The Power of Packaging: Battle Gear Accessory Pack

What a concept the GI Joe Battle Gear sets were. I wish the Star Wars line had offered something like this, as most of my childhood figures’ weapons went missing fairly quickly. The only downside to the Joe replacement gear were the odd color choices. I wonder if any of the Joe archaeologists have discovered the reasoning behind the lack of neutral colored gear. My theory is that the bright colored accessories would catch kids’ eyes on the pegs.

The team art, like the individual character card art, is brilliant. Being able to see practically the whole ’82 team is a treat, even thought there’s a cut-and-paste quality to some of it.

Battle Gear#1


  • ”With these Battle Gear Accessory Packs ,You can help G.I.Joe defend the world from the Evil Grip of Cobra- Yo Joe!

  • Dreadnok: Spirit

    Masters of the Universe is the one that comes to mind most often when it comes to weapons/accessory packs. To a lesser extent, G.I. Joe, but Hasbro discontinued the sets while Mattel made them through the entire run of He-Man stuff. Not many other toy lines had these packages of extra weapons, but I always thought it was a great idea.

    • I think you’ve got your lines crossed. The GIJoe line did 5 or 6 different accessory packs in the initial 1980s run, the MOTU line did only one. Hasbro also cranked out more unique, action feature accessories (motorized battle packs): 5 for Mattel (3 domestically, 2 European exclusives), while Hasbro dropped around 20 altogether. I think the last Joe accessory packs came out after the MOTU line had ended.

      • Dreadnok: Spirit

        My point was that at any point during Masters of the Universe’s run, you could buy a weapons pack. But, with G.I. Joe, Hasbro eventually discontinued the sets while the Joe line was still going.

  • I got a lot of these, from my cheap relatives. The colors drove me nuts. On a sidenote i’ve never heard of Gibsons.

  • The price tag on the card, $1.49, confirms my suspicion: that these were cheap carded items that still said GIJoe that a parent could buy a kid to shut up. 🙂 I should know – I had a few! Hated the colors, so a lot of Cobra gear got the Testor’s enamel paint treatment. That said, this Battle Pack #1 wasn’t too bad. Getting extra Uzis was wonderful.

    • If only they sold a pack with 50 M4s and 50 Cobra viper carbines that would be awesome. Lots of great Joe and Cobra gear

  • I got this Battle Pack when I still had only 4 figures: Snake Eyes, Clutch, Hawk and Breaker. Since three of those guys didn’t have weapons, getting this was an awesome way to bring my team up to par with my brothers’. Of course, the M-16 broke Hawk’s thumb right away. But, the first pack remains important due to the close color proximity and you get desert gear if you want to make the standard custom, desert LBC Joes.

    The later packs suffered for colors. But, they also were always missing the accessories I most wanted. I salivated over getting new masks for Blowtorch and Mutt and was excited for more Ripcord parachutes. But, those didn’t make it into the packs. I desperately wanted a replacement Flint shotgun. But, it never happened, either. I did get Scrap Iron’s missile table (a neighbor kid stole mine) but it was a year too late and there wasn’t replacement gear for Stormshadow.

    I do wonder about the colors. They were eye catching, but the whole line was then. They didn’t care about ruining “collectible” value of the originals. And, the catalog photos show the original colors. So, what went wrong? Can you imagine if the AP gear had been the same as the regular release?

  • These were great. I thought the colors meant that’s whatever plastic they had Ying around…. But that probably isn’t the reason.

  • I meant lying around……

  • According to Hasbro these didn’t sell well but that is hard to believe because kids lose weapons……..

    • If they didn’t sell well, why did they continue for so many years? At this point, I question many of the recollections and statements made by Hasbro. Memory may be waning a bit and a lot of statements in the last few years are contradictory to those made closer to the time in question. Plus, the answers now tend to mold to an agenda rather than historical record.

  • Who knows for sure without seeing their records….. Still it was cool to get more uzis, viper rifles, m16s, Beach heads gun and ammo….. Then there is the snow serpent gear, and some of the later ones from 1986

  • I sometimes wonder why the repacked accessories were made in off colors. Sure, for the later collectibles market, it would’ve confused which pieces were original, but why would the toy company care about that?

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