Enter 21st Century which had done an amazing job at the 1/6th scale and was competing directly with Hasbro GI Joe, selling their figures with beautiful box art at all the big box stores at a similar price value.
21st Century took a step in the 1:18 scale with their XTreme Detail (XD) series. The first series consisted of five US soldiers and five German soldiers from WWII. The detail was awesome. Each US soldier had different rank, unit patches and weapons. There was even a Ranger Captain (Tom Hanks from Saving Private Ryan?). The one tough part was the elbow articulation. It was not the traditional swivel arm like GI Joe: A Real American Hero. Regardless, it was an amazing start. The building diorama sets and vehicles were awesome as well. These figures kick started a 1:18 military collector scale for almost a decade.