Ron A. Rudat, former Senior Product Designer, was responsible for creating some of the most iconic characters that exist in the G.I.Joe: Real American Hero line. Characters such as Snake Eyes, Storm Shadow, Duke, and Cobra Commander exist because of his creativity and passion for creating a line of action figures that continues to live on today.
In 1971, after graduating Vespar George School of Art, Ron started his career at Hasbro as an illustrator after being recruited by Hasbro’s Art Director, Mr. Jerry Pilkinton. In 1978, Ron moved to the Research and Design department as a Designer and in 1980 he became part of the G.I.Joe: A Real American Hero brand team. He worked on the Real American Hero line until 1987 and later created some figures in the mid 1990s.
Ron’s responsibilities extended beyond just designing figures. He was also responsible in designing weapons, accessories, vehicles, and logos for the G.I.Joe brand. Some of his most recognizable logos include the eagle logo on the Skystriker XP-14F Jet as well as the Cobra logo which can be seen throughout the new G.I.Joe movies!
Like many other people who worked on the brand, Ron’s likeness was sculpted into the character Leatherneck. Larry Hama also used a form of his name for the character Dusty, Ronald A. Tadur (his last name is an anagram of “Rudat”).
What were some of your favorite moments working on G.I. Joe?
"I guess some of my favorite moments working on the GI Joe line was going on field trips to see what actual military vehicles looked like. Camp Andrews on Cape Cod had quite a few vehicles that we got to go into and also ride in. Also going to Nativk Army Labs in Newton Ma to see what the military was doing as far as uniforms and equipment! Or going to Quanset Naval base with Greg Berdneston to go on an aircraft carrier ."
What is your greatest accomplishment with the G.I. Joe line?
Who is your favorite figure? Why?
"This is a hard one? I guess it would be our fans and how much enjoyment we gave so many kids growing up. Inspiring them to go into the military, law Enforcement, and collecting toys they had when they were younger."
"I get this all the time and my answer is I love them all equally! But as of late I have been collecting an Army of V1 Vipers 1986 and 2006."
In your opinion, what characteristics made the G.I. Joe brand team successful?
Who is your favorite vehicle/playset? Why?
"It was team work by a lot of designers, we considered ourselves a family of designers who had the same purpose of designing something that gave a lot of children the imagination and joy that would follow them as adults."
"OMG there are several and I can’t just choose one. The designers at Hasbro designed some of the best vehicles ever! But of my designs I would choose the Moray, a very sleek design I got inspiration from the TV show 'Miami Vice' and the Cigarette boats in that series."