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G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero is a military-themed action figure (3 3/4 inches tall) that was supported by a Marvel Comic and a popular cartoon television show that ran in the 1980s. The figures themselves date back to the 1960s.
In Europe, both the toyline and the accompanying television show and comics were renamed Action Force, presumably to make the toyline appear more international and less United States -centric.
The basic premise of the series based on the figures is "good vs. evil". G.I. Joe is America's highly capable branch of military whose purpose is to defend America and the world against enemy attack and all other evils. Their main adversary is the COBRA Organization, a terrorist organization who'll stop at nothing to control the world.
The cast of each group is full of colorful and eccentric characters, each having their own individual powers and abilities. The animated show, although dealing with war and fighting, still contained an almost "G" rating as characters were rarely, if ever, killed even in the most dire of circumstances. The most obvious example is that whenever an airplane was destroyed in combat, the characters inside were invariably shown parachuting out of the wreckage in the nick of time.
There were several video game adaptations of G.I. Joe, some are Cobra Strike by Parker Brothers for the Atari 2600 (1983), G.I. Joe by Epyx for the Apple II and the Commodore 64 (1984), G.I. Joe by Taxan for the Nintendo Entertainment System (1991), Action Force by Virgin Games for the Commodore 64 (1987) and G.I. Joe: The Atlantis Factor by Capcom for the Nintendo Entertainment System (1992).
G.I. Joe has also appeared as a comic book, with many of its characters being made into action figures. The comics, in contrast with the cartoons, were much more realistic in their portrayal of violence; some characters were even killed off (but no major ones, except for one "special" issue in which more than a dozen named Joes were executed by a random Cobra soldier, an event which initially freaked out Cobra Commander). Comic book writer Larry Hama is credited with developing most of the characters for the updated toy collection.
According to its 1980s animated series, "G.I. Joe is the code name for America's daring, highly-trained special mission force. Its purpose: to defend human freedom against COBRA, a ruthless terrorist organization determined to rule the world."
G.I. Joes represent characters of all branches of the United States military, both male and female, to fight against their "enemy", Cobra, also produced by Hasbro and marketed under the G.I. Joe brand.
The original G.I. Joe Action Figures were toys similar to Barbie, so much that some parts were interchangeable. This was taken advantage of by a group that bought Barbie and G.I. Joe figures, opened them and took the speechbox from a G.I. Joe and put it in a Barbie, put it back in the box, smuggled it into a store and put it on a shelf. One character could do anything as long has he was wearing the right outfit. This drove kids to beg their parents for Wetsuits, Flight Jackets, and MP Uniforms to dress their figures up in to complete any mission.
Later, a much smaller G.I. Joe was created. These figures were almost four inches (10 cm) tall and also drove kids to beg their parents for new toys, but this time for a different reason. The main difference between the two lines was that the 12 in (30 cm) figure could change his clothes to meet any challenge, while the 3 3/4 in (10 cm) team had various figures who could each meet specific challenges. This time, instead of needing a wetsuit for G.I. Joe to wear, the G.I. Joe Team had a new member called Wetsuit whose military occupational speciality was a Navy SEAL. The smaller G.I. Joes also had a variaty of additional weapons and vehicles which could be purchased to assist them on their missions.
In 1966, Palitoy Ltd. produced a British version of the 12-inch G.I. Joe line, using the same designs as the American dolls, but with the theme changed to that of an international ant-terrorist task force answerable to the UN (though this was later changed to a spy-like theme). Action force dolls had the same appearance and codenames as the American G.I. Joes, but their identities and histories were international rather than purely American or British. The UK version was known as Action Force as G.I. Joe had American connotations. In the late 1980s the name was changed to G.I. Joe and the line's popularity diminished.
In the late 1970s a smaller, 6-inch version of G.I. Joe was produced for a very short time. This new version was called "Super Joe".
Show Description Credit: wikipedia.org
|> Airing History & Information|
|Premiere||January 1, 1983|
|Format/Time||Color / 30 Minutes|
|Upcoming Airs||Not currently airing|
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Christian Czingland.... Additional voices (voice) (1985)
Darleen Carr.... Additional voices (voice) (1985)
Peter Cullen.... Airborne, Nemesis Enforcer, Zandar (voice) (1986)
Jackson Beck.... Announcer (voice)
William Callaway.... Beach Head (voice) (1986)
Michael Bell.... Blowtorch, Clutch, Duke, Lift Ticket, Maj. Bludd, Scrap-Iron, Tollbooth, Xamot, Carmandy, Robert Harper, Security Guard #1, Dr. Massey, Jabal, Dr./Prof. Mullaney, Thoth (voice)
Frank Welker.... Copperhead, Flash, Freedom, Junkyard, Polly, Short-Fuse, Timber, Torch, Wild Bill, Wong (voice)
Rene Auberjonois.... Cover Girl (voice)
Gregg Berger.... Cutter, Firefly, Ripcord, Sparks, Spirit, Col. Brekhov (voice)
Arthur Burghardt.... Destro, Iceberg, Stalker (voice)
Hank Garret.... Dial Tone, Mike Randall (voice) (1986)
Brian Cummings.... Dr. Mindbender (voice) (1986)
Will Ryan.... Footloose, Rock 'n Roll (voice)
Ed Gilbert.... Gen. Hawk (voice) (1986)
Chuck McCann.... Leatherneck (voice) (1986)
Charles Adler.... Low-Light (voice) (1986)
François Chau.... Quick Kick (voice) (1985)
Richard Gautier.... Serpentor, B.A. LaCarre, Buck McCann (voice) (1986)
Rob Paulsen.... Snow Job, Tripwire, WWI American Pilot (voice)
Earl Boen.... Taurus (voice)
Corey Burton.... Tomax, George Lanceburg, Shawn O'Hara, Own Van Mark (voice)
Jack Angel.... Wet Suit, Pierre LaFonte (voice) (1986)
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