5. A whole new battlefield
With G.I. Joe surging in popularity, other companies naturally wanted a piece of the action.
Marvel launched a line of comics which saw the Joes battling Cobra in 1982, though the phrase has been used in comic books since 1942.
Joe proved to be a huge comics smash - it has been produced almost constantly from 1977 until the present day, with three separate publishers holding the rights and four series spawning from the toys.
Marvel's tales of the Joes fighting Cobra introduced a load of characters, including the likes of Duke, Storm Shadow and Scarlett.
Naturally, that lead to a TV spin-off, with Marvel and Sunbow Productions launching the first 'toon miniseries G.I. Joe A Real American Hero in 1983.
It was quickly followed by G.I. Joe: The Revenge Of Cobra in 1984. Both series featured startlingly similar plots, based around the heroes being sent to retrieve objects from around the world to stop Cobra building a weapon.
The exotic locales naturally allowed all the soldiers to show off their various skills and accessories.
The proper, syndicated show began airing in 1985, which featured one of the most iconic (and these days, heavily spoofed) elements of G.I. Joe's history - the PSAs for kids at the end, which always featured a moral lesson with the tag "...And knowing is half the battle" (see above).
So remember kids - always tell the truth!
The show lasted a couple of seasons before it was cancelled, then DIC productions picked up the license for its own two-season run in 1990.
A cinematic 'toon version of G.I. Joe was planned for release, but the movie suffered production delays and ended up being ready after Transformers: The Movie and My Little Pony had already launched - and bombed - in cinemas.
Figuring that audiences weren't ready for Joe on the big screen, the movie was dumped to DVD in 1987.
But that wasn't the end of the Joes' campaign in cinemas...
Next: Tactical cinema