Viewer collection: Neil La Sala's Ultra Rare G.I. Joe Collection

He has over 1,000 figures – including pre-production salesman's samples!

Sep. 1, 2020

High school teacher and retired Marine Corps Reserve veteran Neil La Sala received his first G.I. Joe action figure as a child in 1967. By the early 1990s, his love for these classic toys grew into a passion for collecting. As he puts it, "It is a childhood toy that has really become a fun adult hobby."

"Hobby" seems like a bit of an understatement. La Sala has amassed more than 1,000 pieces, ranging from early pre-production salesmen's samples to Adventure Team sets from the Seventies. And that first figure he got at five-years-old? It remains a cherished part of his collection, alongside some of the rarest G.I. Joe figures on the planet.

1. Salesman’s sample figure with rare, first-issue G.I. Joe accessories

This rare saleman’s sample figure has many unique accessories like a brass dog tag and mess kit.

2. Tinted pre-production figures

These salesman’s samples have a red tint – said to be from an error in the pre-production molding process.

3. Photo box sets

This is one of only two known collections to have the complete photo box series sets.

4. More photo box sets

5. Air Sea Rescue Action Pilot set

La Sala describes this set as "impossible to find."

6. Nurse

This rare nurse figure was discontinued soon after release.

7. Soldiers of the World figures

The "Soldiers of the World" line showcased Joe in different military branches from WWII.

8. Soldiers of the World figures

9. Soldiers of the World figures

10. Adventure Team figures

In 1972, G.I. Joe introduced "Adventure Team" sets, moving away from war and into scientific expeditions and rescue missions.

11. Adventure Team figures

Instead of the painted-on hair of previous figures, these sets had lifelike hair and a kung-fu grip!

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23 Comments

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ChrisBBBBB 6 days ago
Super clean collection Neil, certainly the best Ive seen. Great attention to detail! Thanks for sharing.
NEIL1964 ChrisBBBBB 5 days ago
Thanks for your kind words! We have a great hobby and some great relationships have grown among collectors.
ChrisBBBBB NEIL1964 2 days ago
Yes indeed! Are you in New England? You could join our group on Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/groups/1598731963696710
I would like to ask you about your photo boxes. Friend me if you like, or send me an email gijoedepotne@aol.com
Thank you!
Spookysober 1 month ago
Your soldiers of the world pictures is wrong, those are Marines. The soldiers of the world included German and Australian soldiers, etc
NEIL1964 11 months ago
A great hobby where some great friendships have developed! In many ways, Joe has stood the test of time and has fostered camaraderie.
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BillMeikle NEIL1964 15 days ago
Oh, ok. If you key in just the numbers you'll find them. 403397129159 and 403397129313
NEIL1964 BillMeikle 15 days ago
MP is incomplete and radio is broken, that’s not the correct helmet for the set, uniform is ok, $200

Talker has knock off accessories, hard to tell if you cannot hear pullstring voice, $150
BillMeikle NEIL1964 15 days ago
That's good to know Neil. Thanks for letting me know their value. I have more to sell. I'll share the details with you when I list them.
NEIL1964 BillMeikle 14 days ago
Ok, real good!
RoyandDale1 16 months ago
I was hoping that this amazing collection would be highlighted on the show! Ever since Collectors Call became a thing I have been hoping to see one of the premier Joe collections featured. I have a number of nice pieces but I would never be able to accumulate one as amazing as Neils! My wife would not be enthused. She doesn't understand my desire to collect now!
Will Neils collection make it on to the show?
GIJoeGuy 16 months ago
An absolutely awesome GI Joe collection owned by an even more awesome collector and real life GI Joe!! Well done Neil!!
Tarakian10 16 months ago
Where is my favorite? The shiny silver "Space Blanket" plastic suit of a NASA Astronaut and Gemini capsule. This shiny plastic was actually developed for real astronauts to survive cold weather., bit of trivia.
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