Action Figures

Action Figures

What??? A boy playing with a doll??? Are you insane? These weren't dolls, they were 'Action Figures'. There's a big difference . . . Dolls are for girls, action figures are for boys, okay? Action Jackson Action Man Big Jim Bionic Woman Bonanza action figures Captain Action Colorform Aliens Evel Knievel G.I. Joe Six Million Dollar(...)

Action Jackson

The Mego company got its start as an importer of toys and household novelties but in the early 1970s, they began production on an action figure that was meant as a low-cost alternative to the incredibly popular G.I. Joe. This first doll’s name was Fighting Yank, and when the Yank didn’t do so well, Mego(...)

Action Man

Action Man was another product from America, where he was launched under the name GI Joe by Hasbro in 1964. The backlash against the Vietnam War at the end of the decade led to that character being discontinued. The 1/6th scale Action Man "doll" hit the stores in 1966 (manufactured under license by Palitoy) and(...)

Big Jim

Big Jim was a poor cousin of GI Joe, so kids could still afford him on a newspaper delivery boy's salary. The 9.1/2 inch Jim had a button in his back that, when you pressed it, made his arm karate chop. He also had very well crafted thigh muscles. Multiple accessories included the Big Jim Ambulance, Big(...)

Billy Blastoff

He may not have looked as space-ready as Major Matt Mason, but don't let Billy Blastoff's cherubic little face fool you. This kid packed the skills and the power for some serious interstellar action. With a battery-powered jet pack on his back, Billy Blastoff was all juiced up and ready to activate the many electric(...)

Bionic Woman

The Bionic Woman was a spin-off of another bionic-themed prime time hit, The Six Million Dollar Man. In the dramatic opening credits of the show, Jaime Sommers paraded her newly acquired bionics while sporting a track top, jeans, and white sneakers. It figures, then, that Kenner’s original 1976 Bionic Woman doll was outfitted in the(...)

Bonanza Action Figures

Life was good at the Ponderosa Ranch in the mid-60's. Bonanza was the most-watched program in the USA, the Nevada mountains were still pristine and beautiful, and Little Joe was still a handsome little heartbreaker. And somewhere up in the mountains (or a company boardroom - we always get our legends confused) somebody looked around the(...)

Captain Action

With a change of clothes and mask, Captain Action could alter his identity into some of the mightiest heroes on the planet. The basic 1966 Captain Action figure came with a form-fitting captain's outfit, a sword, and a ray gun, making Captain Action ready to fight both ancient Romans and futuristic aliens. Alone, the Captain(...)

Colorform Aliens

In 1968, the Colorform company made a bold attempt at cracking the action figure market with a set of seven bendable rubber "Outer Space Men," each named after a different planet in Earth's solar system. Although the toy line was not initially successful, the innovative and fantastical design made lasting impressions on those children who(...)

Evel Knievel toys

Ideal Toys, the major manufacturer of Evel Knievel toys, got their start in the Knievel business in 1972 when they released the first Evel Knievel action figures. These six-inch figures were made of plastic except for the head, which was made of vinyl, and came dressed in Knievel’s trademark American flag-adorned white jumpsuit and white(...)

G.I. Joe

The G.I. Joe story began in 1963 when a marketing man approached the Hasbro toy company with the idea of creating a poseable soldier to promote a television show called The Lieutenant. Although the company didn't take the deal, they decided to create a soldier-based action figure anyway. Designers at Hasbro developed a 12-inch figure whose(...)

Lone Ranger action figures

Gabriel Toys introduced the Lone Ranger toyline in 1973, creating a vast array of action figures, horses, and playsets based on the successful radio, movie and television character. The heart of the line was its six-person series of action figures, each 9" tall with a fully articulated plastic body. On the side of good, there(...)

Major Matt Mason

"Mattel’s Man in Space!" Space exploration was the dream of many a young mind in the late 1960s, and Major Matt Mason helped bring some of those fantasies to life (or at least to make-believe life) with his assortment of pals, vehicles, and other cool space stuff. The spaceman himself was an action figure in(...)

Mego Super Heroes

Starting in 1972, the cream of the crop from DC and Marvel comics worlds joined Mego’s 8" range of poseable, clothed action figures. The original four figures were all DC characters - Superman, Batman, Robin, and Aquaman - but their Marvel super pals soon followed. Over the next two years, Mego added Spider-Man, Captain America, The(...)


In 1977, Martin Abrams of the Mego toy corporation was in Japan negotiating with a company called Takara for the right to produce a version of a toy called Microman in the United States. Busy with the negotiations, Abrams turned down the merchandising rights to a little science fiction film from 20th Century Fox called(...)

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