Thursday 26 January 2012


In the early 1980s, US TV bigwigs had strict rules about using animation to promote toys.  The boffins were concerned that young consumers would be misled into believing the toys were more impressive than they really were by the cunning use of cartoons.

Hasbro's Marketing brains-trust spotted a devious way to circumvent the rules: bankroll TV spots for Marvel's G.I. JOE comics which, conveniently, just happened to feature the very same toys that Hasbro wanted to promote.  But - because the commercials were for the comics and most definitely NOT the toys - the rules didn't apply. As sneaky as Serpentor!

And it gave Marvel a best-seller (on newsstands, in grocery stores and by subscription although it failed to make the same impact in comic book stores)!

This is a handy compilation of all the Marvel spots, beginning with issue 1:

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