Author and G.I. Joe collector Dan Klingensmith expands his Creating G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero book series documenting the history of the Hasbro toy line.
Volume 13 of the series, now in pre-production, focuses on the years 1982 to 1994, a significant era for the G.I. Joe franchise and one that captured the attention of children eager to vicariouly live the adventure of G.I. Joe.
In an interview with Toy Tales, Klingensmith shared details of his focus for the latest book in the series, “Volume 13 explores sets such as the Defiant space vehicle and Cobra Rattler attack jet from the 1980s. Figures like Sgt. Slaughter and Steel Brigade — toys that were available by mail away — are also featured. These toys are really popular amongst fans.”
As with previous volumes in the series, Klingensmith presents concept designs, sculpture sheets, colour studies, and other details that showcase the product development process and offer an insider’s view of the toy line. Included in Volume 13 are exclusive interviews with members of Hasbro’s engineering and marketing teams for the toys. The dossiers of Larry Hama, long-time writer of the G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero comic book series, give insight into the cast of the fictional characters and their development. Klingensmith explains, “Hama began to develop character dossiers for his own reference when he was writing the comics for Marvel. Kirk Bozigian, a product manager at Hasbro, liked them so much that they decided to include those character details on the product packaging, similar to the idea of baseball cards with player stats. The G.I. Joe line was the first to take this approach.”
As an officially licensed Hasbro production, the new volume entertains readers with over 80 pages of details normally reserved for those working closely with the brand. Of that relationship, Klingensmith said, “Everybody is very supportive. It took time. Some people were initially reluctant to talk with me, but they’ve come around as they began to understand that my goal of showing appreciation and thanking them for allowing not just myself to enjoy this but the entire toy community as well.”
Crowdfunding for Creating G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero Volume 13 concludes on Monday, October 9, 2023. View the details on Kickstarter. Previous volumes can be found on the Creating G.I. Joe website.