All posts by Director

Dr. X

The evil Dr. X has been Action Man’s arch-enemy since 1997. The following details are from the 1997 Action Man Annual: The Omega Mission.

Real Name: Unknown

Age: Unknown

Barber: Unknown

Known Accomplices: The Skullmen,  School Bullies, Girls.

Known Methods: Theft, Bribery, Corruption, Black-mail, Larceny, Anything. You name it he’s done it!

Reward(s): Too many to list here. Capture Doctor X, dead or alive, and be prepared to be honoured by every nation in the world!

Beware of his left hand. It has been known to fly off at inopportune moments.

Several versions of Dr. X were released over the years, each with different action features.

Action Man

Action Man is our eponymous hero and the centre of the franchise. In the 2000 TV series he was called Alex Mann whilst in A.T.O.M. he was called Axel Manning. The 2016 version of Action Man is called Ian Noble.

During his many adventures Action Man has fought in World War II alongside G.I. Joe and Tom Stone, fought Captain Zargon and his Zargonite space pirates, hunted down The Intruder with the help of Bullet Man, become an extreme sports star and battled the evil Dr. X.

World War II

During World War II Action Man fought alongside the original G.I. Joe during many missions all across the globe. From France and Belgium to Norway to Italy, North Africa and of course Nazi Germany.

Action Man 1995

From the 1990s a new threat appeared in the form of the villanous Dr. X and Action Man was ready to save the world from whatever nefarious schemes Dr. X and his cronies could devise. Knuck, Natalie Poole, Jacques and RAID the dog helped Action Man but as Dr. X’s Council of Doom gained allies a new team was formed to fight against them, a new version of Action Force! This new team consisted of Red Wolf and Flint.

Action Man 2016

Action Man was “a master of all forms of fighting, communication and disguise… a tenth-level Judo black belt, member of Mensa, and a three-star Michelin chef.” However Action Man sacrificed himself to save the world from Dr. X’s doomsday machine hidden beneath the river Thames in London. Ian Noble was one of Action Man’s support crew and was promoted to the role after Action Man’s death. Action Man is also aided by Agents Bryce Chan, Mercy Gale and Terrance Salmons under the control of Director Pauline Bestley. In issue 2 we find out that the previous Action Man was Agent Mike Brogan, a nod to the author of several Action Man novellas in the 1970s.

The Action Man programme was started during the reign of Elizabeth I and previous directors of the programme included Victor Hugo, who coordinated the Action Man Programme’s fight against Emperor Napoleon III whilst Hugo was in exile from France. The Action Man programme was run from Hauteville House in Guernsey during Hugo’s time before moving to the SIS Building in London.

Action Man soon discovers that Dr. X is not dead as was previously believed…

Restoration Guide Part 1: A Hybrid Vintage Action Man

In the first of our restoration guides we’ll focus on cleaning up this sorry looking chap and restoring him to full active duty. This Action Man body is a “hybrid” body type introduced in the 1970s and using the body of a 1960s Action Man and the head and gripping hands of the 1970s “blue pants” Action Man. You can tell it’s a hybrid by the stumpy neck post. Older versions had a longer, tapered, neck post and the “blue pants” action man had a removable neck post.

Action Man restoration project.As you can see the legs are covered in paint and there’s red paint or marker pen all over to simulate blood. The first stage was to carefully chip away as much paint as I could using a scalpel without damaging the underlying body parts. As the paint was fairly thick this was quite easy to do. The next step was a general clean up to remove any dirt and try to shift some of the red pen. I used an old toothbrush and tooth paste (I used Arm and Hammer White and Shine but I think any toothpaste will do although the baking soda in Arm and Hammer may help shift more dirt) and gently scrubbed the whole figure. Rinse and repeat until all the dirt and marks that are going to shift come off. This left a torso that looked like this (click to enlarge):

Action Man body after cleaningAs you can see I’ve shifted most of the dirt and marks and the damage to the torso is clearer to see. There’s a “bullet hole” under the pectoral muscle on the left and several scratches, pin sized holes and scuff marks across the torso and waist. The rest of the body is in reasonably good condition.

