ACTION MAN

Action Soldier 1977

Period: Eagle Eyes

Dates: c.1977

Cat No: 34071


Action Man Soldier 1977 Contents:

Action Man (original body with new head)

Jumper (wool)
Trousers
Boots (short)
Beret (black Tank Regiment)

Muffler

Belt (no slider)

SLR Rifle (plastic strap)
Star Card L513

Eagle Eyes leaflet L406 (head lever instructions)

Nylon Hand Cup

Gripping Hands Leaflet L575
Equipment Manual 1977

Soldier Description:

"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 a 'Gripping hands' version in 1973. The all new Eagle Eyes head shown was developed in the US by Hasbro and arrived on the original figure's body in 1977 making a rare 'hybrid' figure for a year or so. The new head had a small lever to the back of the neckline that would shift the figure's eyes left and right at will. It was available in blond or brown, and as bearded figures too. The existing box was used, and an adhesive paper sticker applied over the front to announce the new Eagle Eye head rather than dispose of the 'old' packaging. A new redesigned box was already on the cards for 1977/78 with the 'new' Palitoy Logo' and another key improvement in 1979 - the all new 'Dynamic Physique.'

Notes:

This was to be the last iteration for the Action Man Soldier with the body dating from 1964. He would go on to gain a new '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 woolen material Jumper stretches and or shrinks and its hard to find a stable version. Single popper trousers feature the long side pocket used heavily at the time for popular figures. The boots will be of the 1977 period (there are numerous versions throughout production). The small included 'Eagle Eyes' instruction leaflet eventually became part of the larger 'Gripping Hands' leaflet shown - making another variation of several.

1977 Action Man Soldier - old body receives a new head with moving eyes

Action Man Soldier 1977

1977 Action Man Soldier rear view

Action Man Soldier 1977

1977 Action Man Soldier's new EAGLE EYES head

Action Man Eagle Eyes Head

Action Man's gripping hands (of Kraton) often go brittle, darken and disintegrate. They also can slide off wrist pegs.

Action Man Soldier gripping hands hard

1977 Action Man Soldier and box and 'Eagle Eyes' Leaflet

Action Man Soldier 1977

1977/78 - a new box design

Action Man Soldier Box 1978

Action Man Soldier box variations by year:

1973: New box 'Now with Gripping Hands' (1) Note word 'Gaitors' in contents list although not included.
1974: (2) word 'Gaitors' disguised by black amendment on at least one side
1975: (3) 'Gaitors' text removed, (4) Gaitors edited from trousers, (5) pouch edited out, (6) Beret badge removed, (7) Soldier replaces retired 'Commander' illustration. Also 'Head, clothes and Accessories made in Hong Kong added to foot of box.
1976: (8) National Association of Toy Retailers Award sticker (of 1975) applied to boxes
1977: (9) Oversticker announcing new 'Eagle Eyes' feature.
1978 - totally new box

Action Man Soldier Box Variations

1977 Action Man Soldier box over-sticker

Action Man Soldier Box with sticker 1977

1977 Action Man Soldier

Action Man Eagle Eyes head lever

1977 Action Man Official Equipment Manual

Action Man Official Equipment Manual 1977

1977 Star Card L513

Action Man Star Card L513

1977 Star Card L513

1977 Gripping Hands Leaflet L575

1977 Action Man Eagle Eye Leaflet L406

Action Man Eagle Eyes Leaflet L406