Action Man

Action Man

Action Man was a multi-jointed action figure who came with a whole range of cool weapons, vehicles and other accessories. The basic figure, first released in Britain in 1966 by Palitoy was officially a licensed version of Hasbro's American G.I Joe for three years, at least up until 1969. G.I Joe wasn't really a competitor in the UK, however, as it went head-to-head against Tommy Gunn, manufactured by Pedigree Toys, the makers of Sindy.

The basic Action Man had a short and fuzzy haircut (real fuzz not painted on) and signalled the first action figure to include a flocked hairpiece rather than a pure plastic paint head. Later on he also had a pair of y-fronts and a pair of "Eagle Eyes" that you could move left and right with a little lever sticking out the back of his head.

Like G.I Joe Action Man also had a prominent scar on his cheek. The first Action Man figures came in three different varieties; Action Soldier, Action Sailor and Action Pilot. All of these different service types were available in four hair colours: Blonde, Red, Brown and Black and were kitted up in full Second World War uniform. All of the early Action Man figures came bundled with a thin steel dogtag similar to G.I Joe.

There were various different incarnations of Action Man, some of the earlier models had rubber hands which perished quite easily and the fingers dropped off. Some had bigger muscles than others, some had scars, some were blonde and some had voiceboxes with a pull string.

You can still get Action Man figures today but they don't bear much resemblance to the early figures.

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Do You Remember Action Man?

Do You Remember Action Man?

