Fighting Yank also predated the 8 inch line as Mego's first original product. Unfortunately, unknown to the company in NY, the Hong Kong factory they contracted to produce a "knockoff of GI Joe" literally duplicated parts of the original. The duplication included the trademark "backwards" Joe thumb and Mego was forced to settle with Hasbro out of court.
See John Michlig's GI Joe The Complete Story of America's Man of Action, for more. GREAT book! Two backwards thumbs up!