Brand-new figures produced from original Hasbro molds!
The time was 1975. The Vietnam War was ending and GIjOEs were disappearing from toy store shelves across America. As they did however, they began to reappear across the Atlantic—in Spain. An all-new line of GIjOEs, renamed “Geyperman” (pronounced “Hyperman”) was being created under official license from Hasbro using a variety of its original molds and equipment.
Manufactured by Geyper, the Spanish-made GIjOEs were essentially identical to their U.S. painted hair and fuzzhead predecessors. And following the same “razors and blades” concept of Joe’s original creators, Geyper went on to produce thousands of new figures, unique uniform sets and exciting vehicles. Quality control remained excellent throughout Geyperman’s production run, and the products were superb.
Of course, nothing lasts forever, and in 1982, after a few years of sluggish sales, the Geyperman line was discontinued. Unsold clothes and accessories were boxed up. The factory’s machines and molds were carefully stored and put away. For over 30 years, all of it would remain idle and untouched. (It’s a miracle it wasn’t all destroyed or sold off long ago.)
During Geyperman’s brief 7-year existence, a large European fanbase for the line had been created. Today, the Spanish-made action figures are, once again, highly-prized by collectors, and original versions can fetch hundreds of dollars on ebay. Interest in the line remains strong in Spain and other European nations, and has begun to grow steadily in the U.S., Mexico and South America as well.
Fortunately, after 30 years, Geyperman is starting to make a big comeback. In December, 2011, Aneses over on the Sideshow Collectors Forum quietly announced a very exciting discovery…
“I remember enjoying Geyperman so much when I was a child. As you may know, it wasn’t easy to get American toys in Spain during the 1970′s when there was no internet. Now we have good news here in Spain. Thanks to Juanma De Castro, a great Geyperman collector, we’ll be able to buy these figures once again.
Juanma bought the original molds and machines and has started to make them all again! In these photos, you’ll see the first run of figures they’ve already made. Just 4 characters as a limited-edition of 300 each.
And…the clothes are also original from the 1970′s. Somebody was keeping them when the Geyper factory closed! If this run is sucessful, they will consider making some more characters. I’m quite excited about this. I’ll have my new Geyperman in barely one week. Can’t wait to have it!”
Wow. GIjOE, Action Man and Geyperman fans all over the world have a right to be excited. These are brand-new, vintage-era figures being made from Hasbro’s ORIGINAL molds. That’s amazing! The company making all this possible is called Hobbycrash. Over on their website (SEE NOW), you’ll find out how you can order the four initial figures they’ve created. Translation may be tricky, but it’s manageable and fairly straightforward. Prices are in Euros, but all credit cards will make the conversions for you. Each figure is dressed in authentic 1970s clothing, in new box with manuals, etc. It’s like taking a time tunnel trip back to 1975!
Of course, what most fans want to know now is “How are they? and “What’s the quality like?” Fortunately, reports of the new figures have been VERY positive. Over on UK’s Vintage Action Man Enthusiasts (VAME) forum, Capnslog declares…
“Some of you will know that Juanma is producing a re-issue of some of the original Geyperman figures. He has bought all the original tools, molds, flocking machines that allow him to do this. He has started to sell the first batch of these figures and I bought one of the Adventurers (see actual figure in red below).
The quality of the figure is superb, no problem with his hip balls, can pose him, nice tight arms and of course gripping hands. The flocking is excellent and I can see it lasting a lot longer than some of the 40th AM.
Clothes and equipment are also great quality. the only criticism I have is with the boots. They are very thin plastic and to me are more akin to knock off boots. The 40th AM were made from more of a rubber feeling thicker plastic and to me are a better quality.
Having said that, it doesn’t put me off buying any more of these figures. Well done to Juanma for producing this. I’m so impressed, that if he were to sell just the figures without clothes or equipment, I would replace my entire 40th range of figures with his.”
Bottom Line: 30 years ago, Geyperman had been officially declared dead. The factory where he was made was shuttered. The molds that made his bodies were packed away. But now, thanks to the efforts of one man, the venerated toy line has been resurrected. In the photos at the beginning of this article, you can see what the molds and equipment look like that Juanma has purchased. We can only imagine all the materials and production steps that are also required to manufacture new figures. It’s obviously quite an undertaking and we heartily applaud Juanma for taking on such a challenge.