Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Discuss: Captain Action

Karen: I never had one, big brother never had one, but Captain Action and his many costumes sure looked fun. 


david_b said...

Ah.... Today is the day, fellow BABsters.

The first True Superhero Action Figure.

I will wax many thoughts and memories today, lest be warned. I warmly recall getting both Cap and his wonderful sidekick for a few Christmases back in '68 and '69.

I started with C/A, but I actually liked Action Boy more when he first arrived, knowing that he could change into either Robin, Aqualad or Superboy. Just a super-cool original costume as well. I have a humble pic of a few of my sets somewhere at Mego Museum, will have to post.

Let the memories begin.

david_b said...

Here's a pic from a few years back.

I always wanted a vintage MIB Captain America set, but never quite had the cashflow to set aside. Obviously the Phantom shown was the Praying Mantis version, but having Cap on a GI Joe Harley was a visual 'marriage made in heaven'.

I bought the Whitman Cap puzzle (shown) again after my original one had long since left. I so recall having my C/A sets on my lap while watching the Marvel Superhero cartoons as a young lad.

Painfully ironic, around '72 or so I was so determined (in rural Wisconsin..) to find any remaining C/A sets like Spiderman or Green Hornet. Little that I knew that some dime stores were practically giving them away for a few bucks in major cities.

Like most collectors, I managed to collect (or recollect) all the sets I wanted in the '90s, completing both my Spidey and Cap sets. They even sold custom gloves which really finished most sets that didn't have them originally.

Just a gorgeous product line, meticulously done, surprisingly so since most of the accessories were pretty fragile for small hands, but I managed to keep most of my stuff intact.

Great Kane art work in the comics as well..

Doug said...

David --

I saw a couple of your other pics as well -- the Captain America towel that you often brag of is every bit as cool as you've said! Man, that thing looks brand new!!

Born in '66, I was too young to get in on the Captain Action... well, action. My "big guys" were the GI Joes from the early 1970's. But after seeing that Cap costume and huge shield, I know I have missed out.


david_b said...

Oh no.. All blame for how nice that towel looks goes to my MOM. It's pristine.

Anywho, the Cap shield and the C/A rifle shown were actually from other non-C/A sets; I have all the other C/A accessories stored away.

I always loved how retro Doctor Evil looked, especially with the hippy sandles, huge medallion and Nehru suit. In style at the time along with his goofy blue head and exposed brain, it's just priceless.

david_b said...

Ok, just found this for any current C/A or 1:6 scale collectors..:

The new Round 2 Hawkeye BAF, assembled with the first half-dozen new sets released.., from the recent C2E2 2013 (Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo).


Anonymous said...

Two of my classmates in third grade were superhero/comic book fans, and the three of us occasionally played with these action figures. That's about it, as far as my reminiscences go; I don't have any particularly charming anecdotes about it. My Action Boy had the silver-colored spacesuit costume. I would have preferred the red-and-blue version, but I can't really complain. I've seen ads for the red shirt version of the Lone Ranger, but every one I saw IRL had the blue costume, which was the one I knew from TV and comics. I don't remember the Captain Action toys being all that wildly popular at the time. It seems as if every seven-year old boy in America had (or wanted) a G.I. Joe when it came on the scene in 1964-65. I don't recall that kind of demand for Captain Action. In fact, apart from those two afore mentioned fanboys, I don't recall any kids I knew who expressed an interest in it. Most kids watched the Batman TV show, but relatively few were into comic book stuff in general. And, by 1967, even the Batman fad was passing. As for the DC comic, I had the first two issues. In DC's version, he was an archaeologist who discovered magic coins that gave him super powers. The coins had been left by space aliens who visited Earth in ancient times. Of course, they were taken for gods, and our ancient myths were based on them. IIRC, this was a year or two before von Daniken's books popularized the ancient astronauts theory, although the idea had appeared in science fiction before.

Anonymous said...

OK, I confess - I never heard of Captain Action, so shoot me.

But that's why I love BAB - what a great place to come to "get cultured".


Tony said...

I'm like you Doug. I was born in '67, so a bit too late for Captain Action. I seem to remember having a GI Joe, but I do distinctly remember having a Johnny West doll (sorry, ACTION figure). I always wanted Action Jackson...

Bobby Trosclair said...

