"G.I." (Government Issue) is a generic term for U.S. soldiers. The development of the first G.I. Joe toy led to the coining of the term "action figure". G.I. Joe's appeal to children has made it an American icon among toys. The action figure line has also become famous in many different countries across the rest of the world.
The G.I. Joe trademark has been used by Hasbro to title two different toy lines.
The original 12-inch (30 cm) line that began in 1964 centered on realistic action figures. In the United Kingdom, this line was licensed to Palitoy and known as Action Man.
The initial product offering represented four of the branches of the U.S. armed forces with the Action Soldier (U.S. Army), Action Sailor (U.S. Navy), Action Pilot (USAF), Action Marine (USMC) and later on, the Action Nurse.
Then in 1982, the line was relaunched in a much smaller 3.75-inch (9.5 cm) scale complete with new futuristic vehicles, detailed playsets, and a complex and rich background story involving an ongoing struggle between the G.I. Joe team and the evil Cobra Command organization which seeks to take over the Free World through terrorism and using advanced and sophisticated weaponry.
The new 80s line was initially intended as a means to sell the new toy vehicles, but over time the unique characters and their different and detailed action figures became much more popular and extremely sought after to this day.
The 1982 toy line became extremely successful and was also supported by two animated series as well as a major comic series published initially by Marvel Comics which expanded each character's background and mythos which were mostly developed by Marvel writer/artist Larry Hama .
Some members of the G.I. JOE TEAM
- Snake Eyes
- Lady Jaye
- Agent Helix
- Rock N' Roll
Some G.I. JOE vehicles
Some members of COBRA COMMAND
- Cobra Commander
- Major Bludd
- Dr. Mindbender
- Storm Shadow
- Cobra Viper
- Cobra B.A.T.
- Crimson B.A.T.