Above chart approximates the main differences between the three main Action Man periods of manufacture from 1966 to 1983. This is intended only as a guide only.
Action Man Body Types by year:
1964 GI Joe created in USA by Hasbro.
1966 Action Man figure stamped 'Made in England by Palitoy under licence from Hasbro © 1964' on his back.
1966 Some Canadian origin GI Joes distributed in UK to boost low stocks.
1970 'Realistic Hair' flock hair added
1973 Gripping hands replace hard hands
1977 'Eagle Eyes' head added to (hybrid) figure with moving eye mechanism operating from back of head
1979 All-new dynamic physique featuring no-elastic type stringing, and blue moulded trunks. Stamped '© CPC Products Corporation 1978.'
1981 'Sharpshooter Head' Adam's apple added to top of torso allowing head to clip back over lug.
1983 Range stopped being produced, 1984 final year of any sales.
See also History of Action Man
1966 Action Soldier - painted head
1966-1969/70 dog tag
1966 Action Man - painted hard head, hard hands. Note slight shine to head and squared off wrist detail. Rivets are painted a flesh colour to begin with. Can contain some GI Joe sourced parts such as big feet with long straight toes.
1966 Action Man hair colour variations. Blond or brown with brown eyes, red or black with blue eyes.
c1969 Action Man - painted softer head, hard hands. Note smoother wrist lines and feet are now one of the smaller types. Rivets now unpainted. Also note stress fractures / cracks to limbs which are common in all of this body type.
1966 Action Soldier
1966 Action Man - Canadian GI Joe version used to fill gaps in stock in UK.
1966 Canadian GI Joe copyright information
1970 Action Soldier - introduction of flock hair
1970 - c.1973 dog tag
1970 - c.1973 dog tag (variation)
1970 Action Man figure - introduction of flock hair over the paint - brown or blond with or without beard. Heads can develop blue mold patches inside plastic which are virtually impossible to totally get out.
1970 Action Man figure copyright information (still 1964)
1973 Soldier - early gripping hands discolour and harden
1973 Action Man figure - hard hands swopped to early gripping hands (replacement hands shown) with or without beard
1973 Action Man figure copyright information (still 1964)
1978 Action Man figure - new Eagle Eyes head attached to preceeding figure with or without beard
1978 Action Man figure - new Eagle Eyes head attached to preceeding figure with or without beard. (Replacement hands shown).
1978 Action Man figure copyright information (still 1964)
1979 Action Man figure - new dynamic physique
1979 Action Man - new dynamic physique muscle body brown or blond, with or without beard
1979 figure copyright information
From 1981 figures get 'Sharpshooter' adam's apple type neck bump.
Last of the line - 1983 Soldier - retains dynamic physique muscle body
1983 - 84 type dog tag / ID badge