Over the weekend I learned that G.I. Joe creator Donald Levine passed away last week. He died Thursday in Rhode Island after succumbing to cancer at the age of 86.
G.I. Joe has always been my thing. My whole life revolved around G.I. Joe when I was a kid. There were the action figures that I played with all the time, and there was the animated series that I watched every chance I could get.
As I got older and I continued to collect the G.I. Joe's, I learned more about the history of them and how the action figures came into existence. G.I. Joe spawned the idea of the term "action figure," and Levine changed the entire toy industry.
In the 1960s Levine and his Hasbro team created a 12-inch military action figure with 21 points of articulation. They ended up going on sale during the Christmas season of 1964.
Levine served in the Army during the Korean War, and he outfitted the action figures with detailed military uniforms, helmets, and guns, both to appeal to boys as well as honor war veterans.
After all these years, G.I. Joe is still going strong! Action figures are still available, I'm still collecting them, and over the years it has spawned animated series, live-action movies, comic books, video games, and more.
If any you have enjoyed playing with G.I. Joe's, or loved watching the animated series growing up, please take a moment today to think of all of the awesome memories and good times that Levine brought into your life. Our hearts and prayers go out to his family and friends.