What does the G and I stand for in GI Joe?
G.I. Joe stands for Government Issue Joe. This term originated during WWII and is the military equivalent of the name John Doe; just a random anybody.
The G.I. Joe character was introduced as an action figure by Hasbro in 1963. They noticed that Mattel’s Barbie doll was so successful the company couldn’t make them fast enough to keep up with demand. They also noticed that this huge market had no product aimed at boys like Barbies were aimed at girls. They decided on a masculine Army soldier. And it wasn’t a doll, it was an action figure.
G.I. Joe was actually retired from production in 1978 due to poor sales. It was put back in production in 1982 when the action figure market was reinvigorated by Star Wars marketing.
G.I. Joe even made it to the big screen in 2009 with G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra. The sequel, G.I. Joe: Retaliation, was scheduled for release on June 29, 2012. About a month before the film’s expected public debut the release date was moved back to March 29, 2013.