The year 1982 (MCMLXXXII) is the year the A Real American Hero brand began.
This incarnation of G.I. Joe was conceived as a small "mobile strike force" or "special missions force" assembled by U.S. Army General Flagg in the late 1970s, mostly from Vietnam veterans and young up-and-comers, with the mission of protecting America from threats to freedom which needed to be kept from the public, or which the regular military forces were ill-equipped to handle. Their duties quickly narrowed to defending America and its interests from the forces of an evil used car salesman-turned-terrorist known as the Cobra Commander. This villain had masterminded terrorist activities in the Middle East and, by the time of issue #1, had come to command legions of troops in a militarized society called Cobra. The Commander's ultimate goal eventually became world domination.
Hasbro's first assortment of figures included nine G.I. Joe and two Cobra figures, each packaged individually on cards similar to those used in competitor Kenner's Star Wars line. Each came with accessories (e.g., helmets, backpacks, weapons). The back of the card featured art of all available figures along with a filecard providing personal information about the figure. The filecards were written by Larry Hama, who also designed the comic. Several vehicles and other equipment were also produced, and the larger ones included exclusive figures. Cobra Commander was available through a mail-in offer later in 1982. In all, 16 figures and eight pieces of equipment were released this year. The official art for the year featured the M.O.B.A.T. with several Joes running in front or jumping from it. Flash is prominent in the foreground.
The entirety of the G.I. Joe toyline this year - figures, vehicles, et cetera - could be purchased for less than $100 total at retail.
G.I. Joe Team
G.I. Joe Team
- H.A.L., with Grand Slam figure
- M.M.S., with Hawk figure
- M.O.B.A.T., with Steeler figure
- V.A.M.P., with Clutch figure
- Free Cobra Commander
- The first mail-exclusive figure was offered through Hasbro Direct for 5 Flag Points plus 50 cents for shipping. The order form included information which placed the buyer on Hasbro Direct's mailing list, and they occasionally received mail-outs not included with store-bought figures or equipment.
- Free Mercenary
- This brochure was included with some (but not all) Cobra Commanders purchased by mail in 1982. Major Bludd could be ordered free with a dated receipt and UPC symbols of three of the original nine Joe Team members, but they had to be purchased between January 2 and February 28, 1983. (Thus, Major Bludd is properly considered a "1983" figure.) Hasbro has explained that the offer was intended to encourage new fans to continue buying figures, and for older ones to replace figures they had lost or broken. Also, according to Hasbro, a "Cobra spy" deleted any mention of Flag Points from the offer, thus the need for UPC symbols.
The first six issues of the Marvel comic came out this year.
A 30-second commercial was produced to promote issue #1 of Marvel's G.I. Joe comicbook. Excerpts of that commercial were used in many toy commercials that followed. Another animated commercial was later produced to promote issue #5.