New on Throwback Video: The Plastic, Fantastic History of G.I. Joe

Some old-school G.I. Joes line up for duty.
Some old-school G.I. Joes line up for duty. / New York National Guard , Flickr // CC BY-ND 2.0

Who has worse aim than stormtroopers? Probably the heroes and adversaries of G.I. Joe, Hasbro’s never-ending toy story about an elite U.S. combat team facing off against the evil COBRA organization. A war fought in plastic, in comics, and on television, the Joes and Cobra Commander have been quarreling for decades—mostly because they can’t seem to hit anything.

But G.I. Joe is about more than skipping target practice. It’s a story about the world’s first action figure line, why Rocky Balboa almost enlisted, and why the original tag line of “Ho, Joe!” was thankfully discarded. Join Mental Floss editor-in-chief Erin McCarthy for a rundown on how this fierce fighting force came into formation.