MANTA Blueprints

Over the years, we’ve not covered one of the most integral elements of the 1980s Joe toys: blueprints. These little extras, printed on the reverse side of vehicle/playset instructions were yet another tool in Hasbro’s world-building arsenal. If a kid were so inclined they could pore over the more technical aspects of their new plaything. Another brilliant low-cost marketing feature that made the line so unique and interesting.

Even a mail-in like the MANTA got the treatment. Such things made the Joe toys seem much less disposable than others of their time. I certainly took good care of my collection, even the paper instructions.


  • Such a useless item. First really useless item in the line. It sounds fun on paper. But an armed wind surfing board is harder to work in stories and battles than Hasbro might have thought. The cartoon and the comic both gave the MANTA a token appearance at least.

    My brother and I both had one and even when we had very few Joes items, it did not see much action.

  • ”G.I.Joe MANTA .excellent sea vehicle to go along with Torpedo or Shipwreck.Did make an appearance with Flint /Lady Jaye, in the ”Aude De Cobra perfume episode, 1985.”-”Never owned one, but have heard a lot of positive and negative comments about the item.”

  • Blueprints always made the vehicles a little bit more plausible. At least until the team got loose with their descriptions in the late ’80s. I’d compare weapons between vehicles to see which was more powerful, and I only realized the Skystriker had so many guns because of the blueprints. The MANTA prints sell it hard, but it’s still a crazy little vehicle. And I’d argue the 30 cal. gun is really just a 9mm based on the copy of Stalker’s HK 54.

  • The Manta was the first “cheap” Joe toy I remember. It fell apart so easily and wasn’t much fun. But, EVERYONE had at least one and most kids had a couple.

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