For at least three generations, kids have loved GI Joe. Not only did kids love playing with dolls in the sixties and seventies, but eighties kids grew up with the GI Joe cartoons and toys.Now the famous military toy icon has turned fifty years old. Until G.I. Joe turned 50, I didn’t realize that he was arguably the world’s first action figure, and he debuted at the New York Toy Fair in 1964. G.I. Joe hit toy stores that December, and a Joe action figure cost $4 a piece in those days.
As CBS News tells us, the toy lost popularity when the Vietnam war started heating up, and the action figures became less military oriented with the G.I. Joe “adventure team.” One of the most well known features of the later G.I. Joes was his “kung-fu grip,” along with his “lifelike hair.”
In the eighties, G.I. Joe was turned into a much shorter action figure, like the Star Wars toys, and he never returned to his foot long size. Along with Barbie, Joe is in the toy hall of fame, and Hasbro has plans to celebrate Joe’s 50th anniversary this year, which will be announced at this month’s Toy Fair. It’s good to know that the world will be reminded there was a G.I. Joe long before he became a series of crappy movies, and while it’s another sign we’re all growing older, we still wish the world’s first action figure a happy 50th.