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Beyond Tampa Bay: G.I. Joe, called the world's first action figure, is turning 50

G.I. Joe is turning 50. The birthday of what's called the world's first action figure is being celebrated this month by collectors and the toymaker that introduced it just before the nation plunged into the quagmire that would become the Vietnam War — a storm it seems to have weathered pretty well. G.I. Joe was introduced by Hasbro at the annual toy fair in New York City in early 1964. Since then, G.I. Joe has undergone many changes. "Joe stood for everything that was meant to be good: fighting evil, doing what's right for people," said Alan Hassenfeld, the 65-year-old former CEO for Pawtucket, R.I.-based Hasbro Inc., whose father, Merrill, oversaw G.I. Joe's development in 1963.

Sony is in talks to sell its troubled personal computer business and Thursday lowered its earnings forecast for the business year ending in March to a $1.08 billion loss. The company also said it's cutting its global workforce by about 3 percent or 5,000 people by the end of March 2015 as it restructures its PC, television and other businesses. That comes on top of the 10,000 job cuts Sony announced over the previous year.

Charles Schwab Corp. said Thursday that it is planning to move about 1,000 jobs out of San Francisco over the next three to five years. The San Francisco-based banking and brokerage company has more than 13,000 employees, including about 2,700 in the bay area. A spokeswoman said no final decision has been made about which jobs will be moved or where they will go, though locations in Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Indiana and Texas are possibilities.

America's large food companies are trying to head off efforts to enact mandatory labeling of genetically modified ingredients by proposing new voluntary labels nationwide. The food industry and farm groups are pushing Congress to pass legislation that would require the Food and Drug Administration to create guidelines for the new labels, which food manufacturers could use. A federal standard for voluntary labels would get food manufacturers off the hook if any U.S. states pass laws requiring mandatory labeling.

THE BOTTOM LINE: Magazine industry auditors say that total average U.S. circulation for 386 magazines fell 1.7 percent in the final six months of the year to 284.9 million. Illinois Tool Works Inc. is selling its packaging division to the Carlysle Group for $3.2 billion and plans to use the money to buy back shares.

Beyond Tampa Bay: G.I. Joe, called the world's first action figure, is turning 50 02/06/14 [Last modified: Thursday, February 6, 2014 8:52pm]
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[SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]

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(AP Photo)
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