Action Man torso damage and scratches

The next step is to fix up the arms. This fellow’s arms were purchased in a job lot on eBay.

Left arm close upI replaced the broken left arm elbow joint with a complete upper left arm. The arms and legs are marked with either L for left or R for right and a number from 1 to 7 depending on the body type the arms are for. These are L7 parts. Using a pair of pliers wrapped in tissue paper to avoid damaging the arm I pulled the broken elbow joint out and pushed the new joint in to place. Once in place I pushed on a new left forearm.

The spare right arm I had needed a bit of cleaning up. I used the same techniques I used for the torso to clean the arm up.

Right arm before cleaning. Right arm after cleaning.
Before After

The wrist pegs simply push in to the wrist and click in place. After adding the arms and attaching some gripping hands that were worse for wear our poor solider looked like this:

Action Man hybrid body with arms restoredI believe technically this body type should have a flocked head with painted eyes but I couldn’t get my hands on one so I attached an Eagle Eyes head instead. The head had also been in the wars but was basically sound and only in need of a little re-flocking. A quick scrub with some toothpaste got the marks off his face.

Eagle Eyes head before cleaning

Once dressed the bald spot on his head cannot be seen and Action Man is beginning to look like his old self again.

Dressed for action!

Now to sort out his hands. As the gripping hands were made of rubber they do dry and perish over time and the fingers are usually the first to go and snap off. It is possible to find vintage gripping hands in good condition but I went with some reproduction hands from a 40th Anniversary Action Man (top in the picture below).

New hands, old handsAs you can see the wrist pegs are slightly thicker on the new hands which caused a bit of a problem when trying to fit them to our hybrid figure’s arms.

New wrist peg will not fit!As you can see the new wrist pegs fill not push all the way in to the old wrist socket and I didn’t want to force the peg in and risk cracking the arm. As we had the old wrist pegs however there was an easy solution; put the new hands on the old wrist pegs. The hands were pulled off the new wrists and slid on to the old peg. You could use a little glue to hold them in place but they sit quite well when just pushed on.

New hand, old wrist!Push the newly assembled wrist back on to the arm and Action Man is back in action!

Back In Action!

Action Man the movie?

The LA Times reports that Action Man owner Hasbro has approached independent production and finance company Emmett/Furla Films to make an Action Man movie. Following on from the success of Transformers 1, 2 and 3 and G.I. Joe and hoping to avoid a repeat of the flop Battleships, Hasbro is expanding it’s movie portfolio with Action Man, Hungry, Hungry Hippos and Monopoly based films.

Action Man is back!

After a three year absence from the shelves Tesco is exclusively releasing a new range of Action Man toys that are hotly tipped to be the biggest selling toy this Christmas. The new Action Man continues the extreme sports theme of the later releases from 2005 and 2006 with prices starting from £5 for the Action Man Global Mission Action Figure, through to larger figures with accessories such as the Action Man Desert MTX (motor-cross bike) which is priced at £20 and includes an Action Man figure and desert MTX model with motor-rev sounds.

The military themed equipment is no more (with the HM Armed Forces toys covering that part of the market) but new Action Man still comes with guns.

David Smith, editor of toy news website ToyTalk, says it’s great to see Action Man back on the shelves. ”Even though he’s now been honourably discharged from the armed forces, he remains an iconic brand and has new battles to fight to protect the environment,” he adds.

Action Man Super Aerofoil

All the figures are currently half price at Tesco Direct and available at larger Tesco Express and Tesco stores.

2003 sees Action Man embarking on his biggest ever mission.

When a mysterious X-shaped island is detected in the Ocean, there’s only one man who can save the world: Action Man! Created by Hasbro, Action Man is back for 2003 with a gripping “Hunt for X” storyline that unfolds in an interactive, year-long TV advertising campaign…

The unidentified island X, equipped with a massive death ray, is just days away from having every major city within its range. When all other attempts to stop it fail, it is up to Action Man, to track down his evil adversary, Dr X, on the island and save the world. Crossing terrains from polar to city, and Jungle to mountain, Action Man is armed with the latest technology and equipment in his search for X.

