Archive for the ‘Action Man’Category

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

29

05 2010

Kenbrite Australia GI Joe Adventure Team Commercial

Kenbrite GI Joe Adventure Team Commercial

Check out this super cool GI Joe Australian TV spot from the early 1970’s, before colour TV was common in Australia!
The vintage 12 Inch GI Joes were distributed in Australia by Kenbrite, later famed for the Australian release of Playmobil, known here as Pocket People. Interestingly the old store stock Joes I’ve been lucky enough to uncover over the years were more likely to be of Canadian origin than USA, us Commonwealth nations have to stick together you see.
Meanwhile Toltoys were distributing Action Man alongside Joe on the toy shops of the 70’s, confusing the hell out of collectors today trying to sort though vintage part lots containing both!
Cheers,
Will

26

02 2009

Action Man, Masters of the Universe and Hot Wheels 1982

Action Man, Masters of the Universe and Hot Wheels 1982
The next page from the 1982 Waltons Wishbook sees some of the final incarnations of Toltoys Action Man. This late version figure came with eagle eyes and the ability to pose in a sniper position, popular with all budding assassins. That chopper was bloody expensive at $39.99, especially when compared with the Castle Greyskull below at the same price.
The appearance of Masters of the Universe (MOTU) heralded the dawn of a new era in action figure scale, the 5 inch, later to become the standard. I heard somewhere that MOTU was a direct result of the Reagan administration’s overturning of a law that prevented children’s cartoons from being essentially extended toy advertisements. I can imagine that being correct as the toy companies quickly churned out MOTU, Transformers, Thundercats and a bunch more to cash in while the political breeze blew their way.
More 80’s TV classics the Duke’s of Hazzard and CHiPs were represented in toy form too, I believe that Duke’s Barn Buster set is pretty sought after today.
Finally we have Mattel’s 1982 Hot Wheels offerings, including the short lived Scorchers (Pull backs, as opposed to the ‘frictionless’ other cars lol ) and the Redline-era concept ‘Loop and Chute’ set. The Service Centre was another winner for Mattel, that mold was re-liveried time and again and gave great service to the company, bad pun intended.

Right down near the bottom left is a sad remnant of the once great Corgi diecast model company, who admittedly have done well just to make it to 1982 after jumping the shark sometime around 1974.

More pages coming soon…

Cheers,
Will

31

01 2009