You may have noticed that in our Joe Friday reviews lately, we've started referring to the figures in new terms. There actually is some logic to it, and we're hoping it'll catch on, but best if we explain.
Technically, GI Joe started in 1982, which means its 25th anniversary took place in 2007 - when the 25th Anniversary Collection began. But that was two years ago now, folks. Yes, the fans like to refer to the figures as "TFAC," but that's ridiculous. Even worse, they call the series before these "newsculpt" Joes, which is pretty idiotic now that a newer sculpting style has come along. That's why we're trying to generate some new terminology. Yes, it's taken pretty blatantly from Transformers fandom, but it works.
Generation 1: the classic Joes, which right now are generally known as ARAH - "A Real American Hero." Big melon heads, the same articulation for every figure, all that. The classic line that took the world by storm
Generation 2: these would be everything released in the early '00s. SpyTroops, Valor vs. Venom, Direct to Consumer, etc. There were several different sculpting styles used at the time, but they were all still pretty similar, so these all get lumped in together.
Generation 3: the current "anniversary" line, and probably the movie figures, as well.
The divisions are based on the times when the line took a break before returning to its 3¾" glory. However, the names have more to do with the body construction than when things were released, which means that G1 figures are still being released today. The Oktober Guard, for instance, may have come out in, what, 2006? But they could still be called G1 figures, since they have the O-rings and use G1 molds for their construction.
What we really need for these names to catch on, however, is for you, the GI Joe fans out there, to start using the terms. On message boards, in real life, wherever you talk GI Joe... use these divisions, spread them out, make them grow. It really beats calling something TFAC when the name really doesn't fit.