Remember that one day when you could wake up without an alarm? When you would get your favorite bowl of cereal and sit between the hours of 8 and 12? This is a blog dedicated to the greatest time of our childhood: Saturday mornings. The television programs you watched, the memories attached to them, and maybe introducing you to something you didn't realize existed. Updated every weekend.
G.I. Joe has
been produced by Hasbro fairly
consistently since its debut as 12” action figures in 1964. However, the
anti-war sentiment caused by the Vietnam War led Hasbro to divert away from the
toys’ military origins into more action-oriented professions;
like an astronaut or a super hero. Inspired by the success of Kenner’s 3.75”
Star Wars figures, Hasbro wanted
to revive G.I. Joe in a similar
format. But, this time they wanted their line to have some story behind it and
make it more interesting to consumers. Hasbro partnered with Marvel Comics and brought to life the G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero line. The figures were prominently
featured as fully-realized characters in the book, and Hasbro could use
advertisements for the books to subvert restrictions in toy advertising on
In 1985, Marvel Productions,
who had already been supplying the animation for the ads, brought American Hero into a fully-realized
animated series. Ralston
acquired the license to the franchise and made G.I. Joe Action Stars Cereal to coincide with the debut of the
series. Action Stars was a descriptive name, as the cereal was, in fact, shaped
like the star in the Joe logo.'
Starduster, Gung-Ho, Duke and Shipwreck boxes.
The cereal was released in two waves. Released in
mid-1985, the first wave featured three different characters on the box: Gung-Ho, Duke and Shipwreck.
Although the cereal was the same, the back of
each box featured a description of a character-specific mission and
featured a cut-out and assemble object relative to the mission. Each box also
featured a mail-away form for a camouflage t-shirt.
In the winter of 1985, the second wave was released
featuring three new boxes with Quick-Kick, Flint and Starduster.
While the mission cards remained, the cut-out was removed in favor of a mail-away
offer for a Starduster
action figure. Starduster was a Joe who was a jetpack expert, and before
the release of the cereal no one had ever heard of him before. That’s because
Starduster was created exclusively for Ralston as the potential mascot for the
cereal. The only time Starduster was ever animated was in the commercial for
the cereal, and he was only featured in the three mini-comics
that told his origin included in random boxes. However, shortly after this wave
was released the cereal ended production and was off shelves by early
The Flint and Starduster boxes.
Starduster never appeared in any of the cartoons or
comics. In 1988, he was made available as part of a mail-in offer from Hasbro Direct.
There were three variants before the figure was discontinued in 1989. The
character returned with heavy modifications in 2007, and the name “Skyduster”
in 2008, before one final version was released in 2009.