I bet 90 percent of us didnt even know what MOC was, it was all about this great war comic, and fabo cartoon combo of Joe and Transformers that permeated every grade school playground in 1982. it was a "toy t- o -y toy" (thanks Woody)
I didnt know anything about the 12 line although I did have some Mego Star Trek and superheroes and a Lone ranger which the dog ate his white hat. it was just what we kids did, we played Star Wars, He-man Transformers etc. everyone I knew played with theirs. Now there is the possibility of duplicate Xmas gifts out there, I remember one year my Grandma sent me a Slugger, I already had one so it was never opened and eventually wound up being given away as a birthday gift or something. who needs two Thunders ya know? Thinking back now though I should have swapped out the MG as mine was kinda bent from battle.
My mom bought me star wars figures, the death star, the land of the jawas, buck rogers starfighter, opened them all and played with them for a while. I used to take them to school to play with but I lost most of the accessories in the sand lot so I just left them at home.
In 1985, I bought cobra commander, destro, firefly, scrap iron, cobra, cobra officer, major bludd, the bat and the snow serpent, the asp and the water mocassin. These were the only gi joe toys I had as a kid, kept them all unopened and displayed on my desk shelf. A few years later I was bored so I decided to open them, only actually played with them for little while. Kind of regretted that.
They came from a small town store with a small toy corner in the back. At that time that little town had a couple of small departments, couple of drug stores and a couple of hardware stores with small toy corners and they all had a small but good selection of popular toy lines back then. In fact across from my parent's restaurant there was a hardware store, the owners gave me and my brother both a star wars landpeeder for christmas. One time my mom took me over and I had to decide whether to get a star wars tie fighter or a battlestar galactica colonial warrior and cylon - the 12 inch ones. I got the warrior and cylon.
My favorite toys growing were actually toys that fire things, I had a blue foam plane launcher (like the battlestar galactica viper launcher) and a disc gun that fired plastic disc like across the basement. I don't know if anyone has one, it has a handle with a ring trigger, the top is circular where you can store the discs. To fire it you push a disc into a plastic clip and when you pull the trigger the disc is pushed forward and that plastic clip launches it.
Now days, I don't even like to open toys, I think they look better in the packaging.
There were several people who bought old store overstock/dead merchandise in the mid-late 80s. Scarlett, for example, littered the pegs (the 20/32 back versions).
In 1988, when KB Toys was blowing out old ROTJ figures (2 for $1), I knew that that was a killer deal. Around this time, also, I knew that anything older than series 5 GI JOE was a rarity. When I found series 5 or older, I bought them. Of course, being 10 years limited the extent of my purchasing power. Well, that and not being able to drive (to old toys stores, drug stores, TRUs) limited what I could procure. Oh well.