Period: Painted Head
Dates: 1967 until c1971
Cat No: 34701
Oxygen chest pack
Propellant gun with bar
"Action Man's on the launching pad! He's got a helmet, spacesuit and a whole lot more - and it's all authentically modeled on that used by real live astronauts for Mercury flights" reads the Action Man Equipment Manual. A very popular set at the time and not hard to find in collections.
The Action Man Astronaut is fairly common but a few of his accessories are often missing or broken, such as the propellant gun (missing metal quarter pipe) and balance bar (snaps in two), and camera. The suit is fairly rigid, and strong and is often found in good condition, albeit with yellowed straps. It has a diagonal FRONT zip (many mistake this for the back), and straight zip at the back. The neckline is elasticated to tension around the helmet rim, giving an 'air-tight' fit. It is secured with hook and eye and one popper (snap).
The helmet should have a comms wire which plugs into the chest pack, or Space Capsule bulkhead.Helmet visors are also prone to breaking at one or both hinges. The white helmet can yellow presumably when kept from natural light, sometimes just one hemisphere, suggesting it may be plastic compounds at fault. There should be two cylindrical foam pads either side of inside of helmet (see images).
The elasticated bootees are best tucked outside the trousers to keep them on, the opposite for the gloves - if they are tucked inside they resist falling off. Elastics quite often degrade and need replacing. The long orange tether cord should have a blue plug in the end. The other end where it enters the oxygen chestpack has at least two different collar options - black or yellow. The wide elastic straps are sometimes overstretched and need replacing with similar cord. The camera's strap suffers the same fate.
A redesigned Action Man Astronaut set, with talking white plastic back pack (with coloured miniature records similar to the Field Commander's) featured in 1974. He had Silver short boots of the soldier style.
In 2016 an adapted Action Man Astronaut with a Union Jack arm badge (named Major Bob Tom) and Space Capsule were successfully sent into near space on Art+Science Mission Mercury 10. There is still a reward for his safe return.