UK’s Action Man Day 4 Toy Show Recap & Review


Action Man fans browse the plentiful offerings for sale at the 2014 Action Man Day 4 toy show in North Weald, UK. Click on photo to see our exclusive “GigantaPic” enlargement. (Photo: Daniel Smart)

To gain further insight into how citizens of the UK celebrate and commemorate their country’s beloved 1:6 scale hero and icon, Action Man, we recruited two of our best overseas “Field Reporters” in Daniel Smart and compatriot Brian Crowe and asked each of them to file an independent recap and review of the Action Man Day 4 toy show held recently in North Weald. We begin with the show’s organizer Smart, who provided us with the following exclusive intel:

“Can I first say that I LOVE The Joe Report(!) and am truly honoured that you are interested in the Action Man Day that I host here in the UK. My name is Daniel Smart. I am married to my beautiful wife Charlotte and we have 4 lovely children. By day, I am a solicitor (Lawyer). But by night, I’m an Action Man collector.  I’ve been a collector of Action Man pretty much all my life, but became serious in collecting about 20 years ago.”


Action Man fan and collector, Daniel Smart, holds up the promotional flyer he created for the Action Man Day 4 show as he poses alongside (some of) his outstanding collection at home. (Photo: Daniel Smart)

“With the advent of the Internet, I soon found my way onto forums, but was saddened by how a particular forum was uninviting and often remarked negatively towards people’s collections, especially those of the new collector. It was so bad, that I decided to set up a new forum that would welcome all collectors of Action Man, GIjOE and any other 1/6th scale figures. With the aid of two good friends of mine, Darral Rabone and Damian Cole, the Action Man Mobile Ops (AMMO) forum was born (see HERE).”


Smart’s collection is displayed and protected within superb display cabinets from ARGOS (in the UK). The cabinets have glass doors which open easily and keep everything dust-free. (Photo: Daniel Smart)


AM dealer, Stephen May, waits for customers during AMD4. (Photo: Daniel Smart)

“Soon after, the forum we left hosted their own Action Man Day. But again, it was only really open to its members, which again, we felt very sad about. That was when our Action Man Day was born. We thought, what if we held a day totally for Action Man, GIjOE and all his 1/6 cousins  and open it to the public? Well, at the first Action Man Day I hosted, I offered totally FREE tables to all sellers and we just crossed our fingers. What a day! It was totally packed with buyers and sellers. Bob Brechin (the chief designer at Palitoy) even came to sign anybody’s cherished Action Man new and childhood items.”


Sarah Sturdy was selling vintage Action Man figures and equipment, as well as numerous AM coffee mugs, photos, posters and related pieces of artwork. Outstanding! (Photo: Daniel Smart)

“Since that first show, I am amazed at how it’s grown, from 8 sellers at our first to 26 at our latest one. In fact, the editor of a very big collecting magazine here in the UK (Rob Burman) was so blown away by the event, that he asked me to write an article about Action Man. It’s now become a regular column that runs the month before each event takes place and the money I receive from writing the articles helps fund—the NEXT Action Man Day!”


Action Man dealer, Alan Hall, had a table overflowing with great things to buy. (Photo: Daniel Smart)


I would also like to add that after hosting this great event I was lucky enough to be asked by James May (a ‘Top Gear‘ TV show presenter) to donate and take part in an upcoming ‘Toy Stories’ documentary to be aired on TV here in the UK in the Autumn (Fall) of 2014. I can’t say too much about this show, but I donated my own childhood 1966 painted-head Action Man figure to break the sound barrier and maybe even get launched into space. I was warned he may not make it back from the mission but what another great mission for the greatest Action Man that ever lived!”


Action Man and GIjOE shows are all about the browsing. (Photo: Daniel Smart)

“I am so humbled by how much support I receive each year and it’s a pleasure to host such a wonderful day that seems to make so many people happy. I shall continue to host these days and already I’m planning something very special for the November Show. Please keep an eye on the AMMO forum and ALL other Action Man outlets!”
Daniel Smart, AMD4 Organizer, UK


Barry Pippen of Pippen’s Toys, UK is a popular and frequent visitor to the U.S. Here, he “holds court” with his customers over in a corner of the AMD4 show. Psst! Hey, Barry! That AM mine-sweeper would command a hefty price tag here in the ‘States. See if it’ll fit in your carry-on bag! (Photo: Daniel Smart)

Brian Crowe, Action Man Collector, UK. (Photo: Brian Crowe)

Brian Crowe, Action Man Collector, UK. (Photo: Brian Crowe)

And Now, For Someone Completely Different…

For a second perspective on the recent AMD4 show in North Weald, we turn the helm of The Joe Report over to the reportage of respected Action Man fan, expert and collector, Brian Crowe (also of the UK). According to Brian’s unique view from the “Crowe’s Nest:”

“This now twice-yearly event has replaced what was known as the ‘Cheshunt Shows,’ which (in their day) were excellent for buying, selling and generally meeting up. They stopped as there seemed to be a tailing off of attendees and the costs of hiring a hall were rising. So, for a couple of years, people in the southeast were bereft of any type of show However, some members of AMMO were determined to revive a regular show and hence ‘Action Man Day’ at North Weald was born.”


