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Stanley Weston Passes Away

GI_Joe_Logo copyStanley Weston, the inventor of the G.I. Joe toy action figure, died on May 1 in Los Angeles at the age of 84.

Weston was born in Brooklyn, New York on April 1, 1933. He attended Jamaica High School in Queens and New York University before entering the army shortly after the end of the Korean War.

Upon his discharge from the army, he returned to New York City with his wife Ellen to work for the advertising agency, McCann Erickson, and also enrolled at night to complete his MBA at New York University. He discovered the licensing and merchandising industry and left McCann to start Weston Merchandising, where he initially represented such properties as Dr. Kildaire, Soupy Sales, Twiggy, and How the West Was Won.

When Barbie dolls came out in 1960, Stan noticed that boys were playing with the Ken doll. He decided that there should be an action figure for boys, so he came up with the idea for a military action figure. He sold the concept that became G.I. Joe to Hasbro in 1963.

Weston’s company, renamed Leisure Concepts, went on to represent Farrah Fawcett during her Charlie’s Angels days, Bruce Jenner after his Olympic wins, the World Wrestling Federation, Nintendo, and numerous TV shows such as Welcome Back Kotter and Alf. Weston also helped create several other toy properties, including Thundercats.

Weston was inducted into the Licensing Industry Hall of Fame in 1989 as part of its inaugural induction class.

Weston is survived by his brother, Jay and his three children, Steve, Cindy, and Brad, and five grandchildren.

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