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.

New Two-Face And Mr. Freeze Animated Figures

New Batman: The Animated Series Two-Face Figure

Model Villains

DC Collectibles has released images of two more figures for their updated Batman: The Animated Series line, Two-Face and Mr. Freeze.

The Two-Face figure is based off of the 1997 design and will feature accessories from the episode “Sins of the Father.” He features 17 points of articulation.

Batman: The Animated Series Mr. Freeze figure.

Mr. Freeze will come with his freeze gun and robot spider legs from the episode “Cold Comfort.” Freeze will have 26 points of articulation.

Batman: The Animated Series Two-Face figure. Batman: The Animated Series Mr. Freeze figure.

With this new line of Batman: The Animated Series action figures, the DC Collectibles team is using the original character design sheets that were used by the animators to ensure these figures are as accurate as possible to the cartoon. All of the figures are in the 1/12th or 6-inch scale and will be accurately scaled in relation to Batman.

Look for Two-Face and Mr. Freeze in your favorite comic and specialty store this November. Or shop for them online on Amazon or at

Toy Fair 2014 Marvel Figures

Hulk Action Figure

Toy Fair 2014

Marvel unveiled their upcoming toy lines at the 2014 Toy Fair. Marvel looks to have their TV and movie properties well represented with action figures for the Avengers Assemble cartoon, Guardians of the Galaxy movie, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and Captain America: The Winter Soldier, although it looks like  the Cap and Spidey waves will have characters that won’t be in the movies, and the 3.25″ Marvel Universe line will continue.

There will also be some role-playing masks so that you can be Starlord or Rocket Raccoon. I’m looking forward to Halloween. I call Rocket Raccoon.

Star Lord  Toy Fair 2014 Rocket Raccoon

Toy Fair 2014 Guardians of the Galaxy figures Toy Fair 2014 Amazing Spider-Man 2 figure

Toy Fair 2014 Amazing Spider-Man 2 figure Toy Fair 2014 Amazing Spider-Man 2 figure

Toy Fair 2014 Captain America The Winter Soldier Figures Toy Fair 2014 Captain America The Winter Soldier Figures

Toy Fair 2014 Marvel Universe figures Toy Fair 2014 Marvel Universe figures

Toy Fair 2014 Marvel Universe figures Toy Fair 2014 Starlord mask and gun set

Toy Fair 2014 Rocket Raccoon mask

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