The Corner

The Last Action Man

’Action Man’ is Britain’s version of GI Joe and, it seems, he’s in trouble. Here’s why:

“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.” He’s too futuristic now and should go back to basics. Hasbro have shot themselves in the foot. They must listen to their customers.’ 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. He’s not a soldier, he’s more an action man with a nod to extreme sports. He can do windsurfing, skateboarding, cycling. It’s more politically correct for him to be less military these days.’

“In its revamp last month, Hasbro launched the first ‘Action Force’, with Action Man joined by Redwolf, billed as ‘a Native American Indian who possesses a deadly aim with his crossbow’, and Flynt, ‘an extreme sports enthusiast with amazing boomerang skills’. The evil Dr X has been brought back from the dead, but in the form of a cyborg leading an army of X Robots. Action Man’s accessories included the Ultra MTX bike and Surf Atak surfboard. Last year even saw a new Action Man who burped and broke wind and had a mobile phone.”

A Mobile phone? No wonder the poor guy is in trouble. Get him a machine gun now.

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