Captain Action

The first Captain Action was introduced in 1966 and he quickly became identified as the Superhero of all Superheroes. It was possible to buy clothing for this action figure that would turn him into Spider-Man, Superman, Batman, Captain American, Buck Rogers, the Phantom, the Green Hornet, and the Lone Ranger- you could even turn him into Tonto. This doll was able to win a lot of the market from GI Joe; this doll had been released two years previously. This competition between the products did not bother creator Stan Watson though; he designed and created both GI Joe and Captain Action.

The idea of an action figure who could take on the identity of all these different superheroes was an instant winner with young boys. It may not have been so well received by parents as they had to purchase each set of superhero clothes and accessories separately. The first doll on the market was Captain Magic and he came with blue and black uniform along with his trusty ray gun. By 1967 Captain Magic was joined by Action Boy with his own collectable set of uniforms and accessories.No Superhero can be complete without an archenemy so Martell obliged by introducing Dr Evil.

By the end of the sixties there was less interest in superheroes and demand for the toy fell away; in 1968 it was discontinued altogether. The toy became a collector’s item and was only remembered by action figure geeks and those who originally played the game. It looked certain that Captain Action was going to be lost to history, but to the surprise of many people and the delight of others it was reintroduced in 1998.

Thirty years is a long time to be absent from the toy market and Captain Action struggled to find a niche. This time the series was taking over by a company which specialized in retro toys called Playing Mantis. This reintroduction of the action figure only lasted two years and in 2000 it was once again shelved. A lot of the blame for the toy’s failure to thrive has been attributed to the fact that Playing Mantis was not able to get a license to use Superman and Spiderman characters; these two are probably the most well-liked of all superheroes so their absence really hurt the product.

The future is uncertain for Captain Action and 1998 but hopefully it won’t have been his last outing. That would be a shame for such a well-loved character. The licensing rights are currently held by Captain Action Enterprises and there are rumblings of a new toy being released sometime in the future.

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Storyline

Captain Action is a man of many identities, but the original attempt to provide the public with an insight into his story provided a different image than the action figure. In the 1968 comic Captain Action had the real identity of Clive Arno and possessed magic coins that could that could be used to provide him with special powers. He had found these magical coins during an archeological dig in a mysterious buried city.

The action figures were able to turn into heroes like Spiderman, Superman, Captain America, The Lone Ranger, and Batman. This ability was absent in the Captain Action comic book series because DC Comics did not have permission to recreate these heroes because they were owned by other corporations like Marvel Comics.

Captain Action was soon joined by other characters. The most important being Dr Evil; this is Captain Action’s mortal enemy who was once his father-in-law. Captain Action is not expected to go up against this devious and mad enemy alone though and so Action Boy entered the fray; this new hero might be on the young side but he is able to turn into Superboy.

In 2008 Captain Action returned to comic books with a series published by Moonstone. In this series our hero is part of A.C.T.I.O.N. directorate. The members of this organization are tasked with fighting off the Red Crawl. Captain Action did not want to become a hero, but when his father winds up dead it is left for Clive to fill his father’s shoes. The world had believed that the Red Crawl had gone away, but they were wrong and now Captain Action has to stop these dangerous Aliens.

The Good Guys

The Captain Action story line changed a bit over the years but originally it was focused on a widowed architect called Clive Arno who finds magical coins during an archeological dig in an ancient buried city. These coins give Clive Arno special powers depending on whatever coin he chooses to use. They can turn him into a Norse, Roman, or Greek God. The action figure Clive Arno is able to turn into superheroes like Superman, Spiderman, The Lone Ranger, and Batman.

As well as Captain Action there is also Action Boy or as he is now called Kid Action. This young man is the son of Clive Arno and has his own Superhero powers. Together with his father the two do battle against Captain Action’s father-in-law, who is Action Boy’s grandfather, the dreaded Dr Evil. The two have also been seen helping out Action Force.

The Bad Guys

The notorious bad guy in Captain Action is Dr Evil who is also called Dr Tracy and is Captain Action’s father-in-law. Dr Tracy is believed to have become evil after an accident in his laboratory. Like Captain Action he is also able to change his appearance using different masks. His usual look is quite hideous with an exposed brain and bulging blood shot eyes; he also has blue skin and red lips. Dr Evil can also be recognized by the fact that he likes to wear a medallion. Dr Evil is the grandfather of Kid Action/ Action Boy.