I had one, and also enjoyed the DC comic - especially the Gil Kane issues. Even as a kid, I was impressed that they got licenses to use characters from competing comic companies and film franchises.

Inkstained Wretch said...

Captain ... who now?

William Preston said...

I had GI Joes--foot locker and all--back in the mid-to-late '60s, and recently I'd been thinking that I had CA, because I remembered putting this superhero outfits on some figure. Now I realize it must have been Action Boy. Anyone have photos of him in his superhero gear? I do have tactile memories of Robin gloves and Aqualad boots.

Edo Bosnar said...

I'm with Inkstained here: I was born in '68, so this was quite a bit before my time - I only ever heard of either the toy or the comic a few years ago, thanks to the internet. Also, although I had a few super-hero dolls (yes Tony, it's o.k. to call them that - I always did) and Warpath from the Big Jim collection (and later some Star Wars figures and Micronauts), the toys were always peripheral to my enjoyment of the comics.

By the way, david_b, that towel is certainly impressive. I also like your t-shirt in that pic. As a kid, I think I had the exact same one: does the back have an image of the Thing from behind, with "If you can read this, you're too darn close!" written on his shorts?

david_b said...

And I thought "I" was a young kid around here.. Didn't want to take up the entire column discussion.

Geez, Inkstained, that was cold. (LOL..)

Seriously, I don't have a on-line site to post pics of interest, so I still use the Museum for that function. My wife took that pic when I was home on deployment leave a few years back, proudly holding my esquisite Spiderman inflatable pillow, yet another decades-old conquered 'holy grail' hunt.

Yes, there was some web site reprinting ALL the old MMMS shirts in hi-qual full glorious color, I really wish I would have grabbed a half-dozen more. It's probably still selling 'em, haven't looked in a while.

With the on-set of Legends/Universe figs, I natually see the use of cloth uniforms more so of a retro gimmick (Mego included...), but they do have a nice charm. If you've ever have your hands on a vintage Spiderman C/A outfit, you'd see the amount of sewing and quality that was invested back in the day. Granted, despite the quality going in, most fabric was fragile and suceptable to runs, holes and fading after normal usage (and, yes a half century since..).

But to see 'em still pristine in the box..?

Ahhh, to paraphrase myself, like Joe's and MMM, it was indeed 'all we had'.

And it was.. AWESOME.

Doug said...

I went back to look at your pictures again, David. Jeez, are you about 6'8" or what? You look almost as tall as the door!!


Anonymous said...

Captain who?

- Mike 'born in '70' from Trinidad & Tobago.

humanbelly said...

I tell ya, I was born late in '60. . . and I have not even a glimmer of a memory of this figure. And I can often pull cartoon and commercial jingles from out of the depths of my memory starting somewhere around '65. I wonder. . . was he distributed regionally, maybe? Except. . . I was from Michigan, so my regional market would have been the same as davidb's. Man, this is an enigma. . .


david_b said...

Doug, wellll, if you must ask, I'm closer to 6'6'.. No basketball, but I have run several marathons..., getting a bit old for even that now after my military excursions for 27yrs.

("... And 'specially after a day telling folks who Captain Action was...")

Thanks for the topic, y'all.

Karen said...

Glad you enjoyed it David. I thought you might!

I wasn't sure how many other Captain Action enthusiasts there might be among the BAB crowd. I guess not too many. It's sort of interesting seeing which toys hit our particular group, especially the age breakdown. I was surprised some people had not even heard of Captain Action, but then, I don't know what Johnny West is. Hmmm...maybe a future post?

fantastic four fan forever said...

I remember my Captain Action Figures! I even had the side kick and the Dr. Evil figure. My grandmother bought all of the costumes! We had a local Woolworth in our town and that’s were she purchased them. I wish I still had them today. In my youth, I created so many battle scenes with them. They were all used and were in many fragments and pieces. I’d combine costumes and put them on the G.I. Joe 12 inch action figures also. It was the first time I ever saw the Super-Hero genre represented in such a large action figure. Sure, there were manufacturers that constructed small un-articulated figures, however this was something different. I wish the line was expanded to cover more action heroes. For what reasons unknown to me the line stopped around 1970. It wasn’t until Mego came in the mid-70’s that I saw super heroes again.

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