15 of the Most Valuable G.I. Joe Collectibles From the ‘80s

Once considered cheap plastic, your 1980s G.I. Joe toys might be able to pay for a decent vacation.
Cobra Commander is a sought-after Joe figure.
Cobra Commander is a sought-after Joe figure. / Tom Mac, Flickr // Public Domain

Toys can be trendy, as in the case of Black Friday treasures like Tickle Me Elmo, or they can endure for decades. One of the best examples of the latter is G.I. Joe, the military fantasy-combat line from Hasbro that debuted in 1964 and has remained on shelves (almost) uninterrupted ever since.

With a devoted fanbase thanks to cartoons, movies, and nostalgia, various Joe toys have become pricey collector’s items over the years. The zenith of that frenzy came in 2003, when collector and comic book dealer Steve Geppi paid $200,000 for the original 12-inch Joe prototype doll that came straight from the collection of creator Don Levine.

While sales like that are an anomaly, more recent Joes still trade for appreciable sums. If you had any of the Marvel Comics-inspired, 3.75-inch figures from the 1980s, it’s possible you might have a small fortune on your hands.

Just remember the standard caveat: Buyers paying top dollar like their playthings still in the package. Having them authenticated by a third-party grading service can raise the value further. The better the condition, the more it’s worth. And while many Joes can command a decent price out of their original packaging, it’s best if they still have their accessories. Check out 15 of the most valuable G.I. Joe toys making the rounds on the secondary market, as evidenced by actual auction sales.

G.I. Joe USS Flagg (1984) // $5000

At 7 feet, 6 inches long and 3 feet wide, the USS Flagg might just be the largest action figure playset ever offered. Owing to its numerous parts and sheer size, grabbing a complete version in the box (originally $99.97) can set you back $5000 or more. Out of the packaging, the set can still go for as much as $3719.

G.I. Joe Headquarters Command Center (1983) // $3500

The oversized Command Center playset gave Joe fans everything their fighting force needed to defend their position, including turrets, reinforced (plastic) walls, and a helipad. According to collecting hub YoJoe.com, some of the plastic clips used to hold the accessories broke easily, which can make an intact one hard to find. Originally retailing for $24.95, a boxed set recently sold for $3500 on eBay. The toy itself sans the box runs about $155.

G.I. Joe Snake Eyes (1982) // $3050

The silent assassin Snake Eyes has long been one of the most popular Joes in the revamped 1980s line-up. Like most of the early Joe figures, Snake Eyes could only turn his head from left to right, not up or down. The 1982 release of the $2.99 figure netted $3050 at auction recently, but if the timing and condition is right, the sky is the limit. In 2021, Heritage Auctions offered the figure in near-mint condition, but with the rarer straight (not swivel) arms. It went for $26,400. Later that year, another one in mildly less impressive shape sold for $9000. Loose (i.e. out of packaging), you might get between $60 and $160 on eBay.

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G.I. Joe Snow Cat (1985) / $2499

This $6.59 vehicle was a hit with fans thanks to its dual purpose: It could transport and store your tiny plastic army, with up to 10 figures able to fit inside. But kids sometimes had trouble keeping its windshield wiper intact, making a flawless version hard to find. One in the box recently sold for $2499 on eBay. Loose, it’s about $163.

G.I. Joe Skimobile Polar Battle Bear (1983) // $2100

The snow-friendly Joe vehicle was a steal at $3.19 when it was released in 1983. It has sold for $2100 on eBay in the box, while a broken, loose version netted just $38.

G.I. Joe Firefly (1984) // $2017

The Cobra soldier with a “swivel-arm battle grip” can be tough to find in good condition. Recent eBay listings have seen him go for an average of $2017, with one fetching as much as $3700. He’s in enough demand that even a loose figure with opened packaging netted $270.

G.I. Joe Hovercraft (1984) // $1725

The Joes often took to the water to battle Cobra, as evidenced by this hovercraft dubbed the Killer W.H.A.L.E. (Warrior Hovering Assault Launching Envoy, obviously). Priced at $17.99 in the 1980s, it included a pilot named Cutter. A vehicle still in the box recently fetched $1725 on eBay, while one out of it garnered $580.

G.I. Joe Scarlett (1982) // $1558

The Joes’ carrot-topped heroine was among the first wave of $2.29 releases for the 1980s line. While she has sold for as much as $2999, the average price is around $1558. Without packaging, she can sell for around $42.

G.I. Joe Major Bludd (1983) // $1440

The Cobra villain with the very on-the-nose name can be tough to find. This figure has sold for as much as $1440 in 2021. (Loose, he can be had for as little as $14.) The figure appears to come with different poems (yes, poems) on the back of his package, but collectors don't think one is any rarer than the other.

G.I. Joe Cobra Missile Command Headquarters (1982) // $1436

The lair for Cobra villains was one of the earliest Joe playsets. Selling for a reasonable $10.99, it had one key flaw when it came to preservation: The entire set was made out of cardboard. It now averages around $1436, depending on its condition.

G.I. Joe Baroness (1984) // $1320

The femme fatale of Cobra was originally marketed with the rather nondescript “Cobra Intelligence Officer” copy. A figure in the package went for $1320 in 2021, though another subsequently sold for a more affordable $500. Loose, she can sell for $70, though collectors are wary of figures with eroding paint.

G.I. Joe Defiant (1987) // $1250

In 1987, Hasbro launched the Joes into space with the Defiant, a shuttle and lift-off complex that took the fight outside Earth’s atmosphere. The $99.99 playset has a lot of tiny, easily-misplaced pieces, making a complete boxed product hard to find. Even an incomplete version sold for $1250 recently.

G.I. Joe Storm Shadow (1984) // $1100

Cobra’s signature ninja assassin was first seen in 1984. Even though it retailed for $2.29, his average asking price is now around $1100, though depending on the condition, his value can go higher. One impressive sale came in 2021, when a figure netted $2280 at auction. A loose figure with his file card sold for $160 on eBay.

G.I. Joe “Mickey Mouse” Cobra Commander (1982) // $860

The biggest villain in Joe lore has a curious trivia note. When he was first released in 1982, his Cobra insignia was poorly rendered, making it look a little bit like Mickey Mouse’s silhouette. This so-called “Mickey Mouse” variant is coveted among collectors. Originally a mail-away offer, it can now sell for $325 to $525 loose. And unlike most collectible toys, people are happy to find it without packaging: It didn’t originally come with any.

G.I. Joe Shipwreck (1985) // $660

The nautical Joe—complete with parrot—is hard to find in or out of a retail package. Unlike a lot of Joes, his sculpt was never reused for other characters. Still packaged, the figure—once a mere $2.29—has sold for $660, while a Shipwreck out of the packaging can sell for $61 to $95.