In the 1980s Hasbro decided to revamp their G.I. Joe doll-sized action figures to something closer to what we consider an action figure today. G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero (known in the UK as Action Force–I wonder if they still called out “Yo Joe!”?) featured a group consisting of multiple military organizations specially selected to battle the terrorist organization Cobra. The concept was based off of a failed pitch for a modern day Nick Fury and his Howling Commandos comic as Hasbro had gone to Marvel to help flesh out their story, something they would do again with Transformers. Larry Hama would create the comic based on that failed pitch. Marvel also turned the idea into an animated miniseries by partnering with Sunbow Productions. The weekday miniseries was popular enough that two more were made, and then a full series.
Recently Hasbro posted those first three miniseries to one of their YouTube channels. Whether this is because of our current stay at home safety measures or just coincidence I couldn’t tell you. They and the ongoing series are available on other streaming platforms, including ad-supported Tubi, as well as airing on Discovery Family in the early mornings as of this post. The playlist features all three miniseries in a long playlist, five episodes per story, for a total of fifteen episodes and a few hundred plus hours. To make it a bit easier I tried posting from that playlist but posting the first episode of each miniseries, so you can just watch one miniseries at a time or marathon the whole thing. When that failed I made my own playlists for each miniseries so you can just watch one at a time. However, you can’t do that anymore with kids-related content on YouTube, which is not only unnecessary to meet their mishandling of COPPA but is damn annoying! So all I can do is post the one playlist to watch the whole thing straight through. You bingers out there should like that. If you want to watch an episode at a time here is a direct link to the playlist. Watch as you will. I like options, which YouTube decided to lessen because they don’t know what the #@#$ they’re doing. Enjoy just the same!
Since I can at least link to the right episode in the playlist, the three miniseries are:
- A Real American Hero (aka The M.A.S.S. Device): Cobra creates a teleporting cannon. Can the Joes build their own using special rare elements and without their leader, Duke?
- The Revenge Of Cobra: Now Cobra breaks out the Weather Dominator, a machine that can control the weather. I guess they decided to stop complaining about the weather and did something about it.
- The Pyramid Of Darkness: Taking control of a G.I. Joe space station, Cobra uses it to set up a “pyramid” around half the world and cutting off all electricity. I think this was the first five episodes of the ongoing series but it’s been years, I was a casual fan at best, and the internet isn’t always as helpful as I’d like.
The channel doesn’t include “Arise, Serpentor, Arise!”, the last miniseries but that was the start of season two of the series. The full series are up on Tubi with ads. They do have the first miniseries and some other incarnations of the franchise as well.