April 27, 2004


"Armed with guns, tanks and military helicopters, Action Man represented plucky British soldiering to a generation of boys," reports The Guardian. Not any more he doesn’t:

Industry experts accuse manufacturer Hasbro of ignoring children's wishes in a politically correct quest to move Action Man away from gung-ho fighting in the wake of the 11 September attacks.

Marcello Rossi, manager of Toymaster in Bournemouth, said: 'Our customers want the old Action Man. Kids want to play out battles. We get them in the shop saying: "I want a helicopter, I want a tank."'

Ronnie Dungan, editor of Toy News magazine, added: 'When I was a kid he was in Second World War regalia and a fighting man. Now he's in cycling shorts.'

Yikes! Sounds like Action Man has morphed into Kerry Person.

Posted by Tim Blair at April 27, 2004 12:43 AM

A related trend was yesterday's news that an increasing number of Sydney NRL players wax their legs for aesthetic reasons! (Can't find a link - SMH I think).

When I was a boy [pathetic intro I know], Crusher Cleal, Eric Grothe, Authur Beatson and co. would have regarded this as a bona fide reason to drop - if not, drop-KICK - such a smoothy from the team.

Same phenomenon? Are Action Man and Rugby Man being slowly turned into Metrosexual Kerry Persons?

Mother of Mercy...

Posted by: CurrencyLad at April 27, 2004 at 01:58 AM

Don't worry, there are still plenty of violent action figures out there for the l'il scamps to find. I know this guy can whup all the improbably-equipped and totally nonviolent Rescue Heroes at once.

Posted by: Matt in Denver at April 27, 2004 at 02:20 AM

"Action Man"? Is this the same doll that's marketed in the US as "GI Joe"?

Posted by: nofixedabode at April 27, 2004 at 10:05 AM

I think I remember Action Man being in the US as well, but he probably didn't rate shelf space next to GI Joe.

Posted by: Sortelli at April 27, 2004 at 10:14 AM

Action man was copied off GI Joe, and kicked all sorts of ass as a toy. The one my grandmother gave me came in SAS counterterror kit, complete with gas mask, flash hood, webbing, H&k MP5 and sidearm. Also had WWII british outfits, desert sniped, german (love to see them try and sell one of them nowadays..) red devil paratrooper etc etc.

If i ever have a son, i will never buy him the bright orange crap they label as action man nowadays..

Posted by: attila at April 27, 2004 at 01:40 PM

I couldn't agree more about the demise of Action Man.

Posted by: JohnJo at April 27, 2004 at 06:49 PM

Anyone reading this thread should go to JohnJo's post, and then to the amazon ad he links to.

Action Man is riding a f_cking dolphin. That is a travesty. The review provided on the site borders on parody:

"Now almost unrecognisable from his earlier gung-ho incarnation, Marine Mission Action Man shows that tough guys care about defending Planet Earth too. He measures approximately 29 cm (12 inches) high. Action Man is all ready for an oceanic assignment, dressed in a one-piece green sleeveless wetsuit with fluorescent orange flashes down each side, which fastens with Velcro down the back for those all-important quick changes."

aaaaarrrrrggggh. The old action man got round in a jeep, helicopter or foot. He did not ride a f&%^ing sea going mammal!!

Posted by: attila at April 27, 2004 at 07:48 PM

You can't remove the scuba suit!?! What a crap doll. At least Barbie comes with different outfits.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at April 27, 2004 at 08:14 PM

You can't remove the scuba suit!?! What a crap doll.

You should see the way the tosser swims.

Posted by: JohnJo at April 27, 2004 at 09:08 PM