  • edinburgh on 2014-07-15 21:01:53
    my dad promised me an action man for christmas,xmas day,i opened my present,opend the box, you promised me an action man,yes got you action man deserter,
  • john01 on 2014-06-12 07:06:15
    happy days,i loved my AM but my mum gavy it all a way about 5years ago,i now have a frend at work whose grand son has a modern version called a peace keeper? this is no longer made,so whe'er all looking for AM pits.i keep being told that its collectable(try and find some)can any one help ie patterns for clothes,equipment etc please let me now,thank you.07748370416.
  • snacks-53 on 2014-03-06 01:01:37
    Action man was a land mark in toy production why? Well three basic reasons 1 He was the first fully mobile jointed figure.2 He was the 1st doll made with only boys in mind boys could call him their own 3 He was cheap you could buy his sets at a pocket money price (Unlike today) If you need a fourth I suppose you could he was a soldier which only boys were interested in. I had loads about fifteen in all and loads of gear now due to shops like Modellers Loft and "E" Bay we can enjoy them again I'am so come on lads join us Snacks-53
  • TheBobMedley on 2013-10-11 11:01:02
    I had the Army one. I had broken the leg of a friends Action Man due to some over exuberance in throwing it in the air. It landed on a concrete path and that was that. My Dad bought a new one for him and I had to have the damaged one as my birthday present. My Dad pointed out that he had had to pay 32 shillings and eleven pence in James Howells in Cardiff, whereas they were thirty two shillings and sixpence up at Jimmy Lendons but were out of stock there when he went in. Bizarrely my 'new' Action Man had huge street credibility among my mates as he now had genuine war injuries. I diligently saved up all the stars on the accessory packs so that I could send off for the tent kit which duly arrived. I sold the action man and kit through the South Wales Echo free kids ads for about five shillings a few years later.
  • Susan Lansdell on 2013-01-04 22:58:48
    I remember Blue Peter showing how to make a jumper for Action Man using an old sock. I think it had to be a clean one...
  • Erik on 2010-10-29 13:15:36
    I remember "Atomic man" too, the company also brought out a weird superhero type sidekick for Action man called "Bulletman" and a gorilla like neanderthal adversary called "The Intruder".I had about 10 Action men and almost all the gear...I wish I was 12 again.I must add I really hate the "new" Action man they sell nowadays.
  • Adam on 2010-10-14 11:28:05
    My action men have all lost their heads and now they are held on their shoulders with blue tac as I have heard it is Quite difficult to re attatch hem Properly Not bad though for 35 Year old examples no baldness and all arms and legs still function cant get rid of my favorite toys. still out on patrol.
  • Dave M on 2010-05-11 23:50:41
    Can you imagine a 2010 talking action man commander...heres what he would say. "Lets all be friends.....", "Thats politically incorrect...." etc etc blah blah!
  • Dave M on 2010-05-11 23:46:55
    I remember Bulletman. It was when action man got kinda silly. Going from real down to earth sabateurs and helicopter pilots and soldiers and stuff to superheroes.....nah! Didn't go for that! Had the Helicopter Pilot and the Soldier (Jim and Neil by the way) along with tanks and stuff, they sure don't make 'em like they did. Kids these days have absolutely no idea :)
  • Dave on 2009-10-02 11:29:30
    My main memory of Action Man is of me dragging my Dad over to the local park to throw my AM up as high as possible dressed in his paratrooper gear to see him "float" (plummet more like) safely back to earth.Happy, happy times!!!!!
  • urtoy on 2009-03-20 14:19:56
    I remember dressing them in desert fatigues, and standing them in front of an electric heater, just to see how they handled the heat. In the end I was left with 2 blobs or rubber at the end of his arms, they looked like pre formed boxing gloves. I think he ended his days, after a bin-bag parachute accident, wrapped around our neighbours phone line.
  • Alan on 2008-10-14 16:58:28
    I hate to admit it but one of mine succumbed to execution by airgun. What other grisly ends did Action Man meet ?
  • James Callan on 2008-10-14 11:55:09
    I don't know why but when I got to my mid teens I can remember building a tower block out of cardboard boxes, about 6 feet high with windows cut out etc and setting light to it with 6 or so action men in. I was the fireman and kind of put the fire out. A few charred and scarred action men spelled the end of my affair with the action figures..
  • Alan on 2008-09-27 22:56:31
    I've still got my talking Action Man. His other command was "Enemy in sight, range one thousand" My favourite was "Mortar attack...dig in"
  • Julian Harris on 2008-05-28 13:22:41
    I had a talking action man, you pulled his dog tag out to one of about 5 black marks on the string and depending which mark, he said a different thing. I can remember a couple. 1) "Action Man patrol... Fall in" 2) "Hold your fire until I get the order" 3) "THIS IS YOUR COMMANDER SPEAKING" (My favourite one for some reason!! 4) "Mortar attack...DIG IN!" 5) "Volunteer needed for special mission" I left it at my cousin's house and they snapped his leg off. I tried to mend it and the voice box came out and that was the end. However, I did see inside, the voice box was a tiny record player with this needle on a tiny see through yellow record. Cool!
  • paul tester on 2008-04-26 10:41:47
    my younger brother had 'atomic man. the eye used to light up and was supposed to be for sending morse code. a copy of the code came in the box. also you could rotate his hand 360 degrees. the coolest action man to get was the diver because he came with a plastic shark in his set
  • eagle eye 361 on 2007-11-15 23:55:35
    I had the bearded AM who I always put as the German for my cool eagle eyed AM to attack...he always lost. Zip lines from your bedroom must have been mandatory!
