Action Man Atomic Man Review
This is the 50th anniversary of Action Man so I’d like to take a minute to show off one of the figures from that line: The Atomic Man!
In 1975 Hasbro released Mike Powers, The Atomic Man. This was Hasbro’s answer to the show The Six Million Dollar Man (which had been licensed out to Mattel, but didn’t have figures in stores yet) As was the case with GI Joe back then, this figure would make it’s way to the UK under Palitoy’s Action Man banner.
1977 saw the release of the Action Man Atomic Man! At first glance, the figure is the typical 12″ styled GI Joe figure with Kung Fu Grip hands and a Mike Powers head. He came dressed in black coveralls and black boots.
Since the Atomic Man was based on The Bionic Man, there’s got to be some Atomic body parts right? Well, fear not, there are definitely Atomic body parts hidden beneath that black outfit!
Atomic Man’s left leg is made of clear plastic with silver parts inside the legs to make them look robotic-like. One of the really cool aspects here is that many of the robotic looking parts are the normal construction joints in all 12″ GI Joes.
The right arm is much like the left leg in that it’s also clear showing the typical articulation joints in silver plastic. The forearm is made a little differently in that the hand is attached to a long metal rod that has a spinner wheel that pokes out of the bottom of the arm. This is so you can activate his Atomic power to spin his hand rapidly while holding his hand copter.
Atomic Man also has a signaling eye. The gimmick is a bit of light piping running through the head so that any light above the head shines through the eye (I’m using a laser pointer to make the eye appear red here)
The Atomic Man comes with a two piece hand copter. The two pieces can be joined together and fits in his rubber gripping hand so you can make the hand spin the blades to act as a mini helicopter.
Now, if you’ve seen the US, Hasbro released Mike Powers, Atomic Man, you might have noticed a few differences between the two Atomic Men already. While this is basically the same figure, there are more than enough changes made to the Action Man Atomic Man to make it worthwhile to hunt down both figures (or just the UK one as most people like the changes for the best)
As you’ll notice in this comparison picture, the UK version sports flocked hair. It comes as no surprise that the Action Man Atomic Man would have flocked hair since that trend actually started with the Action Man toyline and was later adopted by Hasbro’s GI Joe line. This makes the figure look a bit more like a GI Joe and less like a Ken doll.
Another big change seen in this picture is the outfits both figures came with. The US got a barefooted Atomic Man with shorts & a short sleeved shirt (which is very good for showing off those Atomic body parts) The UK version has all of his Atomics covered up, but at least that Atomic Man gets to wear shoes.
The tags inside the outfits are a bit different as well. Apparently only Hasbro felt the need to put the Atomic Man’s name on his tag.
As one would imagine, the copyright info is different between the two and on completely different parts. The UK version has a Palitoy stamp on the lower back while the US version has a GI Joe stamp on the right butt.
The last big change between these two figures is that along with the additional flocked hair, the UK Atomic Man gets an Atomic Heart Pacemaker! This additional Atomic part has a button that makes a clicking noise when pushed.
With all of these upgrades, it’s kind of a shame that they dressed the Action Man Atomic Man in an outfit that hides just about everything that makes this figure cool. Though the coveralls’ zipper does go at an angle right over the Atomic Heart.
However, The great thing about the 12″ GI Joes is that if you don’t like the outfit, you can just change it to anything and show off those cool Atomic parts!