Time line: The life of G.I. Joe

  • Article by: AIMEE BLANCHETTE , Star Tribune
  • Updated: March 19, 2014 - 8:24 AM

Ace Allgood's G I Joe collection.

1964: G.I. Joe enlists in the U.S. military. He stands 12 inches tall and represents four branches of the armed forces.

1970: He grows out his hair, and leaves the military to join the Adventure Team.

1974: Gets plastic surgery to improve his grasp. He trademarks the “Kung-Fu Grip.”


1977: G.I. Joe shrinks to 8 inches, but gains muscle. He is now called “Super Joe.” His fans aren’t pleased.


1978: Takes a military furlough.


1982: Called upon again by the U.S. government to fight terrorism. He shrinks again, but quickly gains a reputation as the “Real American Hero.”

1983: A cartoon miniseries documenting G.I. Joe’s adventures debuts. A full series follows in 1985.

1987: Stars in his first film, “G.I. Joe: The Movie,” released direct-to-video.

2004: Inducted into National Toy Hall of Fame for years of service.

2009: Stars in “G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra.” Critics thrash it, but the film grosses more than $302 million worldwide.

2013: The sequel “G.I. Joe: Retaliation” again receives tepid reviews. Grosses more than $375 million worldwide.

2014: Celebrates 50 years of service.

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