Over the years, G.I. Joe has been on numerous missions. While toy boxes and a cartoon show used to be a big part of these missions, kids didn't always save the file cards or read the little blurbs on the boxes. And when the cartoons stopped, what could Hasbro do to get kids interested in the story that is G.I. Joe? The answer was simple-- comic books. And DVDs. But in this case, we're looking at comic books.
In an interesting attempt to appeal to both kids and collectors, Hasbro took molds from as far back as 1982 and gave many of them modern paint jobs. In the interests of making a classic figure look a little less dated, Hasbro sprinkled the line with new several brand new head sculpts. The future of the line is presently in doubt, but have a look at some of what has been released so far with our reviews!
At this time, there are a grand total of 11 of these packs available-- issues #1-#8, #21, #24, and #49 all take old Marvel comics and reprint them with appropriate action figures. All figures were made from parts of the 1982-1995 line except for Horror Show from issue #7, who had a brand new head, torso, waist, and arms sculpted, and Zap from #9, who had a new head and arms. Several other figures received new heads but were otherwise made from existing components.
Most characters were available in some form or another in one of the many series of figures, but Hasbro produced some in the comic book series for the very first time anywhere. Tracker Kwinn from #2 premiered here, as did Shrage from #6 and Stormavik & Horror Show from #8. Daina was previously made as "Volga" in 1998, and since her file card name called her "Daina" and shared many of the same parts we consider her to be an existing character.
Not shown here but sold alongside these sets was another three-piece "Entertainment Pack," featuring Duke, Cobra Commander, and Snake Eyes with a VHS tape of the Spy Troops movie. The figures were all new sculpts (2002+) and featured no exclusive figures or parts, but did appear on packaging very similar to these sets.
Most of these are as good as or better than the original figures with a very high-quality reprint of an old comic, although some leave something to be desired. Below please find a gallery of the covers which link to their reviews.
Several packs are in development and we have been told at least three more would be coming-- consult our checklist for the latest releases and announcements.
Some fun facts:
11 packs have been released with a total of 33 figures.
18 were part of team G.I. Joe.
10 figures represent Cobra.
5 members of the Oktober Guard were produced.
15 figures have "swivel" heads.
18 figures have ball jointed heads.
24 head sculpts were brand new, and one of those was used twice.
5 figures were ninjas, including repeat characters.
4 were never made as toys before this line.
3 "generic" figures were made-- Cobra Trooper, Cobra Officer, Cobra Ninja Viper.
2 characters were made more than once-- there were 3 Snake Eyes and two Stalkers.
2 female figure saw production.
While the G.I. Joe toys of the early millennium didn't receive a lot of promotion, there was some-- like this ad appearing in various toy magazines and in some of the comics released with these sets.
As far as we know this is the only piece of advertising for the line, which started appearing in late 2004. It promotes issue #5, and is a pretty great way of seeing how Hasbro viewed these-- as nostalgia pieces, not quite so much as toys for kids.
Pages last updated May 9 2005.