Toys of Yesterday and Today

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G.I. Joe Action Figure by Hasbro

Gi_JoepioletG.I. Joe Action Figures by Hasbro hit the market in 1964. At first there were four models: Action Soldier, Action Sailor, Action Marine, and Action Pilot. In this post, I’m going to take a look at the Action Pilot (as pictured).

The 1964 G.I. Joe Pilot had 21 movable parts. This not only enabled him to be placed in many action positions but also allowed for the use of the accessories. The original boxed pilot figure came with his own uniform and accessories. In addition to the orange jumpsuit, black boots, blue fatigue cap., Air Force training manual, set of insignias and GI Joe dog tag. These first figures came in four hair colors: blond, auburn, black and brown.

Like the Action Pilot, the other three action figures were boxed and came with their own uniform and accessories making them unique to the action figure world of the early 1960’s.

The G.I. Joe action figures has seen many changes over the years of production. Some of the changes were to eye color, hair color and texture, facial hair, as well as the introduction of many different uniforms, both military and civilian depicting many different walks of life. The popularity of this figure over time has also lead to the development of many different accessories, vehicles and clothing. Not to mention foot lockers for storage.

Some of the markings and identification on the G.I. Joe Action Pilot are: :

G. I. Joe T. M. (Trademark) 

Copyright 1964 

By Hasbro R. 

Patent Pending 

Made in USA 

You’ll find these markings on the right, lower back. Over the years the markings of the G.I. Joe are a good way to identify when each action figure was made – and sometimes the name of the figure.

G.I. Joe is still today a demand collectible. For those beginning a collection of G.I. Joe figures, accessories and associated items, it is well to remember the difference between a collection for fun versus a collection for investment. The collector with investment in mind should always buy mint in the box with all accessories included – assuming your budget can handle it.

For more information on G.I.Joe history, figures and accessories, visit 50 Years of GI Joe.





Posted 5 years ago at 4:08 pm.

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Ever since the introduction of GI Joe as an action figure for boys ( and no, they’re not dolls), the toy industry has taken to manufacturing other types of figures that have appeal either because they are action-related or they represent popular movie figures. The Star Wars figures  are an excellent example of a huge success of manufacturing figures from a movie – or in this case movies.  To view i

The earliest Frankenstein movie came to the big screen in 1910 (Edison Film Co.) with one of the most memorable ones being produced in 1931 by universal starring Boris Karloff. One of the most interesting Frankenstein figures you’ll find dating to these early years is one comprised of both tin lithograph and fabric. He was a battery-op item and when turned on would drop his pants.

This much later version of a Frankenstein figure pictured here is dated 1973 which leads me to think it may have come out after the 1973 production starring James Mason, David McCallum and Jane Seymour – titled Frankenstein: The True Story (Universal UK). Although I don’t know that for a fact.

Should you happen to come across a similar figure, the following features are relevant to this Frankenstein:


Figure is 8″ tall

Introduced in 1974

Marked on back :

Universal City (copyright mark) Studio 1973




Made in Hong Kong 6126




Interestingly this figure is quite mobile. His head turns, arms and legs move, with his waist, knees, ankles and elbows being jointed. He came dressed in black pants, jacket and gray pullover – however, I can’t say that these are original.

Collecting movie memorabilia can be a fun, challenging hobby – and I’m guessing Frankenstein would be right at the top. And, if you’re looking for a good reference, take a look at some of these Character Price Guides available on Amazon.




Posted 5 years, 1 month ago at 4:04 pm.

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Kenner’s Alien – Bull Version



Toys associated with characters – comic and movie – have always been winners. And, Kenner – after their highly successful venture with Star Wars – struck gold again with the figures associated with the 1979 release of the Alien movie. The later series of Alien figures issued by Kenner did not fare as well.

In 1992, after a period of 13 years, Kenner brought back the alien figures with a whole new toy line – more or less having the ‘new’ alien bear a resemblance to his host. This line continued until around 1995 when production was halted.

Figures associated with this first series of ‘new’ alien figures were:

• The Alien (Scorpion, Bull, Gorillia, followed by Alien Queen and Power Loader)

• Lt. Ripley

• Bishop (Marine)

• Sgt. Apone (Marine)

• Corp. Hicks (Marine)

• Drake (Marine)

• Hudson (Marine)

• O’Malley (Marine)

The next several production series manufactured by Kenner over the next three years included assorted new Marines and variations of the Alien. However, with interest beginning to diminish in the US, many of these toys ended up overseas or unsold on the shelf.

A couple of other toy manufacturer’s tried their hand at producing the Alien figures during the late 1990’s, i.e., Toys-R’Us (1997) who had a 10″ 2-pack (Alien vs. Predator) and Kay-Bee (1997-1999) who manufactured several different variations along with some new ‘alien’ pieces.

The ‘Bull’ Alien figure pictured in this post was from Kenner’s Series 1, 1992 line of Alien figures. Some of its features are:

6″ in height with head down; 6-3/4″ in height when is head extended via a button on left side

Extended head pivots up/down by way of button on back that moves up and down

Red colored head

Copper-tone colored body

Tail, legs, claw arms moveable

Back ‘claws’ moveable

Horns individually move front to back

Two tail stingers – one black, one copper (not shown)

Silver mouth and teeth

The Kenner  Alien figures are collectible and you may find that most of  their values continue to rise. This is especially true if you can find any of these figures in their original box or on the original cards (preferably unpunched).



Posted 5 years, 4 months ago at 7:28 pm.

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