G.I. Joe didn't always have a Kung Fu grip, at least not until the 80's, that is. Hasbro started the G.I. Joe toy line in 1964, and the action figures were 12 inches tall (these were known as Action Man in the UK). In 1982, the action figures were shrunk down to about 3.5 inches, and came with a huge line of vehicles and other play sets. An entire back story was created with a 1985 cartoon series where the G.I. Joe team battled the evil Cobra Command using martial arts, weapons, and bombs.
Not only were there were action figures and vehicles, but also comic books, lunch boxes, & so much more. You could even get 80's limited edition figures by mail, such as NFL player the Refrigerator Perry and Sergeant Slaughter. G.I. Joe continued to be popular well into the 2010's and beyond, with new toy versions being released all the time.