Period: Eagle Eyes
Dates: c.1979 until c.1981
Cat No: 34091
Dynamic Physique Action Man (brown or blond)
Beret (black Tank Regiment.)
Belt (no slider)
SLR Rifle (plastic strap)
Star Card L160 0r L774
Instruction Leaflet L487
Equipment Poster 1979 or 1981
"Go into action with the modern army. They're the stuff that heroes are made of". The basic Action Man Action Soldier figure from 1966, was replaced by a flock haired Action Soldier figure in 1970, and then this 'Gripping hands' version in 1973. This set's materials were improved around 1975. The Eagle Eyes head arrived in 1977. The dynamic physique (or 'Blue Pants') figure was released for 1979. In 1981 it was upgraded to have a 'Sharpshooter Head' along with camo trousers. It could be accessorised further by equipment card sets.
Bob Brechin (Chief Designer with Palitoy) has stated that by 1978 the original artist's dummy style figures' tooling was becoming worn out and it became apparent that now it would be an appropriate time to consider a totally new design. The new design could tackle any shortcomings of the original molds, be easier and more cost effective to produce. Bill Pugh had challenged the design team to use no metal parts, separate 'hot-runner' tooling for each component, and to conceive a figure as agile as the old Hasbro design. Bob and designer Ivor Edmunds came up with the dynamic physique figure, Ivor doing much of the development and sculpting.
The muscular and tanned figures have ©CPG Products Corporation 1978 (Creative Products Group was the toy division of General Mills - Palitoy's owners) text on the back section, and feature 'blue pants' for the hip section. Early appraisal figures have green pants and are very rare. The new figure used the eagle eyes style head and redeveloped gripping hands from the retiring figures.
It is said that by 1979 eight million Action Men were in circulation - a phenominal number.
This was to be the last iteration for the Action Man Soldier. He would have had all the improvements bestowed upon him dating from the original 1970 figures' new flock hair. So he sported 'Realistic Hair, 'Gripping Hands', 'Eagle Eyes', 'Dynamic Physique in 1979'" and 'Sharpshooter Head in 1981'. Beret is a flatter version of the first type of black plastic beret and looks quite different. Beret badge is susceptible to partial damage - top or bottom quarter often missing. The synthetic material Jumper should not be confused with the earlier wool version. The boots are a wider lace spacing than preceding boots (of which there are numerous versions!)