1966-1969 Palitoy acquired the Licence from Hasbro to distribute their ground breaking Action Figure GI Joe, Gi Joe was released in the US in 64 and was making record sales. Palitoy in their wisdom repackaged the Brand to Action Man thinking it would be more appealing to the UK market, the Success of the newly launched Action Man was unexpected and GI Joe had to be shipped in from Canada and repackaged whilst tooling was completed at the Coalville Factory.  Many of these Canadian Joe’s can still be found today

Here we take a look at some of the outfits and boxed figures available during the 1966-1969 period, the birth of Action Man

 

As always we rank figures and outfits based on mint loose examples but we encourage you to use your own judgement.

Click on any Image to Enlarge

1966 Action Man is born. Palitoy acquired the Licence to distribute GI Joe which was released in 1964, to make GI Joe more appealing to the British market he was repackaged under the brand name Action Man. available in blonde, Auburn, brown and black. This was the beginning of what would change the toy industry forever… The Action Figure was Born

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1966, Action Man Soldier, Basic boxed figure for you to start to build your Action Man Collection, dress him in the host of accessories sold separately. Came equipped with Olive Green Denims, Tall brown Boots, Field Cap, Dog Tag and equipment manual

 

 

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1966, Action Man Sailor, Basic boxed figure for you to start to build your Action Man Collection, dress him in the host of accessories sold separately. Came equipped with Light Blue Denim shirt, Dark Blue Denim Trousers, Tall black Boots, Sailors Cap, Dog Tag and equipment manual

 

 

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1966, Action Man Pilot, Basic boxed figure for you to start to build your Action Man Collection, dress him in the host of accessories sold separately. Came equipped with Orange Coveralls, Tall black Boots, Blue Field Cap, Dog Tag and equipment manual

 

 

 

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1966, Combat Soldier, You could kit your combat soldier out over several accessory cards, the one pictured is equipped with the Combat Field Jacket, M1 Rifle, M1 Bayonet, Cartridge Belt, Hand Grenades, Field Pack, Entrenching Tool. Helmet with netting. finding these items in mint unbroken condition can be a problem.

 

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1966, Action Man Medic, again designed to be built on the basic boxed figure, the Medic was built over two cards: Stretcher, Medic Bag, Arm Bands, Crutch, Hospital Flag, Plasma Bottle, Stethoscope, Splints, Bandages and Helmet. Ours is also equipped with the Combat field Jacket:

 

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1966, Action Man Navy Dress Parade, Built on the Basic Sailor boxed figure, White Truncheon, White Cartridge Belt, M1 Bayonet (same as the soldiers) White M1 Rifle.

 

 

 

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1966, Action Man Frogman, The Navy Frogman outfit is extremely difficult to find due the rubber perishing over time, Outfit Includes: Rubber 2 Piece Wetsuit, Swim Fins (Flippers) Twin Air Tanks, Mask, 3x Dynamite, Knife and Depth Gauge. Many thanks to VAMC Member Paul Armstrong for the use of the photo.

 

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1966, Scramble Pilot, A beautiful set once complete and very highly detailed for a toy of the 1960’s. Set includes: Flight Suit, Life Vest, Parachute Pack, Pistol Belt, Clipboard with Pencil, Flare Gun, Knife, First Aid Kit, Life raft, oar and anchor as an optional extra.

 

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1966, Military Police, Outfit includes: Tunic, Trousers, Tall Brown Boots, White Pistol Belt, Tan Truncheon, Red Bib, MP Arm Band, White MP Helmet, Kitbag.

 

 

 

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1966, Combat Paratrooper, Built over several accessory cards Includes: Camouflage Fatigues, Parachute Pack, Carbine, Helmet, Helmet Netting, Knife, Grenades, Canteen, First Aid Pouch, Pistol Belt.

 

 

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1966, Command Post, Made up from various side cards which look impressive when together, basic soldier fatigues, Weather cape, field radio, coiled wire, map case & Map, Helmet, Helmet netting, belt and Cold 45 with pistol belt.

 

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1967, German Stormtrooper (Soldiers of the Century) This famous range of 6 uniforms from this era are classics and highly sought after by collectors, German Stormtrooper includes: Tunic, Trousers, Jack Boots, Iron Cross Medal, MP40, Belt, Kar98 Cartridge Pouches x2, Potato Masher Grenades x2, Backpack, and Helmet.

