G.I. Joe (1994)

GI Joe (1994)1994 was a bittersweet year for this GI Joe collector. While the 30th anniversary salute was a fun tribute to the brand, the Real American Hero line also came to an end. Having just come back to collecting Joe in 1991, I was disappointed to see it exit when it did.

The last mail-in of the first small Joe era, an actual GI Joe figure was finally revealed to a generation of 80s and 90s kids. If an actual “named” GI Joe figure had come out in the mid-80s, I most likely would have been both excited and confused. After all, I had little to no experience with either the original 60s toys or the later Adventure Team. I had heard from my dad, and other adults that GI Joes used to be bigger, but I didn’t quite grasp what they meant. My only exposure to them had been a one-time experience with a neighbor kid’s Adventure Team figures, but I honestly didn’t know what the heck the huge figures were. I was a Star Wars kid, you know.

I probably would have been excited at the prospect of owning the real Joe, the one who started it all. What kid wouldn’t want to find out that the supreme leader of your good guy army was available? Duke, Hawk or Flint were of course in charge on most of my childhood Joe adventures, but Joe himself would have been the go-to in terms of handing out orders, etc. He may have just hung out at the HQ, but I think he would have seen a lot of use nevertheless.

The only disappointment from a toy level, is the uniform that was chosen. I understand the green beret set homage, as it was one of the most current US uniform used in the 1960s Joe figure sets. It also reflected Joe at the inception of the team, part of the tie-in with all the 30th Salute figures. I think as a kid, I would have preferred Joe Colton to be decked out in a more modern military uniform, much like the 80s team. He would probably have needed a beard as well, since nothing in the 80s beat the commanding power of facial hair.

GI Joe (1994)




  • when i was a kid, living in a dust bowel. I thought the ARAH brand ran until ’96 as all the shops were still getting in Star brigade, Battle corps and Street fighter stuff. I remember seeing some of that stuff on shelves next to Transmetal Beast wars figures.

    As for 1994. I dont remeber much, apart from rushing home to watch Robotech only to discover my brother and sister taping the spandex/ stockfootage show over the top of it.

  • I really want to like this figure. I mean, it’s G.I.JOE! But that funky beret is killing me (I can forgive the dislocated shoulder placement). Maybe an Action Pilot head would fit on this body? All right, guess I’ll have to hunt one down after all.

  • I definitely want this figure.

  • As a figure, this one felt somewhat out of place playing alongside my collection of figures when I got this. It was, like almost caricatured days gone by, the big square pockets from the vintage action figures replicated well, and it contrasted against 1993 Duke’s desert BDU with its tight details. The head on GIJoe here is the best, though.

    In the end this and the 12″ counterpart almost instantly became action statues on the shelf.

    Flash forward to 2014, Hasbro should have had an offering similar to this for the big 50. Simple, effective, collectible.

    In the land of fantasy, I would have suggested a 5 pack of just a “GIJOE” line up in different sizes, 12″ 8″ 3.75″ 2.5″ and 4.5″

  • I was so thrilled when this figure offer came out. I think I bought two, I should have bought more! I think its a pretty good likeness of 12 inch to 33/4. His huge M60 machine gun is a good representation of the general purpose machine gun. Its little bigger than I would like, but a real one is about 45 inches long, so its a big gun.

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