Once again, apologies for such infrequent blogging. School, store — you’re familiar by now, plus a new one: jury duty.
Today’s blog post comes from more than twenty years ago, part of page 34 of The Patriot Ledger, a newspaper based in Quincy, Massachusetts. News outlets in New England perhaps paid a little extra attention to Hasbro in the 1980s, since it was headquartered in Rhode Island. This article by Alice Greene paints a picture of Christmas wishes in late 1984.
This industry publication is a fun time capsule because it was published after G.I. Joe debuted at Toy Fair 1982, but before the product really started hitting shelves.
Here’s a fun bit of paperwork. When Hasbro relaunched G.I. Joe in 1982, the company rolled out the new toys with an impressive list of licensed products. This is common today, but was not then. As Marvel Comics was already handling the biggest license — a comic book — and had a licensing division, it made sense to partner in this way, so that Marvel could line up all those third-party companies wanting to put G.I. Joe on their consumer products. Here’s a slick trumpeting that fact. Only pages 3-4 are germane, but I’ve reproduced 1 and 2 as well since they’re fun, and since Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends is a cousin to the G.I. Joe cartoon. (Pages 5-8 of this catalog are not reproduced here.)