G.I. Joe History - 40 Years of GI Joe Action Figures!
In more than a half-dozen incarnations across
four decades, G.I. JOE has become the single greatest brand in the history
of boys' toys. Inspiring the term "action figure", G.I. JOE
ushered in a new play pattern that forever changed the scope of the
Hasbro has kept G.I. JOE on the
market nearly continuously since 1964, with the exception of a few years
between the "retirement" of the classic "vintage"
Joe in 1976 and the introduction of the new "Real American Hero"
in 1982. This has not always been an easy task. Conventional wisdom
in the toy industry says that a new generation of boys comes along every
four years, requiring new and fresh products and technologies to successfully market to this changing crowd.
As a result, G.I. JOE as a product
has assumed many different faces over the years - from military hero
to adventurer and Adventure Team member, to Super Joe, to the smaller
but no less powerful Real American Hero (which itself changed over time),
to Sgt. Savage, to G.I. JOE: Extreme, and back to 12" figures with
the Hall of Fame, to 8" Sigma 6, then to the 2 ½" Mission
Scale. The 3 3/4" Real American Hero returned for their 25th and 30th Anniversaries and then evolved into movie editions with G.I. JOE: The Rise Of Cobra (2009) and G.I. JOE: Retaliation (2012).
There has never been a toy that has had the complex history of
G.I. JOE, and there hasn't been a boy's toy, aside perhaps from trains,
that has lasted as long. In 2004, G.I. JOE was honored with induction
into the National Toy Hall of Fame. The collection has proven its longevity,
and the adventures of G.I. JOE continue to this day!
We can't think of a better way to continue the celebration of our favorite "backyard hero" as joining to be a member of the Official G.I. Joe Collectors' Club.