In 1964, The 12 Inch GI Joe was created by Hasbro which did the launch of the product. Then in 1965 a black GI Joe figure was introduced in the select markets across the world. Stan Weston was the original creator of this action figure as he was an opportunity for success after the Barbie doll was released some time before that. you can read a full review of black major cobra troopers here.
Beginning in 1977, the 12 Inch GI Joe was then scaled down to 8 and a half inches. By then the Super Joe was released that would be the battle between good and evil to the stars. This figure did not last very long at all. In fact it ended only a year later in 1978.
Looking back at the history of the GI Joes, there have been a lot of modifications and different figures that have come out of the GI Joe family. Just last year in 2007, it marked the 25th anniversary of the “Real American Hero” line. Hasbro released a new sculpted 3 and ¾’ figure based on the best known figures. There were improvements done to the wrist and joints for better moving parts.
Finally, the Sigma 6 was introduced from 2005 to 2007 which was scaled down to 8 inches in size. This was a totally new character to the GI Joe family and even had a television series released produced by a Japan animation studio.
The 12 inch GI Joe has definitely been a sought action figure because it is no longer being made and was retired many years ago. If you do own this action figure, it may be worth some money depending on the type of condition that it is in.