Stan Weston, the creator of the G.I. Joe military action figured passed away on May 1st. After learning a bit more about the maker, we decided to pull these dudes out of their GI Joe lockers and play. My son bought a nice collection at a garage sale a few years ago. Their outfits and gear are cool, of course, but I was surprised when we pushed a button and heard one speak Korean, Vietnamese, or Japanese; I’m not sure which.
GI Joe’s were the first articulating dolls and, boy do I remember the first time I got my hands on one. I really pushed the limits of those joints! Their fuzzy hair and beards and that scar fascinated me. He was way neater than barbie.
Anyway, I found out that Stan Weston sold his concept to Hasbro in 1963 for $100,000 and declined the tiny royalty offer. Since 1964 something like 400 million G.I. Joe’s have been sold, so if you do the math, that’s a few billion dollars in sales. A year before his death he was able to settle with the toy company, and hopefully, at age 83, got a few bucks back!
Here’s to you Stan, and everybody out there who had a great idea that made someone else rich! But the joy you brought to boys, and girls, is priceless.