Saturday, April 25, 2020

RIP Hector Garrido

I had heard the name Hector Garrido but I didn't know much about him other than his work. He was an Argentinian artist who immigrated to the U.S. and began working professionally in the 1950s. While he did a lot of book covers for the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew novels among others and plates for the Bradford Exchange he will be forever immortalised as one of the people who brought G.I.Joe: A Real American Hero to life by creating the artwork that accompanied each action figure.

Because Palitoy, owners of the distribution licence for G.I.Joe toys under the Action Force name had a marketing design team bereft of any talent whatsoever, it would not be until they ceded market control to Hasbro before we began to see the proper artwork (and Larry Hama's filecards) printed on Action Force in the EU.

In many cases the artwork was a key factor in deciding which character to buy next. This may often have been the incorrect decision because Garrido's artwork could sometimes illustrate a toy in a much better light than what was rendered in plastic. But the images nonetheless are just as clear in my mind now over 30 years later as when I was playing with them.

Garrido retired some 20 years ago and it was announced yesterday that he passed away on Sunday last at 92. Rest in peace Mr. Garrido, and thank you.

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