Flickr photo/Jay Malone

Barbie was already the doll of choice in America when it dawned on Stanley Weston that young boys — more interested in weaponry and combat than fashion and glamour, he figured — ought to have an equal.

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Task & Purpose photo illustration by Matt Battaglia

For those who grew up playing with G.I. Joes, one thing was immediately clear: Our action figures were a hell of a lot more badass than Barbie’s kerchief-wearing counterpart, Ken.

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