Monday, February 17, 2014

NEWS: GI Joe's 50th Anniversary

Hasbro has released the first details of their plans for GI Joe's upcoming 50th Anniversary.

You can read the full press release below, but for those wondering, here's the quick guide to what we can expect: repaints and re-issues of various ''classic'' Joe toys (most of which we've already seen at retail in the last few waves) all being released as Toys-R-Us exclusives. Not only that but Hasbro is ''honoring'' the ''Versus'' concept by only releasing multi-packs of figures and/or vehicles.

The Versus sets will consist of the following:

Heated Battle - Blowtorch vs H.E.A.T. Viper

Arctic Battle - Snow Job vs Arctic BAT
Night Marksmen - Lowlight vs Night Viper
Social Clash - Lady Jaye vs Baroness
The Eagle's Edge - Leatherneck, Destro and Hawk
The Viper's Pit - Beachhead, Cobra Trooper, Cobra Viper
Battle Below Zero - Cobra Wolf with Ice Viper vs Arctic Sky Hawk with Snake Eyes
Danger at the Docks - VAMP Mk II with Flint vs Cobra Eel with Night Landing Craft
The Danger at the Docks set will also be released in an alternate, con-exclusive colorway.

I have to admit that whilst there are some interesting pieces here, Hasbro's decision to release them all as multi-pack figures is baffling to me. Not only will that require Toys R Us stores to allocate a larger space to the figures (and given their track record at TRU, this seems unlikely) but the pricing is also going to be a fairly major issue, especially when you consider that each set features figures most collectors of the line will probably own at least one of. And given that Toys R Us already marks up their product by at least 10% (and in some cases, as high as 50%) my best guess is that something like the Battle Below Zero is going to come in at around $50. In the grand scheme of things, $50 isn't really that much but I can see it simply being too pricey for the impulse buy market. And I dread to imagine what the ebay scalpers will be charging...

Anyway, here's the press release, which also discusses the (not shown) line of GI Joe Kre-O toys, too:


The “Original Action Figure” Turns a Half-Century Old with New Toys“R”Us-Exclusive Line, Licensing Program

PAWTUCKET, R.I. – February 15, 2014 – Hasbro, Inc. (NASDAQ: HAS) today unveiled initiatives planned for the 50th anniversary celebration of its iconic G.I. JOE brand at the American International Toy Fair in New York City. The storied property, which invented the “action figure” toy category, celebrates its incredible five-decade history by partnering with Toys“R”Us as the official toy headquarters for the G.I. JOE brand in 2014. Kids and fans can look forward to a special edition 50th anniversary-branded action figure line available only at Toys“R”Us stores nationwide and online at, along with new items in the popular KRE-O G.I. JOE line of building sets from Hasbro, beginning this March through the fall 2014.

Launched at the American International Toy Fair in 1964, the “original action figure” debuted as a 12-inch pose-able soldier toy, G.I. JOE has been a pop-culture phenomenon ever since. The property evolved over the years, from the original 12-inch action figure in the 1960s, the ADVENTURE TEAM in the 1970s and the G.I. JOE vs. COBRA saga which was introduced in the 1980s with a 3.75-inch action figure line, comic book series and legendary animated series G.I. JOE: A REAL AMERICAN HERO. Recently the brand has introduced two blockbuster movies based on the saga including G.I. JOE: THE RISE OF COBRA and G.I. JOE RETALIATION from Paramount Pictures. 

“The G.I. JOE brand is a pop culture and childhood icon whose cultural relevance, based on its core essence of action, bravery and the compelling characters from G.I. JOE vs. COBRA saga, continues to inspire the imaginations of kids and fans around the world,” said John Frascotti, Chief Marketing Officer, Hasbro, Inc. “From action figures and publishing, to animated series and global blockbuster movies, few properties have the cultural resonance and enduring appeal. In the 50th anniversary year of the G.I. JOE brand Hasbro looks forward to delivering fan-favorite action figures, exciting new publishing ventures and innovative but nostalgic KRE-O building sets to the brands most ardent fans and newest recruits.” 

“For generations, Toys“R”Us kids big and small have cherished the G.I. JOE brand and brought its legendary characters to life through play,” said Lisa Harnisch, Senior Vice President and General Merchandising Manager, Toys“R”Us, U.S. “We are proud to partner with Hasbro to help commemorate this golden anniversary, and are eager to bring an exciting assortment of G.I. JOE figures, including classics and new items from the hit KRE-O line, exclusively to Toys“R”Us customers this year.”

Beginning in March, exciting new KRE-O building sets will let kids and collectors alike build vehicles and environments to play out the G.I. JOE vs. COBRA fantasy. Collectible blind-bagged KREONS of popular G.I. JOE characters will also hit shelves, including characters from both the heroic G.I. JOE team like LADY JAYE and FOOTLOOSE, as well as the villainous COBRA organization like TOMAX and SCRAP IRON. As part of the 50th anniversary celebration, Hasbro and Toys“R”Us are bringing one of the most popular G.I. JOE vs. COBRA playsets from the 1980s back in KRE-O form with the KRE-O G.I. JOE TERROR DROME Building Set. This iconic set features over 850 pieces and will be available in the fall.

