Action figure:G.I. Joe Action Sailor

Hasbro, Inc.1964

The Strong National Museum of Play

The Strong National Museum of Play

In 1964, Hasbro introduced its military "action figure," G.I. Joe, an 11 1/2-inch, male figure with 21 moving parts and uniforms representing each of the four branches of the U.S. Armed Forces. In the first year, Hasbro sold more than $16.9 million in G.I. Joe merchandise. In the second year of manufacture, sales topped $36 million. Marketing a male figure in the 1960s, however, required some finesse. In a culture of clearly defined gender roles, few toy manufacturers thought boys would play with dolls.��??Hasbro, in fact, called G.I. Joe an action figure explicitly, emphatically, and precisely to overcome any notions that the toy resembled a doll in any way. That the figure represented soldiers and sailors of the U.S. military (an institution, at mid-20th century, not overly friendly to women) reinforced Joe?s manliness. The success of Hasbro?s new toy line motivated other companies to offer their own action figures. Marx created a World War II figure, Stony Smith; a Noble Knight series, and the Best of the west series. Ideal offered super hero Captain Action; A. C. Gilbert, maker of Erector sets, produced figures from the Cold War including James Bond and the Man from U.N.C.L.E.

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  • Title: Action figure:G.I. Joe Action Sailor
  • Creator: Hasbro, Inc.
  • Date Created: 1964
  • Location: USA
  • Subject Keywords: G.I. Joe
  • Type: Action Figures and Character Toys
  • Medium: molded plastic, vinyl, paint


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