Jackal M-WMIK

The HMAF Jackal
The HMAF Jackal

The toy HMAF M-WMIK Jackal is largely based on the real vehicles currently deployed in Afghanistan.

The Jackal is a four wheel drive all terrain patrol vehicle with phenomenal firepower, speed and agility. Equally comfortable off road, this HMAF vehicle sports a 5.9 litre engine and is capable of speeds of 80mph on the tarmac.

The toy version comes complete with camouflaged Jerry Cans used for both fuel and water. Incredibly, the jerry cans on board the real Jackals are capable of withstanding bullets.

The Jackal is also known by its acronym M-WMIK or Mobility Weapons Mount Installation Kit. The Jackal is being deployed in Afghanistan as a replacement for the more lightly armoured Land Rover.

In service these rugged new HM Armed Forces vehicles are crewed by a team of three armed with a .50 calibre machine gun, automatic grenade launcher or 7.62 General Purpose Machine Gun (GPMG) with a second 7.62 GPMG for the Commander.

HM Armed Forces M-WIMK Jackal
HM Armed Forces M-WIMK Jackal

Female Navy Medic

HMAF Female Navy Medic
HMAF Female Navy Medic

As trailed on this site last year the HMAF Female Navy Medic figure will be released in 2010.

Part of the HM Armed Forces Royal Navy series, the highly-detailed new Female Medic figure wears a fabric desert camouflage uniform complete with red cross armband. The Medic has a pistol and holster, removable helmet and removable TAG vest (Tactical Assault Gear).

The Royal Navy Medic comes equipped with a 5.56mm assault rifle.

HM Armed Forces Royal Navy Medic Action Figure
HM Armed Forces Royal Navy Medic Action Figure

Commando Sniper

HM Armed Forces Royal Marines Commando Sniper
HM Armed Forces Royal Marines Commando Sniper

The HM Armed Forces Royal Marines Commando Sniper is a brand new HMAF figure for 2010.

This deluxe HMAF figure, though retailing at a slightly higher price point, features an exciting new innovation. The ‘Hawk Eyes’ feature harks back to the ‘Eagle Eye’ Palitoy Action Man era with the movable eyes operated by a small lever at the back of the figure’s head.

Part of the Royal Navy HMAF range, the Royal Marine Commando wears a typical desert camo snipers ‘ghille’ smock, desert combat trousers and a soft-brimmed cap which, in another very nice improvement for 2010, is removable and not moulded.

The Royal Marine Sniper figure comes with the L115 A3 Sniper Rifle capable of accurately hitting its target at a range of up to 1200 metres.

The ‘Hawk Eyes’ Royal Marines Commando Sniper works in a pair with an observer as part of a 4 or 6 man Sniper Troop Unit. Hawk eyes is about right because the Sniper really is the eyes and ears of the Commando Unit on the battlefield.

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Army Battle Tank

HMAF Army Battle Tank
HMAF Army Battle Tank

The Army Battle Tank is the first vehicle to be released in Character’s HMAF toys army range.

HMAF Toy Tactical Battle Tank & British Army Scimitar Tank
British Army Scimitar Tank with HMAF Tactical Battle Tank

The design of the Fast Pursuit Tactical Battle Tank incorporates elements from both the British Army’s main battle tank, Challenger 2 as well as from the Scimitar Armoured Reconnaissance Vehicle.

The HMAF Battle Tank comes with a spring loaded missile which fires from a switch on the turret. The turret itself rotates. The HMAF tank has two opening hatches for the 10 inch scale HMAF figures. It also features an opening equipment box suitable for storing weapons and accessories.

The HM Armed Forces Tactical Battle Tank comes in desert camouflage livery and features realistic working rubber tank tracks.

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Welcome to HMAF Toys

HM Armed Forces
HM Armed Forces

HM Armed Forces toys and HMAF Action Figures are a new range of toys and collectible figures licensed by the MOD and released by Character Options.

Each toy has been designed and sculpted by Designworks with close consultation and approval from senior commanders in Her Majesty’s Armed Forces.

HMAF figures include three action figures representing each of the three services – Army, Royal Navy and Royal Air Force. Complementing these are a range of vehicles such as the British Army Tactical Battle Tank the RAF Vector Thrust Fast Jet and the Royal Navy Hovercraft.

In addition there are a range of role play items including night vision goggles and camouflage netting.

Welcome to the HMAF Toys Blog – updated regularly with news and information.

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Countdown to HMAF

HM Armed Forces toys are set to be officially launched on May 8th 2009 to coincide with VE Day.

HM Armed Forces
HM Armed Forces

The HMAF range was first publicly displayed by the maker Character Options at the London Toy Fair in January 2009 where it won the Best Action Figure & Accessories award.

The launch will be backed up by a major press and television advertising campaign. A range of nine collectible cards will be distributed in boy’s publications to mark the launch.

