Stanley Weston, inventor of the G.I. Joe action figure, passed away on May 1. He is survived by his brother, Jay, and three children, Steve, Cindy (Jake) and Brad (Lori), as well as five grandchildren.
Upon his discharge from the army, Weston returned to New York City with his wife to work for the advertising agency McCann Erickson. Afterward, he left McCann to start Weston Merchandising (which was later renamed to Leisure Concepts) and initially represented properties such as Dr. Kildaire, Soupy Sales, Twiggy and How the West was Won.
When Barbie dolls came out in 1960, Weston decided there should be an action figure for boys and came up with the idea for a military action figure. He sold the G.I. Joe concept to Hasbro in 1963, which went one to become one of the most successful toy properties in history.
Weston also helped create several other properties including the ‘80s hit “Thundercats.”
Weston is considered to be one of the founding fathers of the licensing industry and was inducted into the Licensing Industry Hall of Fame in 1989 as part of the inaugural induction class. In subsequent years, names such as Walt Disney, George Lucas and Steve Spielberg became fellow inductees.