ACTION MAN

Underwater Explorer 1970

Period: Flock Hair / Eagle Eyes

Dates: 1970 until c.1984

Cat No: Various


Action Man Underwater Explorer Description:

The Action Man Underwater Explorer was launched in 1970 (following on from the success of the Navy Frogman and Deep Sea Diver of the 1960s) and was available with many new accessory sets - representing a comprehensive underwater adventure toy. The Underwater Explorer is missing from the 1975 and 1976 Equipment Manuals but is included in all until the end of Palitoy in 1984. There were variations to the main outfit and modifications throughout a long run. However the Treasure Hunter and Underwater Film Unit sets and individual accessories had short runs of a year or two and can be considered rare.

Action Man Underwater Explorer Sets:

35007:

UNDERWATER EXPLORER: Rubber wet suit top, breathing apparatus, harpoon gun, fins, trunks, knife, sheath, depth gauge, face mask, hammer, instruction leaflet, Equipment Manual.

35023:

UNDERWATER EXPLORER: Rubber wet suit top, breathing apparatus, harpoon gun, fins, trunks, knife, sheath, depth gauge, face mask, hammer, instruction leaflet, Equipment Manual.

35010:

UNDERWATER FILM UNIT SET: Camera, camera housing, face mask, snorkel, sea anchor, international diving flag, winch, working underwater lamp, instruction leaflet, Equipment Manual.

35008:

TREASURE HUNTER SET: Treasure chest, 4 x coins, octopus, trunks, fins, face mask, snorkel, hammer, harpoon gun, instruction leaflet, Equipment Manual.

35009:

SEA SCOOTER SET: Scooter, wrist straps, motor, face mask, snorkel, instruction leaflet, Equipment Manual.

35210:

KILLER SHARK SET: Killer shark, harpoon gun, Equipment Manual.

35211:

DIVING BUOY SET: Diving buoy, international diving flag, sea anchor, winch, Equipment Manual.

35212:

SKIN DIVER SET: Trunks, face mask, snorkel, knife, sheath, collecting bag, Equipment Manual.

 

 

 

Notes:

The original blue zippered wet suit top had badge which was a transfer on a transparent backing, before being replaced by a simpler rectangular sticker. These wet suit tops tend to perish in extreme conditions and few have survived. Depth gauge stickers (like a wrist watch) do deteriorate in water. The metal balance arm on the oxygen tank is more often than not missing. A later harpoon gun was issued late on in the book style cards set. The skin diver collecting bag (which looks like a simple orange netting bag end) is very rare. A treasure chest with removeable lid contained four 'pieces of eight' coins - the smaller of which being equivalent to the size of a pound coin. The octopus can melt into whatever it touches in storage as its made from an unstable plastic. The sea scooter is often missing its wrist straps and rear grommets x 2. The rubber on the motor's suction cup perishes. N.B. There is more than one information leaflet entitled 'Underwater Explorer' (see images below). One would be lead to assume that one came with the Underwater Film Unit Set, and one with the other accessories. The current Action Man figure at launch in 1970 was flock haired with hard hands as pictured.

40th Range

Action Man Underwater Explorer

Action Man Underwater Explorer

Action Man Underwater Explorer and Accessories

Action Man Underwater Explorer

Action Man Underwater Explorer Mask and early badge

Action Man Underwater Explorer Mask and later badge

Action Man Treasure Hunter Octopus

Action Man Underwater Explorer Sea Scooter

Action Man Underwater Film Unit Set

Action Man Underwater Film Unit Set camera and light

A 1971 Action Man Book on the subject was also available

Action Man Books

Action Man Underwater Explorer depth gauge / watch

Action Man watch

Action Man Underwater Explorer Scuba Tank

Action Man Underwater Explorer Treasure Hunter Set (included shorts)

Action Man Underwater Explorer Treasure Chest

Action Man Treasure Hunter coins fronts

Action Man Treasure Hunter coins backs

Action Man 'Killer Shark' (included harpoon gun)

1970 Action Man Official Equipment Manual

Action Man Official Equipment Manual 1970

Action Man Underwater Explorer Information Leaflets

 

Action Man Underwater Explorer Leaflet (Treasure Hunter)

Action Man Underwater Explorer Leaflet (Underwater Film Unit)

Action Man Underwater Explorer Leaflet (Treasure Hunter)

Action Man Underwater Explorer Leaflet (Underwater Film Unit)


Action Man Underwater Explorer Sets

 

ACTION MAN UNDERWATER EXPLORER SET 35023
(image courtesy of Vectis Auctions Ltd)

ACTION MAN UNDERWATER EXPLORER OUTFIT c.1979
(image courtesy of V&A Museum of Childhood)

ACTION MAN TREASURE HUNTER SET 35008
(image courtesy of Vectis Auctions Ltd)

ACTION MAN SEA SCOOTER SET 35008
(image courtesy of Vectis Auctions Ltd)

ACTION MAN SKIN DIVER SET 35212
(image courtesy of Vectis Auctions Ltd)

40TH ACTION MAN UNDERWATER EXPLORER SET 35023

ACTION MAN UNDERWATER FILM UNIT SET 35010
(image courtesy of Vectis Auctions Ltd)

ACTION MAN KILLER SHARK SET 35210
(image courtesy of Vectis Auctions Ltd)

ACTION MAN DIVING BUOY SET 35211
(image courtesy of Vectis Auctions Ltd)