Daily Illuminator

December 6, 2015: G.I. Joe Case Study At HBR.Org

Many of you who are familiar with my work already know that I enjoy studying the history of the toy industry. For over seven years now I've written about toys at my site, BattleGrip, and I've also written and published a handful of books about various toylines and marketing within the toy industry. All of that should make it no surprise, then, that I bought the HBR G.I. Joe Case Study the moment I knew that the document existed. $14 for a 21-page PDF may feel like a lot to pay, but as soon as I finished working my way through the document I found myself wishing that HBR would publish more studies focused on the marketing of different toylines.

"Billy Lagor, Hasbro's brand manager for G.I. JOE, grinned broadly as he gazed about his office. Every square inch of wall space was covered with shelves that contained G.I. JOE action-figure toys, accessories, vehicles, and other G.I. JOE paraphernalia." 

The document, perfectly written by Gail McGovern, gives us an inside look at the marketing planning behind the G.I. Joe toyline for 2004. The discussion on the history of toys and licensing, a brief overview of Hasbro's history, and a look at how Hasbro transformed G.I. Joe in the eighties (and, arguably, impacted toys and entertainment forever), are all worth $14 if you're as interested in toys and the history of modern toys as I am.

I'd love to see someone tackle a similar study of Steve Jackson Games and Munchkin, if only because getting an expert's thoughts on how we've handled the brand over the last fifteen years would be educational and likely quite entertaining. I'm always available if anyone from HBR wants to talk. Call me.

-- Phil Reed

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