The Power of Packaging: Dreadnok Air Assault

Here at JAD, we love toy presentation as much as we love the products themselves. GI Joe in the 80s and 90s had some of the most eye-popping packaging for its product line. It’s no wonder that legions of kids were drawn to these things. I mean, what’s not to love here? I also have to admire Hasbro for being forthright in pointing out that “weapons do not shoot.” That doesn’t quite play the same as the modern disclaimer of “product depicted in fantasy situation.” Do kids these days need to be told that–or did the lawyers just go nuts trying to avoid a claim of false advertising?



  • Even back in the eighties the PC police were out forcing Hasbro to change tot eh digital explosions early on. Love how Monkey wrench has the thrusters in the vertical position and is still going forward. Never loved any of the small helicopters without canopy of windshields made over the years.

    • Are we sure they didn’t change from a painted explosion to a pixelated explosion to look more modern/futuristic? The logo changed from flat to 3-D at the same time.

      • No, it tells about this in the book: Toy Wars. I believe it was Kirk Bozigian who told the story. He also went into detail about how big a deal it was to have bullet holes on the Savage merch when it came out. Now that I think about it maybe it was on the WOJM podcast he told the story.

  • I remember seeing stacks upon stacks of these at the local Sears store. (Ground Assaults, too.) My Dad was a Sears junkie and we’d go just about every week. It was stressful to watch the stock dwindle as we got closer and closer to Christmas every year. But, every year, the Sears exclusives were also under the tree.

    I was looking at the back of the box on one of my kids’ cereals last night and it showed the evolution of the packaging over the past 40 years. It’s amazing to see how far we’ve really come in terms of marketing artwork. Stuff like this Dreadnok set is great. But, it’s also definitely dated. Comparing it even to artwork from the ’94 figures is like night and day.

  • These are some bright colors! If I’d ever seen them in a store, it would’ve gotten my attention. Plus the “exclusiveness” of it all.

  • Hmmm, is the Zartan family skin made from the same material as pats of the Dreadnok Air Assault vehicles?

  • ”The Dreadnoks are always increasing their inventory hardware, to keep up with Zartan’s new Dreadnok recruits.”

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