Over the years, G.I. Joe has been on numerous missions. He's had kung fu grip, he's gone into space, he's fought Cobra, and so far, has been made in multiple sizes. In 1964, he was 12" tall. He shrank a few inches in the 1970s for Super Joe, and shrank to the Star Wars size-- 3 3/4"-- in 1982. When that line ended in the 1990s, Sgt. Savage brought the line back in a new 5" scale, while just months later Team Joe became G.I. Joe Extreme, keeping the 5"-6" size with greatly reduced articulation and fairly static poses.
While changing prices in plastic, a different look at military life, and Toys "R" Us deciding they were going to be difficult have all changed G.I. Joe over the years, two things remained-- that the 12" line appealed to one audience, while the 3 3/4" one appealed to another. Today, the small size figures sell mostly to children of today and children of the 1980's, while the 12" line focuses mostly on an adult collector and military fan market with a few exceptions here and there. With numerous anniversary and nostolgia releases in both lines, it's obvious Hasbro knows that Joe can grab for collector dollars no matter his height-- as long as that height doesn't orbit five inches tall.
While hundreds if not thousands of Joe toys have been produced in recent years, not all of them were great-- but some really strive to be something special like the Comic Book Three Packs. These sets feature three figures with new and old tooling and a comic book to basically update the 1980s range for the modern era. New head sculpts and high quality printing made these particularly striking, and because of that we're doing our best to showcase the line here to you, our beloved readers.
Today, G.I. Joe's missions take him on a new route at a new height. Introduced in late 2005, G.I. Joe Sigma 6 takes Joe to an 8" size with giant accessories, cloth and plastic construction, a few vehicles, and massive amounts of articulation. The characters are largely based on the cast of previously successful 3 3/4" figures, with an anime influence and more (in some cases) rugged construction. The 12" line is currently on hold, while the 3 3/4" line is "DTC," or direct-to-consumer. This is a half truth, as Hasbro is offering the line to all Internet accounts. Also, there are plans for this range to return to stores in 2006, or so we're hearing.
There are dozens of excellent sources for additional information on this real American hero on our link page.
Pages last updated March 13, 2006.