Archive for the ‘Hasbro’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┬áversa?

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!



05 2010

Toltoys Mr Potato Head

Idaho or Tasmania?

The Potato. Or, if you spell like Dan Quayle, Potatoe. Either way you’ve got to admit that it is one hell of a popular vegie. In fact you could say that they are the shrimps of the vegetable world. You can boil them, dice them, fry them, dip them, chip them and crisp them. They are so versatile in fact that it was almost inevitable that one day someone would decide that they would make a great toy. In went some pins (and other small objects) and out came Mr. Potato Head!

The very properly monikered Potato burst on to the seen more than 50 years ago, and according to Potato Heads has been going strong ever since. If you’ve learnt nothing else from me about Toltoys yet (and I suspect that may be the case) it’s that they knew a winner when they saw it. Not long after the Hassenfeld Brothers’ little spud conquered the Land of the Free the very busy Alex Tolmer & Assoc. aka Toltoys had a local version pumping out of South Melbourne to keep all the little spudophiles in Australia as happy as can be. As with many Toltoys licensed items one can only presume that Hasbro sent out some of the original artwork for the box and instructions for our local boys to customise. We added a few roo’s and the little buggers sold like cold beers in the outback!

So when the pig in Toy Story cheers on his buddy Mr. Potato Head with “Way to go, Idaho!” all I could think of was how crap that would sound had the Pixar boys originated down under – “Way to go, Tasmania!”



08 2006