Kids who grew up in Britain from the late 60s through the 80s (and beyond after he was periodically reintroduced) will know the Action Man, which were literally the UK version of America’s GI Joe. Now the toy line is getting its own movie, with The Muppets and Alice Through The Looking Glass helmer James Bobin set to direct.
While Bobin came to Hollywood’s attention thanks to New Zealand hit series Flight Of The Conchords, he’s actually a Brit (who incidentally worked directed a lot of the early Ali G, helping launch Sacha Baron Cohen’s career), who would have grown up with Action Man.
The toy arrived in the UK in 1966 as a licensed version of Hasbro’s GI Joe line, but with a less specifically American bent, and over time became a range of adventurer type figures that went far betond the military. He found immense popularity before falling out of favour by the 80s. Since the 1990s he has undergone various changes and transformations, with greater or lesser success. It’s not know if the new film will follow one of these newer reinventions – such as the 1993 version which resulted in a cartoon series where he got enemies such as Dr X and Professor Gangrene – or if it will take him back to his earlier incarnations.