Action figure:Johnny Hero

Rosko Industries1960s

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:Johnny Hero
  • Creator: Rosko Industries
  • Date Created: 1960s
  • Subject Keywords: athlete, baseball
  • Type: Action Figures and Character Toys
  • Medium: molded plastic, fabric, paint, foam rubber
  • Object ID: 113.3519