You know what’s pretty rad? Loot Wear is kicking butt with March’s PLAYBACK theme by bringing in none other than Hasbro’s G.I. Joe cartoon to their EXCLUSIVES! Because of this, we just had to go over some pretty fun trivia to get you in the heroic mood!
1. Stan Weston, a rather huge toy creator for the likes of Hasbro, saw a rather big door when Mattel was getting huge success with Barbie. In order to get in on that action, he decided to coin and market the term ‘action figure’ with G.I. Joe. Now, this didn’t much matter to the U.S. Court of International Trade who still uses the term ‘doll’ in regards to action figures. I mean, who cares anyway?
2. Back in the 90’s, G.I. Joe was actually slated to become a movie series far earlier than it had been. However, Mortal Kombat was also owned by the same rights-holder and because of that, they decided to focus on the popular video game rather than an older cartoon series first. That’s why we got a Mortal Kombat film before we’d end up seeing G.I. Joe on the big screen decades later.
3. The reason Duke didn’t die, as he was supposed to in the cartoon series, was because children were absolutely mortified by the death of Optimus Prime in the original Transformers animated series. Instead, off-screen, it was edited in that Duke was simply resting off his wounds in a coma but he was very much alive. Phew!
4. Nick Fury (yeah, that one) was actually the impetus for G.I. Joe being created. Originally, the series of comic books that was titled ‘Fury Force’ was retooled and The Force had a rename of G.I. Joe and Hydra was changed to Cobra. Pretty nuts, right?
5. Hasbro was quite aware that their cartoon show may be looked at as just a means to sell toys and so in order to combat that, the infamous PSAs that ended the show were included in order to weave a good message to kids that was meant to educate and help them. It meant that their show wasn’t seen as just a shallow money-grab, and that their intention was also that kids were to learn good lessons from their soldiers.
6. Eventually the original series was changed when another company took over production of G.I. Joe. The show’s changes came from DIC Production which decided to lean into comedy with fewer instances of violence coming from the characters of the show. Since DIC was a pretty big hitter back in the 80’s and 90’s, they knew they could manage this change-over in their style without too much complication. If Inspector Gadget can get away with it, anyone can.
7. In the beginning of its conception, Cobra was actually to be comprised and geared around the Soviets, as it was a pretty hot button topic in the 80’s. However, not wanting to come off as insensitive to other cultures, it was quickly scrapped and formed of rag-tag folks from all over the globe that weren’t huge fans of freedom.
8. While G.I. Joe had only been starting in the animation scene in the late 80’s, the action figures had been around since the late 60’s and that was due in part to testing and focus groups not being sure they felt they could handle a show about cartoonish war without upsetting children. It would take a couple decades before it came onto the scene but during that time, G.I. Joe had huge popularity in the toy and comic book market.
9. Rocky Balboa was originally slated to be a member of the Joes but when licensing fell through, despite the fact comics were printed with his name listed as a Joe, he was quickly shelved along with his war-themed Real American Hero dreams.
10. G.I. Joe’s writers were from all over the map when it came to 80’s writers! Television sitcom writers, drama writers and even comic book writers were all tapped in to get a good feel for how G.I. Joe should pan out. This was, however, before DIC would take over and mute the show’s tone in a more kid-friendly way. This does explain why the first run was so widely beloved though, right? You get the writer for Howard the Duck in there and you can make some magic happen!