Bidders rally for vintage GI Joe action figures

HARRISBURG, Pa. — With her head turned to the right, as though surveying the medical equipment displayed alongside her in the window box, the nurse in crisp medical whites does not look like the typical combat-ready soldiers normally conjured by the name “GI Joe.” Nonetheless, she was the focus of a battle as bidders competed to win her at Cordier’s April 23 GI Joe Auction at the firm’s headquarters in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

GI Nurse Leads All Lots

GI Nurse in original box

1967 GI Nurse in Original Box, sold for $4,200. (All photos courtesy Cordier Auctions)

The auction featured hundreds of GI Joe action figures, many of them, like the nurse, in the original boxes. All came from the same single-owner collection. The 1967 nurse was the highlight of the auction, hammering down to a bidder online for $4,200. A second nurse without the original box sold for $1,300.

In total, over 400 lots were sold, including a 1969 GI Joe Aquanaut in the original box, which brought $1,400, and a 1966 GI Joe Action Soldier Green Beret, which sold for $1,200. The highest performing items were all from GI Joe’s early days.

GI Joe Embarks On Action Figure Idea

Hasbro introduced the GI Joe line in 1964. In response to the then-commonly held belief that boys should not play with dolls, the company used the term “action figure” in its marketing. The turn of phrase, and the toys themselves, grew to be so iconic that GI Joe was inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame in Rochester, New York, in 2003.

Other high points of the sale included a 1964 GI Joe Action Soldier, one of the first toys of its kind to be marketed specifically to African American children. Mint in the original box, it hammered down for $850.

The sale was held at the company’s Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, auction house, with bidders participating both live and online. Prices quoted above are all hammer prices, exclusive of buyer’s premiums.

Additional Auction Highlights

• 1966 G.I. Joe Fighting Men German Soldier, Mint In Box, $300

GI Joe Action Soldier

1964 GI Joe Action Soldier in Original Box, $850

— 1974 G.I. Joe Adventure Team Land Adventurer, #7280, Kung Fu Grip, in original box, missing insignia. stress cracks to both knees, replacement box lid, $70
• 1966 G.I. Joe Fighting Men Australian Jungle Fighter, #8205, in original box, stress cracks to knees, $200
— 1968 G.I. Joe Action Soldier West Point Cadet in original box, $600
• 1968 G.I. Joe Action Pilot Air Cadet in original box, $475
— 1966 G.I. Joe Fighting Men Russian Infantry Man in original box, $170
• 1967 G.I. Joe Action Sailor Annapolis Cadet outfit, #7624, Mint in Box, $400
— 1966 G.I. Joe Sears Exclusive Mountie Gift Set, #38074, in original box, $550
• 1969 The Adventures of G.I. Joe Secret Agent “The Secret Mission to Spy Island,” #7922, complete, in original box, $375.

Learn more about Cordier Auctions at www.CordierAuction.com.

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