The 1997 G.I. Joe Classic Collection will salute two groups of unsung heroes in military history: women and African-Americans. Both have made significant contributions to the United States Armed Forces and will be hinired as part of a stellar collection of G.I. Joe figures. Although women are not actively engaged in combat, they do occupy a variety of military positions -- everything from drill sergeant to military intelligence analyst to medevac. Female helicopter pilots, like the one featured in this year's collection, must transport the wounded off the battlefield, often flying into dangerous territory. African-Americans weren't always welcomed to serve in battle, either. WWII was the first time African-American received nationwide recognition for their achievements. In the 1940s at the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama, there was a group of African-American fighter pilots who made extraordinary contributions during the war. Hasbro Toy Group is introducing two figures portraying Tuskegee pilots in realistic gear.

Whether representing soldiers from the past or modern military forces, Hasbro Toy Group has assembled figures sure to pique collectors' interest. These 12-inch figures have fully articulated bodies, authentic gear and accessories.

Lets meet the 1997 armed forces:

Modern Forces Assortment -- (Approximate Retail Price Per Figure: $24.99) These seven figures are highly detailed and wear military gear for their positions.

US Army Helicopter Pilot         Belgium Para Commando


US Navy Flight Deck Fuel Handler US Marine Corp Sniper

French Foreign Legion Legionnaire US Army M-1 Tank Commander


US Army Drill Sergeant

WWII Forces Assortment -- (Approximate Retail Price Per Figure: $29.99) Three figures make up this nostalgic look at World War II. Each figure wears the authentic gear of a WWII soldier.

Tuskegee Fighter Pilot     Tuskegee B-25 Bomber Pilot

Congressional Medal of Honor

Astronaut Assortment -- (Approximate Retail Price Per Figure: $29.99) Two figures represent important space missions in US history -- the Mercury Program and the Shuttle Columbia

Mercury Astronaut        Space Shuttle Astronaut

Fourth of July Edition -- (Approximate Retail Price: $49.99) This figure commemorates America's annual celebration of freedom.

D-Day Salute

Historical Commanders Assortment -- (Approximate Retail Price Per Figure: $49.99) Two of the most well-known Generals are featured in this assortment. Each figure comes with a display stand.

For more information on GI Joe and other Kenner toys, visit the Hasbro Toy Group web site at