How will the story end? In December 2003, you decide! Viewers choose an interactive final TV vote to determine the outcome of Action Man’s quest. Follow the story as it unfolds on www.actionman.com

Hasbro’s Top Action Man Figures for 2003 are:

Shouter: A first for the toy market, Action Man Shouter features realistic face-flex technology. Push Action Man’s belt to make him talk, and push harder to see him shout as he changes facial expressions. SRP: £17.99

Final Combat: Bringing to life the final showdown between Action Man and Dr X, this twin-pack includes AM fully equipped with power punch and Dr X with two interchangable arms – one with chainsaw and light effect sparks. SRP: £24.99

Camo Atak: Fully articulated Action Man with camouflage face. Comes with Camo crayons for both Action Man and for the kids. SRP £4.99

Action Man Polar Trapper: Ready for battle in any icy terrain, artic Action Man cunningly aims and fires and infra-red remote control net blaster to capture the enemy. SRP: £19.99

Altitude Atak: Para Action Man, complete with camoflage clothing and parachute, removable helmet, safety gear, gun and landing target. SRP £19.99

Dr X: is back and viler than ever. New tough looking Dr X figure with cyber dreads and arm; Trigger his secret missile fire and reveal his cyber green guts. SRP: £9.99

Raid 4×4: Track down X in this super tough 4×4 open top jeep, complete with Action Man and his trusty Alsatian “Raid” who launches to attack evil enemies. SRP £34.99

Snowboard Extreme: Cool snowboarding AM figure with spiky hair and goatee. Removable snowboard with two firing disks. SRP: £7.99

Samurai Mission: AM as authentically styled samurai master with three wicked moves: Chop, kick and punch. Controller disguised as a sword carry, with removable sword and nunchucks. SRP £9.99

Jungle Adventure: Tough, camoflage Action Man with cool bandana; press his water bottle to fire realistic cross bow, complete with two sticky tipped darts. SRP: £7.99

Dino Mission: AM battle two Prof Gangrene re-generated dinosaurs in Dino Mission, one featuring scary sound effects. SRP: £14.99

Mission Manta: Action Man in a cunning manta disguise. Twin firing missiles shoot from the mysterious Manta’s eyes while AM secretly swims underneath in his tough scuba gear. SRP: £14.99

Street Biker: AM as cool looking street rider with real working bike pedals and missile fire. SRP: £19.99

Base Camp: Set up camp with Action Man using the camoflage tent, which doubles as a cool kids’ backpack. SRP: £14.99

Pyramid Mission: A complete mission in a box, Pyramid Mission comes with removable clothing AM, three snakes, movable spike wall and moveable Prof Gangrene. SSRP: £22.99

Anti-Freeze: Action Man’s latest evil adversary. Anti-Freeze cuts a mean blue figure with an ice body, punk styling and carrying an ice club. His belt buckle can be be pressed to release Anti-Freeze round his body. Pure nastiness. SRP £8.99

Prof Gangrene: The green one is back, and he’s meaner than ever. Press Gangrene’s arm to see his face turn from mere ugly… to gruesome. SRP: £7.99

Roller Extreme: Fully articulated AM complete with shorts, helmet, sword, removable roller blades and moulded in mask. SRP: £4.99

Total Mission: Get Action Man ready for any terrain on his hunt for X. in Total Mission – three ne outfits each with different themes. SRP: £9.99

Mortar Combat: Military Action Man with moulded body, camo trousers and accessories. SRP £9.99

Super Speed Bike: AM Bike and rider with firing missile. SSRP: £24.99

Others Available

  • Action Man vs Dr X Ultimate Battle – SRP £14.99
  • Operation Suba – SRP £4.99
  • Super Speeder – SRP £9.99
  • Super Speeder Kit – SRP £9.99
  • Red Racer – SRP £24.99
  • Combat 20 – SRP £6.99
  • Mission Kits – SRP £1.99
  • Jungle Explorer – SRP £24.99
  • Combat Climber – SRP £9.99
  • Island X Racer – SRP £12.99