G.I. Joe is a popular toy and cartoon franchise that is still relevant today. Throughout the years, beginning in 1964 with G.I. Joe’s: America’s Moveable Fighting Man, Hasbro has produced and sold millions of these military action figures. The main line of toys, Government Issue Joe, received its name from the military acronym used to describe soldiers, air men and more U.S. Military members.
Some of these figures can be sold in mint condition for hundreds, even thousands of dollars. Originally sold for just under two dollars, these figurines can be traded for some real money; they might be hiding in your attic!
10 1982 Rock ‘n Roll – $300
Even though his name in the cartoon was Craig S. McConnel, the nicknamed Rock ‘n Roll action figure was originally sold for $1.98 but now can be sold for a darn good price if found sealed in its box. Because the figurine was redesigned and resold in 1989, the original (made in 1982 to 1988) is the most valuable version. The biggest differences between the two versions include a physical redesign a slight name change from Rock ‘n Roll to Rock & Roll. The name change was not permanent.
9 1982 Bazooka Soldier – $349
1982 was a big year for G.I. Joe as most of the action figures on this list were released then. Hasbro and G.I. Joe worked together to come up with over 500 different action figures. This one, the Bazooka Soldier, was one from the “A Real American Hero” line; a very popular line in the 80s. What makes it special, though is the fact that in 1982 the first version of the Bazooka Soldier was released with straight arms. The figure was relaunched later with bendable arms; making the original a rare find.
8 1986 Scarlett – $395
As the first female figurine in the “A Real American Hero”, Scarlet was originally sold for just under two dollars. Just like the Bazooka Soldier, Scarlet was one of the straight-armed G.I. Joes that were remade later for the convenience of the collector. Adding accessories would be more difficult when the action figures did not have bendable arms. Since most of the soldiers came with accessories and an owner could go out and buy extras, straight arms were inconvenient. However, straight arms are what makes them valuable!
7 1984 Storm Shadow – $499
Shadow Storm is a figurine that was released as a part of the third series of the G.I. Joe cartoon. Released in 1984, Storm Shadow came with many different accessories including a backpack, bow, katana, nunchuks and even more.
Unfortunately, this fan favorite was discontinued just three years later in 1987. It may have been upsetting for those who didn’t get a chance to buy their own, but it does have quite the mark up for those who were lucky enough to get one before it was discontinued.
6 1982 Duke – $749
Another one of the famous figurines from the 1982 “A Real American Hero” line, the Duke action figure was one of the straight-armed figures from this year. Not only was he redesigned with bending arms the next year, but he was also released as a companion to the third series of the G.I. Joe cartoon. Unlike most of the other G.I. Joe action figures on this list, new versions of him were released in later years, including ’84, ’88, ’92, ’93, and ’05. Since he was so popular, the releases kept coming.
5 Shadow Destro – $843
In the cartoon and his biographical information card, Destro’s full name is James McCullen Destro and even made the cover of a G.I. Joe comic in 1986. First released as a figurine in 1983 as a part of the second series, Destro was released with a silver vacuum-metalized head. This is the most valuable version. A second version of the figurine was release in 1988, this time with a gold vacuum-metalized head instead due to his alliance with the Iron Grenadiers in the comics. If Destro is found in his box, he’s a gold mine!
4 1984 Firefly – $999
The 1984 Firefly action figure was release in the mid 80s as a companion to the third series of the G.I. Joe cartoon. Even though his real name is not known, Firefly is a ninja and an avid saboteur. He was discontinued domestically in 1986, but did have remodels in later years, including an accessory-absent version that came with another figurine in 2004. When found in his box, Firefly can go for almost $1000. Even if you find Firefly in good condition, but out of the box, you may get $100 to $200.
3 1983 Cobra Commander – $1,299
Unlike Firefly, Cobra Commander’s value goes down to almost nil if he is found outside of the box. The price drops all the way down to a range of $30 to $50! Although, if found in the box with all accessories and his file card (biography) he is worth almost $1300. Just like many of the other G.I. Joes on this list, there is a distinct marker that confirms if Cobra Commander is an original. On his helmet, Cobra Commander has an official sigil, nicknamed “Mickey Mouse." Keep an eye out!
2 1982 Snake Eyes – $1999
Another expensive toy from the “A Real American Hero” line. Snake Eyes, also produced as Snake-Eyes, is an original and very popular character in the G.I. Joe universe. As a special operations soldier, Snake Eyes’ real name, place of birth and most personal information is “classified” on his file. Even though he had a different shaped head than most characters, he could still use many of the same accessories other characters could. What makes the figurine so valuable is, once again, the straightened arms. There were only 16 made of this kind!
1 1963 Rocky “Prototype” – $200,000
Quite a jump in price from the other action figures, but we figured we would go all out for number 1 on this list! Rocky was the very first G.I. Joe action figure to ever be made. He was technically a prototype, and there were very little made and distributed. Rocky was also the build that the rest of the G.I. Joe franchise was based on. He had 21 moving parts, integrated for pictures, poses and more. When a toy is as old and as expensive as this, though, you wouldn’t want to do anything other than look at it!