I was born in 1976. So, growing up, the only GI Joe that I knew of and played with was the 3.75’’ Real American Hero. I followed their battles with Cobra on TV and through the comics. I had about three-dozen figures and several vehicles. My interest in GI Joe’s origins started when I was an adult. I ‘’discovered’’ the Adventure Team by doing research online for a Group Project at Joecustoms.com. This opened up a whole new world of possibilities and projects. In 2009, the Official GI Joe Collector’s Club launched a small line of 3.75’’ Adventure Team figures. These consisted of the four main characters with vehicles.
I have decided to focus on GI Joe’s first dozen years. My line up of customs will include homages to figures, vehicles and playsets from the 1964-76 era. Some will be pretty vintage accurate, while others will be re-interpretations. My goal with each custom was to keep the ‘’feel’’ of the original toys.
50th Anniversary Day 1: Action Soldier
One of the four figures that started it all, Action Soldier was released in 1964. He included basic olive green fatigues, brown combat boots, an OD cap, dog tags, rank insignia stickers and an Army Field Manual. The basic nature of his uniform allowed kids to collect add-on accessory kits such as the field vest, the helmet as well as various weapons and gear. The kits that were purchased allowed kids to customize their GI Joe for specific missions.
This project has to start here. Action Soldier was the first GI Joe ever conceived of by Sam Speers and Don Levine at Hasbro in 1963. My first custom represents the basic Action soldier with fatigues, cap, dog tags and field manual (Set number 7500). The second figure is the Action Soldier outfitted with the Combat Helmet (7507) and Combat Rifle Sets (7510). The third figure features the Field Jacket and Combat Rifle with Bayonet.