Most of us fondly remember a special toy we received under the tree at Christmas. Many of us still have them all these years later. For others, these toys are long gone, left only to our memories.
This year marks the 45th anniversary of one special toy, the G.I. Adventure Team Action Figure. While this milestone went completely unnoticed by his maker Hasbro, he is a special toy that should not be forgotten.
The Adventure Team line was a replacement for the military roots the original G.I. Joe action figure released just six years before. By 1970, the Vietnam War was tainting the public’s view of soldiers and war, so a new non-military angle needed to be developed by Hasbro to keep the toy current. Adventure was Joe’s new mission.
Between 1970 and 1976 – when the line was discontinued – nature would provide many of the adversaries, from underwater monsters to tigers, and even the weather itself.
The line went on to provide cultural catchphrases that are still fondly remembered today, like “Kung-Fu grip” and “life-like hair” (though that last one could arguably go to Barbie as well).
In 1982, the line would be later resurrected as the “Real American Hero” (even in Canada). This new line saw Joe in a new, smaller 3.5-inch size. The smaller size, made popular with the explosion of Kenner’s Star Wars figures, helped to reduce cost with the rising costs of oil, while allowing for more playsets to be produced.
G.I. Joe was inducted into the US National Toy Hall of Fame at the Strong National Museum of Play in Rochester, New York in 2004.
While keeping with the original military branches introduced with the original G.I. Joe, the new figures were available as Land Adventurer, Sea Adventurer, Air Adventurer and the Man of Action. Each figure featured different clothing and accessories to coincide with their branch. Kung-Fu Grip and Life-Like Hair would be added along with talking Adventurer, as the line matured.
Today, the Real American Hero line continues while the original G.I. Joe and the Adventure Team line are but ghosts of Christmas Past.
How many remember the original Adventure Team?
Tell us your ghosts of Christmas Past in the comments below.