What do you do when everybody and their brother is knocking you off with Fighting Yanks and Mr. Action's? Create your own, of course!
That's what Hasbro did in 1975 with "The Defenders" a lower cost (cheap) blow molded doll whose outfits and accessories relied heavily on existing Joe molds..
While Joe himself was delving into science fiction and adventure, the Defenders were strictly army guys (which most knock offs were as well) so as not completely threaten the brand. I'm not sure it worked but we did get some neat toys out of the deal..