The G.I. Joe Encyclopedia by Keibunsha.

Chijō Saikyō no Expert Team G.I. Joe (地上最強のエキスパートチーム G.I.ジョー in Japanese, literally "G.I. Joe: The Greatest Expert Team on Earth") was a Japanese adaptation of the G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero toyline that was sold by Takara from 1986 to 1987. It was accompanied by a dub of the TV series and a tie-in manga.

Similarly to Action Force, the nationalities of several Joes were changed to make the team into an international one. The setting was also changed from the present to the then-futuristic decade of the 1990s to explain the presence of laser guns and other high-tech gadgetry.

Character changes

  • The Joes' battle cry was changed from "Yo Joe!" to "Go! G.I. Joe!". This is because the American version sounds like "yojou", which translates into "little girl".
  • A new emblem was made for the G.I. Joe Team, a blue eagle to contrast with the red Cobra emblem. The toyline itself featured a new logo which depicted the Joe's blue eagle fighting against the red cobra.
  • The Joe Team's three mottos are to "Fight to the End", "Always Help Your Friends" and "Protect Freedom". These mottos are represented by three English words shown on the toyline's logo: Fight! Friendship! Freedom!
  • Duke was renamed Grunt.
  • Flint is British.
  • Breaker is Italian.
  • Clutch is Australian.
  • Cover Girl is French.
  • Mutt is named Hound.
  • Quick Kick speaks in Kansai dialect in the TV series.
  • Roadblock is French.
  • Rock 'n Roll is called Mick.
  • Shipwreck is Portuguese.
  • Spirit is named Grey.
  • Snake-Eyes is called Snake-Eye and is hinted at being Japanese.
  • Snow Job is Norwegian.
  • Stalker is East German.
  • Tripwire is Cuban.


The Japanese toyline consisted primarily of repackaged figures and vehicles from the U.S. that were produced during the 1982-1985 period. Only two figures, a version of Duke (who was renamed Grunt) with cuffed sleeves, and a carded version of Zartan (who was only sold with the Chameleon swamp skier in the U.S.) were exclusive to the Japanese series. Every figure and vehicle (with the exception of mail-ins) was numbered: Joe figures and vehicles were numbered from G-01 to G-30, whereas Cobras were numbered from E-01 to E-24. Because of the unpopularity of the toyline, Takara canceled their plans to produce a second series, although some of the vehicles were still released.

Carded figures

Vehicles and drivers




The Japanese dub of G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero aired on TV Asahi from July 24, 1986 to March 27, 1987. Only 33 episodes from the first season (including the first two mini-series) were broadcast by TV Asahi before cancellation, ending their run with "The Gamesmaster", although a few leftover episodes (including "The Viper is Coming") were reportedly aired by other regional stations. The episodes were not translated by the original production order. The Japanese translation gave the series a more comical tone in order to alleviate the somewhat serious storyline of the original show, with many jokes improvised by the dubbing cast.


The first chapter of Comic BomBom's G.I. Joe manga adaptation.

  • Comic BomBom - A G.I. Joe manga was serialized for six issues from September 1986 to February 1987 as a tie-in to the Japanese dub of the TV series. Drawn by Hisaharu Ueda (上田 久治, Ueda Hisaharu), it centered around a new character named Tate Musashi, a Japanese member of the Joe Team. Because of the cancellation of the dub, the manga was never reprinted in trade paperback format, making it a rare series.[1]
  • G.I Joe Dai Hyakka (GIジョー大百科, G.I. Joe Encyclopedia) - No. 276 in the Keibunsha Dai Hyakka series. It features character profiles for the Joes and Cobras, summaries of 24 episodes and a toy catalog. It also features a short manga story titled the "Secret of Creation" (誕生秘話) drawn by Ryo Nakamura (中村 亮, Nakamura Ryō).

Other localized products

  • A Japanese dub of G.I. Joe: The Movie was released on VHS in 1990 by Geomilda. This dub has no continuity with the dub of the TV series, having different actors portraying the characters, with Duke being referred by his original name instead of Grunt.
  • The 1992 G.I. Joe arcade game by Konami was released in Japan with a full localization.


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