Celebrating `A Real American Hero’: GI Joe Turns 50

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Feb. 19 (Bloomberg) –- GI Joe Historian and VP of Boys Marketing Derryl DePriest discusses the evolution of action hero GI Joe over 50 years. He speaks with Stephanie Ruhle on Bloomberg Television’s “Market Makers.” (Source: Bloomberg)

Days, g.i. joe didn't even have a name.

It was a 12 inch fully poseable man of action a boy could imprint any personality they wanted on them.

It was easy to see why g.i. joe was so successful in 1964 because every boy had a family member that either served in world war ii or korea.

It was just an everyday thing, so those heroes influenced the way a kids played.

Parents want wings right now -- not everybody feels great about u.s. action.

That's where the g.i. joe versus cobra story has changed over time.

While it was born in the 1980's against the backdrop of maybe the soviet bloc enemy being this nebulous, large scale global enemy, today, it's very much a story propelled by the hundreds of issues of comic books that come out to introduce new characters and themes.

It is very much about a group of real american heroes fighting the evil forces of cobra.

That's the story that propels g.i. joe.

Less so a factor of the external forces in the world around us.

Is a point in history where it was not so popular to talk about military and joe had to take add -- take a turn -- adventure joe.

It was a very successful repositioning of g.i. joe.

In the 1960's, g.i. joe launches a military line but hasbro knew they had to change.

The adventure team was originally a successful but it had tons of innovated -- innovative features like real hair and kung fu grip.

These things have become cultural touchstone.

So many shows, guys have said kung fu grip or rubbing someone's life like hair.

These were fun but equally important in showcasing newness and freshness which has been emblematic of g.i. joe for the last 50 years.

How do you balance the social pressure -- mattel just came out with their 50th edition of barbie.

The sports illustrated barbie.

There's a huge backlash because people say that's not the right ideal for a woman.

Is g.i. joe the right ideal for a man?

That is a complicated question.

We focus on g.i. joe's storytelling.

A core team of heroes we have cultivated that are relevant to the dads of today.

The core of the line today is what dads grew up with -- that 1982 relaunch of g.i. joe, the real american hero.

That storyline allows those dads to not only have something that reminds them of their childhood but also connect and share with their kids.

Where is the innovation and g.i. joe right now?

What i think innovative product, i think transformers -- things like skyland are giants that are on my computer.

Where is joe enervating -- where is joe innovating?

Rex we are taking the iconic library of g.i. joe versus cobra characters and live ring them in cool, new, constructible forms.

This is a line that has some buzz and excitement.

It's a new way to express that core intellectual property and we will have new versions coming out at toys "r" us.

What are you doing to embrace technology?

G.i. joe we produce today is very different from the joe we produce in the past.

It is much more articulated.

That means kids can do a lot more storytelling with the figures.

They can create their own mini movies or photo stories with them.

They are actors that can propel the narrative.

We see g.i. joe content out there that is user generated and our product line helps to fill that.

On the other side, we look for technology answers that we might put forward in the next g.i. joe film.

How about producing joe?

Is a 3-d printer in the future?

I would not rule out anything.

G.i. joe is a timeless idea and any technology that exists or has yet to be existed, g.i. joe will lay a relevant -- will lay

This text has been automatically generated. It may not be 100% accurate.


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