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G.I. Joe Action Figures

Updated on February 5, 2009

G.I. Joe

G.I. Joe is probably one of the most popular action figure for boys. These action figures are a long line of dolls created by Hasbro that were initially designed to represent the four branches of the U.S. Armed Forces- Action Soldier (Army), Action Sailor (Navy), Action Pilot (Air Force), and the Action Marine (USMC).

The "G.I." in the toy's name stands for "Government Issue," but it became a generic term for soldiers, especially the ground forces.

Hasbro initially created two lines of G.I. Joe action figures. 1) The Action Man was the original 12 inch action figure was released in 1964; this line was centered around realistic soldiers. 2) In 1982, the Action Man line evolved into a separate entity including 3- 3/4 inch scale vehicles and playsets that revolved around a background and storyline.

The second line of G.I. Joe action figures branched into comic series, movies, and cartoons, where the G.I. Joe team fights against the Cobra Organization.

A general timeline of the release of the different G.I. Joe action figures and accessories, is as follows:

  • 1964- The Action Man collection was introduced.
  • 1965- A black G.I. Joe figure was introduced.
  • 1966- Soldiers from other countries, such as Germany, France, England, etc were introduced to the G.I. Joe line
  • 1966- Project Mercury and the silver-suited astronaut figure was also released.
  • 1967- The talking G.I. Joe toys were introduced
  • 1967- The first female G.I. Joe figure was introduced (the Action Nurse)- the 12 inch female G.I. Joe was released about 30 years later because the Action Nurse was a commercial failure for the series.


Collecting G.I. Joes

Believe it or not, the child's toy created with the military in mind, is a highly collectible and sought after toy. There are many men and women who have large and extensive G.I. Joe action figure collections.

Although, there were initially just two series of the action figures, there are now a number of different lines of G.I. Joes that are all collectible.

  • G.I. Joe Action Man
  • G.I. Joe Talking Adventure Team
  • G.I. Joe a Real American Hero (the 3-3/4 inch scale figures)
  • G.I. Joe Action Force 2000
  • G.I. Joe Tiger Force
  • G.I. Joe Reinstated (12 inch action figures)
  • G.I. Joe Eco-Warriors
  • G.I. Joe Hall of Fame
  • G.I. Joe Drug Elimination Force (D.E.F)
  • G.I. Joe 30th Salute Commemorative
  • G.I. Joe Sgt. Savage and his Screaming Eagles
  • G.I. Joe Extreme Action
  • G.I. Joe Timeless Collection (identical remakes of the originals)
  • G.I. Joe Spy Troops
  • G.I. Joe Valor VS Venom
  • G.I. Sigma 6
  • G.I. VS Cobra 25th Anniversary

Since there are a large number of G.I. Joe action figure series to collect, you'll find that it is better to keep a varied collection than a strict one- series collection.

Most G.I. Joe collectors actually are those with G.I. Joe action figures from childhood. The collection just continued throughout the years. But, that doesn't mean that you can't be an adult and purchase your first G.I. Joe action figure to start your collection.

Buying G.I. Joe Action Figures

When getting into the hobby of collecting G.I. Joes, there are a number of places where you can purchase collectors figures.

Your first thought, may be to go to the store and purchase them new in the box. Well this is a great idea, but these mass production G.I. Joe action figures and playsets are going to take a minute before they appreciate in value. But, if kept new in the box, never played with, or touched, you'll find that down the line, you have a potential money maker.

Otherwise, you'll want to consider purchasing vintage and rare G.I. Joe figures.

Check out the following places to purchase GI Joes for your collection.

  • eBay auctions
  • Personal collector's websites
  • Online forums and classifieds
  • Flea markets
  • Yard Sales

You'll find that if you shop around, you don't have to pay and arm and a leg for an original Action Man G.I. Joe with real hair. And, shop around is going to work better for you. Although, it may take a little longer to find exactly what you are looking for, you will be able to pay a lower price and potentially make a profit if you sell all, or part, of your collection of G.I. Joes.


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    • profile image

      madster 5 years ago

      doing a report on g.i. joe's...this helped me lots

    • profile image

      Emr 5 years ago

      I found an original 1964 gi Joe action sailor in the box can anyone tell me where I can get a buyer for this toy or give me some info

    • profile image

      bruce 6 years ago

      was wondering if anyone can answer 1 question. how much is a 1996 collectors edition g.i joe austrailian o.d.f doll still in the box is worth

    • profile image

      ''RAVEN'' 6 years ago

      ''I do not remember the gijoes from ,1964 -1978, since i was too toung.'' BUT... I do remember ,fondly,the 1980's gijoes,...especially..''The 1986 COBRA NIGHT RAVEN S3P BLACK V.I.P.JET TRANSPORT PLANE''. 3 Feet long, glossy black finish ,and room for the Strato-viper driver,and Cobra Commander''.

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      bigbodine 6 years ago

      I have what appears to be a Japanese soldier G.I. joe. can anyone tell me anything about this?

    • Cable UK profile image

      Cable UK 6 years ago from Staffordshire, UK

      This is a great hubpage.

      RUth, you may have a valuable figure there depending on the condition he is in. is there a date stamped anywhere on the figure? it'll probably on his back?

    • profile image

      RUth 7 years ago

      I have a black GI Joe Doll with black fuzzy hair and original clothing. How rare is this doll? Anyone know the value?

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      michael r 7 years ago

      Great info, brings back lots of memories of playing with GI Joes with my younger brother and friends. We were all Army brats. Question: The old talking GI Joes circa 1968-72 had a multi-colored pull string and depending how far you pulled it, you received different statements. I recall "Enemy planes, hit the dirt" (followed by strafing gunfire in background); "Take the jeep and get some ammo, fast!"; "Cover me, I'll get that machine gun nest" and "GI Joe, US Army, reporting for duty." There were several others, can anyone advise and help my half-century brain recall them? Thank you in advance - Mike R Tampa FL

    • coachb51 profile image

      coachb51 7 years ago from West Point, MS

      Wow, I remember some great time as a kid playing GI Joe with my brothers and cousins. Loved the comic books too. Thanks for helping me remember the fun of GI Joe