GI Joe is probably the most iconic toy of the last 50 years. And it has stood the test of time, morphing from a heroic grunt in the 60s to a brass adventurer in the 70s to a cartoon driven 4” action figure in the 80s.
To most of us, the original 12” figure is, well, just a legend – something we’ve seen in photos or maybe at a toy show, but don’t know too much about. And yet every great toy has a great story behind it – the why’s and how’s of its development, the people behind it, and the design and production process.
That’s where books like GI Joe: The Story Behind the Legend come in. This is not a new book – it was published by Chronicle Books back in 1996. But that doesn’t matter. The original events all took place in the early 1960s, so this account doesn’t feel dated, even nearly 20 years after publication. I have to say, the book is flat out fascinating. If you’re a GI Joe fan or are interested in toy history, action figures, toy development, or just plain amazing stories about a year-long team effort to make something great, then you might want to check it out.
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