#ThrowbackThursday has GUTS!

…to think there was anything other than G.I. Joe when it came to simulated military play.

In the 1980s, there was always one toyline that dominated a whole category of toys…and a few attempts to cash in on the bigger toyline.

Transformers had GoBots, and G.I. Joe had…GUTS!

What, you’ve never heard of GUTS! before?

Neither have I, but I found out GUTS! while looking through James’s videos.

If it looks like I keep emphasizing GUTS!, it’s only because this is how it looks on the title card…


In 1986, and continuing until 1987 (judging by the tape), Mattel produced their own answer to Hasbro’s G.I. Joe action figure line called GUTS! (exclamation point and all).


They were like G.I. Joe, but without the obvious name recognition of G.I. Joe.  Needless to say, based on how little I can find on them (aside from Figure Realm, which has all the figures and vehicles in the line listed), these obviously didn’t last long.


This is a face of disappointment.  He wanted G.I. Joe.  Someone had GUTS! to buy this instead.

GoBots had the same problem – they came first, then Transformers showed up and kicked their asses into toyline death.  Since 1986-1987 was the height of G.I. Joe awesomeness (the animated feature film was released to video in 1987), it is pretty obvious why GUTS! probably got overshadowed.

I’ll give you a hint – they didn’t have their own series.

Just checked – they never had a cartoon.

That usually sealed the fate of a 1980s toyline – no cartoon.

Also, no Sgt. Slaughter as their spokesperson!


But they had a commercial!  You can click play and see it for yourself…if you have GUTS!

I think the moral of the story here is that the law of diminishing returns can, in fact, apply to toylines.  Except while GoBots are actually remembered, GUTS!…are probably not.

They’ll always be Not G.I. Joe in the sense that GoBots are Those Lesser Transformers.

And they came first!

Oh well.  Flashback Friday will be along tomorrow.  Perhaps it will be more memorable than um…this.


So much disappointment.

Related Posts

I’ve covered original G.I. Joe on this blog before!

On #ThrowbackThursday, GI Joe is There!


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