The Action Man Game c.1975
Period: Flock Head / Eagle Eyes
Cat No: 31241
The Action Man Game Description:
This board game was produced by Palitoy / Parker Games Division and its release date is listed as 1970 on the internet, however it though to be around 1975*. Bob Brechin (Palitoy Chief Designer) is incorrectly credited as having designed the game but he has confirmed he did not. The star card issued with this particular example is c.1978. It is not known when it went out of production. The V&A Museum of Childhood website describes it thus: "This board game features the popular toy Action Man, and is in the modern warfare genre. Each player commands an Action Man figure and a force of 19 units, with the objective being to put all the opposing forces out of action by capturing their units and commanders. It is a roll and move game, with actions dependent on the square landed on. When landing on the same square as an opponent, battle commences by rolling the specially designed battle dice. These depict different modes of combat, rather than the usual pips. The game also contains a set of Action Man stars, which were collected from Action Man products and could be exchanged for items direct from Palitoy."
Cat No 31241
Price when new: £3.95
Playing Time: 1 hour +
Game Type: Roll/spin and move battle game
The Action Man Game Contents:
Box containing internal blue card tray, fold up playing board, white plastic inner tray, commander cut outs with stands (red, yellow, blue and green) x 4, red pieces x 19, yellow pieces x 19, green pieces x 19, blue pieces x19, red number dice x 1, wooden dice containing land, sea and air symbols x 5, 'Battle' playing cards x 24, instruction leaflet 'L542', star card leaflet 'L160' (or one appropriate to year), star card slip (5 stars) 'L3'
The Action Man Game was not advertised in any Equipment Manual of the period. *We have deduced that it cannot pre-date 1975. The Illustrated marker background style was first seen in the 1973 Equipment Manual, and gripping hands Action Man photographs on the playing cards were originally seen first in the 1974 Equipment Manual. As Palitoy were still using the 'eye' shape logo in 1974, then perhaps the biggest clue to its date is the newly introduced red and cyan Palitoy 2 colour logo with the word 'Limited' which was used only from 1975. On the outside of the box there is a graphic stating: "Inside the box are five stars to collect towards your Action Man Gifts". Typically for Action Man boxed product, the stars were printed on the box itself. However, this game rather graciously supplied the stars on a card so the box would not be cut with scissors to remove the stars. Much of the Palitoy line of Action Man packaging must have been considered 'throw away' as the stars were typically printed on the outer card.
Action Man Game Playing Cards