Wednesday, October 3, 2012

G.I. Joe named 20th Century's Top Toy! Beating Transformers, Lego, Barbie and Monopoly

As reported on Fox News:
G.I. Joe vanquished Legos and Transformers, Barbie and the View-Master to be named the top toy of the 20th Century in a recent survey.

The battle-hardened Hasbro action figure, which first hit toy shelves in 1964 as the Vietnam War ratcheted up, was picked by visitors to the Children's Museum of Indianapolis' website as the top choice. The original 12-inch soldier, relaunched as a smaller action figure in the 1980s, has captured the imaginations of young children for years. The museum picked their top 100 toys of the last century and put them up for a vote that 24,000 people participated in.

G.I. Joe, G.I. Joe, fighting man from head to toe...

"Toys are a powerful tool for exploration and imagination as we learn and grow," said Jeffrey Patchen, the museum's president & CEO. Transformers and Legos came in second and third place, respectively. Other toys that fared well in the voting included Etch-a-Sketch, Play-Doh, Monopoly, Hot Wheels, Lincoln Logs, Mr. Potato Head, Cabbage Patch Kids, Crayons, Spirograph and Raggedy Ann.

G.I. Joe comes out on top!

The National Museum of Play in Rochester, N.Y., inducted G.I. Joe into its National Toy Hall of Fame in 2004. According to the New York museum's website, Hasbro has sold more than 400 million of the action figures. The original figure was shrunk to eight inches in the 1970s, then retired from production in 1978 before its resurrection as a 3.75-inch figure in 1982. In the early 1990s, Hasbro took G.I. Joe back to its original size, and cashing in on collector demand, produced several new and vintage replica versions.

From its early days during the Vietnam War, G.I. Joe has been controversial, according to the Toy Hall of Fame.

"For some critics, Joe’s message of “might makes right” is the wrong one to share with children," says the Hall of Fame's website entry on G.I. Joe. "Other adults counter that Joe encourages kids’ stories of good triumphing over evil and fosters creativity, imagination, and self-esteem. But while grownups argue over Joe’s merits and flaws, kids play on, and hundreds of other “action figures” people the toy landscape."

According to wikipedia: The conventional marketing wisdom of the early 1960s was that boys would not play with dolls, thus the word "doll" was never used by Hasbro or anyone involved in the development or marketing of G.I. Joe. "Action figure" was the only acceptable term, and has since become the generic description for any poseable doll intended for boys. "America's movable fighting man" is a registered trademark of Hasbro, and was prominently displayed on every boxed figure package.

The Hasbro prototypes were originally named "Rocky" (marine / soldier) "Skip" (sailor) and "Ace" (pilot), before the more universal name G.I. Joe was adopted. One of the prototypes would later sell in a Heritage auction in 2003 for $200,001.

Aside from the obvious trademarking on the right buttock, other aspects of the figure were copyrighted features that allowed Hasbro to successfully pursue cases against producers of cheap imitations, since the human figure itself cannot be copyrighted or trademarked. The scar on the right cheek was one; another, unintentional at first, was the placement of the right thumbnail on the underside of the thumb.

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. The term G.I. stands, in popular usage, for Government Issued and after the First World War became a generic term for U.S. soldiers. The development of G.I. Joe led to the coining of the term "action figure". GI Joe's appeal to children has made it somewhat of an American icon among toys.

This is the G.I. Joe Timeless Collection III 1/6th scale Talking Action Pilot 12-inch figure released in the year 2000 and came with pilot's flight helmet with visor, oxygen mask and hose, flight suit, Mae West life vest, flashlight, G-pants, black boots, flare gun, working parachute, blue fatigue cap, belt with Service Pistol and holster, knife in sheath and Map case with map. When you pull his dog tag, you can hear him sound off

The hard case parachute pack keeps the parachute neatly packed inside

And can be opened to deploy the working parachute

Hasbro G.I. Joe Timeless Collection III 1/6th scale Talking Action Pilot 12-inch figure stands above the heap of other toys that have not made the grade, lying in a pile at his feet.

These are the toys my boys had when they were much younger and have since outgrown them but we just never got around to throwing them away so they are still kept around in the house as a reminder of their childhood days. See if you can recognize some of them.

They had dinosaurs when Jurassic Park was the rage (also from watching the animated Extreme Dinosaurs), animals when Lion King reigned at the cinemas, ninja turtles, robots...

SPAWN toys from the McFarlane line of figures, Marvel superhero action figures, Star Wars action figures...

The list goes on ;p These are only the tip of the iceberg haha What to do when their father is a toy collector? He's most encouraging indeed.

1 comment:

rudeboy said...

Goooooooooooo, Joe!!!