The spacious hall in North Weald was perfect for this year’s AMD4 event. (Photo: Brian Crowe)

“The atmosphere at these events is one of camaraderie and a genuine interest in not only Action Man but also other 1/6th scale figures as well. There is a mixture of commercial sellers such as Alan Hall, Barry Pippen and CBToycollectables, to just genuine collectors of Action Man who have either their collections up for grabs or have amassed boxes of ‘stuff’ and want to sell it on.”


Both loose and boxed figures were available. And look at all those sled-dogs! (Photo: ammoman)

“You can pick up fully kitted-out figures for very reasonable prices, bodies (both vintage and 40th) for you to kit out yourself, or there are (my favourite) ‘Rummage Boxes’ full of odds-n-ends in varying condition ready for you to use in your own customizations.”


After setting up for the AMD4 show, dealers then play a waiting game whilst customers carefully and deliberately choose from thousands of tempting items for sale. (Photo: Brian Crowe)

“Apart from the buying and selling, there is the opportunity to meet old familiar faces and also new ones from the various forums. You can swap tips, chat about your projects and collections over a cup of tea and toast, while posing for the odd photo as well. It is not often we get the chance to meet up like this and although you can have really good chat and knowledge sharing on forums, there is nothing like a real world face-to-face meeting. Hats off to the organisers of this event and may it long continue!” —Brian Crowe, UK


Brand-new, MIB figures were neatly arrayed and available for sale. DROOL... (Photo: Brian Crowe)


The AMD4 show was so popular, another is already planned for November! (Photo: ammoman)


Buying, selling, or simply chatting about Action Man with your mates—It’s ALL good! (Photo: Brian Crowe)

Bottom Line: What a wonderful show! After reading this, there’s bound to be a great deal of jealous fans here in the U.S. and elsewhere around the globe, but we wish those who organize and attend these “Action Man Days” in the UK all the best. <sigh> And our special thanks to Daniel Smart and Brian Crowe for their generous contributions to this article. Go, Joe! Go, ACTION MAN!

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8 thoughts on “UK’s Action Man Day 4 Toy Show Recap & Review

  1. Roy Jones says:

    I said it once and I’ll say it again…Alan Hall should be knighted for his work on the 40th Action Man line! Great photos. I wish I could have been there!

  2. Daniel Smart says:

    It wouldn’t be possible without all of your support. And I think I speak on behalf of everyone at AMMO, when I say THANK YOU for all for your continued support and attendance. It may be a lot of hard work, but each year I stand on that stage and witness all those happy faces it really does make it all worthwhile. I, and all the Admin/Moderators at AMMO, have simple goals and these are being realized daily, but none of it would be possible without you guys. 🙂

    My personal thanks to all the mods and admin at AMMO, my main bro Dammo, one of the nicest and biggest collectors out there, Ray Smith, and everyone else that I have had the pleasure of meeting. And a big thank you to Mark Otnes for giving us (and our day) some space here on—The Joe Report! —DANTHECOAT

  3. GIJOEBILL says:

    That is a lot of 1:6 scale goodness in there!!

  4. ruby says:

    When are we having another GIjOE show here in Grapevine, TX? Someone respond please.

    • Hi Ruby, That’s coming up on October 10th. In the future, remember that you can scroll down to the bottom of any page of The Joe Report to see our free, continually updated calendar of GIjOE club meetings, shows and other 1:6 scale-related events. Enjoy! —Mark 🙂

  5. Vizcom says:

    ACTION MAN DAY 4… What a smashing treat!

    I’m not so sure if following all the Action Man/GI Joe Facebook pages and your blog is such a flippin’ good idea! I get daily reminders of how awesome these little chaps and all their gear are, yet no way of getting my hands on much down here in the Kingdom of the Zulu, darkest Africa. I was (sort of) unfortunate (except for the constant sunny weather) to have been brought here from Lincoln, England by my parents when I was 5 years old and I am the ONLY person I know ’round here who owns Action Man figures. I have a prized collection of… 4!

    I often think of posting a photo of my humble collection on your Patches of Pride FB page but compared to everyone else’s it’s pathetic—yet proud. I used to get my Action Men as a kid from a local toy store (which closed down about 25 years ago) and all I have left (after my Mum kidnapped my soldiers for jumble sales!) were two figures. I recently acquired another two figures by swapping an Apple computer with a friend for the two I discovered he had – but they have no hands!

    Well, you might say, buy some stuff on eBay and the likes. Problem there is, that the cost of shipping and duty taxes to South Africa are WAY more than the purchase itself so it’s almost impossible. I hope to one day return to the UK and start all over again. In the meanwhile, it’s just a whole lot of drooling over the posts I see here and on Facebook. Thanks for helping keep my passion for Action Man alive. Keep up the awesome job!

    Luke Comins
    Durban, South Africa

  6. tom says:

    He’s now a sacked (for lying) non-solicitor, lol. Copying other people’s work, sadly not as good. Don would be turning in his grave if he saw the abomination made by danthescrote.

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