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GI Joe Turns 50

During this month’s Toy Fair in New York City, GI Joe creator Hasbro will announce plans to celebrate the brand’s 50th anniversary that brought the term “Action Figure” into America’s lexicon. Although the brand wasn’t officially unveiled until March 1964, many consider February the true anniversary month.

GI Joe

GI Joes were my most treasured toys growing up and I know it wasn’t just me. During SHOT Show, a friend showed me a photo taken during his youth of his Joes. Although I had a lot of cool toys including Major Matt Mason, Sea Devils and a whole slew Marx war playsets, I’m a 1/6 scale Adventure Team Joe kind of a guy at heart (can you say “Kung Fu Grip?”). The smaller 3-3/4″ versions and comic book came out around the time I was moving on from toys, but I know a lot of guys grew up with them. Now that I’m grown, I’ve rediscovered the originals and really appreciate the memories.

How about we all take a knee and share our toy memories? Here’s one of mine.



11 Responses to “GI Joe Turns 50”

  1. Darkhorse says:

    Big Jim and the Rescue Rig was my fave.. along with Evel Kneivel, SST, and Smash-Up-Derby..

  2. Haji says:

    I had dang near everything made in the Adventure Team line, as well as a whole slew of stuff from the earlier Joes, including at least 3 of the M2’s with the sandbags. I got back into them a few years ago when 12″ action figgers were hot again, but sold my collection because I couldn’t move it all here. One of the reasons for getting back into it was that I found a GI Joe Collector’s Guide at barnes and noble, and saw what all the stuff I had was worth at the time. Oh, lordy.

    I still have the ltd ed John Wayne Green Berets figure in tiger stripe from Sideshow Toys and a Danny McKnight Task Force Ranger figure from 2003 that he autographed for me. The Duke is at home, Col. McKnight is in my office at work.

    I still love this stuff, I just don’t have enough space for it and I need the money for ammunition.

  3. AbnMedOps says:

    Mid-60s: I had GI Joe, with the jeep and trailer. The trailer had a cool spotlight you could shine around. The jeep had a very cool spring-loaded recoiless rifle, with “harmless” soft-plastic projectiles…but the bore was perfectly sized to substitute a marble, which could richochet off 2 or 3 livingroom walls or windows! 🙂 Damn, I wonder what that stuff is worth now on the collector market??

  4. Philip says:

    I used to arm GI Joe with as many guns as he could carry… two in each boot, 4 in the belt, and one in each hand!

  5. james says:

    happy birthday Joe… so many good times… and great adventures!

  6. Mic says:

    I had so much fun with my G.I Joes. Mid to late eighties for me. Used to set up ambushes outside in mud and rocks. Inside I would run string for them to zip line across. Such fun. Happy b-day Joe!

  7. Brian Kroon says:

    50 Wow! I had my mom modify the kit and build extra stuff for my crew. Looks like it influenced my career decision.

    Drop Zone Tactical

  8. GW says:

    Happy Birthday Joe!!!! I have thousands of hours playing with he and the crew. dirt piles and GI Joe!!! good times

  9. 10thMountainMan says:

    My GI Joes, Ninja Turtles, Transformers, Dino-Riders and micromachines would all have battle royals in the living room. Looking back, my mother was an amazingly patient woman.

  10. snoop says:

    I have the same Mike Power action figure, not quite the Steve Austin $6 million dollar man but good enough for me.