The problem isn't inflation though. IT's shipping costs, delays (delays cost them money in terms of penalty fees and loss of revenue from not having out to release on time), material prices going up and fuel prices going up. PLUS worker costs going up (and factories being created, maybe).
Every one of these matter a hundred times more than inflation.>>9881767
GI Joe was always protrayed as slightly sci fi and i think going too sci-fi-ish actually turns people off, since people are inspired by real world conflicts. Sales dipped slightly at the end of the GI Joe vs Cobra line when they added the furries and robots. Pursuit of Cobra was pretty much perfect, since despite some futuristic designs, the weapons they were using were very much grounded. People like shit they can recognize, because they know what it can do.
This is something where media is very important, because only after watching/playing it, do they know how to paly with it. If Halo was just a toyline without a video game, movies, and books, it'd probably have existed as a single season toyline like so many forgotten 80s and 90s toys. It's just generic sci fi with sci fi guns designs that blend into one another but because of the games, people are arguing over the merits of whether the battle rifle is better than assault rifle.
GI Joe itself was a hit, without any media in the 60s. The revamp in the 80s was also a hit, although it did have a niche media tie in with the comics, before the cartoon came out. There's a bunch of other popular military lines in the 80s, like the Corps. In the 00s, there was a fairly large market of articulated army toys by BBi, Unimax, and serveral others. All of these toylines had a slight sci fi theme, but most of them were just grounded, using known weapons and vehicles.