The GI Joe A Real American Hero toyline not only captivated fans after its inception nearly 3 decades ago, but as such, has a rich history. It’s not often that we get a glimpse at what went on behind the scenes. While Hasbro and retailers alike tend to focus on present toylines/media tie-ins(and sometimes constant re-invention) as a way to keep the GI Joe brand relevant, it wouldn’t have come this far without major stepping stones in the past. Being that the ARAH line not only lasted 15 years, but also outlasted Kenner‘s Star Wars line, we can objectively say that it was a major stepping stone for the brand.
Earlier this year, HISS Tank boards members Gyre-Viper, Roshan, and Jaimanstone worked on an interview with Bill Merklein, a freelance sculptor who worked on the line, and many others. Questions from the interview were drawn from various board members here, and the interview has been in the works for a long time. It covers the history of the line, the sculpting process for figures, and more! Thanks goes out to the aforementioned boards members who worked on the interview, and those of you who submitted questions. Thanks also goes out to Mr. Merklein for taking the time to shed light on his work and the line that not only breathed new life into GI Joe, but captivated our imaginations during childhood. Without further ado, here’s the interview: