G.I. Joe: History Of The 12-Inch Action Soldier Toy

By Emily Morenz
Mid-'60s lineup of G.I. Joe action figures. Image courtesy of the Victoria & Albert Museum of Childhood: vam.ac.uk/moc

Hasbro’s revolutionary action figure G.I. Joe changed the toy market forever when it was released in the mid-1960s. During a time when dolls were only acceptable for little girls, the masculine, military-themed G.I. Joe helped young boys express their wide imaginations and thirst for adventure. G.I. Joe was constantly evolving as Hasbro redesigned the toy multiple times to adjust for the changing times. Considered by some to be the most popular toy of the 20th century, G.I. Joe’s reputation continues to grow as two recent live-action films, G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra (2009) and G.I. Joe: Retaliation (2013), were even based upon the toy.

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