Sgt. Slaughter (1986 and more)

By Karl Stern (@dragonkingkarl, @wiwcool, karl@dragonkingkarl.com)

Today When It Was Cool is taking a look at the first "celebrity" G.I. Joe action figure- Sgt. Slaughter.  In 1986, Sgt. Slaughter was released packed with the Triple T tank.  The action figure did not come with a weapon or accessory aside from a short baton.  

Sgt. Slaughter with the Triple T tank.  A ridiculous Joe vehicle that put the driver right up in harms way.  Yo Joe!

Sgt. Slaughter with the Triple T tank.  A ridiculous Joe vehicle that put the driver right up in harms way.  Yo Joe!

Sgt. Slaughter was a popular pro wrestler, gaining a great deal of fame in the National Wrestling Alliance Mid-Atlantic area before becoming an even bigger star in the WWF.  However, Sgt. Slaughter (Robert Remus) became embroiled in a merchandise dispute with the WWF and ultimately left the promotion to wrestle for the AWA. This is when he signed a deal with Hasbro to become the real life spokesperson for G.I. Joe and get his own action figure, comic book character, and cartoon personality.  (If you like pro wrestling be sure to visit our Wrestling Zone)

Two G.I. Joe Sgt. Slaughter figures from 1986 (the one on the right is often credited as 1985 version but the triple T tank version was available in more places originally so I always consider the USA version as version 2)  The figures are identical aside from the paint scheme.

Two G.I. Joe Sgt. Slaughter figures from 1986 (the one on the right is often credited as 1985 version but the triple T tank version was available in more places originally so I always consider the USA version as version 2)  The figures are identical aside from the paint scheme.

There were several versions of Sgt. Slaughter released over the years and even different sculpts including one with a removable campaign hat.  The character was very short lived in the comic book series and never played a major role.  Slaughter, however, was a major character in the cartoon series and even the lead character during the DIC era.

Sgt. Slaughter back.  the figure did not come with a backpack.

Sgt. Slaughter back.  the figure did not come with a backpack.

the sgt. slaughter action figure was NOTICEABLY taller and had more muscular arms that any other G.I. Joe figure up to that point.  his campaign hat even added more height to his already elongated frame.

the sgt. slaughter action figure was NOTICEABLY taller and had more muscular arms that any other G.I. Joe figure up to that point.  his campaign hat even added more height to his already elongated frame.

There is a modern sculpt of the figure that was released in 2010 at the san diego comic con.  The paint scheme reflects the USA version.

There is a modern sculpt of the figure that was released in 2010 at the san diego comic con.  The paint scheme reflects the USA version.

currently, sgt. slaughter's likeness is back under the control of the WWE who is licensed to mattel.  the most recent sgt. slaughter action figure from mattel really has a G.I. joe feel to it.

currently, sgt. slaughter's likeness is back under the control of the WWE who is licensed to mattel.  the most recent sgt. slaughter action figure from mattel really has a G.I. joe feel to it.

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