Released in 1994, as part of the 30th anniversary of G.I. Joe celebration, Joe Colton or GI Joe himself was released via mail in. He came in a box that was a reference to the original 1964 toy of the 12 inch Green Beret.
Fans could get the figure for 5 UPCs and sending $1 to an address and then waiting 6-8 weeks, or send in 20 UPCs and fans would receive a double pack featuring the 4 inch scale Joe and a 12 inch 30th anniversary figure as well.
His accessories weren't the M16 as promised, but a black repaint of the 1992 Gung-Ho M60 and a file card which read:
GI Joe (a.k.a. Joseph B. Colton) graduated in 1960 from the United States Military Academy at West Point, receiving the academy's highest possible honors. An expert marksman, he quickly became proficient with all modern weaponry - from M60 machine guns to attack helicopters and L.A.W.'s (Light Armored Weapons.) Recruited by Special Forces, Colton was destined for military glory, quickly distinguishing himself as an outstanding Green Beret. In 1963, after participating in "ultra" top secret combat operations and extensive tours of duty in trouble spots around the world, 1st Lt. Joseph B. Colton became the most decorated - and most feared - battlefield soldier the world has ever known. Recognizing Colton's innate combat skills and his warrior heart pumping courage through his veins, then President, John F. Kennedy secretly selected him to create an ultimate freedom fighting force. Higher ranking soldiers had been passed over for this elite, presidential appointment. Colton was issued the code name "GI Joe", and began building his team with the toughest men the armed services could muster. From there, GI Joe would change the course of military history and redefine the word hero!
The figure itself is a 3 and 3/4 inch scale replica of the 1964 Green Beret figure. He has all the standard articulation of a GI Joe figure of the era, having a ball jointed head, shoulders, swivel bicep, hips and knees. Other details include a yellow and brown scarf tucked under his BDU shirt. A brown belt that has ammo pouches and silver grenades attached. On his upper thigh is a .45 holster tied to his leg and brown boots.
Following on from the 1960s toy, he actually still retains the scar on his cheek. It's a nice detail and I'm glad Hasbro kept it in and paid tribute to the original figure.
The figure cannot hold the big M60 machine gun that well and it does look completely out of scale with the Joe Colton figure and to be fair, looks like it should belong to a much larger scale figure, probably more akin to 6 inches, rather than 4.
Here's the original figure for comparison. Minus the radio pack, bazooka and M16, the figures are pretty much identical to each other. Hasbro did a great job translating the 12 inch figure into just 4.
Joe himself doesn't go for that much on the secondary market. If you want a nice tribute figure for your collection and let him fit in with the GI Joe team on your shelf, this is the one. He has a very nice WW2-60s look to him that many fans are sure to love.