Action figure:Ken doll / Prototype G.I. Joe


The Strong National Museum of Play

The Strong National Museum of Play
Rochester , United States

This prototype Navy G.I. Joe comes from the personal collection of Don Levine, the former head of design for Hasbro. In 1963 Levine and his colleagues set out to create a toy for boys that could parallel Mattel's Barbie, in other words, serve as a platform for imaginative play and sell endless variations and accessories. Fearful that boys would scorn a doll, even a macho military doll, Hasbro promoted the product as an "action figure," and it became an overwhelming success. G.I. Joe is still in production nearly a half-century after its introduction, and Hasbro has sold hundreds of millions figures to date. Ironically, this prototype began as a standard male doll for girls. Levine and his coworkers purchased a Ken doll (mad for Mattel's Barbie line) and modified it by hand: the cheeks and chin are more chiseled, and the haircut is a shorter, more military cut.


  • Title: Action figure:Ken doll / Prototype G.I. Joe
  • Creator: Hasbro, Inc.
  • Date Created: 1964, 1964
  • Location: USA, USA
  • Subject Keywords: G.I. Joe, Ken, G.I. Joe, Ken
  • Type: Action Figures and Character Toys, Action Figures and Character Toys
  • Medium: plastic, fabric, metal
  • Object ID: 103.2062, 103.2062

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