Daily Trivia: 7/19/12

Question: What school did the characters on Fame attend?

Last Question: What brand of action figures was discontinued by Hasbro in 1976 and then re-introduced in 1982?

Answer: G.I. Joe

G.I. Joe action figures were first produced in 1964 by Hasbro. They originally 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. In the early ’70s, G.I. Joe was made with “Life-Like” hair and beard. By the mid-70s, there was a martial arts craze, thanks to Bruce Lee. So G.I. Joe was then given a “Kung-Fu Grip”, which meant that the hands were made with softer plastic. This would allow him to hold weapons easier, and be more life-like. By 1976, Hasbro halted production.

Then one year later, in 1977, a little movie called Star Wars came out. With the arrival of Star Wars also came the arrival of new Star Wars action figures. This action figures were much smaller than the G.I. Joe figures, and they sold incredibly well, to say the least. And it proved to not be a fad, as more action figures were released with The Empire Strikes Back.

So in 1982, G.I. Joe made a grand comeback. Instead of the 12 inch “dolls” we grew up with, the new figures were 3¾-inches. They improved upon the Star Wars format, as the action figures could bend at the elbows and knees. There was a huge array of action figures, and the smaller figures made it possible for Hasbro to produce a variety of matching vehicles and playsets.

The 1982 relaunch pioneered several tactics in toy marketing, combining traditional advertising with an animated television mini-series and an ongoing comic book. The decision to use a smaller 3¾-inch scale for the figures also made it possible for Hasbro to produce a variety of matching vehicles and playsets that further expanded the appeal and commercial potential of the line. The successful animated television series as well as comic books were based on this new line of action figures.
The G.I. Joe craze was back on.

An attempt to rejuvenate the franchise, and introduce it to a new generation was made in 2009 with the feature live-action film G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra. The verdict is still out on that one. The sequel, G.I. Joe: Retaliation was scheduled to be released this past June (2012) but on has now been delayed until March 2013.

So, which version of G.I. Joe was your favorite?

Here is the older version:

And here is the ’80s version:

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