Here is something I'm pondering:
Is the O-ring truely necessary anymore?
The o-ring has basically been a hallmark of 3.75" GI Joe since its inception in 1982. At the time, it allowed a significant amount of articulation in the figure while still being fairly cheap.
It was copied for dozens of other lines during the eighties.
But, by this point, is it really necessary? When Hasbro brought Joe back in 2002 with tcrotches, most fans reacted rather negatively, and it was understandable as some of Joe's impressive articulation was lost (the range of hip motion). Hasbro did change them back to o-ring, but did they need to?
Look at these two Star Wars figures:
Clone Trooper (number 41)
AT TE Gunner
Between the two of them, they have all of Joe's articulation covered plus some.
So, is a GI Joe still a GI Joe without their o-ring?