Blow Pipe Action Man

Blow Pipe Action ManIt’s a rarity when worlds collide like this. I can’t think of many figures that combine wonderfully designed trousers with an amazing action feature.

The combination of features and look of Blow Pipe Action Man makes for quite the toyetic twelve inch package. He manages to transcend his mere plastic origins and takes on a mystical quality that few toys have achieved. Okay, maybe I’m engaging in too much hyperbole, but it sure looks like a fun action packed figure. The closest I can think of in features is the forgotten 70s classic Pulsar, which featured a visible pulmonary and blood circulation system built into his chest. Kids could press a button on his back to activate his “vital systems.” Groovy. Fast-forward 20 years, and Hasbro has children blowing into a tube on the back of an action figure, making tiny darts fly across the room. Dare I say it? Extreme!

Action Man was quite the world traveler in the 90s, both conceptually and as a product. Originally GI Joe’s cousin from across the pond in the 60s, he was imported into the US for a few years in the 90s. At a time when GI Joe was making a return to toy shelves, Action Man returned as more of an adventurer. He was a martial artist, astronaut and a diver, to name but a few. As the years wore on, things took a turn for the truly unusual.

Witness Blow Pipe Action Man. Clad only in bright Action Man Orange stripey shorts, he dares his nemesis, Dr. X,  to challenge him in the realm of fabulous fashion battles. He’s even streaked his hair to coordinate. AM was certainly ahead of his time in the annals of male hair coloring history. Maybe it was all just a ploy to infuriate the bald baddie.

The blow pipe feature is quite an interesting concept. Someday, I’ll get up the gumption to open the package and try it out. When I do, I’ll have to remember follow the packaging’s recommendation to rinse after use. Now that’s an instruction you don’t see very often on…uh…non-adult toys.

Blow Pipe Action Man

Blow Pipe Action Man

Blow Pipe Action Man

Blow Pipe Action Man


  • This definately has a late 1960s-1970s kind of look to it, like from the Jonny Quest/Space Ghost/Birdman era of cartoons (though the 1970s put the kibosh on action-adventure cartoons). I noticed they spelled the German instructions correctly. There’s one word there they wouldn’t want to misspell…

    And I just wanted to say congratulations on the Royals making the World Series! Of all 8 postseason teams, they played the most interesting baseball.

  • Spelling is crucial in toy packaging. Say a toy features a “flicker” action. If that “l” and “i” should get too close…

    I love how they still gave him the scar.

    This is one figure I wouldn’t buy loose, though. That line about rinsing doesn’t quite “wash” nicely.

  • I actually just watched four episodes of the cartoon tie-in. Boy the voice acting was hammy in some places…

  • From what in i recall, Action man was pretty big here from ’96-97. It seemed to do well as a Brand until Pokemon came out a year or so later.
    My borther had lots of Action man stuff. He used to take the “scuba” one with him everywehere.

  • My favourites were always the James Bond Action Man figures. Now that was a good collision of worlds.

  • Do you have Tuning-Fork Kano for him to battle? Nice pants, but the hair coloring is so 1990 Vanilla Ice.

  • Oddly, this iteration of Action Man didn’t see mass retail release in the UK! It was part of a range using reused, recoloured parts from previous AM lines that was sold exclusively at Tesco, a giant Food Retail Chain in the UK, a bit like Walmart in that sense….I think it was around 2002 these came out….I’ve only ever seen old ones online, like this, never in shops. I don’t really shop at Tesco anyhow…

    This was the 2004 version: ‘Jungle Dart Action Man’….

    I never saw this one in UK shops either. I’ve noticed that Action Man was being sold in Mexico of all places around 2003 – 5, so this may have been part of that range…

    (Dunno why I still comment on your site Rob, you never really seem to respond….)

    • Correction, Rob’s figure came AFTER the 2004 ‘Jungle Dart Action Man’ I’v pictured. It came out in 2007, part of an exclusive line Tesco sold around Christmas time that year….it seems Hasbro was still keen to internationalise the brand, hence it being available in the US / Mexico and Canada…ridiculous, given that Hasbro UK won’t market G.I.JOE in the UK anymore…

    • I know, I don’t reply as much as I’d like to. It boils down to being really busy, honestly. I appreciate the comments and conversations that develop here at JAD. Thanks!

  • Prior to even those two versions, the figure originally came out in 1999 / 2000 as ‘Jungle Dart Action Man’, he came boxed and then blister carded in the UK in multi-lingual packaging, his face / head was an earlier version….

    Blister carded:

    This blog kindly shows you the two types of Jungle Dart doll,

    the actual toy pictured, shows the later head sculpt, luckily, the box back, shows the original 1999 style first issue of a blow pipe blowing Action Man….

    This shows the face, he had a moulded green bandana and green jungle camo paint on him, his shorts have jagged, ripped ends, more fitting methought. He has those rubbery jointed legs like a Barbie doll with hidden knee articulation and no ankle joints. This pic shows yet another packaging variation, small coffin box, face on, tri-lingual. I never saw that in the UK even, only the blister carded, posed type predominantly.

    This is a US / CA version that came boxed. (I expect it also came blister carded too at some point). The head is a later version, different to the original release as was in 1999:

    • Wow, thanks for finding more info on the variations. I’ve seen the Jungle Dart version on eBay a few times.

      I actually found mine at least year’s Lanard warehouse sale. Isn’t that odd? There were a couple other Action Man figs scattered about as well, one of which I believe was a capture net type.

  • Annnnd my comments are now being moderated….thanks Rob….not.

    • No worries, your previous comment was moderated automatically. It’s a wordpress settting. Any comments with more than one hyperlink automatically go to moderation. Just an anti-spam measure.

      Thanks for your comments!

      • Thanks Rob 🙂 I was amazed to see all these variants when I started Googling. Some don’t make sense, some use the first issue 1999 type design, with a later style head (Hasbro had a habit of changing the head design nearly every year or so…). Its a shame they couldn’t make the arms more articulated…I wouldn’t mind one myself now, either like yours or the 2004 version. Where did you buy this Rob?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.