What happened to Action Force after 1985?

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paulitoy
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What happened to Action Force after 1985?

Postby paulitoy » 02 Jun 2008 21:03

-

As a kid I started collecting Action Force during the lull of Star Wars toys after The Empire Strikes Back stuff [such as the legendary AT-AT Walker] had died down a bit and before the new stuff for Return of the Jedi hit the shops in 1983.

Hence, I got the cardboard Action Force 'Death Star' and most of the first twelve figures, although not the jungle fighter, or Desert Rat for some reason?

Anyway, in '83 I remember being amazed at all this new-found Ironblood and 4[!] different Action Force 'forces' and my parents showed me that they loved me lots & lots by spoiling me with nearly all the range.

In '85 I remember being shocked as Ironblood turned into Commander Cobblers and the good guys of Z-Force and SAS just gave up and figures went from nice soft Star Warsy plastic to being all 'jointy' like Red Laser and Quarrel.

At this time, I gave up on the AF altogether and got 'into' Transformers [rock-un-roll!!!].

Anyway, my very long-winded point is this:

What was the toy range for Action Force after 1985?

The AF archives stop instantly when Palitoy give up the ghost.

I've seen a toy booklet once that showed stuff like the Skystriker and the Cobra Jeep with lots of 'new' 1986 stuff that I just don't know anything about.

Whenever I've popped over to Andy's [Scoobydie] to raid his spares boxes he's always got lots of post-85 stuff and I really don't know anything about it.

'82 to '85 and I know as much as anyone I reckon. After that I'm a dumbass.

So, I've a couple of questions.

1 - Does anyone have a scan of '86 or '87 UK Action Force toy booklets that they could send me as I'm very curious to see how the range developed.

2 - Baron, is there any intention of adding any of this info to the archive at all?

Not necessarilly in the detail that you cover the Palitoy years, but maybe a couple of toy booklets to show how the ranges developed over the next few years as the US took over?

3 - Were there any great toys [or figures] from the next few years?

Anything to match the mighty SAS Wolverine or the Z Force APC or Enemy Escape Armour?

:doc: :doc: :doc:
Muchos Regardos,

Hoxworth Whipple


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Re: What happened to Action Force after 1985?

Postby The Kraken Wakes » 02 Jun 2008 22:01

Ive got most booklets but my scanner is down at the moment. If you head over to yojoe.com and search the figure archive, most the the 1985 joe / cobra stuff was released at the same time over here by Hasbro along with some 1984 figures with the old swivel heads. After that things got a little mixed and until my scanner is working again maybe someone else can help with the booklet scans. The vehicles were a little more mixed up with only certain things released over here but again the vehicle archive on yojoe.com gives a pretty good indication of what was released and when until you get into the late 80s and early 90s. Ive got a few hundred Hasro figures in my collection compared to about 30 or so original AF (with maybe 20 or so jointed customs on top), something im working on evening out...

I remember being so so upset I couldnt get AF anymore then I was amazed seeing the first wave of jointed figures in the shops. I was won over at the time with the accessories and characters but god knows why i chose Airtight as my first figure?!?!? I soon made up for it with a CG and Eel and I remember sending off for a mail in hooded Cobra Commander (he does exist!!), getting very excited when he arrived only to break his crotch the first morning (wasnt doing anything untoward :-))
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Re: What happened to Action Force after 1985?

Postby The Baron » 02 Jun 2008 23:41

I'm afraid I know as little as you do, paul - I moved on to Zoids when the Red Shadows went tits up. As far as I know they were all GI Joe designs with maybe the odd colour variant, going by the Marvel UK comics.

There was going to be a website dedicated to this era called http://www.gijoeuk.com, but the guy got fed up with spam accounts on the forum and gave up on it. I did e-mail him when the kickass new phpbb3* came along but never had a reply.

I'd be more than happy to host and work on any further archives, but as I say I have no knowledge or experience on the subject.

* which may just be the nail in the coffin for BFTB: http://www.bloodforthebaron.com/phpbb2/ ... =19&t=2077
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Re: What happened to Action Force after 1985?

Postby Goofateer » 03 Jun 2008 19:52

Are you telling me that an American has to set you Brit's right on your own toy line LOL :doc:

For the most part, yes, from 1985 on it was just the American G.I. Joe line. At first it was still called "Action Force." Then it became "G.I. Joe: the Action Force" around '87 I think, and finally just "G.I. Joe" around '89. Generally the European line lagged behind the American line by 1 year. So an American figure released in '86 might not hit Europe until '87.

