Six, as we affectionately know him, was so much more than an Action Man! The 12-inch tall Kenner toy figure certainly lived up to Lee Major's version of the character in the Six Million Dollar Man TV show.
A red tracksuit was always going to be a dodgy choice of attire for any man trying to be taken seriously, but luckily for Six, there was more than enough to distract us. The most obvious of these was the magnifying lens eye, which in the TV show viewers got to see through from his point of view. Unfortunately, the toy was not quite as advanced and therefore the coloured bar-chart effect was missing, but we could imagine...
The skin on the Six Million Dollar Man's arm could be rolled up for a gorey look inside his limb, which contained all manner of plastic fittings. And let's not forget the bionic grip, which could be kickstarted by pressing the clunky red button on the back of the toy figure. Best of all though, had to be the hole in the back of his head, which you got to peer into. Superb!
If your parents were feeling particularly generous come Christmas time, you might even have been treated to a set of interchangeable limbs for Six. These consisted of a Laser Arm, which shot a red laser out, the Oxygen Supply Arm and a Sonic Neutraliser (no one really knew what that was, though). The Six Million Dollar Man's toy home was the Bionic Transport and Repair station - a thermos-flask like lump of plastic that opened up to reveal a bunch of moc computers which supposedly were for doing all kinds of very important tasks on. So, we usually left Six to it overnight.
Six Million Dollar Man was never lonely for long, though, as all kinds of arch villains were released into the toy market. From Maskatron and his evasive faces to Bionic Bigfoot, a bizarre ape-robot hybrid. There was also an Oscar Goldman figure, complete with an exploding briefcase, much like James Bond's in From Russia With Love. With all this at your disposal, you could recreate selected scenes from your fave TV show.
While the boys played with their Six Million Dollar Man figures, the girls got their own heroine in the shape of a Bionic Woman doll based on the Jamie Sommers TV character (played by Lindsey Wagner in the 80s). Who she was meant to fight off with her purse accessory is anyone's guess. But it must have been tough out there for the little lady, as toymakers deemed it necessary to release her own Bionic Beauty Salon, too. Was that really necessary? Yeah, like a hole in the head.