Complete Vintage Action Man Figures List: Top 6 Reference Books for Collectors

If you want to have your own collection of Action Man but don’t know where to start, consider touching up on your Action Man basics. Reference books are the best way to have a handy Action Man figures list when you’re out hunting for a new addition to your collection. Here are a few trusted ones to guide you. 

Action Man: The Ultimate Collectors’ Guide Series

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Alan Hall’s book trilogy covers 18 years of the vintage Action Man line, from 1966 to 1984. Its pages are basically an Action Man figures list of what was released throughout the years. It is complete with images of what each release included.

The books are chopped up into three volumes, each dedicated to three distinct timelines that pointed to changes with the production of Action Man figures.

Volume I: 1966-1969

The first book tackles on the first generation Action Man when it was still an indistinguishable UK counterpart to the American G.I. Joe figure. It is an Action Man figures list of back when he had a Painted Head with a trademarked scar on his right cheek.

Volume II: 1970-1977

The second volume goes through the timeline when Palitoy replaced Action Man’s painted head with a more realistic one featuring fuzzy hair, known as “Flocked Head”. Some figures like the Sailor and Adventurer even got flocked beards. The figure’s body was pretty much the same until 1973 when Palitoy introduced the “gripping hands” feature.

Volume III: 1978-1984

This last book completes the trilogy and covers the Action Man figures list of the last period of the vintage Action Man range. It is during this timeframe that Action Man gets his iconic “Eagle Eyes.” The 1966 body was also improved with a “Dynamic Physique” muscle body that had no metal components.

Action Man: The Official Dossier


Did you know that the Action Man SAS products came smelling like strawberries when it landed in UK? While most reference books come in the form of an Action Man figures list, Action Man: The Official Dossier hits different. It doesn’t simply talk about what the toys looked like but who Action Man was and how he came to be. It even goes into detail about different plans that never made it into production.

The book is an autobiography of sorts as it comprehensively covers the complete history of Action Man from when he hit the shops in 1966 down to his retirement as a cult classic. This entertaining tribute complete with photographs of his different guises and catalogues of his features, uniforms, and accessories truly brings our beloved Action Man with Eagle Eyes to life.

Action Man: The Real Story


Action Man: The Real Story is a 295-page book written by Kevin King, an Action Man collector and one of the pioneers of the Action Man scene. It took him at least 13 years to compile this catalogue of Action Man items complete with coloured photos and a star ranking system based on rarity and value.

This comprehensive guide includes nearly 800 illustrations with over 600 of them in full colour. It covers Action Man items produced over a 30-year period from 1966 to 1996. It is straight to the point and easy to understand which is perfect for those who are just starting their collection.

On Land, Sea, and in the Air: Action Man

Witness Action Man’s adventures through this lookbook by N.G. Taylor, an avid collector of Action Man perfecting his photography technique since 1990. It took him over five years to photograph and compile this handy hardback book.

With lifelike settings, action poses, and detailed descriptions, On Land, Sea, and in the Air: Action Man is a collector’s must-have. It features an Action Man figures list of 115 different uniforms, each with front, back, and close-up photos. It also has a Quartmaster section showing all the accessories included in each set.

This photo book and Action Man figures list captures our Eagle-Eyed hero right in the middle of the action, proving that Action Man can handle any situation and terrain, whether on land, sea, or air.


The Takeaway

If you want to start collecting vintage Action Man, it’s best to do research beforehand. It is best to have a complete Action Man figures list to properly assess what to add to your collection.

These guides give different perspectives on Action Man. Some mention their rarity and value, others reference historical events, but one thing they have in common is their ability to bring our favorite hero back to life through their vibrant stories. That said, I hope this article helps you with your collection.

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