Classic Commercials: G.I. Joe Killer Whale Hovercraft (1984)

Throughout my memories of the mid-’80s, two action figure lines dominated my playtime. Masters of the Universe and G.I. Joe. The cartoon series and the Real American Hero toyline was a powerful combination. I lived and breathed G.I. Joe pretty hard back then. I mean, I still do today, but not nearly like I did back then.

This commercial combines the two pretty well. The animated sequence at the beginning is befitting of its own episode of the cartoon and would make a great commercial by itself. But then you throw in the hovercraft itself, and I was in playtime heaven.

Like most things I salivate over in these old commercials, I never owned the WHALE, nor did I ever get a chance to play with it. So watching the kids in this commercial put it through its paces makes me excited even today. The fact that it actually floats on water is a big drawing point, and watching the depth charges roll off into the water almost sent me over the edge. It was a stellar toy in a line full of them, and yet it still stands apart from the rest because of all its cool features.

And what about that environment they are playing with it in? I wish I had had a place like that to take my Joes back then and fight out the battles between G.I. Joe and Cobra.

About Mickey Yarber 97 Articles
Mickey was born in the '70s, grew up in the '80s, and came of age in the '90s. He is the co-founder of, and the host here at Retro Ramblings, a blog filled with nostalgia. When not here, he's out fighting for truth, justice, and the American way.


  1. I had one of these when I was a kid. In a line full of big toys, I didn’t realize at the time this was considered one of the “big” ones, shy of something like the Flagg or Defiant.

    And yeah, the places these kids played… I always wanted a place to take my toys like that.

    • I went to my cousin Tim’s house a lot to play. He had a cousin from the other side of the family that would come over and play, and he had the hovercraft. But he would never let us touch his stuff. We would just get to watch him play with it. He sucked.

Leave your thoughts on this post...c'mon, I wanna hear what you have to say!