When I was a kid, Hasbro decided to create a doll that boys could play with. It was an action figure called G.I. Joe, actually created in 1964 -- the year I was born. This military doll with guns, grenades and whatever other weapons he could get into his Kung-Fu grip was an overnight success and like his female counterpart -- the voluptuos and materialistic Barbie, the focus on having a G.I. Joe was to get more clothes and items than your friends had. In 1969, Hasbro decided to change Joe's image (a wise move for the most part) from military to all around adventurer, but Joe always retained a little of that military image. Again, more clothes, more adventures, more vehicles to buy and overall it was an incrdible cash cow for my parents to keep me happy by buying more and more Joe stuff. Ironically I had to give a huge box of these items away when I moved and in recent years I could have made a fortune selling them in auctions on the internet. If I had only kept them.
Joe taught kids that war was ok. Joe taught kids to live life dangerously (as did James Bond 007 -- but that's another blog). Joe was thoroughly American, spreading that we are better than anybody else kind of patriotism that I now despise and detest.
An American hero? Not in my book. Joe made me believe all of the things as a kid that I usually protest against today.
What are your feelings? Have you ever heard of G.I. Joe? I have a picture of the classic Joe in my gallery. Take a look.