September 09, 2017




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 television.

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 1986.

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.

Quick Kick box.



I wish some one would take a good picture of the device cut outs, or scan the box

Mark M said...

I remember the cereal being really good. But I probable just like it because it was G.I Joe...