For the second time in a decade, on August 10, Heritage in Dallas will offer for sale the prototype of the original GI Joe figure.
The 12in mock-up, constructed of hand-shaped and shaved plastic,
hand-crafted metal, and hand-sewn fabric, was the vision of Don
Levine, creative director at Hasbro, who flew in the face of
conventional wisdom that said that dolls were expressly made for
Adopting the roles of marine, pilot, sailor, and soldier, GI Joe
became the first male action figure (he was never called a "doll")
- able to hold any pose just as a modern American solider
This prototype GI Joe figure was constructed by Levine's team of
designers, sculptors, and artists in 1964 for Hasbro's famous
in-house presentation to a half-dozen of the company's most
important and prestigious clients - buyers from Woolworths, Sears,
Roebuck and the Associated Merchandising Corporation, among
This piece was originally sold by Heritage from the personal
collection of Don Levine in July 2013.
"There are few more hallowed pop culture artefacts than this,"
said Ed Jaster, executive vice president at Heritage. "Ten years
ago when we sold this piece at Heritage it realized slightly over
$200,000, which we believe it may bring or exceed again. To help
make sure that it finds a new steward, however, we've joined with
the consignor and placed what we feel is a conservative $125,000
estimate on it."