Kenbrite GI Joe / Action Man / Man of Action

Things were getting a little wacky for ole’ GI Joe by 1975. Hasbro USA had ended his military duties in 1970 and enlisted him in the boy scouts as an Adventurer instead of a soldier. His English cousin, Palitoy’s Action Man, had stayed in (increasingly elaborate) uniform but added adventure sets to the line.

Here in Oz we enjoyed Hasbro’s GI Joe (Albeit with Canadian produced bodies for a time) all the way through his military career and into his adventure days. Concurrently Toltoys offered re-badged “Action Man by Palitoy” figures and sets from the early 70’s to 1980-81. Into this mix came Melbourne firm Kenbrite, who in the middle of the 70’s began reproducing the old GI Joe “Soldiers of the World” military outfits and marketing them under the dual banner of GI Joe and Action Man (And even “Man of Action”). Confused? Me too.

I hope to sort out all the timings of these concurrent releases one day, if any of you Aussie Joe / AM collectors have info I’d like to add it here.

Anyway I’m sure you’ve stopped reading by now and have skipped down to the pics, so I’ll shut up now…

Kenbrite Action Man / GI Joe French Foreign Legion set

Kenbrite Action Man / GI Joe German Staff Officer

Kenbrite Man of Action / GI Joe British Infantryman

Note the change from “Action Man” to “Man of Action”, or was it vica versa?

The list of available Kenbrite sets.

Kenbrite GI Joe / Man of Action German Stormtrooper Window Box

Another intriguing piece of the puzzle, a panel from a Hasbro Adventurer Box (Hunt for the White Tiger?) with Kenbrite copyright info. I know, it contradicts stuff I just wrote 10 minutes ago, clearly more to the story here!

Will

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05 2010

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  1. Mark Bedingfield #
    1

    Interesting stuff, Will. GI Joe was marketed by Kenbrite/Hasbro and Action Man was marketed by Toltoys/Palitoy but all were made by Hasbro. The only variation was the Action Man Talking Commander, he may have been made exclusively by Palitoy as he was a late issue blue pants guy. I can check mine to see.

    I’d say that the Land Adventurer just managed to keep its Hasbro logo. Might have been an oversight during box production.

    The Man of Action thing was probably a marketing attempt to lure Joe fans from the Action Man fold. The British infantryman outfit was also packaged as a Action Man frontliner. I remember buying that set 30 years ago.

    Great pics, keep it up.



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