GI Joe & The Elite Brigade by Cotswold Collectibles
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Home of G.I. Joe & The Elite Brigade
Thursday, Feb 23 2017  
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  •     About Cotswold Collectibles

    About Cotswold Collectibles

    Who We Are
    Cotswold got started in the mid 1980's as an antique auction in Seattle, importing fine British antiques (hence, our name . . . based on that lovely region in the southwest of England). As you might guess, it wasn't a straight path from armoires and dining tables to specializing in 12 inch action figures. But by 1989 we had branched out into lots of English collectibles including Action Man (the brand name for GI Joe in England), and we sent out a sales list of vintage Joe parts we'd found in a warehouse in Uruguay (true story). Our GI Joe/Action Figure mail order service for collectors was born!

    Fast forward to the mid-nineties. We were knee-deep in the US Vintage Joe as well as Action Man and began manufacturing replacement parts and figures to complete and use all of the vintage gear that was around. We named our line The Elite Brigade. Before long we started to expand on Joe's legacy, adding additional uniforms and periods of history and expanding the hobby past vintage Joe. By the late nineties several other large manufacturers joined us and together the 12" figure hobby that spans interests from the earlier 60's figures right up to the most incredibly detailed figures we see today, evolved.

    Today there's not a stick of antique furniture to be seen anywhere in our business and we've dedicated ourselves entirely to the creative fun of the 12" action figure hobby. Military figures form the core of what we do . . . but following our customers' creative leads . . . we offer all kinds of 12" figures . . . to collect complete in their boxes, to display or to "morph" into whole new combinations.

    Our headquarters is north of Seattle on beautiful Whidbey Island, one of the larger islands in the Puget Sound. We have a friendly, helpful staff and enjoy being a person-to-person business, so call when you have questions or need help.

    Our office (and phone) hours:

    Monday to Friday: 8:30 am to 5:00 pm, West Coast Time
    Toll free: (877) 404-5637 Direct Dial: (360) 331-5331
    Fax: (360) 331-5344

    What We Sell
    We are all about having fun with 12" figures, so we carry all the leading brands as well as figures from the smallest companies . . . including our own Elite Brigade figure line. You can scan down the sidebar on the home page to see our "departments."

    Our Newsletter
    We have published regular newsletters since 1989. That's a lot of action figure news! We mail our newsletters to our regular customers at no charge. Other readers can subscribe for just $7.50 per year (US addresses, $14.99 for international). You can subscribe right from our web page if you like, or call our office during business hours.

    Over the years we've had all kinds of formats for our news. With transformations in information technology we use multiple formats to help keep you up-to-date as well as bring you the broadest selection possible. These days it’s a combination of a print catalog that comes out about every 5 weeks, a weekly on-line newsletter, and a frequently updated Facebook page. If you prefer environmentally friendly “all electronic” information, you can read our current catalog here on our website and let us know to discontinue mailing paper catalogs.

    Our Pre-Order Program
    In the early days of our business we rarely advertised a product until it was already in our warehouse. But those days are LONG over. Now most manufacturers announce new products months in advance of their arrival and we begin taking orders as soon as the announcements are out.

    So when you spot something new that you'll want when it finally is available we're happy to take your advance orders and keep track of them for you. Set it up with a credit card for payment and as items on your pre-order list arrive, we just bill your card and send them out. It's a great way to insure that you won't miss out. There are a lot of occasions now when figures are completely sold out before they even reach our warehouse!

    What's The Elite Brigade?
    That's Cotswold's own brand. We design and manufacture items or uniform sets and dressed figures on a small scale to expand on other products in the hobby. One of our trademarks is offering parts as well as full sets . . . Have it Your Way!

    Our Vintage Joe Replacement Parts
    Our first-ever manufacturing projects were all about fixing up old GI Joes. We started with German helmets, and soon added replacement hands, and before you know it we had a complete figure. That was in 1995. Because the patent on GI Joe had already expired by then, the way was clear for us to help out collectors in this way and to complement Hasbros contributions by keeping the hobby fun, even when some items were very scarce. Our parts are designed to be compatible with vintage Joes, yet are marked so they can be differentiated from original items.

    Our Armor Series
    Real steel, hand hammered a piece at a time, then painstakingly fitted together onto an Elite figure body . . . that's how Cotswold's Elite Armor series is made. We offer individual armored parts as well as complete sets.