During the '70s, Hasbro practiced the razor and blades concept with marketing of GI Joe. A child would have a few GI Joes (razors) and would buy many uniforms or accessories (blades) over the course of time. Sadly, in the last few decades someone, somewhere lost that concept and now they want to sell you 40 different uniforms with 40 of the same dudes to wear them. I say bullocks to it, but what do I know. Without further delay, here are some examples of the Vintage figure boxes that I have in my collection.
Hard Hand Figures with Life-like hair (1970-1973)
Over time I've managed to acquire the complete set of five hard hand with life-like hair Adventure Team GI Joes. From left to right (in case you can't read the box labels) are the Land Adventurer, Sea Adventurer, Air Adventurer, Man of Action and the Adventurer. There was also a non-talking astronaut, but he didn't come in a box like this. These figures came in boxes as shown above and included one hard hand GI Joe figure with life-like hair, an Adventure Team dog tag, a black plastic shoulder holster, short black boots, and a Lebel revolver. There were also some pieces of paper or something in there, but I'm pretty sure mine went straight into the trash.
Hard Hand Talking Figures with Life-like hair (1970-1973)
So, how do you make a great toy like GI Joe better? Easy, you make him talk when you pull his string. From left to right the Talking Astronaut, Talking Adventure Team Commander, and the Talking Man of Action. They were built a bit different than their non-talking counterparts since they had to have an empty chest area to hold the talker device. The Commander was essentially a Land Adventurer in a different uniform, in this case similar to the Green Beret Vintage uniform. They shared the same basic equipment as the non-talkers.
Kung Fu Grip Figures with Life-like hair (1974)
In 1974, GI Joe got the greatest improvement since life-like hair. He got Kung Fu Grip. This meant that Joe was no longer relegated to adventures limited by his ability to balance a rifle on his nearly useless hands. Instead, he could hold onto things with soft, rubber, gripper hands. Since they could hold onto things, they ditched the shoulder holsters and revolvers for some real firepower, the bolt-action, scoped rifle. From left to right above the Land Adventurer, Sea Adventurer, Man of Action, and the Adventurer. I'm still missing the Air Adventurer and all the talking figures boxes, but I'll work on it over time and add them as I acquire them.
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