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.

3 comments

  • It’s really a nice nod, yeah. I love the ’91 tracker figure but didn’t care for the DDP story arc where both Tracker and Action Man were revealed to be the same guy, only to be killed off in the same issue! I’m still hoping for Larry Hama to introduce Tracker in the regular IDW series which uses the classic continuity.

  • This figure isn’t bad…except he cost us the chance to get the awesome Night Force Tracker figure instead. The fact that this mold was never used again after this release was also odd. We saw most of the Funskool molds used multiple times, but not Tracker. Too bad as this mold deserves at least one solid repaint.

    At least you could get NF Trackers from Asia for a while….

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