GI Joe 1964-1969

Click These Links to See Individual GI Joe Pages (1964-1969)

1964-1968 GI Joe

1964-1968 GI Joe

1969 GI Joe

1969 GI Joe

A History of GI Joe (Part 1 – The Beginning)

In 1964, Hasbro first released the original GI Joe toy line to capture the male toy market. Their goal was to duplicate the massive success of Mattel’s female driven Barbie toy line, which was a pretty tall order. Hasbro’s idea was to create a line of Military themed toys that represented all of the different branches. The United States was still feeling incredibly good about their Military at the time, and were in a very patriotic era. The GI Joe series was the very first toy line for boys, with multiple figures based on a singular theme. This is, of course, now known as action figure lines, so GI Joe is truly the father of the modern action figure. This was quite the gamble by Hasbro, but once Hasbro actually launched the GI Joe line to the world, it was an immediate smash success, to say the least. Over the course of a six year period, Hasbro released several figures based on all military branches, as well as multiple accessory packs, adventure sets, and vehicles. Kids truly could not get enough of the Joe action figures back in the 1960’s.

After an extremely successful launch in 1964, Hasbro began to see GI Joe sales numbers slipping towards the end of the decade. This was mainly attributed to the United States being involved in a very unpopular war in Vietnam. Public opinion of the military was not at its peak during this time, so Hasbro was placed in the unusual situation of how to promote a military toy line, but not be so militaristic. That’s when they created “The Adventures of GI Joe” series. The basic premise of the line was that Instead of fighting wars all over the world, the Joe’s would now go on adventures all over the world. Hasbro hedged their bets that downplaying the military aspect of GI Joe would get the toy line back on track, and they were absolutely right. Several brand new “Adventure Sets” were created for the series to along with the newly created figures. This line sold well, and eventually grew even further the following year to GI Joe’s Adventure Team line.

Hasbro released some iconic GI Joe products from 1964 to 1969, and just like every toy line, the values of certain items can greatly fluctuate over time. This is based on several factors, including the item’s time period, scarcity, consumer demand and overall condition. The good news for GI Joe collectors is there ALWAYS a demand for Joe items from this era, as Hasbro created some truly classic pieces. The early period individual figures can still be found in loose condition in most secondary markets but boxed figures are becoming harder to find in good condition. Values on Joe items remain steady and have even seen a slight uptick in prices lately with 60’s and 70’s nostalgia becoming hot again. Joe’s from this era will always maintain their value for a couple of big reasons, with one being that GI Joe is an iconic brand that will never go out of style and remains extremely popular with collectors. The other main reason is these figures had some truly iconic features that were unique to this period, and are remembered very fondly by the kids who grew up in the 1960’s. The vehicles, adventure packs and other accessory sets from the GI Joe line will only increase in value as these figures and sets become rarer and harder to find in the future.

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