and Cobra.