Barbie was already the doll of choice in America when it dawned on Stanley Weston that young boys — more interested in weaponry and combat than fashion and glamour, he figured — ought to have an equal.
So G.I. Joe came marching into the toy stores, an action figure that arrived attired in any branch of the service and could be twisted into a variety of ready-for-action poses.
Whether a Marine or an Army soldier, the figures were strikingly similar — white, male and ruddy with the signs of battle already upon them in the form of a pink scar across the cheek.
The toy hit the shelves as America troops were flowing into Vietnam and quickly became a bestseller.