  • eagle eye 361 on 2007-11-15 23:45:33
    My favorite AM toy was the assault boat with working outboard motor. I still have all my old 70s AM in a starsky & Hutch bag in my cupboard altough the heads have fallen off most of the figures. I used to get a new special operations bag every summer as a treat...does anyone else remember them?
  • david gary gittins on 2007-10-10 15:52:10
    i remember receiving an action man kit bag for xmas 73,inside the draw string bag were several items like rope a pistol,binoculars etc about £3. Had a tom stone action man in 78 as well,which was a coloured soldier,must have been quite rare in its day.
  • lesley09 on 2007-10-07 14:41:34
    how much is a millenium ction man doll worth?
  • Chunko on 2007-07-22 10:03:58
    I remember branching out with the Space Ranger series. The original all-in-one rubber suits were a bleeder to get on, the later cloth ones with over-sized plastic gauntlets were a lot better. Captain Zargon (a kind of undead Darth Vader) and his Zargonite lackeys completed the ensemble.
  • Anonymous on 2006-11-16 14:39:21
    Action Man has to be my most favourite toy of all time!!! I had many action men, the blond haired and bearded adventurer, the dark Haired and dark bearded naval rating and a helicopter pilot, talking Commnader and various soldiers..loved them all, they went on every holiday with me to and every beach had its own mini D Day landings staged! lol.. I remember Atomic Man with the pacemaker, Bullet Man with the silver head and red suit, the intruder and the Capture Copter and the Pursuit Craft..still have quite a few of my old Action men includung the talking commander on dispaly in my toy ever and i still think hes ace at age 38!!!! all the best... Rab ;0) Fife Scotland
  • Anonymous on 2006-07-19 10:34:16
    I used to do the zipline thing too, only me and my brother used to use a coathanger and grip his hands to it. Also had the dingy with the outboard, it was great!
  • Anonymous on 2006-06-18 21:22:18
    I had the dinghy with the outboard motor. Used to take it to the local boating lake and sail him on all sorts of clandestine missions! Battery outboard was great. Always used to set up the zip lines from the bedroom windows and make machine gun bunkers in the flower borders - mum and dad weren't too pleased to find all these bunkers dug in to the garden. Remember the machine gun nest? Inserted batteries and it made real machine gun sounds and the barrel flashed in authentic mode. Had the Red Devil parachute outfit with real working parachute. Used to take it to the 15th floor of the local tower block and watch him skydive all the way to the bottom to my mate. Then it was his turn to be the launcher. Remember you could collect tokens from the packs and if u saved them up you could send off for something for the toy. I got the german sentry box. Had the draw string voice one, the bearded one and the standard blonde one. My young brother got the one with gripping hands when that came out. Very fond memories of this toy, must be one of the all time classics.
  • Anonymous on 2006-04-19 18:18:20
  • Anonymous on 2006-04-13 13:55:38
    My action men always developed bauld patches.. My brothers and myself would rig a string zip line from the bedroom to the end of the garden and send old action man down. Happy days.
  • Anonymous on 2006-03-09 16:27:01
    I was originally given a beardy sailor action man, like one of the other contributors, because I had trendy 70s parents who thought I'd put up with an action man who didn't need m16 assault rifle because he had a handy piece of rope. They were wrong about that, let me tell you. I also had an action man called something like "atomic man", who was like Palitoy's version of Six Million Dollar man. He had a robot arm and a shiny eye. Does anyone else remember him?
  • Anonymous on 2006-03-09 16:25:13
    I was originally given a beardy sailor action man, like one of the other contributors, because I had trendy 70s parents who thought I'd put up with an action man who didn't need m16 assault rifle because he had a handy piece of rope. They were wrong about that, let me tell you. I also had an action man called something like "atomic man", who was like Palitoy's version of Six Million Dollar man. He had a robot arm and a shiny eye. Does anyone else remember him?
  • Anonymous on 2006-01-05 12:45:45
    I got Mighty Neil when I was about 10, he did everything AM did & was about the same size. His "adventures" included being brought up the fields to drive cows ( he'd have died of boredom if we'd lived in a town ) !
  • Anonymous on 2006-01-05 10:49:53
    Hee hee...after gettin' an action man with the painted hair I finally got one with the real brissly hair but it was the sea captain one and he also had a beard!!! I wanted the soldier...I was only 6 at the time!!
  • Anonymous on 2006-01-03 19:43:17
    Action men? They were great had a few diffrent ones, eagle eyes and different colour hair, had a tank, training tower and some kind of dinghy amongst other things. Also my friend got themto marry her sindy doll, not what a primary school aged boy wants to play at!
  • Anonymous on 2005-07-19 08:38:29
    The real action man had a proper range of uniforms. From policemen to soldiers and sailors. They had a colditz set and everything for him. He used to enjoy making love with Sindy and Barbie dolls!!
  • Anonymous on 2005-04-17 08:41:03
    yes they still make Action Man... &
  • Anonymous on 2005-04-01 19:10:04
    Action man? Don't they still sell them? i think my bro(s) had one and i no my cousin had/has a few. i dispised them but i did enjoy melting my cousin's ones heads with a magnafying glass :D My cousin is now 12 and i am 13.
  • Anonymous on 2004-12-02 16:26:36
    I remember it was difficult to find a left and a right boot, and when I did it was a short boot and a long one! Also, on my Action Man Scorpion Tank, the tracks would never stay on!