Manimals (1994 Toy Fair Catalog)

It’s amazing to think that Hasbro would focus a segment of the 1994 GI Joe line on a different scale, and continue the all-out sci-fi vibe of Star Brigade’s second assortment. The set seems like it might have had a chance among the competing Turtles and Rangers in the early 90s toy aisles. However, we’d not find out how these creatures would have fared in an all-out battle against Joe’s toy rivals, as the same year would see the Real American Hero era come to a close. Quicker than you can say Simon McCorkindale, these monsteriffic Joe Toys were axed.

But that wasn’t the end of the story, at least for three of the six figures. In 2001, Iguanus, War Wolf and Slythor would make their way to Kay-Bee Toys. I was fortunate to be in the midst of buying the latest o-ring Real American Hero Collection redux line, so my pump was primed to pick up some heretofore cancelled creeps. I’m glad I did, because these guys are a lot of fun. Too bad the final three never saw mass release.



  • The only G.I. Joe figures to be cancelled twice. Funskool had the molds, but decided they were too “devilish” for release. So, cancelled thrice.

    For $10 each, these weren’t a good deal since you could get 2 figures for $5.84 at Wal Mart. I didn’t open mine for over a decade, but was surprised that they weren’t all that bad. Not great as far as Joes go, but still solid toys.

    Star Brigade had it’s highlights. But these guys and other, 1995 concepts took it simply too far. I think it’s good that the line ended when it did. (Then I see the Battle Corps Rangers and wish it had continued one more year!)

  • Not my bag baby…

  • ”Let the Galactic Wars Begin!!!”

  • I heard those were repurposed Swamp thing toys

  • But the mid 90s children’s interest had shifted. Away from military toys to flashy ninja turtles and power rangers. There was no righting the ship for Joe. Honestly shutting her down for a few years may have saved the brand as a whole. We see the next year what Kenner’s idea for the toy line was and it flopped.

  • These guys looked more at home in a Toy Biz Marvel line, or whatever Galoob was cooking up at the time.

  • These guys take GIJoe on a galactic ride over a whole planet of sharks! But it was creative, and in the whole Star Brigade mythos, they might’ve added some excitement.

  • @Kick2hester
    TMNT peaked around 1990-91 and was on its decline by 1994. It had shifted to flashy ninja turtle toys over 1988-90. All the neon colors, gimmick sub-teams, spring-loaded missile launchers and all of that was a reaction to the twin forces of TMNT and a here-to-stay video game industry reshaping the toy industry and their potential customer base, attempting to keep sales up.

    • You are exactly correct!!!!! GI joe can’t out do Sci FI, or ninja stuff. It has to stick to semi realistic military vehicles and figures in green and brown.

  • @Little Boa
    I remember all the TMNT stuff being in discount bins by ’94. Moslty it was the 3rd movie toys i remember seeing [Aprils boss and Irma were also predominant as i can imagine those two were harldy on the kids wish list] I’m no authority on turltes but i remember no one liking the 3rd movie and shops couldnt give away the toys from it.
    In my neck of the woods; Joe was popular until Febuary, 1994 when power rangers arrived. Then everything that wasnt a turtles rip off or sentai show wound up in the discount bins.

    • If Hasbro wants Joe to succeed, it has to do what only Joe does best!! And that is vehicles and figures based in the real military with military colors!!

  • @Skymate
    Yeah, a simple look at the US box office records conveys how popular they were:
    TMNT 1- $135M, 5th most in 1990
    TMNT 2- $79M, 13th most in 1991
    TMNT 3- $42M, 34th most in 1993
    Each got about half the previous film.

    • @Little Boa
      I just found a list that confirms that. It has Turtles 3 at 20 places behind “Last action hero” and 21 behind “Super mario brothers”. Things must have been bad if those two were above it.

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