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The year 1994 (MCMXCIV) is the 13th year of the A Real American Hero brand, and the 30th anniversary of G.I. Joe as a whole.
As 1994 began, the G.I. Joe line was showing few, if any, signs of slowing. Most of the previous year's trends were continued, and though few vehicles were being released, there were still over 40 figures arriving on the shelves. Many of the new figures had a fresh look, rather than being merely repaints. Ninja Force and Star Brigade continued, and the Joes even got an interstellar threat force called the Lunartix Empire. Filecards were redesigned to give more emphasis to character art. The new filecards were the size of baseball cards and had abbreviated bios.
Most of the previous year's toys continued to be available, resulting in the largest selection ever offered at one time. The Hall of Fame series was really taking off, moving away from larger versions of the smaller-sized figures, and producing their own characters. Summer saw the 30th anniversary of G.I. Joe's beginnings. Hasbro celebrated by releasing five 3 3/4" figures designed in "classic" style. Special colors of some of them were available at that summer's Convention. And the original G.I. Joe himself finally received a 3 3/4" figure and filecard as a mail-order exclusive. Commercials this year focused on rapid-fire narration and quick camera shots (often less than a second each), with the new slogan, "Go for the Joe." The comic, clearly on its last legs, closed out its run with a Star Brigade mission and some awful one-shot ideas before surprising readers with a decent final issue.
Despite the fact that the line otherwise appeared strong, this was the last year for the 3 3/4" Joes' initial run. The cancellation apparently came late in the year; there exist numerous production sketches and prototypes (even carded ones) of toys planned for 1995 release. While the Joe line had lost a fair bit of market share to larger figures such as X-Men and Power Rangers, the reasons Joe was retired altogether are somewhat mysterious, but a key factor appears to be Hasbro's merger with Kenner. Kenner is best known for producing the original Star Wars toyline which had inspired the revival of G.I. Joe so many years earlier. Notably, in preparation for the Special Edition re-release of the Star Wars movies, Hasbro-Kenner would launch a new line of Star Wars toys in 1995. Could it be that G.I. Joe was retired in order to make room in the market for the new Star Wars figures? Might this have even been a condition of the Hasbro-Kenner merger, or of the licensing from Lucasfilm? Or did the company simply think G.I. Joe would be more successful if taken in a different direction? Such questions are not likely to be answered officially, but in any event, G. I. Joe would continue in other forms, and the 3 3/4" line would receive new life in a few years. At the end of 1994, the "Real American Hero" line of G. I. Joes boasted nearly 500 figures and almost half that many vehicles and playsets.
G.I. Joe Team
G.I. Joe Team
Original Action Team
- Action Astronaut
- Action Marine
- Action Pilot
- Action Sailor
- Action Soldier
G.I. Joe Team
- Top Secret
- Included with toys packaged in 1994. The cover reads: "Attention! Top secret leader of G.I. Joe Mobile Strike Force Team finally revealed!" The interior gives Joseph Colton's basic history and offers both 3 3/4" and 12" versions of the original G.I. Joe for UPC Proofs of Purchase (not Flag Points), plus $1.00 shipping. Figures were only available after 1/31/94. The 3 3/4" figure pictured in the brochure is somewhat different than the one that arrived. Hasbro apparently ran out of the 12-inch figures and instead sent out other Hall of Fame figures with a letter of apology.
Issues 144 - 155 of the Marvel Comics series came out this year. This was the final year of series.
The only animation this year was seen in a commercial for the G.I. Joe: Hall of Fame action figures.