G.I. Joe turns 50

Posted in Toys + Crafts.


Despite all the mmbssshhhhh and kkkrrrrraaasshhh G.I. Joe has endured throughout the years, this little guy is looking pretty good for 50. Often dubbed the “world’s first action figure”, the 28-centimetre doll with 21 moving parts was launched just ahead of Christmas 1964. Since that time, G.I. Joe and his mates have been keeping the world safe from the evil Cobra Command who seek to take over the world.

To celebrate his 50th birthday, here are our top six favourite G.I. Joe facts:

1. Ahem they’re “action figures”, not “dolls”

G.I. Joe original line-up

The Hasbro marketing types in the early 1960s decided that boys wouldn’t want to play with dolls, and therefore the word “doll” was never used by Hasbro or any of the marketing. “Action figure” was considered the only “acceptable” term.

2. Ch-ching!

Most Expensive GI Joe

One of the G.I. Joe prototypes sold at auction in 2003 for $200,001.

3. Action Man

GI Joe Action Man Flocked Hair

When British toy company Palitoy licensed G.I. Joe line, they renamed him Action Man for the UK market. Palitoy developed this glorious 70s hair, referred to in the the biz as “life-like” flocked hair and beard.

4. Unusual trademarks

G.I. Joe scar

Hasbro trademarked certain unusual features, including a scar on the right cheek and the placement of the right thumbnail on the underside of the thumb.

5. Hall of Fame

Toy Hall of Fame

G.I. Joe was elected into Toy Hall of Fame in 2004, six years after Barbie was enshrined.

6. G.I. Joe: movie star

G.I. Joe Channing Tatum

The G.I. Joe character has inspired comic books, cartoons, his own annual convention GIJoeCon, and has starred in two big budget Hollywood movies, played by Channing Tatum. We mention this primarily so we can include a picture of Channing Tatum.

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