Evidence that you may have been right to keep your Star Wars toys in their original boxes while all your friends chipped the paint on Boba Fett’s jet pack: The original 1964 hand-crafted G.I. Joe prototype is expected to fetch $200,000 at a Dallas auction in August.
The 12-inch-tall figure — constructed of hand-shaped and shaved plastic, hand-sewn fabric, and hand-crafted metal — is one of three rare Joes that will be for sale August 10 at Heritage Auctions in Uptown. It carries a starting bid of $110,000, and it was valued at $200,000 a decade ago when it was first auctioned.
“There are few more hallowed pop culture artifacts that could come up for auction than this,” said Heritage Auctions' Ed Jaster in a statement.
The other two Joes are the prototype for the first Air Force G.I. Joe from 1964 and an early production model Navy Joe from 1967 that can talk. Both are estimated at more than $12,500.
G.I. Joe was the original “action figure” in the mid-’60s after Hasbro introduced the line, believing correctly that young boys would play with dolls if they were marketed correctly.
And as any child of the ’80s remembers, the line received a drastic makeover in 1982, with a Cold War-inspired back story featuring smaller figures with complex set pieces and the evil terrorist organization Cobra Command.
The G.I. Joe brand was inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame in 2004.