Additionally, a collectible 50th anniversary-branded, 3.75-inch scale action figure and vehicle line will debut at Toys“R”Us this fall. The special edition line will be offered in unique 50th anniversary branded packaging and reintroduce classic G.I. JOE vs. COBRA characters and iconic vehicles, including some that have not been available since the 1980s. Fans will be able to purchase classic characters like DESTRO, SNAKE EYES and HAWK, as well as vehicles like the G.I. JOE VAMP MKII and COBRA WOLF VEHICLE with an updated sculpting style and unique deco.

The 50th anniversary year will also continue the G.I. JOE brand’s long tradition of publishing and rich storytelling with exciting new programs from Hasbro’s partners. IDW Publishing’s G.I. JOE: A REAL AMERICAN HERO will release its landmark 200th issue in March 2014, continuing the story of the original 1980s G.I. JOE comic by original writer Larry Hama. IDW will also launch TRANSFORMERS/G.I. JOE, a series uniting Hasbro’s iconic brands, by acclaimed creators Tom Scioli and John Barber this summer. Additionally, as part of its publishing program, Hasbro is opening the fantasy to fan participation. Amazon Publishing recently announced that Kindle Worlds has reached a licensing agreement with Hasbro to open up a new Kindle World based on the G.I. JOE brand. With the launch of the G.I. JOE Kindle World, writers will be able to publish their own original fiction starring iconic G.I. JOE characters like DUKE, SNAKE EYES, and COBRA COMMANDER and sell their work on The G.I. JOE Kindle World will open for writers to start publishing stories in the next few months.

This spring, the official G.I. JOE Collector’s Club will host the 21st annual G.I. JOE fan convention, known as “GIJoeCon,” in Dallas from Thursday, April 10 to Sunday, April 13. Convention organizers plan on celebrating the 50th anniversary with exclusive action figure sets, special G.I. JOE guests from throughout the brand’s history and the opportunity to meet and interact with other fans of the brand. Fans can learn more about the Hasbro-sponsored convention by visiting

About Hasbro, Inc.
Hasbro, Inc. (NASDAQ: HAS) is a branded play company dedicated to fulfilling the fundamental need for play for children and families through the creative expression of the Company's world class brand portfolio, including TRANSFORMERS, MONOPOLY, PLAY-DOH, MY LITTLE PONY, MAGIC: THE GATHERING, NERF and LITTLEST PET SHOP. From toys and games, to television programming, motion pictures, digital gaming and a comprehensive licensing program, Hasbro strives to delight its global customers with innovative play and entertainment experiences, in a variety of forms and formats, anytime and anywhere. The Company's Hasbro Studios develops and produces television programming for more than 170 markets around the world, and for the U.S. on Hub Network, part of a multi-platform joint venture between Hasbro and Discovery Communications(NASDAQ: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK). Through the company's deep commitment to corporate social responsibility, including philanthropy, Hasbro is helping to build a safe and sustainable world for future generations and to positively impact the lives of millions of children and families every year. It has been recognized for its efforts by being named one of the "World's Most Ethical Companies" and is ranked as one of Corporate Responsibility Magazine's "100 Best Corporate Citizens." Learn more at

Source: The HISS Tank


  1. Hasbro is really stupid aren't they? I mean "Heated Battle"? Blowtorch makes perfect... but with ALL the characters they have to choose from for that theme... the dumbasses choose the H.E.A.T. Viper... for what I am sure was solely some half wit marketing clown looking at a name and not realizing that H.E.A.T. is an acronym and what it actually stands for. So you have a Flamethrower vs. an ANTI TANK guy... WTF HASBRO? Though not shocking considering how they so far have dropped the ball on the whole 50th Anniversary being of the original Joe and not just RAH.

    1. It's pretty underwhelming, I'm saddened to say. The thing is, the 50th Anniversary would have been the ideal opportunity to relaunch with something new to move the line forward, rather than simply re-issuing a bunch of stuff most people already will own a good chunk of.

      If GI Joe isn't popular in its current form, do something to MAKE it popular. Re-invent it. For some reason everybody thinks GI Joe has always been a military line but there's so much more to it - Adventure Team, space exploration, Ninja themes, etc, etc. Perhaps that's where the future of the line lies, not as a line for collectors who like ''real'' military stuff but more in the realms of adventure and fantasy. I wish Hasbro would explore something like that, as there's a huge amount of scope there.

  2. I will be passing on these unless they show up later on cheap at places like TJ Maxx or Big Lots. Am only buying O-Ring figures anymore plus outside of maybe Low-Light there none i really want.

    1. I hate to say it but I think I'll be passing on the majority of these figure sets too - unless, as you say, they show up at Ross/TJ Maxx.


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