G.I. Joe

G.I. Joe Creator Passes Away

G.I. Joe creator Don Levinee

Final Mission

G.I. Joe creator Don Levine died of cancer early Thursday at Home & Hospice Care of Rhode Island. He and his wife Nan were near their 60th wedding anniversary.

Levine guided the action figure through the design and development stages as Hasbro’s head of research and development. He lead the team that  created the original 11½-inch articulated figure with 21 moving parts. Since the company’s employees included many military veterans, it was decided that the figures would wear the uniforms of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, and would be equipped with accessories such as guns, helmets and vehicles. These large G.I. Joe figures also featured “lifelike hair” and their trademark “kung-fu grip.”  

12 inch G.I. Joe line

Levine, who served in the Army in Korea, said he got the idea for the articulated figure as a way to honor veterans.

G.I. Joe landed on shelves during the 1964 Christmas shopping season and became a big seller at $4 apiece. However, the toy began to lose popularity in the late 1960s as opposition to the Vietnam War intensified and parents shied away from military-themed toys. Hasbro countered in 1970 by introducing Adventure Team. This new wave of  G.I. Joes played down the military connection by equipping the figures with such gear as explorer’s clothing for discovering mummies, and scuba gear to save the oceans.

Original G.I Joe figure

Over the decades G.I. Joe has continued to recruit fans. The 1980s saw the the toy line reimagined as a massive line of 3 3/4  inch figures with special accessories. Many vehicles  and play sets were also created for the line of action figures. This Joe line accompanied a popular cartoon series and comic book line. At the height of its popularity G.I. Joe was given an animated movie.

G.I. Joe became a pop culture icon that remains popular today. There have been different iterations of action figures, cartoons, comic books, games, and more recently two live-action movies. The property even has its own convention, G.I. JoeCon.

Levine’s funeral will be held Sunday morning at Temple Beth-El in Providence. He is survived by his wife, three children and four grandchildren.

Current Cobra Series Is Ending

Cobra_21

Cobra’s Last Stand 

IDW has released a preview of Cobra #21, which will be the last issue of the comic book series before launching a new line of G.I. Joe comics.

Cobra_21 Cobra_21

Cobra_21 Cobra_21

Cobra_21 Cobra_21

Cobra_21 Cobra_21

Cobra #21

Mike Costa (w) • Antonio Fuso, Werther Dell’edera (a) • Fuso (c)
OKTOBER ends! The battle between the covert G.I. JOE team and the OKTOBER GUARD takes a turn for the worse as COBRA forces bear down on their location… and they may just manage to eliminate both sides of the conflict. The consequences will be dire and this G.I. Joe team will never be the same again!
FC • 32 pages • $3.99

Find out what’s next for G.I. Joe and Cobra with IDW Publishing’s April 2013 Solicitations!

Ryan Hansen Joins G.I. Joe Sequel

Yo Joe!

Actor Ryan Hansen (Veronica Mars) has revealed on Twitter that he will be playing a character named Grunt in a small role in the upcoming G.I. Joe sequel.

@MeisterShake I play a Joe named Grunt. Small part but awesome.


Grunt, whose real name is Robert Graves, never became a prominent character in the G. I. Joe mythos, but he was one of the original G.I.Joe: A Real American Hero characters from the 80’s cartoon and action figures.

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