G.I. Joe action figures have been a classic American toy for more than 50 years. Here are eight facts about the bestselling toy franchise and its history.
G.I. stands for Government Issue.
2. Barbie Conception
The success of the toy doll Barbie inspired toy creator Stan Weston with the idea to make a male military version of the girl’s toy, according to Neatorama
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3. Coining The Phrase
The toy company Hasbro was afraid boys would not want to play with anything if it was considered to be a doll, so the company coined the phrase action figure.
4. G.I. Joe’s start
The action figure was first released in 1964. A figure for each branch of the military was released including an Action Soldier, Action Sailor, Action Marine, and Action Pilot. A black soldier was added in 1965, according to Neatorama.
5. Action Heros
Although the toy brand was a major success, Hasbro would later switch its focus from the Army to general adventure. As the Vietnam War heated up, Hasbro launched its new line of toys called Adventure Team in 1970, according to BBC
6. The 1970s
The later half of the 1970s brought higher plastic prices due to the world market for oil. Instead of raising the price, Hasbro instead made the action hero smaller. G.I. Joes were shrunken to 12 inches in 1976.
7. An Unlikely Hero
The toy figure was saved again because of the booming action figure market that Star Wars created in the early 1980s. Along with more action figures, G.I. Joe also broke into new markets, including video games and a TV cartoon, according to Time
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8. Live Action Movies
Two live action G.I. Joe movies have been released in recent years. “G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra” was released in 2009, and “G.I. Joe: Retaliation” was released in 2013.
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