Happy 90th Birthday, General Chuck Yeager!

General Chuck Yeager (Photo: PMN  III)

USAF fighter pilot, test pilot, aviation pioneer and American hero, General Chuck Yeager (Photo: PMN III)

The only Chuck Yeager action figure produced so far is this unlicensed, somewhat simplistic version produced in Japan by OK Gangu. Clearly General Yeager deserves better than this! (Photo: Toys McCoy/OK Gangu)

The only Chuck Yeager action figure produced so far is this unlicensed, somewhat simplistic version produced in Japan by OK Gangu. Clearly General Yeager deserves better than this! (Photo: Toys McCoy/OK Gangu)

Please take a moment today to wish aviation and American hero, General Chuck Yeager, a very happy 90th birthday. As you may recall, Yeager was the first man to fly faster than the speed of sound in the USAF’s experimental Bell X-1 rocket plane, dubbed the “Glamorous Glennis.”

You may also recall how in the wonderful film, “The Right Stuff,” as the fame of the U.S. space program’s “Mercury 7” astronauts grew, press coverage of Yeager’s own accomplishments greatly (and unfairly) diminished.

Interestingly, Yeager has also been one of the most overlooked American heroes in the terms of 1:6 scale action figure collecting. As of this date, the only figure produced to honor General Yeager has been an unlicensed, rather generic-looking boxed pilot ($175 US), produced about 10 years ago by Japanese clothing and toy manufacturer, OK Gangu/Toys McCoy. How did a clothing company branch out into toys? According to the BigRedMoon website…

“We have to remember that Toys McCoy is really a division of The Real McCoy Company, a manufacturer of clothing; high-quality jackets, pants, etc. They also produce motorcycle helmets and related clothing. Textiles and plastics manufacturing must have been the nucleus that lead to their action figure production.

After all these years, it’s unclear if any Yeager figures are still available from Toys McCoy, and why Hasbro, Hot Toys or Sideshow haven’t produced a tribute figure of their own remains unknown. Imagine all the uniform, equipment and diorama possibilities available! Geez, what’s the guy gotta do to get some toy company “respect?”

Closeup of the figure reveals a nifty jacket with a YEAGER name tag. (Photo: Toys McCoy/OK Gangu)

Closeup of the figure reveals a nifty jacket with a YEAGER name tag. (Photo: Toys McCoy/OK Gangu)

This closeup of the Yeager figure reveals a face more akin to Dennis Quaid (also in "The Right Stuff") and items that were clearly cloned from other company's parts. Note the hands? Obviously copies of CC hands. And that helmet and mask? Yup. We've seen those before elsewhere too! (Photo: OK Gangum)

This closeup of the Yeager figure reveals a face more akin to Dennis Quaid (also in “The Right Stuff”) and items that were clearly cloned from other company’s parts. Note the hands? Obviously copies of CC hands. And that helmet and mask? Yup. We’ve seen those before too. (Photo: Toys McCoy/OK Gangu)

Bottom Line: Despite being largely ignored by action figure companies, General Yeager remains HUGELY popular with aviation and military history buffs. He even has his own website (found HERE), and you can email a personal birthday wish to this amazing man by jumping to THIS PAGE.

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