Palitoy released the first Action Man figures in England in 1966-1969. Even though they were licensed copies of the Hasbro 1964 GI Joe American ‘moveable fighting man’, the GI Joe name was dropped, as it had no meaning in the British Military (or the lucky lads who acquired one of these UK figures).
The first, pre-1970 GI Joe and Action Man figures had a lot in common:
- Soft, molded vinyl painted heads
- Registered trademark scar on cheeks
- Hard hands with trademark inverted thumb
- Painted rivets
- Torso connected by elastic and crimped metal eyelets through passed through rivets in thighs
- Neck post and shoulders connected by elastic and metal hooks.
- Action Man feet varied in size, just like the original G.I. Joe’s. It’s possible for a GI Joe or Action Man figure manufactured before 1970 to have either small (baby) or larger feet.
Even so, there are minor differences:
- Action Man is slightly shorter in stature (similar to the Masterpiece edition), due to a slightly shorter pelvis. The Action Man pelvis also has an additional upper ridge carved above the buttocks.
- Action Man also has slightly shorter limbs.
These reference charts are compiled to help collectors identify GI Joe, Adventure Team and Action Man 1:6 scale figures and accessories. Geff prefers to call them a work in progress, with room for additions, updates and the odd massaging of details. And photos. Lots of lovely photos.