G. I. Joe

Stan Weston, a licensing agent who was Jewish, passed away last week. Besides representing such people as Soupy Sales and the Kingston Trio, as well as the Dr. Kildare television show, Weston was the creator of G. I. Joe. Elliott Handler, a founder of Mattel (and also Jewish) taught Weston that “you’ve got to sell them the razor,” referencing the successful Mattel Barbie Doll, whose clothing and accessories were the key to the financial success of the product. With that advice, in 1963 Weston came up with the concept of a toy soldier for boys, including uniforms, weapons, and other paraphernalia, which he pitched to Donald Levine, a Hasbro executive (Levine was also Jewish, as were Herman, Hillel and Henry Hassenfeld, who founded the Hassenfeld Brothers company which became Hasbro). Hasbro bought the concept from Weston for a one-time payment of $100,000 and marketed it as G. I. Joe, one of the most successful products in toy history, selling more than 400,000,000 action figures, as well as being featured in Mavel Comics, television shows, movies, and video games. Which of the following G. I. Joe action figures was Jewish?

by @alexandriapasse "G.I Joe Who remembers this?" via @InstaReposts by Alexandria K Passe is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0.

A. Sci-Fi was the code name of G. I. Joe Seymour P. Fine, an electrical engineer whose role in numerous G. I. Joe cartoons was the design of advanced weaponry. In one episode, Fine travels to Israel where he works with Shin Bet operatives on the development of a handgun-sized laser weapon which is later used to stop an assault on the White House by members of the enemy Cobra Command. 

B. In a Marvel comic book,  a G. I. Joe named Lance J. Steinberg was on a mission to fight Nazis. He tells the other G. I. Joes on the mission, Roadblock, Recondo, and Dial-Tone, that he is spooked by Nazis, ever since his grandmother freaked out when she saw him watching Hogan’s Heroes with the “funny Nazis.”

CG. I. Joe Doc, whose real name was Isaac Davidson, was a member of the G. I. Joe medical team. Because he was a medic, he was not allowed to carry a weapon, in order to comply with the Geneva Convention. In one episode, he saved three other G. I. Joes by throwing a well-aimed snowball. In another, he convinced military authorities fighting against a Cobra operation in the Gulf of Mexico to use conventional, rather than nuclear weapons.

DA G. I. Joe known as Clutch was an infantry figure with a specialty in transportation. In one G. I. Joe Marvel Comics adventure, he and two other G. I. Joe characters are sent to track down a Nazi war criminal who is hiding in Brazil, where they meet up with an Israeli Mossad team on the same mission.

EG. I. Joe was prepared for release in Israel, with such characters as Uzi Ari, Samson, David Ha-Gadol, and Moshe D, a one-eyed soldier. The characters were produced and packaged under the name Tzahal Joe (Tzahal being the Hebrew acronym for Israel Defense Forces) and had been shipped to stores for sale. However, in an interview on Israeli television, the head of marketing who was promoting the new toys inadvertently referred to the product line by the code name that had been used internally–G. I. Shmo–and the resulting outcry led the product to be pulled from the shelves.

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