Friday, June 21, 2024

GI Joe Toy Story – An 80’s and 90’s phenomenon!

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We continue our tour of the most famous and mythical collections of action figures from the 80s and 90s. After traveling to other worlds with Secret Wars and going through the sewers with the Ninja Turtles, it is time to fight against Cobra with the GIJOE.

GI Joe was, is and will be one of the star collections in the world of action figures. If in 1987 you sat down to watch TV with your Nocilla sandwich, it is most likely that you did it with one of his figures in his hand. The GI Joe (or jijoe as moms liked to call them) was the collection of four-inch-scale action figures that replaced Star Wars at the hearts and hours of gaming we were kids from the mid-’80s to mid 90’s.

At the beginning of the 80s, at the headquarters of Hasbro , one of the most important toy companies in the world, they decided to recover one of those licenses that had once given them a large number of benefits, GI Joe . But instead of betting on reusing the previous material in a kind of reissue, due to the success of Kenner’s Star Wars figures, it was decided to bet on the 3 3/4-inch (10-centimeter) size. Under the code name Blast Off the development of the first figures and vehicles began. It would be the beginning of one of the longest collections in history.

The truth is that it was not easy to decide on a specific character when the shelves of toy stores and department stores were full of them. What is called art today, at that time we called drawings and it was partly to blame for the decision of which was the lucky GI Joe  or Cobra who was going to go home after polishing off your savings. And it is that these illustrations, largely due to the American artist H├ęctor Garrido , were capable of transferring you to the world of character, of imagining his personality and of giving him charisma. G.I. JOE.  The illustrations of the characters.

G.I. JOE. The illustrations of the characters. 

In addition to the illustrations, another important factor was the biography of the character that we found on the back of the cardboard. Be careful, today we live in a world in which those lines would surely be written by the intern of the marketing department as “you eat the brown” but with GI Joe it was not like that. Those biographies were written by Larry Hama , the titular writer for the G.I. Joe comic book series . Another example of the affection and importance of the collection for Hasbro.GIJoe - Comics Forum covers

GIJoe – Comics Forum covers

Like all collections from those wonder years, the Joes had their own television series and comic book collection. While the television series was dedicated to the most children’s audience, the comics were aimed at young people and adults. In Spain we were able to enjoy the series thanks to Telecinco. I still remember living the day the movie was released as a big event. And on the other hand, the comics came from Forum, although unfortunately and after several stages they ended up being cancelled.

Once again, the GI Joe series and comics were to blame for our childish heads turning more than one of us. In both formats we saw great characters that were impossible to get. As usual, the complete collection of figures did not arrive here. An example of this is the first wave that appeared in our toy stores: it was chosen with such little criteria that it could almost be said that it was random. This decision deprived us of having Cobra Commander at first (admit it, after reading his name you are imitating his voice) Destro , Zartan , The Baroness , Scarlett , Duke and other of the main characters of both sides. Of course, it brought us one of the most mythical figures and that to this day continues to be one of the most sought after: the first figure of Snake Eyes (actually it is the second version, but it is better not to get into those messes ).


Business decisions aside, and getting back to the collection itself, not talking about the vehicles would be worse than a world dominated by Cobra. Adapting the size of the figures allowed us to open up the range of possibilities for the vehicles, airplanes, hovercrafts, motorcycles, sleds, jeeps and even an aircraft carrier (which of course did not even show its bow here), which were part of the GI Joe armies. and Cupra

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