GI Joe

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Showing all 3 results

GI Joe Store

Here we have GI Joe toys all based in the UK. We carry Classified and the Retro Collection and occasionally vintage figures too.

GI Joe Classified is a range of incredibly detailed and articulated six inch figures which feature premium decos and accessories, while GI Joe the Retro Collection is based around modern updates of classic characters on retro packaging.

GI Joe was launched in 1964 as a 12″ (1/6 scale) doll line with uniforms that could be changed. Knowing that parents wouldn’t buy boys dolls, Hasbro marketed them as “action figures”, coining a term that has been used ever since for toys aimed at boys. These soldier figures had to move away from war and towards adventure once America became involved in the Vietnam War, with fewer military figures and more focus on astronauts, divers and the like.

The British line, Action Man, innovated the use of flocking to create a beard for the figure and later the Kung Fu grip, capitalising on the 70’s martial arts craze.

Following the release of Star Wars in 1977 and the new focus on 3.75 inch figures, sales started to drop for 12″ figures forcing GI Joe to follow suit. Hasbro relaunched the line with a huge marketing strategy that involved an animated series and a comic book, with incredibly articulated figures.

Palitoy in the UK released their own Action Force figures¬† which only had 5 points of articulation and remained based on real life soldiers before introducing warring factions in later waves. ¬†After the death of one of Palitoy’s owners, Hasbro took over the company and started to introduce repaints of GI Joe figures into the line before fully converting it into GI Joe in all but name.

The battle between the Joes and the evil terrorist organisation Cobra captured the imaginations of children, especially the varied characters like the ninjas Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow, the Mad Max inspired Dreadnoks, head bad guys Cobra Commander, Destro and Baroness, and of course the endless variations of Viper troopers.

The toy line ran until 1994 and was cancelled on it’s 30th anniversary. Since then it has returned for brief stints fairly regularly with a mix of new figures and reissues. In 2020 to capitalise on the success of the Star Wars Black Series, Hasbro launched GI Joe Classified – a new six inch scale series of articulated figures. Also shadowing the success of the Star Wars Retro Collection of reissued vintage Star Wars figures on vintage style cards, Hasbro announced the GI Joe the Retro Collection. However, these figures wouldn’t be reissues but new figures on retro cards accompanied by reissued vehicles.

Here at Gear4Geeks, we are your UK source for all things Joe!