Way back in the day, when the world would appear to me to be a rather large place and we spied in the air for Libyan planes planning to drop bombs on the British homeland, there was a series of adventures featuring a group of soldiers against a villainous organisation.
That villainy was led first of all by Baron Ironblood who would become the Cobra Commander, and he was foiled on a weekly basis by ACTION FORCE!
In the US, there was G.I. Joe, and very good it was too; so good that they re-marketed it for the UK in the form of Action Force, which took the mantle left over from Action Man as the new set of figures to collect.
Back in the Eighties, action figures were a big thing. Since the success of Star Wars action figures, toy companies jumped on the bandwagon and introduced us to He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, Thundercats, Transformers and Action Force. All of these were tied in with comics or cartoon shows, which helped create the universe for which you could play for hours but primarily were there to promote the product. Action Force were no different, and they used an old war comic called Battle to promote the new range of toys.
This was called BATTLE: ACTION FORCE.
It was released during the early Eighties and quickly became a hit. The idea was to tie the Palitoy range of products in with the comic to create one large universe. You could collect very figure that was featured in the comic, from Duke to Baron Ironblood. This was then re-imagined into a further expanded universe with Cobra, a far more sinister group of baddies which would further expand the Action Force group of heroes.
The comic ran until 1986, where it lost the licence for Palitoy to Marvel. The series began a steady decline and eventually it was merged with that other classic British comic Eagle.
But Battle: Action Force remains close to my heart, and the line of figures gave me much enjoyment in my local toy store, which was called Whites Bazaar, and is sadly no longer in existence.
It may not have lasted long but it has left an indelible memory on a generation. Who would devour the stories of Duke, Snake Eyes, Ripcord; or the Red Shadows and Cobra soldiers.
Battle: Action Force is a comic of its time, and with only Commando out there still in print for good old fashioned war stories of derring-do, it will remain nothing more than a wonderful memory.