There was a small shrubbery (ni!) set up at the side of our house when we moved in, and they were never the healthiest things. We finally got sick of looking at them and decided to just tear the shrubs out. So we did, and leave it to me to find the tiny G.I. Joe head in the dirt once the shrubs were removed! The head belonged to Colonel Courage (a figure I already owned), and was sun-faded and sported some paint wear. But for what ever reason, I couldn't bring myself to just throw the head away.
For a while I was buying extra Joes for some easy customization, but I never really got that into it. So as it happened I had some random Joe parts just lying around down in the toy room, and I decided to see if I could use any of them with my newfound head.
The original figure looks more at home in an office than on the battlefield, and then there's the neon! I do have fond memories of neon from my childhood, but it never really suited Colonel Courage. The colors on my custom guy clash as well, but they clash so much better.
He ended up becoming a special figure for me. I mean, what are the chances that someone would lose their Colonel Courage head in the bushes, only to have someone later move into the house, remove the bushes, happen to be a toy collector, and also happen to have the extra pieces needed to give the head a new body? If that's not toy fate, I don't know what is.
My next figure isn't quite as special to me, but it's still a fluke that I found him. This one goes back to before I was married, when my future wife still lived at home with her mom. We were hanging out in the basement when I thought I noticed something up in the wall. The basement was only semi-finished, so the drywall didn't go all the way to the ceiling. I grabbed a chair and climbed up to see what it was that I was looking at, and it turned out to be this Superman figure.
It's not a full-on action figure (it's actually a kids meal toy from Subway), but I'm always up for giving a home to a lost toy. How did he get up there in the wall? I'm assuming some kid was swinging him around by his strap and throwing him to make him fly, and he flew up into the wall - where he stayed. The back of his logo has a copyright date of 1998, so he may have been up there for a while. And Colonel Courage was released way back in 1993, so who knows how long his head was down there in the bushes. It's the circle of toy life. Someone buys a toy, sometimes they lose them, someone else finds them, and on and on it goes. It's kinda cool to think about how many owners a toy can go through over the years, and all the places they go along the way.