Each of the four G.I. JOE D-DAY COLLECTION figures memorializes a compelling tale of courage and heroism. Prominent in the line is the G.I. JOE Ernie Pyle figure. The figure celebrates the work of the famed WWII correspondent who was known for writing powerful stories from the frontline about the common soldier -- the regular G.I. His warm, friendly style captured war's human side.
The rest of the collection features the OMAHA ARMY INFANTRY, the backbone of the Normandy landing forces that captured both Omaha and Utah Beaches; the British Royal Marine Commandos who quashed the German counterattack, initially breaking through enemy defense so thousands more could safely land; and the Pointe Du Hoc U.S. Army Rangers who spearheaded the assault on Omaha Beach. These figures are currently available in stores nationwide.
"Without the heroes of World War II and D-Day, this world would likely be a very different place," said Derryl DePriest, director of marketing for Hasbro's G.I. JOE brand. "We're honored through this special G.I. JOE figure collection to pay tribute to the brave people who turned the tide of world history starting on that one, remarkable day."
Following is a description of the figures in the collection:
ERNIE PYLE: Ernie Pyle landed in Europe hours after D-Day to file frontline stories about the war's real-life heroes. This famed WWII Army correspondent reported about the lives of the courageous frontline fighters. He was the common soldier's closest friend and also the eyes and ears for millions of readers back home. While other reporters covered broad events, the quiet, unassuming Pyle lived among his subjects: talking with the G.I.s; digging ditches with them; sharing their rations; and diving for cover when enemy planes flew overhead.
"I think it's exciting that Hasbro is memorializing Ernie Pyle, the most famous newspaper columnist from World War II, with a G.I. JOE action figure," said Rick Bray, Ernie Pyle State Historic Site manager. "As a journalist who was most famous writing about the regular G.I.s, this is a wonderfully appropriate honor for Ernie Pyle." The Ernie Pyle State Historic Site is located in Dana, Indiana.
The G.I. JOE ERNIE PYLE figure is outfitted with a field jacket, utility cap, trousers, scarf, boots, and web belt. It also comes equipped with an M1 helmet, goggles, canteen, bench, typewriter, entrenching tool, Pyle's signature "shovel," gas stove, and a reproduction of the reporter's most famous newspaper story, "The Death of Captain Waskow." The figure will retail for approximately $19.99.
Pyle won the 1944 Pulitzer Prize in Journalism for his efforts. His columns were collected into books, one of which became the basis for the movie, The Story of G.I. Joe.
OMAHA BEACH ARMY INFANTRY: The Army infantries formed the backbone of the D-Day landing forces that stormed Normandy's Omaha and Utah Beaches. The United States 1st Army Infantry division, in conjunction with the 11th and 29th Divisions, were assigned to Omaha Beach. The U.S. 4th Infantry Division assaulted Utah beach. Despite a hail of gunfire from the oncoming German forces and numerous casualties, the Allied infantries prevailed, fiercely holding their ground until 34,000 men made it onshore by nightfall to launch a full frontal assault. By the end of the day, the German military force had completely depleted its reserves and the Allies succeeded in securing the entire Normandy beachhead.
There are three different G.I. JOE OMAHA BEACH ARMY INFANTRY "versions," representing the three U.S. Army Divisions that landed at Omaha and Utah Beaches. Each figure is outfitted and equipped with a field jacket, steel pot helmet, shirt, trousers, combat boots with gaiters, automatic rifle, entrenching tool, web belt, canteen, ammo pouches, and assault gas mask bag. It will retail for approximately $19.99.
BRITISH ROYAL MARINE COMMANDO: One of Britain's elite, the British Royal Commandos were assigned the task of taking out German strongholds during the D-Day invasion. Commando Unit No. 48 landed at Normandy's Juno Beach under heavy fire. They lost many lives plus about fifty percent of the tanks that were intended to give them cover. But by the time the Juno Beach assault was over, the Commandos had opened the way for 22,000 men to land on the beach.
Outfitted with a Denison camouflage smock, pants, Commando beret, helmet, boots, and equipped with a machine gun, pistol, web belt, ammo pouches, and a fighting knife with sheath, the British Royal Marine Commando figure retails for approximately $19.99.
POINTE DU HOC U.S. ARMY RANGER: The U.S. Army Rangers also participated in the Omaha Beach assault. The Provisional Ranger Group's mission was to destroy the six German guns that were perched atop the 100-foot cliffs at Pointe du Hoc and that were aimed directly at the Normandy beaches. Despite heavy seas and equipment problems, the Rangers battled their way up the cliffs. Although the guns had been moved, the mission was a success: the Rangers had secured a key observation point and took control of the coastal road, preventing enemy movement and communication.
When they first landed on the beach, their commander General Norman Cota gave them an order that eventually evolved into the Rangers motto: "Rangers lead the way."
The POINTE DU HOC U.S. ARMY RANGER figure is outfitted in a shirt, pants, field jacket, combat boots, and goggles. Equipped for action on the steep Normandy cliff sides, the figure has a weapon and a mortar equipped with grappling hook and rope ladder, a web belt, knife with sheath, helmet with netting, canteen, and more. The figure retails for approximately $29.99.
The G.I. JOE D-DAY COLLECTION is the latest in a series of historically significant G.I. JOE figures, including George Washington, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Buzz Aldrin, General Colin Powell, and John F. Kennedy. Introduced in 1964, G.I. JOE was America's first action figure, and remains synonymous with American heroism.
For more information about G.I. JOE, visit www.gijoe.com. For additional information about the Official G.I. JOE Collector's Club, call (817) 448-9863, or visit www.mastercollector.com.
Hasbro (NYSE:HAS) is a worldwide leader in children's and family leisure time entertainment products and services, including the design, manufacture and marketing of games and toys ranging from traditional to high-tech. Both internationally and in the U.S., its PLAYSKOOL, TONKA, SUPER SOAKER, MILTON BRADLEY, PARKER BROTHERS, TIGER and WIZARDS OF THE COAST brands and products provide the highest quality and most recognizable play experiences in the world.
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