G.I. Joe action figures have been around since 1964, but it wasn’t until the eighties that Hasbro started using celebrities and other types to help promote them. There’s a few Joes based on real people that most of us are familiar with, like Sergeant Slaughter, but there’s a handful of other unsuspecting folks that you’d never expect. They run the gamut from comic book artists to political figures, here’s a few of our favorites. Nostalgia boner!
Bob Hope, entertainer to the troops. From back when we were genuinely concerned with entertaining the troops.
William “Refrigerator” Perry
Chicago Bears defensive lineman, turned superstar, turned G.I. Joe action figure. If I were sent into battle, I’d be hiding behind this man.
Journalist Mike Leonard
He was a Today Show correspondent who inspired the Joe figure known as “Scoop.” Probably one of the least-intimidating action figures in G.I. Joe history, he was a favorite among pacifists and indoor kids.
Ok, not really that surprising, but when you’re used to picturing Powell in a suit, and not in uniform, it’s a little bit jarring. He makes a pretty badass G.I. Joe doll though. If this were sitting on my desk, staring me down, I’d probably get more work done, just because I’d be afraid it would come to life and start yelling at me.
Rowdy Roddy Piper
Another wrestler-inspired Joe, Rowdy’s figure was a limited edition one, distributed only at conventions. His Joe name was “Iron Grenadier Trainer.”
A real American hero. You can also buy just the head.
Owen King, son of author Stephen King
Stephen King’s son was honored with a figure because he was apparently a huge fan and his father created a figure for the franchise called “Crystal Ball,” who was a Cobra Hypnotist.