One of the most successful action figures lines of the 1980s was G.I. JOE: A REAL AMERICAN HERO. Emerging in 1982, G.I. Joe departed from Hasbro’s tradition of doll like military figures. Instead, G.I. Joe became a 3 ¾ inch scale figure line complete with detailed figures, weapons, vehicles and accessories. G.I. Joe was an international Special Forces team that fought against a terrorist organization known as Cobra. G.I. Joe was a successful toy line in the 1980s, and decades later it still continues to be a popular figure line to collect.
One of the many reasons why G.I. JOE became such a successful toy line was because of the diversity of characters available.
The most memorable character from G.I.Joe is Snake Eyes. Snake Eyes is both a ninja and a commando. In Marvel’s G.I. Joe comics (Issue # 144), the original story was that his body and face were badly damaged when a helicopter exploded on a top secret mission. This is why he wears a full body commando suit. Snake Eyes also doesn’t talk in the comics and the television cartoon. His ninja master was murdered, and he had made a vow of silence until the killer was brought to justice.
You can see all 67 different variations of Snake Eyes HERE
Another popular character on the G.I. Joe team is Duke. He was first released as a G.I. Joe figure in 1983. He is trained in many languages and is a Special Forces leader. He commands his teams by winning their respect. Since 1983 there have been 50 versions of Duke created.
Arguably the most popular figure of the Cobra Organization is the Alley Viper. Many collectors have dozens of various Alley Vipers in their collection. As of today there are 14 different versions of the Alley Viper. You can see them all HERE.
I’m not so sure if the bright colors would help the Alley Viper in urban combat.
Throughout most of 1980s, almost all of the G.I. Joe figures were in realistic military colors, styles, and weapons. In the ’90s, however, Hasbro started making their G.I. Joe’s in bright and neon colors.
Not sure if anybody in their right mind would go out into combat dressed like these guys.
Regardless of the different kinds of G.I. Joe’s out there, if you want to start collecting them there are plenty of resources out there in print and online to help a collector out:
The Ultimate Guide to G.I.JOE 1982-1994 by Mark Bellemo This is also an excellent resource for the 3 3/4 G.I. Joe collector. It has pictures and details of everything G.I. Joe released by Hasbro from 1982 to 1994.
YoJoe YoJoe.com is one of the best online resources for new and old G.I. Joe collectors. It contains a comprehensive list of the figures, vehicles, and playsets.
Hisstank.com Hisstank is an online forum community for G.I. Joe collectors.
All photos taken by me