Happy Memorial Day everyone! Thought I would shoot out a quick post about one of my favorite G.I. Joe figures. Joseph Colton was the first figure to be called G.I. Joe. He is considered the creator of the G.I. Joe team. In the old Marvel Comics he served in the Vietnam war. A story of this is featured in Marvel Comic’s G.I. Joe #152. Joseph Colton was part of the G.I. Joe 30th anniversary series and was released in 1994 as a mail away exclusive. Later, he was also offered as a boxed exclusive figure for the 1994 G.I. Joe Convention. When I was kid, a buddy of mine got the Colton exclusive. He became one of my favorites because I loved the Marvel Comic about him. Fast forward twenty years, this same buddy of mine gave me the same Colton figure. He is still in great condition, and is a treasured figure in my collection.
Recent controversy has come to light with the release of Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron. Yesterday, actor Mark Ruffalo called out Marvel on twitter by saying that he would like to see more Black Widow action figures. Black Widow, played by Scarlett Johansson, has been noticeably less portrayed on Age of Ultron merchandise. This includes her action figures. According to celebrity website Whosay, the Black Widow is in action figure form almost three times less than her male superhero counterparts. I for one am with Mark Ruffalo, and can say that we not only need more Black Widow action figures, but we need more female action figures in general.
Therefore, in honor of female action figures I would like to feature some of the best so far.
One of the first heroines in video games was the awesomely armored Samus Aran. As the star of the NES game Metroid,
she became immensely popular and remains popular today. Unless you wanted to shell out plenty of money for an import action figure, she was basically unavailable as an action figure in the United States. Jakks Pacific, however, recently released a Samus figure as part of their “World of Nintendo” line, which can be found at Target, and Toys’R’US.
You can also buy her Amiibo as well.
Lara Croft of Tomb Raider was also a pioneer for feminism in video games. Not only was it cool to explore ancient tombs as a female, the games were actually quite fun to play. The Tomb Raider games were incredibly popular (and still are popular) and paved the way for future female video game heroines.
The first Resident Evil game for the Playstation One featured Jill Valentine as one of the stars. With her trusty bazooka, she blasted her way through the zombies and creatures of the Spencer Mansion. Her likeness in action figure form was made by Toy Biz.
Resident Evil 2, released on the Playstation One, also featured a female star. Claire Redfield, went searching in Raccoon City for her missing brother, Chris Redfield (Jill Valentines Co-star in Resident Evil). Unfortunately, the city was overrun with zombies and Claire also had to blast her way through to escape.
Even G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero had some girl heroines. Lady Jaye was one of the earliest and more popular.
Females are an essential part of comics, video games, and superhero movies. They deserve recognition in all aspects of the promoting and merchandising world. I applaud Mark Ruffalo for his insistence on more female action figures. Hopefully Marvel (and other companies) will listen and we will see more the heroines in the future.
Sound off in the comments below if you have any other amazing female action figures.
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