I'm not real clear on the dates, because of course, I wasn't there when it happened. And it's hard to tell exactly from the packages. From what I can tell the success of Star Wars prompted Palitoy to apply the same marketing to Action Man, which of course lead to the first wave of "soldiers of the world" type Action Force figures. [You have to remember that Palitoy held the distribution rights for both Star Wars and Action Man. While in the US Kenner had Star Wars, and Hasbro had G.I. Joe, so cross over wasn't an option.] This seems to have happened in late 1981, prior to Hasbro's release of "G.I. Joe: a Real American Hero" in 1982. They apparently sold very well and the second smaller wave got pumped out pretty quickly without any real marketing of it's own. Then sometime in '82 the SAS. Z-Force, Red Shadows ect. hit the market. Each had some element of G.I. Joe included in their line up and repainted. Then by 1984 Europe began to get straight G.I. Joe figures on Palitoy Action Force cards. Your first wave of American figures included figures from our 1982, and 1983 line, but not every single one as far as I know.

I think Hasbro had officially bought Palitoy in 1984. And the 1984 line was more of a transition to liquidate old Palitoy stock. I believe it was at this point you would have started to see the liquidation 3-packs showing up at Woolworths. If only more of you had thought to keep those packaged ;) I'm sure this was also the point when you started to see such oddities as Palitoy Action Force figures packaged with random Star Wars, and G.I. Joe accessories, or even packaged on the wrong card backs.

Then in 1985 Hasbro really started to exert it's influence. The packaging converted over to the American style, while retaining the Action Force name. From that point on, most of the American toy line was released in Europe, with only the occasional exception.

The main difference from this point on is that Europe got the occasional exclusive. It might have been just to get rid of stock that they decided wouldn't sell that well in the US? It might have been because certain parts of the line sold better in the UK? It's really hard to say since Hasbro has never given many reasons for the European exclusives. Most notably Europe got a third year of Tiger Force repaints, and the exclusive versions of Mutt and Spirit. Also you will find may variations between identical US and UK figures, since they were generally produced a year apart and in different factories.

Another notable difference is that in America we first started getting spring loaded accessories in 1991. They proved so popular that Europe got our 1990 figures the same year with spring loaded accessories added to them.

So there you have it. The history of Action Force in a nutshell. You don't see many web sites dedicated to Action Force after 1985, because it is G.I. Joe at that point. So the web sites are one in the same.

Roger
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Re: What happened to Action Force after 1985?

Postby The Baron » 03 Jun 2008 20:30

Thanks Roger, that's pretty much what I thought, but very concisely put! If I ever get as far as a follow-up gallery I may well quote that for the index page!

It would be nice to get lists of the releases though, our best bet has to be the UK catalogues. I know for sure that the HAVOC and Rolling Thunder had different colour missiles.
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Re: What happened to Action Force after 1985?

Postby paulitoy » 03 Jun 2008 21:40

-

Thanks for the comments guys!

Surprised that the all-knowing Baron is as vague as I am post-85!

It wasn't just me who moved on when the mighty Z's retired.

Thanks for the info Roger. I'm fine up to '85, its from the Hasbro takeover that I'm curious about.

Most notably Europe got a third year of Tiger Force repaints, and the exclusive versions of Mutt and Spirit.

- That's the type of info I'm after!!!

TKW, if you could post some scans of the booklets that would be really great. Many thanks in advance.


Also, if anyone has any spare booklets, I'd love to per-chase any, most importantly the '86 and '87 ones.


I'd settle for a simple list of what figures came out in the first wave of Hasbro-dom and what vehicles, and then the second wave, third, fourth.

When did the Action Force [rebranded GI Joe] come to an end in the UK? Was it around '92?


Anyway, thanks for the comments and hopefully we can all start to unravel the mysteries of what happened post-85 when Hasbro ballsed up a perfectly good toyline and made us all lose interest and go collect something else.

Or maybe we all grew up a little bit & just didn't realise it...

:doc: :doc: :doc:
Muchos Regardos,

Hoxworth Whipple


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Re: What happened to Action Force after 1985?

Postby Goofateer » 03 Jun 2008 23:18

Thanks Roger, that's pretty much what I thought, but very concisely put! If I ever get as far as a follow-up gallery I may well quote that for the index page!
By all means, quote away :D If needed I can double check some facts, as most of that was off the top of my head.
It would be nice to get lists of the releases though, our best bet has to be the UK catalogues. I know for sure that the HAVOC and Rolling Thunder had different colour missiles.
Actually the whole HAVOC is different. The green is more of a Z-Force green, while the US version is closer to olive green. Minor color variations are comon between the 2 lines. You'll also find completely different artwork used on many of the packages.
When did the Action Force [rebranded GI Joe] come to an end in the UK? Was it around '92?
In America the main line ended in 1994, giving way to "G.I. Joe: Sgt. Savage and his Screaming Eagles." I think the UK line ended at the same time, and probably ended more abruptly without the last few items we had.

That brings up the question, did Sgt. Savage, or "G.I. Joe: Extreme" get released in Europe? I've got some from those lines in Canadian and Mexican packages, but I don't think I've seen them in any European packages?

Roger
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Re: What happened to Action Force after 1985?

Postby The Baron » 04 Jun 2008 00:17

Do you mean this one?

http://www.bloodforthebaron.com/blood/A ... 20Fall.htm

The only real guide I have for the name changes would be the comic cover dates (last row):

http://www.bloodforthebaron.com/blood/A ... Covers.htm

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