The year 1995 (MCMXCV) would have been the 14th year of the A Real American Hero brand.
When 1995 came, no new 3 3/4" figures arrived. Instead, fans were treated to a line of larger figures in the new "Sgt. Savage and his Screaming Eagles" line. The first Commando Sgt. Savage figure included an animated video explaining his origin: Robert Steven Savage was a soldier in World War II. In a laboratory accident in 1944, he was cryogenically frozen. The hero was discovered and revived by the Joes 50 years later. Doc gave him super strength through a special DNA formula, and Hawk placed him in command of the Screaming Eagles. Savage's enemy was the I.R.O.N. Army organization. The figures were about 5" tall, and there were about 16 of them, with five vehicles and accessories. While the newly merged Hasbro-Kenner may have been trying to re-define G.I. Joe for the mid-1990s, the toys did not sell very well.
The continuing Hall of Fame series saw greater success with its new direction. The 12" figures were given a very realistic look and were made to resemble real-life soldiers from previous wars. The classic Joe collectors were delighted to find G.I. Joe replicas of George Washington and Dwight D. Eisenhower. Small-figure fans, many of whom were in college and had little money, either experimented with the Hall of Fame line or had to content themselves with the new Star Wars figures and vehicles, which were prohibitively expensive due to the high cost of Lucasfilm licensing. As far as anyone knew, the 3 3/4" line was no more.
Toy concept and production usually begins well over a year before products hit the shelves, so Hasbro already had a number of new releases prepared for 1995 when they decided to cancel the smaller line.
Initial attempts to redesign the figures with a solid waist and no fragile O-ring went at least as far as hard copies, but for the most part the toys were to remain unchanged. Some exist merely as design sketches, while others went as far as being produced and carded. Some, such as the Manimals, eventually made their way into the hands of G.I. Joe collectors.
The following figures were all unproduced:
- Battle Rangers:
- Somewhat like the 1993-94 Battle Corps, these were intended to have a more traditional military look and task. Prototypes also suggest a return to the intricate detailing of 1980s-era figures. Figures planned included Duke, Flint, Footloose, Destro, and a red Baroness reportedly modeled after a Hasbro secretary. Most of these were all-new molds, though the Flint prototype had legs from 1985's Lamprey.
- Ninja Commandos:
- A continuation of the Ninja Force. According to master collector James DeSimone, over 10,000 of these were produced, but only a few have found their way to collectors. The first series of these figures were Budo, Flint, Knockout, Storm Shadow, and Road Pig. The Budo figure was used for the non-G.I. Joe Mortal Kombat toyline.
- Star Brigade:
- The space line would have continued with Falcon, Shockwave, and a four-armed Lunartix alien named Thrasher (not related to the Dreadnok). One special figure was Striker, the Manimal Terminator. He was to come with an animated video explaining the origin of the Manimals. It is not known whether the animation was ever produced. The Armor-Tech line was to continue as the Manimal Encounter team. A monstrous alien War Dog was also to be released.
- This is the most famous 1995 innovation, since six of these were painted and carded; the first six were actually slated for release before Christmas 1994. These were essentially humanoid soldiers of the Lunartix Empire who transformed into alien monsters. These six were Iguanus, Slythor, Spasma, Vortex, Warwolf, and Zigzag. Additional Manimals were also planned: Arkanoid, Dragonlord, Eyeclops, Mantizoid, Tarantulus, and Vax. The Manimals, though unreleased, would become so popular among fans that Hasbro-Kenner finally released three of the original six as KB Toys exclusives in 2001. The second three were also planned for a 2001 release, but were cancelled due to poor sales of the first group.
- An interesting concept in which prominent Joes and Cobras have been captured and replaced by disguised alien lookalikes. Duke, Gung-Ho, Hawk, Snake Eyes, and Cobra Commander were among those planned as Replicators, and some hardcopies of these figures exist.
There were quite a few vehicles and playsets planned for this year, all to be released under the Battle Rangers logo. Small ones included the Striker XS-1 (a dune buggy) and the Vortex XS-2 (a hovercraft-like vehicle). There was also the Sea Wolf (a W.H.A.L.E. repaint), as well as repaints of 1985's Transportable Tactical Battle Platform and 1987's Mobile Command Center - all of which would presumably have had spring-loaded weapons. Cobra vehicles included the Vulture helicopter, Eel attack boat, and Interceptor jet. There was also an Arctic Commandos Assault Team set with a repainted Mudbuster and Locust. It would have come with two figures, probably repaints of Sub-Zero and 1993's Beach-Head.