in 1983, Hasbro made a monumental change in the G.I. Joe toy line. They added swivel arms. It may not seem like much, but for a kid this was huge. It was such a major improvement that all the original line was released with the improved arms. Hasbro also added another group of figures and vehicles.
G.I. Joe added Airborne, Doc, Tripwire, Torpedo, Gung-Ho and my personal favorite Snowjob. Doc was the only one I didn’t care for…a medic toy wasn’t all that fun (until Lifeline came along). Duke was also introduced as a mail-in figure, and I was able to get him pretty soon after he was released.
Cobra added a few more villains as well, but still not a whole lot to get excited about (except Destro). Major Bludd kind of sucked in all honesty. They introduced awesome new swivel arms and then made a character who had a permanently stiff arm!
The vehicles took a huge step up. The Headquarters and Skystriker (with Ace) were major toys. I mean crazy big and expensive. I got the Headquarters for Christmas but never did get the Skystriker.
I always liked Dragonfly (with Wild Bill), Wolverine (with Covergirl), H.I.S.S. (with driver) and Polar Battle Bear.
By Christmas 1983, my G.I. Joe collection had grown pretty significantly. The addition of the Polar Battle Bear and Snowjob was great for a kid in upstate New York who liked to play outside.