Breaking News: GI Joe is a Doll!
This just in (from 1989), three federal judges determined that Hasbro had to continue to classify GI Joe as a doll, at least in the context of import tariffs. Well ain’t that a B. All these years, I’ve argued with my wife that I don’t collect and play with dolls. Now I guess I have to man up and admit it–from a certain point of view.
Now I know! And knowing is half the battle–from a certain point of view.
”Girls play with DOLLS-Boys are He-Men. They play with Action Figures, so G.I.JOE:A Real American Hero IS As Always, an Action Figure, NOT DOLLS!” These judges from the 1989 news article, should go into the public, and ask the opinions from boys ages 5 and up, what they think G.I.Joe is.
I honestly don’t think that they cared. This was all about money to them. That’s all.
I’m curious if this tariff is still in effect. And, did it apply to Star Wars toys? The definition specifically says “representation of a human”. So, if droids and aliens are not humans, was Kenner exempt?
Very good questions. But, where there any Star Wars toys been sold in 89? I ask, because I don’t remember seen any in any stores back then at that time. I do remember the Micro Machines Star Wars stuff from the early to mid 90’s though. I guess Galoob and Kenner had some kind of good deal with each other. And I bet it was a very good deal.
Too bad the photo is in black and white, but that Duke looks to me like the 88 Tiger Force version. The Flint figure, I can not tell, but I think it is also the 88 Tiger Force version. The big Joe, I don’t know what it is. Or if it is an original from the 1960’s, or if it is a replica. Most likely it is an original. I sure hope that there is a better photo of this, and in color. As for the small Joes, I would bet any money that no one back then would have thought that in 2007, those 3 1/2 scale figures would be rebooted in a taller scale, that would not be compatible with those older ones. I know that I would have never thought that. And to me, even the big Joes are action figures, not dolls. But, the government always gets their way.
Yeah there’s different import tax on human and non-human toys. Lawyer for marvel went to court to reclassify the xmen as non-human because they are mutants. Funny how a group of heroes that struggle for equality and acceptance in the comic book world are so easily classified as not human in the real world.
…to save a few million dollars
Strange tariff to have.
It also seems like a result of the absence of having a legal definition for action figure. Of course, it is understandable from a very broad point. The difference between dolls & action figures is mainly one of scale and of types of accessories. Action figures usually come with weapons, tools, gear (like backpacks) not adornments… though He-Man blurred the line, with many figures having harnesses (like He-Man himself), snap-on-armor, or even clothing (though the late line figure Ninjor is the only one that comes to mind on that front) while dolls come with fabric-based accessories (clothing) and household accessories (like brushes). Dolls go back far while action figures likely come after these import/export laws were written.