To be sure, 1966 was an inspirational year for the UK. Not only did England win the World Cup, but Palitoy launched the Action Man.
Over the years a pristine vintage Action Man has become about as rare as an England victory in a major tournament. A much sought after 1960’s first wave Action Man figure mint in the box can today easily sell for a four figure sum.
Not surprisingly, comparing todays HM Armed Forces figures with the vintage 60’s Palitoy Action Man you’d have to conclude that the detail and articulation on the HMAF figures is far superior.
Just as Palitoy introduced a number of innovations over the years – gripping hands, flocked hair, eagle eyes, talking figures – let’s hope that Character do the same for HM Armed Forces. After all, Character Options award winning Doctor Who action figures have undergone continual refinement in terms of their sculpts, paintwork and articulation since they first launched in 2005.
If HMAF thrives and develops like the original Action Man then 2009 will in time be remembered by fans as fondly as 1966.
Getting the realism into certain HMAF action figures was achieved by using real life action heroes.
Digital sculpts were taken of several serving HM Armed Forces personnel.
The picture above shows real life RAF Winchman Sergeant Ed Griffiths holding his action figure counterpart. Ed is more usually found swinging from a rope below a Sea King helicopter operating from his base in RAF Valley in Wales (C Flight 22 Squadron).
The HMAF Fast Jet Pilot is modelled on the real RAF Fast Jet Pilot Zane Zennet. The figure in the picture is held by Flight Lieutenant Jonathan Smith, Tornado F3 pilot from 43 Squadron, RAF Leuchars.
And the RAF Falcon figure is of the real life RAF Falcons instructor Tony Brookes. Pictured above, the Falcon figure is held by serving RAF Falcon Flight Lieutenant Louise Buxton, Team Leader of the RAF Falcons Parachute Display Team.
In the world of military action figures you can’t get much more real than that!
As trailed on this site last month the first HM Armed Forces Mercenary Action Figure has now been released by Character Options.
The 10 inch scale Enemy Mercenary Fighter is designed as a combatant for the already released Army, Royal Navy and Royal Air Force HMAF figures.
The mercenary figure features a removable helmet including sun visor and removable all black tactical vest with several moulded pouches. HMAF Mercenary wears all grey fatigues with black leather gloves and combat boots.
This figure comes with a combined assault rifle and pump action shotgun together with a sidearm pistol complete with leg holster.
HMAF Arctic Mission is the new theme for HM Armed Forces toys launched at the London Toy Fair 2010.
Devised and created in partnership with Her Majesty’s Forces the HMAF Arctic Mission range will include new figures and vehicles specially equipped for cold climate survival missions.
The Arctic Mission range includes three vehicles. There’s the Tactical Battle Tank and Quad Bike, seen last year in desert camouflage, released in brand new arctic camouflage livery. Plus there is an all new Remote Controlled Military Skidoo. This superb new specialist arctic skidoo is perfectly scaled to the figures and is the very first RC vehicle in the HM Armed Forces toys line-up.
Part of the Army series, the new Arctic Infantry Commando Ski Patrol Set with Cold Weather Kit comes with skis, snow shoes, balaclava, goggles and a white 5.56mm assault rifle.
The Arctic Pulk Figure Set contains a Royal Marines Commando with a pulk for pulling supplies and kit. This Arctic Mission HMAF commando figure comes with the all white tunic with Arctic camouflaged sniper rifle, satellite phone with case, skis and snow shoes. It also has the new swivelling Hawk Eyes feature.
Complimenting the Arctic Mission range is another very welcome accessory pack, the RAF Forward Air Controller Arctic Equipment Set. With this set you can equip any existing HMAF figure for Arctic Missions. The set includes replacement boots, white hands, white helmet, 2-piece arctic camouflage uniform plus forward Air Controller Unit with tripod.
There’s the Army Talking Infantryman, the Navy Talking Hawk Eyes Commando, and the RAF Talking Police Dog Handler.
All three have the new MTP (Multi-Terrain Pattern) camouflage uniform developed by HM Armed Forces for use in the varying terrain of Afghanistan and coming into wider use in 2011.
These HMAF figures have the welcome new addition of a talking feature; press the stomach to hear combat sound effects and phrases, a modern iteration of the 70’s pull-cord talking Action Man figures.
What’s more the Talking Infantryman comes with the newly developed British Army Anti Structures Munition. The Talking Commando has face camouflage, hawk eyes and thermal imaging binoculars. And the RAF HMAF Talking Police Dog Handler comes with an alsatian dog and leash.
The Talking HMAF Figures are available from January 2011.