The first big media event is on May 6th at RAF Northolt with a display from all three services. On the weekend of May 9th there will be more regional events to mark the launch of HMAF toys.

With less than a month till launch the countdown to HMAF has begun …

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HMAF Vs Action Man

Before there was HMAF, there was Action Man and GI Joe…

It all began with Hasbro back in 1964. US toy giant Hasbro created a line of 12″ military GI Joe action figures based on the soldiers, sailors, pilots and marines of the US Armed Forces.

Then in 1966, licensed by Hasbro, Palitoy released their own British version of GI Joe – Action Man. The very first figures in the Action Man range were the WWII-inspired Action Soldier, Action Sailor and Action Pilot.

Throughout the seventies Action Man was an enormously popular toy which Palitoy recreated in numerous adventure and sports as well as military versions. He was given a range of accessories and vehicles and along the way acquired flock hair, moveable eyes and gripping hands. Some versions could even talk!

Palitoy closed its doors for the last time in 1984 but in the 90’s military style Action Man figures based on the American GI Joe range were once again available in the UK this time thanks to Hasbro itself.

Stalker Ranger GI Joe Action Man
Stalker Ranger GI Joe Action Man

From the mid-90’s onwards new Action Man figures were still released though in generic ‘adventure’ outfits with no direct military connection.

All of which leads to 2009 and the launch of British company Character Option’s new line of military-inspired action figures and toys HM Armed Forces. In close consultation with the Ministry of Defence UK design company Designworks and Character have sought to once again recreate a line of action figures which take direct inspiration from serving military personnel.

One obvious distinction between prior lines of military figures and HMAF is their scale. Whereas Action Man came in the time-served 12″ version, HMAF action figures are in an all new 10″ scale format.

In terms of accuracy, authenticity and attention to detail, qualities for which the early 1960’s Action Man figures are well known, HMAF action figures score very highly.

Its great to see the return of the metal dog tags. But its not just in the uniforms that the attention to detail can be seen. In the range of accessories and vehicles accompanying the HMAF figures an incredible dedication to detail and authenticity is strikingly apparent.

HMAF figures are indeed a worthy successor to GI Joe and Action Man military action figures.

Character – We salute you!

HMAF Press Launch

HMAF Launch Event at RAF Northolt
HMAF Launch Event at RAF Northolt

“This Brand is Long Term”

Today at RAF Northolt the Ministry of Defence and Character Group held the spectacular Press Launch for HM Armed Forces toys.

Behind an ultra tight security cordon deep inside the base Character unveiled a hanger stockpiled with every HMAF release we can expect this year, as well as some that are timed for release next year…

On hand were serving members of HM Armed Forces and senior military commanders as well as the top brass from Character Options.

Brigadier van der Lande & Character MD Jon Diver
Brigadier van der Lande & Character MD Jon Diver

Launching the biggest UK military toy line since the 1966 release of Palitoy’s Action Man, Brigadier Mark van der Lande OBE praised the range as “A tribute to our service men and women”.

The best news came from Character Group MD Jon Diver who stated, “This brand is long term – there’s going to be many opportunities to replicate other elements of the services”.

All of which should translate into many more HMAF figures and toys in the months and years to come.

HM Armed Forces Action Figures & Service Personnel
HM Armed Forces Action Figures & Service Personnel

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HMAF Female Medic

HMAF Female Army Medic
HMAF Female Army Medic

Some of the mainstream media were reporting last week that there were no women figures in Character’s HMAF line up.

Thats not the case at all. There’s a female figure on the way and at least one other in the design stage.

The MoD are stressing that they want to see the range reflecting the diversity of serving service men and women in terms of both gender and ethnicity.

Therefore (drumroll) the first female action figure in the HM Armed Forces range will be … an Army Medic wearing desert camouflage. The Medic will be out in time for Xmas 2009.

One footnote, the head sculpt for the medic is in fact based on an employee at Designworks, the Windsor UK based company that designs HM Armed Forces figures for Character Options.

There are already plans for a second female figure. This could be (not confirmed) a frontline Army figure, but will feature the digital head sculpt of Olivia Smales of IMG, a licensing agency to the MoD.

Olivia Smales - HMAFs GI Jane
Olivia Smales - HMAF's GI Jane

So whilst the Army Medic will be available over the counter by Xmas we may have to hold out till 2010 for Olivia’s frontline reinforcements.

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HMAF Diversity

The whole concept of the new range of HM Armed Forces toys was summed up by Brigadier Mark van der Lande at the HMAF launch yesterday “To promote the image, ethos and reputation of our service personnel”.

Contrary to inaccurate weekend press reports there are of course action figures in the line that reflect the diversity of serving members of HM Armed Forces. And many others are planned.

Snapped on display yesterday at the HMAF Press Launch at RAF Northolt were the three figures pictured in this post.

Only thing missing now is a picture of certain national newspaper editors chowing down to a plate of humble pie…