Here’s an item that’s a little different than the art artifacts I usually show…
…Merrill Hassenfeld’s obituary from The Evening Bulletin, an afternoon edition of the Providence Journal. Hasbro was a family-owned company for three generations, and Merrill represents the middle of that. He had no direct interaction with A Real American Hero and the 1980s iteration of G.I. Joe, but he approved the original, 1963 Joe. Merrill’s son Stephen learned much from his father while climbing the ranks at Hasbro, and Stephen was president of the company (and heavily involved in A Real American Hero’s development) when G.I. Joe was re-introduced in 1983. Authors John Michlig and G. Wayne Miller both paint interesting portraits of Merrill Hassenfeld in their books GI Joe: The Complete Story of America’s Favorite Man of Action and Toy Wars, and if I could be a time-traveling fly on a wall, I might go to Mr. Hassenfeld’s office circa 1970.
One response to “Merrill Hassenfeld Obituary, 1979”
That’s an important piece of history you unearthed there. I have a copy of Toy Wars which does detail Stephen’s involvement and enthusiasm for the A Real American Hero relaunch which he oversaw. Sadly, Stephen passed away just ten years after his father, leaving his brother Alan as the last Hassenfeld to guide the G.I. Joe brand from the 1990’s on to his own departure from the company.
Now I need to get John Michlig’s book to read his account of Merrill’s time at Hasbro.