Action Man (2004)
Action Man, the original UK version of GI Joe, made a return to toy aisles as a series of 12 inch figures and accessories in the 90’s. Its revival was an adventure oriented series, and a limited amount of sets were actually release in the US. Instead of military situations and equipment, the new series had more of a James Bond vibe, as Action Man was sent across the globe on missions to thwart the evil Dr. X, a diabolical individual complete with bionic hand and eye.
This vintage style edition of the British super spy came to us in the Toys R Us exclusive Night Force set. While the Joes included in the set were outfitted in a dark digital camo, Action Man differs in that he’s just wearing dark pants and a bright orange shirt. The color of the shirt of course doesn’t fit into a night camo theme, but I guess it was done more to recognize the character’s well known 12 inch figure look. It even has a tampo of the AM symbol on the chest.
The mold used is the Joe character Tracker from 1991, who was certainly an odd looking character for a Joe, as he was outfitted in what looked like sweats and a muscle shirt. The mold actually works well here as Action Man and it’s a good choice to represent his 90’s persona of a super spy who also routinely goes on sporting and outdoors adventures. I would like to have seen a different head mold used, as Action Man in the 90’s was portrayed with chiseled features and a more stylish coif. This head looks rather plain. The only other problem I have with the figure are the camo markings on his skin. It just looks strangely out of place, and more than a little pointless for a guy wearing a bright orange shirt. Overall though, it’s a nice nod to GI Joe’s British cousin, and a welcome addition to the international Joe allies.