The Power of Packaging: Takara Cardback

The Takara GI Joes of the 80s have always fascinated me, mostly because of the strikingly different package design. The explosion concept was changed into something a little more slick than its American counterpart. What I hadn’t seen back in the old days of Toy Shop and Tomart ads for these figures was the back of the card. What a cool and unique dio photo I was missing!

The setup is reminiscent of the 1983 catalog with its pebbly/rocky landscape that almost evokes the terrain of a model railroad layout. The scene is quite compelling, and I think sells the toys beautifully. It’s too bad that the line didn’t catch on in Japan. I wonder if Takara would have gone into sci-fi territory as it had with its previous licensing of the large scale Joes?

Speaking of which, the building in the upper left may look familiar to Microman collectors, as it appears to be a shot of the Microman Rescue Base. Very groovy, considering Microman’s link to GI Joe.

Takara Cardback

Takara Cardback

Takara Cardback


Rescue Base image via




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