A 2009 TIME magazine article said this about the toy:

G.I. Joe was initially a massive success and Hasbro expanded the line throughout the ’60s, reimagining Joe as an astronaut, a deep-sea diver and a Green Beret. But outcry over American involvement in Vietnam dampened enthusiasm for a camo-clad action figure, so Hasbro gave Joe an honorable discharge. It redesigned the toys and relaunched them in 1970 as Adventures of G.I. Joe: the figure received lifelike hair, moveable eyes and a “kung-fu” grip, enabling him to hold onto objects for the first time.

The MUJAM exhibit had everything derived from G.I. Joe, including the German variant, Action Team.  The German marketers of this line obviously didn´t mind giving their paramilitary adventurers porn star names such as Hard Rock, Tom Stone and John Steel.   The website Action-Team.at has the story:

In the early 70s anti-war opposition led the producer Hasbro to change the GI Joe line, the former toy soldiers were to be less war oriented. A new name was added “Adventure Team” and the figures featured flocked hair and beards.

At the beginning, the toys were imported in Europe, but in 1966 Hasbro licenced the line in England under the name of Action Man.

Germany, France, Italy and Spain waited until 1975-76 to develop their own productions: Germany and Italy – Action Team, France – Action Joe and Spain: Geyperman. In Germany the company Schildkröt (Schildkroet) produced the Action Team line under licence from Hasbro.


According to the Wiki on Action Man, the U.K. version of G.I. Joe, giving the boy-dolls a mini-fro was quite the revolution in kids toys.

The first innovation for Action Man was a form of flocking giving the effect of a short “fuzzy” hairstyle in 1970. Bill Pugh contacted the company he saw on a TV programme producing bottles covered with a flocked fibre. Dracon Limited, whose promotional items included a flocked car, provided the basis for the electrostatic process that would give Action Man his new look.


The thorough G.I. Joe Wiki says about this version of Joe:

To coincide with the new direction, “Life-Like” flocked hair and beard, an innovation developed in England by Palitoy for their licensed version of Joe, Action Man, is introduced in 1970. A retooled African American Adventurer was also introduced, which came in two versions as did the others in the series, bearded or shaven.

There was a series of  Eagle Eye G.I. Joe figures designed, not just to creep you out, but for play military action.  It was a feature borrowed from British versions of the toy. According to a toy catalog page, via Plaid Stallions:

G.I. Joe is going through a thought process, or even devising a strategy as his eyes shift from side to side.


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