The year 2004 (MMIV) was the twenty-third year of the A Real American Hero brand.


Hasbro continued its pattern of a yearly theme for its releases with "Valor vs. Venom." Joe and Cobra adventures would revolve around Dr. Mindbender's plot to combine Cobra troops with animal DNA to produce super-warriors. While older fans criticized the sci-fi nature of this plot, it was really nothing new. Mutations of various sorts were featured in several episodes of both cartoon series, and genetic alteration has been a common sight on Cobra filecards since the mid-1980s.

The earliest releases, shipped in time for 2003's Christmas season, included many new molds. Several figures and vehicles introduced a controversial new feature called "Action Attack" - button-activated ninja moves and vehicle maneuvers. As with the Ninja Force of the early 1990s, the feature forced a compromise in figure poseability and articulation. However, this feature was experimental, and each Action Attack figure was soon retooled to remove the problems. Better received were a new filecard design and much better character art. Many older characters were reintroduced this year, especially through store exclusives and in a series of three-packs based on the original Marvel comic. Each pack included a reprint of an early issue.

Several store exclusives for the year had been announced at the previous summer's convention, but with such early announcements come the possibility of major changes. A Crimson Guard 3-pack (actually Joes in disguise) was postponed indefinitely after the SpyTroops theme ended, but a Cobra trooper six-pack was out before spring, and the Guard was revived with an exclusive set released at the end of the year. Wal*Mart-exclusive figures with parachutes were also cancelled; they would have included repaints of 1992 Duke, 1989 Snake-Eyes, 1989 Low-Light, 2000 Rip It, 1992 Storm Shadow, and 1997 Alley Viper. In their place were three 2-packs of Joes in desert camo matched with Cobras in urban/arctic camo. Also, a Night Force six-pack in January featured a tie-in with Action Man, a European secret-agent toyline, and 10 of the previous years' figures were re-released or updated for single packs. Tiger Force, Dreadnoks, and their new recruits the Dreadheads were featured at the summer convention, held July 2-4, which celebrated the 40th Anniversary of G.I. Joe. The convention also saw the unveiling of figures based on characters' appearance in Marvel's comic series from the early years of the toyline, packaged with reprints of the comic. More exclusives arrived near the end of the year, which saw five regular series of the Valor vs. Venom theme, plus single-packed figures and more, for a total of over 180 figures released in just one year.


Carded figures

Valor vs. Venom - Series 1

Wal*Mart-exclusive repaints

Valor vs. Venom - Series 2

Valor vs. Venom - Series 3

Valor vs. Venom - Series 4

Valor vs. Venom - Series 5

Non-carded figures

G.I. Joe Team


Dreadnok Rampage

G.I. Joe Team



Comic Packs


G.I. Joe


Built to Rule


Issues 26-37 of the Devil's Due comic were released this year, as well as Master & Apprentice, G.I. Joe vs. Transformers II and issues 1-11 of the all-new continuity series G.I. Joe Reloaded.

Dreamwave Productions released issues 5-6 of Transformers: G.I. Joe. Later that year, the company published the first issue of the Transformers/G.I. Joe: Divided Front miniseries, but Dreamwave lost the Transformers license before the rest of the series could be published. Solicitation information and covers were released for issue 2-6, but those issues were never produced. Issues 2 and 3 would have been released in this year.

See detailed information here.


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