Happy 50th Birthday, G.I. Joe
Posted by Brent Lee on Thursday, February 6, 2014 at 12:00 AM By Brent Lee / February 6, 2014 Comment
On this month 50 years ago, Hasbro introduced the world's first action figure, revolutionizing playtime for millions of American kids for decades to come. G.I. Joe was born in 1964, the brainchild of Hasbro's Don Levine, the company's creative director at the time. The original action figure — marketed as "America's Movable Fighting Man" — sold for $4, stood 11.5 inches tall and was available in four varieties modeled after the each of the branches of the U.S. military (Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines). Each Joe doll incorporated 21 moving parts and was built to interact with various accessories such as guns, helmets and military vehicles. While selling well at first, negative popular sentiment about U.S. involvement in Vietnam led to steadily decreasing demand for the combat-centric action figures in the late 1960's. By the end of the next decade, G.I. Joe had been discontinued by Hasbro. But in 1982, the Joes were called back to active duty. Successfully relaunching as “G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero,” the newly-styled action figures were shrunk down to 1:18 scale (compared to 1:6 scale for the 1964 originals), each toy soldier standing 3¾ inches tall.
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