On June 15, 1964, The Hasbro Toy Company (Hassenfeld Bros Inc.) filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office to claim their rights to a then, revolutionary action figure described to have twenty-one movable parts. After much success, this action figure came to be widely known as, "G.I. JOE" "America's Movable Fighting Man."
Throughout the process of finalizing Patent US3277602, which came on October 11, 1966, G.I. JOE had five different distinctive figure markings. Depending on the year in which a particular G.I. JOE ran off Hasbro's production line, the markings, which were stamped on the right buttocks of the figure, read differently. This has allowed collectors to gauge the year in which each figure was made, despite the fact that every G.I. JOE was imprinted with the year "1964."
Now lets get down to business! The buttocks identification markings corresponding with the specific production year/years for the vintage G.I. JOE figure are shown below.
1964-1965: TM/R Patent Pending
1966: R/R Patent Pending
1967-1975: R/R with Patent Number
1965-1969: Canada Markings
Early Canada Marking
Later Canada Marking
The above markings are meant to be used as a rule of thumb for identifying the year in which your G.I. JOE was made. Now being able to correctly identify the year of your Joe is one thing, but being able to identify how early/late in that specific year your figure was made, takes more time and experience. We will dive into that specific topic in another post.
Please feel free to comment in the section below if you should have any questions or ideas related to the topic at hand. We are always willing to help fellow collectors find their way in the collecting world! Until next time...Yo Joe!