Thursday 27 November 2014

GI Joe creator Donald Levine dies aged 86

Published 24/05/2014 | 15:01

BURLINGAME, CA - JUNE 27:  G.I. Joe action figure creator Don Levine signs autographs at the 2003 Hasbro International G.I. Joe Collectors' Convention June 27, 2003 in Burlingame, California. Hundreds of G.I. Joe fans from around the country are attending the convention to buy, sell and trade G.I. Joe and military action figures.  (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
G.I. Joe action figure creator Don Levine signs autographs at the 2003 Hasbro International G.I. Joe Collectors' Convention 2003 (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Donald Levine, the Hasbro executive credited as the father of GI Joe for developing the world's first action figure, has died at the age of 86.

His wife, Nan Levine, said he died of cancer at Home & Hospice Care in Providence, Rhode Island, on Thursday. The couple were about to celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary.

Mr Levine served in the army in Korea and said he got the idea for the moveable figure as a way to honour veterans.

GI Joe was elected into Toy Hall of Fame in 2004, six years after Barbie was enshrined.

Over the decades, GI Joe has spawned comic books, cartoons, two films starring Channing Tatum, and a GI Joe Collector's Club with an annual convention - GIJoeCon - held in Dallas, Texas, in April.

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