Consigned by family, his acquisitions are now being offered by British Toy Auctions (20% buyer’s premium) of Runcorn, Cheshire.
It is so extensive in fact that the lots have been split over three sales: two held already (November 7 and 21) with another to come this week, on December 5.
As well as Action Man, the collection includes Tommy Gunn figures, GI Joe, modern Dragon figures, Britains soldiers and much more. Items were obtained as a child and over the years from toy fairs, auctions, fellow collectors and buying trips to the US.
Action Man by Palitoy of Coalville in Leicestershire launched in 1966 following on from the popularity of GI Joe figures by Hasbro that had been released in the US in 1964.
Pictured above is one of the lots sold on November 7: an Action Man 17th/21st Lancers with blonde flocked hair and original uniform with helmet, lance flag, boots, jacket and trousers, catalogued as ‘appears excellent in good box with split to one end flap’.
While not reaching the heights of the scarce Judo Set number 34805 sold for £5000 at Auction Antiques on August 25 (see ATG No 2558), a £650 hammer price against an estimate of £40-60 underlined the kind of prices the range can attract given the usual toy price factors of original boxes, rarity and condition.
According to actionmanhq.co.uk: “Originally launched in 1970 the ‘Famous British Regiments’, renamed the next year in the Equipment Manual ‘Famous British Uniforms’ and colloquially known as the ‘The Ceremonial Range’ were fantastically detailed outfits.”
The 17th/21st Lancers appeared in 1972-73 in the flock-haired era (with gripping hands from 1973). It was one of the most detailed Action Man uniforms and the fragile parts such as the two-part lance are difficult to find in decent condition.
Tommy the MP
The Tommy Gunn models by Pedigree were released around the same time as Action Man in 1966 but were produced only for two years and so are not seen as often at auction.
Even unboxed, a Tommy Gunn Military Policeman guided at £50-70 made £150 on November 7. Apart from two loose arms which require restringing, it otherwise appeared to be in very good condition.