A Real American Hero (RAH) is a military themed toy series produced well over 500 figures and 250 vehicles and playsets. It is one of the longest running toy franchises.

Line History

Grunt, one of the original figures from the G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero toy line

The RAH figures were 3 3/4" (9.5 cm) tall, at roughly 1:18th scale. Throughout the original toyline production from 1982 through 1994, figure construction remained relatively the same. The most notable changes were the second series' addition of "swivel-arm" articulation in 1983 (initial figures had "straight arms"), and the fourth series' balljoints replacing the former swivel necks, both drastically increasing a figures poseability. Larry Hama used his own military experience for the lines theme inspiration,most of a real American hero based on real world military but some fiction

Inspired by the success of Kenner's Star Wars line of action figures, Hasbro designed vehicles and playsets to be used with the figures. They were often influenced by theoretical or real military technologies that were being developed during the 1980s, or actually existed at some point in time. Some examples are the G.I. Joe Skystriker XP-14 fighter plane based on the F-14 Tomcat, the Cobra Rattler, similar to the A-10 Thunderbolt II, and the Dragonfly, modeled on the Bell AH-1 Cobra attack helicopter. Examples of similar army equipment include the M.O.B.A.T. tank, which resembled the M-48/M-60 series of U.S. battle tanks and the Mobile Missile System (MMS), which was a carbon copy of the MIM-23 HAWK surface-to-air (SAM) missile system.

It should also be noted that there was also a distinct science-fiction element to the line, which seemed to increase as the line went on, with toys like the Battle Force 2000 and the Star Brigade series. Fans have debated the impact of this trend on the line's declining popularity and eventual cancellation in 1994, but other contributing factors, such as the lack of a television series and competition from popular new toylines likely had a more drastic effect.

Generation 1

  • 1982-1994: The first "generation" of the toyline, simply titled "G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero," was a line of military themed action figures. This classic series of action figures relaunched the G.I. Joe brand and became the basis for the entire G.I. Joe vs. Cobra franchise and nearly every incarnation of the brand since.
  • 1997 to 2002 - The Real American Hero Collection: In 1997, G.I. Joe returned in a limited Toys "Я" Us exclusive line. The Real American Hero Collection included Team Packs of three figures grouped together by a common theme and Mission Packs which featured classic figures packaged with a small vehicle. The "Stars and Stripes" boxed set was also released, featuring members of the original 13 Joes from 1982. The wide release of The Real American Hero Collection continued through 2001. In 2002, the line was limited to one series, which was only available to online retailers.
> Main article: Generation 1

Generation 2

  • 2003-2005: In the 21st century Hasbro relaunched G.I. Joe and gave it a more modern military look. After the initial wave of figures titled G.I. Joe vs. Cobra was released, the line was separated into subtitled series based around a single theme: Spy Troops and Valor vs. Venom. Both series were released alongside direct-to-video animated movies. This era also introduced a separate line of all-new figures, still based on the G.I. Joe vs. Cobra theme, called Sigma 6.
>Main article: Generation 2

Generation 3

  • 2007 to present: The 3rd generation saw a new figure construction with more realism, articulation, and detail. This new style of figure debuted in the 25th Anniversary line.
> Main article: Generation 3

External links

Wikipedia This page uses content from Wikipedia. The original article was at G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with Joepedia, the text of Wikipedia is available under the GNU Free Documentation License.