 

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1967, French Residence Fighter (Soldiers of the Century) This famous range of 6 uniforms from this era are classics and highly sought after by collectors, French Residence includes: Seater, Jeans, Black Boots, Croix de Guerre Medal, Grease Gun, Shoulder Holster and Revolver, Knife, Grenades, Beret, and Camo Radio.

 

 

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1967, Australian Jungle Fighter (Soldiers of the Century) This famous range of 6 uniforms from this era are classics and highly sought after by collectors, Aussie Jungle Fighter includes: Tunic, Shorts, Socks, Short Brown Boots, Belt, Flame Thrower, Grenades, Entrenching Tool, Knuckle Knife, Machete, Victoria Cross and Bush Hat

 

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1967, British Infantryman (Soldiers of the Century) This famous range of 6 uniforms from this era are classics and highly sought by collectors, Brit Infantry includes: Tunic, Trousers, Lace Up Boots, Victoria Cross Medal, Sten Gun, Belt, Canteen, Gaiters and Helmet.

 

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1967, American Green Beret (Soldiers of the Century) This famous range of 6 uniforms from this era are classics and highly sought after by collectors, Green Beret includes: Jacket, Trousers, Tall Brown Boots, Belt, Pistol, Grenades, Beret, Camo Scarf, Silver Star Medal, M-16 Rifle and Camo Radio

 

 

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1967, Russian Infantryman (Soldiers of the Century) This famous range of 6 uniforms from this era are classics and highly sought after by collectors, Russian Infantryman includes: Jacket, Trousers, Jack Boots, Belt, Binoculars & Case, 2x Anti Tank Grenades, Fur Lined Hat, D.P. Light Machine Gun, Order of Lenin Medal, and Ammo Box

 

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1967, Astronaut, A stunning set especially when paired with the Space Capsule. Outfit Includes: Space Suite, Helmet, Gloves, Material boots, Tether Cord, Oxygen Chest Pack with rear suction cups, Camera and Propellant Gun

 

 

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1967 Deep Sea Diver, One of the most iconic Action Man outfits, Outfit Includes: Diving Suit, Boots with Lead Weights, Belt with Lead Weights, Oxygen Hose with working Compass, Sledge Hammer, Buoy, Knife, Rope, Gloves and Helmet.

 

 

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1968 Armoured Car Commander, Outfit Includes: Helmet, Commanders Leather Jacket, Camo or Green trousers (your choice as trousers were not included with the carded outfit) 30 Cal Machine Gun, Pistol and Belt, Ammo Box, Radio and Tripod. Photo by VAMC Member Mark McKendry

 

 

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1969, Infantry Support,  You can add a heavy Infantry weapons set to your Soldier, Includes: Flack vest with Granades, Working Mortar with three Rounds , M60 Machine Gun, Ammo Box

 

 

 

 

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1969, Jungle Explorer, Another popular outfit that ran the entire range, Outfit Includes: Tropical Jacket, Trousers, Tall Brown Boots, Bush Hat (A Pith helmet was also available on a small card) Orange Scarf, Pistol Belt wit Revolver, Knuckle Knife, Machete and Bag with Hypodermic Darts.

 

 

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1969, Mountaineer, Another famous non military outfit that ran with subtle changes throughout the entire run. Outfit Includes: Anorak (Orange although a rare green one was available on a small side card) Knee breeches, Brown lace Up Boots, Ruck Sack, Ice Hammer, Crampons, Ice Pick, Socks, Pitons, Karabiners, Rope and Suction Cups, The white helmet was available on a side card.

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1968, Talking Commander, 8 Commands by pulling a pull cord Dog Tag on his chest, Outfit includes: Tunic, Trousers, Tall Black Boots, Pistol Belt, Divisional Patches (Stickers)

 

 

 

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1969, Polar Explorer, Outfit Includes: Snow Anorak, Sweater, Trousers, Rug sack, Gloves, Goggles, Skies & Sticks & Sextant… Many sets were made to accompany this outfit including Dog Sledge and Polar Base Camp

 

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