Pimp Daddy's Place in G.I.Joe Collecting History
I decided to include this section, as I think it's helpful to learn a bit about the PDD's history with G.I.Joe collectors. Also, I've covered some "big moments" in the PDD's collecting history. This section can give insight into why the Pimp Daddy Destro has become so desirable and the marquee item in G.I. Joe collecting circles. It should act as a general overview, and not an exact history. And exact history would be difficult to establish and to include here. I personally wasn't around for much of the earlier chapters, so if you have some beneficial information to add to this section, just send me an e-mail. I don't want anyone who was involved in the early days to feel slighted by not being included.
For years (all the way back to 1997) the Pimp Daddy Destro was a mystery to the G.I. Joe collecting community. It was rumored to be a prototype. It was rumored to be a fan-made custom creation. It's existence spawned so many unanswered questions. Was it a production figure? Was it ever meant to be released? Did it perhaps trickle-out of contracted Asian factories by illicit means? Was it a party favor at a birthday party? What was the deal with this strangely cool Destro figure?
Long time G.I. Joe fan & collector "Captain D.C." (as he's always been known on the PITT list & Yojoe.com message boards) is credited as being the first to bring the PDD's existence to light. Around 1997, he provided the famous pictures on Yojoe.com and swore he found the PDD carded at his local Toys R Us. He actually remembers the store having three carded PDDs. He vividly remembers seeing THREE carded Pimp Daddy Destro versions of the 1997 Cobra Command Team set at the Toys R Us in Jackson, MI. (At Jackson Crossing mall). He remembers conversing with the stock person Adrian (who he says was also a collector) about the odd paint decoration of Destro. He only purchased one, leaving two there. When he returned, they were gone. He then checked the Toys R Us stores in the larger nearby metropolitan cities of Lansing, Ann Arbor and Battle Creek...and did not find any.
But due to the the small pics on Yojoe, the rarity of the figure itself and the tendency of a collecting community to disbelieve a new discovery (especially without the ability to confirm due to the figure's rarity), some collectors doubted Captain DC's claim. Many even doubted the Pimp Daddy Destro ever even made it to toy stores in the USA. I have communicated with him at length and fully support & believe his account 100%.
Years later in my research, the man responsible for the PDD, John Boyce, told me he also found a PDD on the shelf of his local Toys R Us. So, for all the naysayers...some DID make it to US toy stores! Captain DC's claim is validated. If we're talking about the PDDs history, you can't overlook the importance of Captain D.C.'s original contribution.
The hunt was on! Captain D.C.'s find spurred on collectors who were searching high and low for this elusive variant. Next up (but a few years later in 2001), it was mega-collector and nice guy Ron Conner (see the link on the left for Ron's store Treasuresntoys.com)who next uncovered & acquired two more loose Pimp Daddy Destros and brought them to the collecting community's attention. Ron related a story to me that I had heard previously, but couldn't confirm. Loose PDDs were given away as small party gifts at a child's birthday party in Asia! The contact Ron bought his figures from had a child who attended this party. In the collecting timeline, it was this discovery by Ron Conner which really validated the existence of the PDD. The Pimp Daddy Destro WAS indeed a real figure.
The figure really started to gain in popularity as the story spread and urban legends of it's creation grew. A few collectors were fortunate to come across loose PDDs. Collectors even started recording the numbers of known PDDs and noting who's collections they were in. There was a private sale of one, with the info undisclosed. From the old information shown on the Yojoe PDD page, at that time the author only knew of 2 loose PDDs (a number which has since grown). But that number even then was increasing to more like 10 to 15 loose PDDs known.
We also must look at the important role the internet played in uncovering the PDD. The figure was made in 1997, just as many people & collectors were starting to use the internet & Ebay to find items. Had this tool not been used to bring the existence of the PDD to the community's attention, perhaps it would have only been discovered years later in 2001 by Ron, or maybe not at all?
The internet has greatly Influenced the buying & selling of PDDs. Ebay auctions are the perfect example. A few loose PDDs have been auctioned on Ebay since 2001, and most have sold in the $1,000 USD to $2,000 USD range. But it wasn't until 2004 that the first still carded Pimp Daddy Destro came to the attention of the online G.I.Joe collecting community.
The online toy store Guru-planet.com put a picture of a carded PDD on it's website. The collecting community started to clamor! Was it real? A forgery? This was the first time the online community had seen a carded PDD. After many knowledgeable collectors viewed the item, it was agreed to be authentic and was sold to a collector for approximately $2,000, give or take. This story has an unfortunate ending, as there was damage to the figure's bubble that seemed to occur during shipping. The messy ordeal was brought to the public attention, and you can read all about it here.
In collecting, when there is a big sale of an item like this and lots of attention on it, there always seems to be more that are then slowly uncovered. This was true with the carded PDD, as an Ebay seller from Asia shortly after the Guru-planet sale sold 2 carded PDDs on Ebay. They sold for more than $2,000 USD each (one more than the other). The price tag and desirability of the PDD was growing!
Now is when I "toot my own horn" a bit! (Hey, why not?). The ProjectPDD.com website was created over the summer of 2006 and serves as a great online resource for G.I.Joe collectors interested in learning the details about this mysterious figure. Since 1997, the collecting community had many unanswered questions about the PDD. ProjectPDD.com provides the first public resource for explaining all aspects of the Pimp Daddy Destro.
ProjectPDD.com also provided the first public revealing of the PDD's origin story, a relatively current record of the number of PDDs in collector's hands, and the first ever public online Pimp Daddy Destro authentication guide. With regard to authenticating a carded/MOC Pimp Daddy Destro, ProjectPDD.com was the first to discover & make public the unique date stamp code "9740" on the back of each authentic packaged PDD . Okay, enough about ProjectPDD's involvement. :^)
Currently (summer-2006) the demand for a PDD (either loose or carded) is higher than ever. Where loose PDD used to sell for $1, 000 , they now sell for double. I'd imagine carded Pimp Daddy Destros would also sell for a higher price than the approx. $2,500 of the year before. A loose graded AFA 90 PDD currently has an asking price of a whopping $4,000! (but this IS a very nice example of the PDD with terrific paint application...a rarity). But as of this writing, no carded PDD has been graded by AFA.
What will the future hold for for the Pimp Daddy Destro? We shall see...
P.S. Again, this is a very general history, related to me by many who have experienced it. I've spent a good amount of time researching this, but of course may have missed or overlooked something. So, if you've got further info to contribute or perhaps something I got wrong....just let me know.