G.I.Joe was first introduced in the spring of 1982 with a television commercial for Marvel Comics' G.I.Joe #1. This was the first time that a comic book had ever been advertised on television. It was the first G.I.Joe project that Sunbow Animation undertook - and it would be the first of many.
Not only was the animation used to sell Marvel's G.I.Joe #1 comic book, but the footage would later be re-used in G.I.Joe toy commercials. The animation for every comic book commercial would eventually be re-used in a toy commercial.
Comic Book Summary
Immediately following the commercial for G.I.Joe #1 was the first commercial for the G.I.Joe toys. This commercial begins with some of the animation from the G.I.Joe comic book commercial, then introduces the first nine G.I.Joe action figures.
It ends with the animation of a hammer slamming the Hasbro logo into stone. This graphic was used with nearly all G.I.Joe toy commercials from 1982 through 1985.
FLAK, RAM, Breaker
This commercial introduces the FLAK Attack Cannon and the Rapid Fire Motorcycle (RAM). The character featured prominently is Breaker.
G.I.Joe vs Cobra (with RAM, VAMP)
This commercial seems to exist to introduce the battle between G.I.Joe and Cobra. It uses two vehicles that were profiled in other commercials - the Rapid Fire Motorcycle (RAM) and Attack Vehicle (VAMP).
G.I.Joe/Cobra Battle Game
Hasbro ran this commercial to promote the G.I.Joe/Cobra Battle Game. The game involved two playsets that fired little foam missles into the air - the objective was to knock out the playset of the other player.
Introducing Cobra Commander
This commercial was made in late 1982 and even may have been in early 1983. It introduces Cobra Commander - who was first available late in 1982 as a mail-in figure, then released in stores in 1983. In addition, the figure has "swivel arm battle grip" - which wasn't available on figures until 1983.
The commercial also is the first appearance of the Silver Pads Grand Slam with the JUMP jet pack.
Commercial courtesy of Ron Austin.
The Legend of G.I.Joe
This commercial uses clips from the other 1982 series commercials to introduce you to the "Legend of G.I.Joe". Note that the "Legend of G.I.Joe" slogan is used on the cover of the 1982 G.I.Joe catalog.
VAMP, HAL, MMS
This commercial ran later in 1982 - and may not have even begun appearing on television until 1983. This commercial focused on the Attack Vehicle (VAMP), HAL, MMS, and the Rapid Fire Motorcycle (RAM).
G.I.Joe Motorized Battle Tank (MOBAT)
This commercial ran later in 1982; there is evidence indicating this aired by September. Commercial courtesy of Ron Austin.
G.I.Joe Motorized Battle Tank (MOBAT), version 2
This commercial features more live action footage of the kids playing with the MOBAT, but no animation.
Marvel Comics G.I.Joe #5
This animated television commercial prominently featured the MOBAT tank. The animation was re-used in several toy ads in 1982 and 1983.