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.