Thursday, 8 December 2022

MEN OF ACTION (WELL, TWO OUT OF THREE AIN'T BAD)...

ACTION MAN copyright HASBRO

Above are three Action Man figures, the one on the left from 2018, the middle one from 2016, and the one on the right from 2022.  The lefthand figure is often referred to as the T-Rex Action Man because of his stunted arms, and to be honest, despite my previous protestations that AM is not a doll, because of this figure's severely limited points of articulation, it is actually nothing more than that.  The elbows, waist, wrists and ankles don't move, the head doesn't go up or down, and although internal joints in the knees allow the legs to bend, it's only by around a few millimetres, so the joints are rendered useless for all practical purposes.

The middle figure is the same as the classic 1966 version, though incorporates the flocked hair and gripping hands of '70s AM (which were first introduced by Palitoy, not Hasbro), making it a composite of the best of the '60s and '70s.  One flaw I've found is that the legs don't stay in position when raised in a kicking gesture (perhaps the elastic isn't tight enough), but as this incarnation is made for adult collectors and not for children (the box actually declares this), it perhaps doesn't much matter.  Why did I buy a footballer?  It was the only version in stock in the shop from which I purchased it a few years back.

The righthand figure is the latest Action Man available, being released only in October of this year.  It's claimed that it has 30 points of articulation, but I can't see as many as that.  Depending on how you count, it seems to have only between 20-25, but the arms and legs are far more poseable than any previous version.  What lets it down slightly is that the head can't really be posed looking up or down beyond a millimetre or two either way (so no sharpshooter posing), and despite having two joints in the torso, the waist doesn't move much up or down either.

However, it's a great-looking toy display item manufactured by Art + Science (under license from Hasbro), but I'm unsure as to whether they're still active as the item isn't listed on their site, and, despite having a 'contact' option, nor do they appear to respond to any enquiries.  I had to buy the newest figure through an online shopping site (Booghe), and it was sent in a box an inch shorter than AM's box, which resulted in some damage to it, though the figure was unscathed.  I'm currently awaiting a replacement box which will hopefully be in pristine condition.

Anyway, just thought I'd let you know that ol' Action Man is still alive and well in the 21st century.

11 comments:

Rip Jagger said...

I grew up with G.I. Joe, the character which inspired Action Man. I never actually had a Joe, but one of the cheap knockoffs. I remember a hilarious episode of James May's "Man Lab" in which they try to launch Action Man into space. I think they did it.

Kid said...

I was surprised, RJ, to learn that G.I. Joe actually came to an end in the States around 1977. (He was revived later of course, in the '90s, but with different faces and figure.) Our Action Man ended around 1984, though has been revived a few times since then, the third figure in the photo being the latest. I saw the ad for that James May 'experiment', but can't recall whether I saw the actual programme or not. When I was a kid, I used to tie a hankie to my action figures, grip them by the ankles, then hurl them skyward and watch them 'float' to the ground. (Sometimes it was more of a plummet.)

Colin Jones said...

The only action figures I owned were POTA, Star Trek and Space: 1999 (I think) so I never had any Action Man figures but obviously I remember all the TV ads. I also remember a Lone Ranger action figure and I was impressed by his horse because it had articulated joints unlike my sister's Sindy horse which was completely stiff.

Kid said...

I've got Star Trek figures now, CJ, but never had any at the time. Never had any POTA or Space 1999 figures and still don't have any - no plans to change that. I remember the Lone Ranger figures and articulated horse (Silver), but I only had (and still have) the Johnny West Palomino horse (Thunderbolt), which wasn't articulated.

Phil S said...

I had an AM with the parachute. I went to the top of the flats and threw him off . Worked great . Until one time his parachute got tangled . And his leg broke . Oh well.
I did have the German soldier outfit and the British Tommy. I found the little historical blurbs with the packets and inserts very informative.
One thing I do think was purposely overlooked was the war crimes committed by the Germans. These were toys for boys and it’s hard to sell a toy when you have to mention the atrocities . But not every war comic or movie is about the Holocaust. Many are just about how men respond in war and you need a bad guy to shoot know what I mean.
Needless to say the Germans lost ( most of the time ) when I played with them. I collected the stars and got a free AM! Of course later on I found out one of the outfits was a collectors item as it was a mail order item only. If I only knew .

Kid said...

Yeah, you'll be right about the German soldier outfits, PS. All kids needed to know back then was that the Nazis were the baddies without going into the detail of it. It's a strange situation having all the action figures that I do and being too old to play with them. It's not fair.

baggsey said...

I think that at one time I had 5 or 6 Action Men (plus one Tommy Gunn), but I think that as I got into comics in the early 1970s, I let myself be persuaded by my Mum to give the collection to our local church for distribution to needy children.
I do have a scattering of remnants (including the hand of the Action Man that broke off in a parachuting accident), plus a very nice condition corrugated cardboard box that the "free" Action Man came in, in exchange for 21 (was it 21?) stars from the accessories packaging. I suspect that the box may be the most valuable Action Man collectible that I retained.

Buddy Hale said...

You're on now, Kid. I explained what reservations I had in my response to your last comment.

Kid said...

Yeah, it was 21 stars for a free Action Man, B. I only had two 2nd-hand Action Men, purchased from a neighbour around 1969 or '70, though my brother had a Tommy Gunn, bought new for Christmas in 1966 and which I later 'inherited'. Didn't buy my first brand-new AM until 1984 and still got it, in pristine condition. I've got several Tommy Gunn figures now, but most of them are from when Zodiac Toys took over production and started making them in cheaper plastic. Got two (I think) original Pedigree ones (definitely got at least one), plus two Pedigree Captain Scarlets, which were just Tommy Gunns with Captain Scarlet heads.

******

Nae bother, BH, answered it a few moments ago.

Colin Jones said...

You've only done one post in the whole of December, Kid, and nothing festive at all so I hope you're planning something suitably Christmassy in the next few days!

Kid said...

No guarantees, alas, CJ. No energy.



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