Steven Reiss became the Senior Design Director of all Boys Toys in April 1984. His role entailed leading three Directors and their groups of four to five Industrial Designers in the development and prototyping all of the Boys Toy products marketed under the Hasbro and Playskool Brands. With an A.A.S. in Industrial Engineering from the College of Aeronautics, it is not surprising that Steven was responsible in designing the Cobra Raven and the original concept for the G.I. Joe Shuttle Complex, originally labeled as B.L.A.S.T. He also assisted in designing the Terror Drome and Cobra Pogo. Steven will forever be molded in plastic as the figure “Slipstream”, the pilot of the Conquest X-30!
What were some of your favorite moments working on G.I. Joe?
"I really enjoyed the time that I was able to actually participate in the brainstorming for new products at the various price points as well as, naturally, designing some of the products. I was so used to doing orthographic drawings of new products and was surprised that these were not done back then, instead favoring immediate prototype building….very odd for me since the photo stage was usually AFTER an ortho was doing to establish size, etc."
What is your greatest accomplishment with the G.I. Joe line?
"I think I fell in love with the Raven product...from initial sketch to the Marketing presentation art that I did...enjoyed every bit of it…"
Who is your favorite figure? Why?
"That’s easy: Slipstream…..why? GUESS…..need a hint?"
In your opinion, what characteristics made the G.I. Joe brand team successful?
"The Joe team was successful because we were rabid enthusiasts. Me, less than everyone else, because I was more passionate about Star Wars as a brand BUT, having played with may of the Joe products at other toy companies, I grew to be passionate as I spent more and more time in the group."
Who is your favorite vehicle/playset? Why?
"I really liked the Cobra Terror Drome and Shuttle Complex that I conceived and designed…they were far out BUT not TOO far out...lots of play value, I thought, and still good profit for the company…"