I had already watched the whole series of The Toys That Made Us and gladly re-watched the episode on G.I. Joe. the world’s first action doll, because let’s be real, it’s a doll. I remember having one of these, although it wasn’t a G.I. Joe. It was a Mickey Mantle doll. He looks a bit like this ginger lad below, who doesn’t really look like Mantle, and I think he was wearing the away uniform.
And I remember being impressed by the level of detail in his uniform and thinking that I had no idea what to do with it other than to marvel at how well made it was. It stayed propped up on a bookshelf for many years. The action figure I did like, however, was a smaller, plastic G.I. Joe who had a string attached to it’s hand that I would drag and fling him around with.
I thought the whole conversation around dolls being promoted to boys as something that needed to be heavily masculinized (is that word?) to be pretty hilarious. It reminded me of an interesting advertising choice you can find on tv today promoting yogurt for men, as though yogurt needs to be packaged in a severely manly way in order for men to want to eat it.
ok I’ll stop.