During the 1980’s, the one and only true doll for boys was Action Man (or G.I. Joe in the US, which was the American version). Somehow calling it a doll doesn’t quite seem right, but I’m not sure what other words you could use to describe it other than “action figure”, but this always conjures up images of Star Wars toys in my mind.
Action Man was a real man. Made of hard sculpted plastic bulging with muscles, most will remember Action Man best for his fuzzy crew cut hair and his gripping hands, which enabled him to hold all kinds of guns, rifles and other armaments. If you were really lucky you would have been given the ultimate version, the Eagle Eye edition, which had a little switch on the back of the head that made the eyes dart back and forth. Amazing how such a simple change made the Eagle Eye version so much more desirable, isn’t it!
The standard Action Man was dressed as a typical army soldier in khaki uniform and giant black boots, but other versions that were available included a diver, a sailor and a tank commander. You could also turn your own Action Man into any of these and more since it was also possible to buy different uniforms and weapons for him separately. Towards the mid 1980’s, when the Action Man I know and love was phased out, there was even a Space Ranger action man dressed like an astronaut, in an attempt to combat Star Wars fever. Unfortunately this didn’t prove enough and the Action Man doll was phased out to be replaced by Action Force, a series of smaller poseable action figures.