Today, let’s take a look at a Kids Stuff record from 1983, GI Joe: Castle of the Doomed.
Kid Stuff was a pretty cheap-and-fast production company. They didn’t have the best voice actors, they used one person on a synthesizer for their music whenever possible, and the stories were typically pretty weak. That being said, the artwork on this GI Joe record is great, but otherwise it’s a typical Kid Stuff production in every other way.
One thing you have to keep in mind is that Kid Stuff was only buying a license to the GI Joe property, meaning the names and designs of characters and vehicles. So, they couldn’t really use anything from the cartoon, which would be an entirely different licensing agreement. To that end, they had to develop their own storylines, character relationships, and character interpretations.
And this is why any kid buying this record in 1983 would have probably been pretty disappointed. The Kid Stuff characters are wildly different from the cartoon and the voices typically don’t match the characters very well. It’s a very different experience. But at least they did license the theme song from the show, so at least there is some continuity. However, during the part of the theme when voice actor Jackson Beck would say, “G.I. Joe is the code name for America’s daring, highly-trained special mission force. It’s purpose: To defend human freedom against COBRA, a ruthless terrorist organization determined to rule the world!”, Kid Stuff clearly didn’t have the rights to that part, so it just played this little loop for a few seconds instead. I snagged it and made it an endless loop over on Soundcloud just for fun.
The story follows the Joes as they investigate some strange goings on at an old castle, only to find it’s a secret Cobra base.
If you’d like to check out this album, it’s available as one of the older episodes of When You Hear This Sound. Get it wherever you get your podcasts, or stream it from my podcast website.