“Casualties of war,” said Ashby, who started collecting 12-inch G.I. Joes 20 years ago and now owns about 2,000.
On Saturday, he and other collectors plan to bring their 12-inch G.I. Joes to the New York State Military Museum in Saratoga Springs to celebrate the 50th birthday.
The exact date of G.I. Joe’s introduction remains hazy. Ashby and others, including Hasbro, believe it was in February 1964 - but American International Toy Fair organizers say it was held in March that year.
Hasbro said it intends to announce details of its 50th anniversary plans during this year’s fair in New York on Feb. 16-19.
G.I. Joe was elected into Toy Hall of Fame in 2004, six years after Barbie was enshrined. Hogan said the hall doesn’t have policies prohibiting toy weapons from induction, although all candidates must be deemed safe. The U.S. was in the early stages of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq a decade ago, so G.I. Joe’s induction didn’t meet the opposition it might have faced as the conflicts dragged on, Hogan said.
“I suspect,” she said, “most people would have acknowledged that G.I. Joe really does belong in the Toy Hall of Fame.”