Saturday, March 5, 2011

BOB POWER - the ultimate GI Joe ?

Everybody has their favourite. Some like the muscle-body Joes. Some like the fuzzy head Action Men with the gripping hands. Some like the Adventure Team equipment and uniforms. Some like the uniqueness of the Atomic Man. Imagine an Action Figure with all those functions rolled into one: BOB POWER !

In 1977 Schildkröt released a new kind of adventurer for the Action Team. He features a GI Joe muscle body, eagle eyes, kung-fu grip, blonde realistic hair and beard and .... a NAME ! Yes, Hasbro weren't very creative with their GI Joe names, preferring generic references which were to become somewhat politically incorrect over the years. In contrast BOB POWER has stood the test of time. Partially because of the universal appeal and partially because of the reference to Hasbro's Mike Power - the atomic man. If they are actually related is a mystery but their mutual fascination for technical innovation may be a clue.

Whereas Mike experimented with atomic body parts and hand-held transportation devices, Bob was exploring the use of  mobile energy packs to fuel his hand-held, industrial strength drilling and sawing equipment. This equipment is taken directly from the Hasbro Super Joe range and if you ever had to attach the battery pack around Bob's muscle body then you know that the straps barely fit. The great-looking suit is also borrowed, taken from none other than Palitoy's Atomic Man. Possibly an indicator that the battery pack's energy source may well be atomic !

On the advertisement you can see the word "ZIRR". Well, this is exactly the noise the equipment makes. For the price of a single battery you get a lamp on the front of the battery pack to light up and the drills and saws to turn and spin. This adds a new dimension to the Adventure Team spirit - equipment that works in AND outside your imagination. 

Lets face it - a fully equipped Bob Power is enough to soften even the most hardened eagle-eye Joe critics.Not to mention a practical PLAN B should your sonic rock blaster not get the job done. 

Visit BOB POWER on Facebook and have a look at his BLITZ PACK & SUPER TORNADO album.

I want the ultimate Joe too - where can I get it ?
  • First you need "Bob Power" or a similar muscle-body-eagle-eyed figure.
  •  Then you need the Action Team "Blitz Pack" card set or you can try to get a Palitoy Atomic Man uniform and Super Joe "Power Pack" separately.
  •  Last but not least you need the Action Team "Super Tornado" set or the original Super Joe version "Magna Tools".

Voila ! 
Now you have the ultimate Joe or at the very least a great new edition to your collection  :-)

Sunday, February 13, 2011

The Adventure Raft !

Hi Action Team fans,

well, to get this blog started I thought I would show you one of the lesser known sets, the adventure raft. It was released in Germany under the name "Abenteuer-Floß".
You probably remember the inflatable raft which was used for everything from espionage to deep-sea diving but what about a wooden raft ? No ? Well thats no surprise because this particular set was unique to the Action Team range and only produced in Germany.
The box art shows the bearded adventurer guiding his raft through stormy seas. A large sail with the familiar A.T. logo is catching the wind.

On the box is a notice stating "Bausatz" which means some assembly is required. Inside the box are several long thin pieces of wood resembling miniature logs, a cloth sail and some instructions. So, lets see, we have a raft with a sail and an oar which doubles as a rudder. Put it together and VOILA, you're ready to hit the high seas or at least the fishpond in the garden.

The idea itself is simple as it is effective. The natural material is more realistic and fun than plastic when playing pirate or escape from Skull Island type scenarios. Plastic is durable but brown plastic is simply not wood. The idea that the adventurer got that "muscle body", "kung-fu grip" and "realistic hair" from chopping down all those trees to make the raft is also totally plausible.

I know, you probably want your own raft right now. Unfortunately this set was released in the late seventies and shortly after, the Action Team series became less popular, sales dropped and production stopped. In other words it's one of the rarer sets. You may be lucky enough to still find one but if not an Adventure Raft could make an interesting building or customization project. Yes, that was a hint :-)