Sunday, May 27, 2018

[YouTube] G.I. Joe Shrinky Dinks

Shrinky Dinks were created in 1973 by two women in Wisconsin and are now owned by Alex Brands which acquired Shrinky Dinks in December 2014. They are made with polystyrene, a plastic that shrinks and hardens after being heated in an oven, and are primarily being used in arts and crafts, though also by scientists. Many years ago Shrinky Dinks were licensed by a few companies, including Colorforms which released numerous Shrinky Dinks products based on television, movie, video game, and toy properties in the '80s. Along with G.I. Joe, some of the available sets included Barbie, Smurfs, E.T., Rainbow Brite, Transformers, My Little Pony, Pac-Man, Voltron, Dungeons & Dragons, Masters of the Universe, The A-Team, Q*bert, and many others. The box scans below are of the same box seen in the video; I cleaned them in Photoshop, though there is some blurry text on the back as it was tough to flatten the box enough during scanning.

Unfortunately, I couldn't find all of the G.I. Joe templates that I colored and shrunk when I was a kid but I do have a few of them, one unused page with some nice images, and a couple other pieces. Not all of them are directly related to G.I. Joe as some are simply military themed, such as a dog tag and colonel insignia.

Manual Page 1
Manual Page 2

Manual Page 3
Manual Page 4


The polystyrene is sort of clear, the scans just got a white background from the scanner.

This is what remains of my set; it did originally include seven colored pencils
and more plastic sheets.

In the video I bake one colonel insignia and a Vault 1541 logo that I drew on a scrap piece of polystyrene. On the back of the box it shows the insignia as mostly gold like a pin might be but I chose to color it more like an actual eagle which is common on military patches. The Vault 1541 logo didn't bake too well as it went a bit sideways on me. Also, the images I took on the baking sheet don't look so great and as I mention in the video, the white stripes don't appear very white on the dull side after baking.

Although this video highlights G.I. Joe, this post is primarily about Shrinky Dinks in general and I wanted to include photos of others I owned if I could find them. After making the video and then writing this post, it hit me that I had Hot Wheels Shrinky Dinks and had a good idea where one might be so here is a photo of that one (this one has a sticker on the back meant to attach it to something; I think there were display stands for the cars too).

My coloring skills weren't so hot in the '80s, nor were my color choices (I do wonder if my sister colored this one but I don't think she'd be as sloppy as this looks). I'm certain there are some Barbie and Smurfs Shrinky Dinks floating around too but those might all be at my parent's house. If I ever get back there and go through my sister's things I may update this post with a few more images.

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