Monday, June 12, 2017

Rarities - Palitoy Action Force G.I. Joe Figures

In the grand scheme of things, carded Palitoy Action Force figures are not rare.  In fact, many are quite common and will sell for only a slight premium over the cost of a gem mint and complete version of the figure inside.  But, rarity is forgiven in this instance for the sake of the oddity of the figures and the package design.  While not overly dynamic, the Action Force card designs have some cool aspects.  And, there are a couple of figures who feature European exclusive accessory variants as well.

The Action Force carded Joes used the packaging design from the 5 points of articulation, European exclusive series of toys that were produced by Palitoy.  The series features G.I. Joe figures from 1983 and 1984.  (The 1982 figures are all 1983 swivel arm versions.)  When Palitoy started releasing 1985 figures, they also changed the packaging to be more in line with American G.I. Joe designs.

We'll start with a couple of examples of the five points of articulation figures that were exclusive to Europe.  You will note the accessories are a mix of exclusives and repainted G.I. Joe weapons.  While some of the weapons are indistinguishable from the Hasbro releases of the same molds, many of the Action Force items are in colors that are exclusive to the European Action Force line.

Action Force, Red Shadows, Palitoy, European Exclusive, Black Major, Baron Ironblood, Doc, Destro, Scarlett, accessory packs

Action Force, Red Shadows, Palitoy, European Exclusive, Black Major, Baron Ironblood, Doc, Destro, Scarlett, accessory packs

Action Force, Red Shadows, Palitoy, European Exclusive, Black Major, Baron Ironblood, Doc, Destro, Scarlett, accessory packs

Action Force, Red Shadows, Palitoy, European Exclusive, Black Major, Baron Ironblood, Doc, Destro, Scarlett, accessory packs


One of the odd things with Palitoy figures is that Palitoy was also the European distributor of Star Wars figures.  As such, you can find carded Action Force figures that include Star Wars weapons.  Below are two Baron Ironblood figures.  One including a Kenner Han Solo Blaster and another including a Snake Eyes Uzi.  As Palitoy dumped their overstock onto the market, odd combos happened and these crossovers are an interesting intersection of Star Wars and the G.I. Joe figures who succeeded them as retail king of the action figures.

Action Force, Red Shadows, Palitoy, European Exclusive, Black Major, Baron Ironblood, Doc, Destro, Scarlett, accessory packs

Action Force, Red Shadows, Palitoy, European Exclusive, Black Major, Baron Ironblood, Doc, Destro, Scarlett, accessory packs


As Palitoy transitioned away from their exclusive figures and into G.I. Joe molds, the packaging remained intact.  Here you can see some examples of carded G.I. Joe figures using the classic Action Force packaging.  For the most part, these figures are the same as the American released versions.  There is some speculation that there might be slight accessory variants with the European releases.  You will note that some figures included extra accessories in these early Action Force packages.  I seem to recall a Cobra Trooper that included a blue or black version of Grunt's backpack.  But, all my searching could not turn up the image of that figure.  So, if you have information regarding the existence of this item, please leave the info in the comments below.  Not the awesome alternate Cobra logo that was featured on this early figures, too.

Action Force, Red Shadows, Palitoy, European Exclusive, Black Major, Baron Ironblood, Doc, Destro, Scarlett, accessory packs

Action Force, Red Shadows, Palitoy, European Exclusive, Black Major, Baron Ironblood, Doc, Destro, Scarlett, accessory packs

Action Force, Red Shadows, Palitoy, European Exclusive, Black Major, Baron Ironblood, Doc, Destro, Scarlett, accessory packs


One item that was exclusive to Europe were the Action Force accessory sets.  These are notable for a few reasons.  The first, of course, is the opportunity to get many classic G.I. Joe accessories in exclusive colors.  The second is that European exclusive accessories were often packed in the same packs.  So, collectors after exclusively colored Joe items can experience some of the exclusive weapons to the European line.  (Many of which are excellently done.)  Finally, though, is the oddity where Hasbro molds and Palitoy molds exist on the same plastric sprue.  This is notable as it implies that Hasbro and Palitoy teamed up to create these accessory packs with new molds for the weapons since it was unlikely the co-existed prior to the release of these packs.  You'll note in the photos below the exclusive colors and mix of gear.

Action Force, Red Shadows, Palitoy, European Exclusive, Black Major, Baron Ironblood, Doc, Destro, Scarlett, accessory packs

Action Force, Red Shadows, Palitoy, European Exclusive, Black Major, Baron Ironblood, Doc, Destro, Scarlett, accessory packs


If you want the real skinny on all things Action Force, visit Blood For the Baron.  It is the definitive Action Force site out there.

3 comments:

  1. Love me some Action Force-I've got the Steeler with the red helmet-and I wish I had more!

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  2. Destro was a nameless army builder. Maybe not.
    The villains got the heavy weapons but less accessories overall.

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  3. Wow. This really brings me back. Awesome collection indeed!

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