Remembering Stanley Weston

Posted by: Erin Ward in Notable Deaths | July 12, 2021

Stanley Weston

Toy Creator, Merchandiser

April 1, 1933 – May 1, 2017

Stanley Weston, the creator of the “G.I. Joe” Action figure has passed away at the age of 84 according to multiple reports.

Weston was most well-known for creating the iconic children’s action figure in 1963.

He was drafted into the army shortly after the end of the Korean War. After his service ended, he noticed a void in the children’s toy market. Despite the mass popularity of Barbie, there was no doll being marketed to boys. Weston sold the idea of G.I. Joe to Hasbro for $100,000 dollars which launched the first line of action figures.

Although he received $100,000 for his creation, Weston never received any royalties from the profits Hasbro made from selling millions of the dolls and related accessories. G.I. Joe became one of the most popular children’s toy lines of all time culminating in the “Real American Hero” animated series in the 1980’s.

After the success of G.I. Joe, Weston founded his licensing company Leisure Concepts which made products for James Bond, Nintendo, and Star Wars. Leisure Concepts went on to achieve additional success by helping create the hit animated series “Thundercats”.

Years after the creation of G.I. Joe, Weston’s son Brad was the President of Production at Paramount Pictures. He helped put the G.I. Joe film franchise into development and production.

Weston is survived by his wife, three sons, and grandchildren.

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