The Hasbro Action Man: 40th Anniversary
is a reproduction of the early period (1960s to 1970s) British Action Man
figure as collectors set
40th Anniversary reproductions; 2006-
In 2006, Hasbro authorised the reproduction of the original 60s-70s Action Man under the "Nostaglic Collection" banner. In a departure from normal retailing, the sets are not sold through general release; there is only one authorised retail agent in the UK, and one in the U.S.A
The driving force behind the development of this line is Alan Hall, the writer of three Action Man collector's guides. To date, a wide range of figures and outfit sets have been produced in a format identical to the original, the packaging in a manner similar to the G.I. Joe40th Anniversary reproductions of 2003-2005. The figure is a mostly faithful reproduction of the original, with the exception of the feet, which are the larger GI Joe variety. The body is held together in the same manner as the original, with rivets, wire hooks and elastic, with the precise details slightly varied. The figure is available in permutations of painted head/hard hand, flocked hair/hard hand, and flocked hair/flex hands depending on the set.
The clothing and accessory items are all faithful reproductions of the original Palitoy items, down to the feel of the fabric used and the vinyl/plastics of most components; the boots are a flexible vinyl, in comparison with the hard plastic used for the GI Joe 40th reproduction boots. With the exception of the 1st issue releases, the clothing does not have the AMshirtTagEarly.JPG.
The first releases of the line were identical copies of the original, including all copyright and country of origin markings. Hoever this was a copyright issue, and some packs had decals applied over. The newer releases all state "Hasbro © 2006 Used with permission reproduction pack". "Palitoy Regd" was also dropped from all Action Man logo graphics (see example box detail below), as this was also identical to the original issue. The large outer packaging has come in two variants to date; one with a large Union Jack
background, the other with the wood grain typically associated with 60s Action Man and GI Joe.
The following are examples that illustrate the close reproduction values of the new body; one can also see the stress crack from a 40th body too tightly strung. The hands have a heavy wrist ridge that was uncommon on Action Man, with the exception of some very early issue figures, and bodies imported via Hasbro Canada to cover demands unmet by Palitoy production capacities
As with GI Joe's 40th anniversary releases, the sets have been released in "waves" of 4. The first wave consisted of Tank Commander, Chelsea
Footballer, Frogman and LifeGuards
, each with the appropriate basic boxed Action Man. Wave two covered the Argyll and Sutherland Highlander
, Cricketeer, Deep Sea Diver and Green Beret outfits. Wave three covered the French Foreign Legion, German Stromtrooper, Mountaineer and Royal Horse Guards (Blues) outfits. Wave four covered the Army Medic (US), 17th/21st Lancer
, Astronaut (US), and British Parachute Regiment
outfits. Wave five will cover the Australian Jungle Fighter, Manchester United Footballer, Olympic Champion and Royal Marine
Combat outfits. Wave six will cover Adventurer's Base Camp, British InfantryMan, Polar Explorer and Soccer Player oufits. The various waves are interspersed with figures of all the 60s-70s variants; painted head/hard hand, flocked hair/hard hand, and flocked hair/flex hands.ceremonials
In some regards these sets are ideal, since they provide the option of owning a close reproduction of the original highly regarded Ceremonials . However, some details of the uniform sets are dissatisfying to collectors, for example this detail of a Life Guards Helmet:
The original shown is hardly in mint condition, but one can see a greater clarity of detail in the cross and the laurels.
Note and references
- Leicestershire County Council
- United States Patent and Trademark Office
- Michlig, J. (1998) "G.I. Joe; The Complete Story of America's Favorite Man of Action" (ISBN 0-8118-1822-5)
- Baird, F. (1993) "Action Man - The Gold Medal Doll for Boys 1966-1984" (ISBN 1-872727-36-0)
- Hall, A. (1998) "Action Man - the ultimate collectors guide" Vol.1 (ISBN 1-901706-141)
- Hall, A. (1999) "Action Man - the ultimate collectors guide" Vol.2 (ISBN 1-901706-29X)
- King, K. (2000) "Action Man - the real story 1966-1996" (ISBN 0-9538870-0-6)
- Le Vexier, E.; Gavigniaux, H. trans.(2004) "Action Joe - The Story of the French GI Joe" (ISBN 2-915239-21-5
- Action Man HQ - focusing on the "vintage" 1966-1984 figures
- Geyperman - page on the Hasbro-authorized Spanish version
- - UK based collecting club for 12" dolls