Click These Links to See Individual GI Joe Pages (1970-1978)
1974 Kung-Fu Grip
1975 Atomic Man
1977-1978 Super Joe
A History of GI Joe (Part 2 – The Adventure Team)
Ever since GI Joe was created in 1964, the brand had always been about personalizing the various U.S Military branches and using our country’s patriotism to sell toys. That model had worked extremely well, and turned the GI Joe line into a global phenomenon. By the late 1960’s, GI Joe had already achieved a tremendous amount of success as one of the top toy lines in the world, but things were starting to change in the United States and the world. The United States was fighting in a very unpopular war in Vietnam, and support for the U.S military was at an all-time low. Hasbro was facing the very real problem of how to promote a toy line based on the military, and not make it so…………military like. So Hasbro decided to alter the Joe’s mission from fighting your standard global military battles to now being worldwide adventurers, and helping those in need along the way. Thus, the GI Joe Adventure Team was born. This was a team of Joe’s that would shift the focus from Military campaigns to Adventure campaigns. It was actually a very clever idea by Hasbro and a brilliant business strategy, but Hasbro didn’t just stop there. They added several new features to their standard GI Joe figures to give them even more playability and a completely fresh take. Features like “Real Hair (or Flocked Hair)”, “Kung-Fu Grip” and “Life-Like” Muscle Tone really brought the Joe’s into the new decade. These new features marked a new era for the GI Joe toy line.
The Adventure Team figures really caught on with a new generation of children and sold extremely well. Hasbro proved that GI Joe could truly do more than just fight military campaigns. Many of the original Joe’s were used for the new Adventure Team figures but with the new features added. Also, instead of labeling them “Action” this or that, the new Joe’s were now called “Adventurers”. Hasbro also re-cycled many of the older action sets and packs for the new line, as well as some vehicles. Classic GI Joe sets such as Eight Ropes of Danger, Spacewalk Mystery, and Secret Mission to Spy Island returned as well as many new ones that used pieces from older sets. The most popular and iconic set introduced for the Adventure Team line had to have been the Secret of the Mummy’s Tomb. This set was Hasbro’s top seller during this period. The Adventure Team series eventually came to an end in 1976, and Hasbro shifted towards their new Joe Sci Fi toy line called the Super Joe Adventure Team. This series too came to an end in 1978 and the GI Joe line would stay dormant until it was revived in 1982.
Hasbro released some real quality products from 1970 to 1978, 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 iconic 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. It should be noted that figures from the 1975 to 1978 periods are extremely tough to find complete, due to the degrading joints and plastic used by Hasbro for their “Life-Like” figures. When these figures are found, it’s usually in pieces. The figures on cards face the same fate inside the packaging with the hands usually disintegrating. Values on Joe items remain steady and have even seen a slight uptick in prices lately with 70’s and 80’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 Adventure Team period and are remembered very fondly by the kids who grew up in the 1970’s. The playsets, vehicles, packs and other sets from the Adventure Team line will only increase in value as these figures and sets become rarer and harder to find in the future.
The Secret of the Mummy’s Tomb Record Set
The Secret Mission to Spy Island Record Set
The Rescue from AT Headquarters Record Set
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