Captain Action Enterprises Rep, Joe Ahearn, “Feels the Frustration” and Replies to Critics

Admits “Nothing is For Sure” About the DC Line

In a lengthy and plain-talking response to regular and ongoing criticism regarding continued delays of 1:6 Captain Action products, Captain Action Enterprises (CAE) head, Joe Ahearn, admitted feeling “frustrated” and that negative comments on fan forums were getting to be “very wearisome.” Of course, the frustrations that fans and collectors feel regarding delayed costume sets, etc., is no secret (see previous article HERE), and after many months of silence on the subject, Ahearn wisely chose to address the subject yesterday. In his post to the CA fan forum, he stated:

Joe Ahearn, founder of Captain Action Enterprises (Photo: CAE)

Joe Ahearn, founder of Captain Action Enterprises (Photo: CAE)

We too, surely do feel the frustration about the timing of the Round 2 DC sets. According to the original plan, we should be making Wave 8 by now! A few of the guys out there tend to bash everything in public forums, and denigrate all the efforts we put into various projects, and that- frankly – gets very wearisome.

Getting on the cover of the Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide, for instance, is a HUGE deal. We’ll be in every comic shop front and center and in many bookstores. And they’ll be advertising that for the entire next year too. And by doing that, we’ll be right in front of the guys (for a year) who make the ordering decisions for the Round 2 sets.

To a lesser extent, the same thing applies to the Tonner Lady Action, the Captain Action Cat series and all the other projects. We can tell you that the first buyer at Toys R Us told us he saw the Sideshow CA statue and Moonstone series every Wednesday when he bought his comics…and that directly led to them buying in for Round 2.

So when some fans denigrated the SDCC panel because there’s no news – we tend to find that debilitating on a personal level. But hey, In a perfect world we would’ve absolutely had a Batman Prototype up there to show everyone.

As discerning fans, we’ve been defying the odds time and time again with the Round 2 sets. We’re proud to have been able to bring everyone major Marvel characters to add to their collections which was no small feat. Right now, no other company seems to be doing 1/6 scale, let alone classic Silver Age figures, and some of the experts – like the Mattel Barbie line, are faltering. (Sales down 15% vs.YA).

And Toys R Us, our lead retailer is struggling. They just had a big round of layoffs and another round is rumored. Round 2 as a company does a poor job at selling licensed toys into other big-box retailers, and beyond that we all know those retailers are having their own troubles.

So, the short answer as respects DC is ‘nothing is for sure.’ This whole line was never supposed to happen, and then just about cancelled several times along the way. We were never supposed to secure the DC license and then we did. The comics were supposed to be cancelled and then we took a step up as Dynamite is now our publisher. And as you guys all know by now, there’s lot of things going on behind the scenes too.

We’re sorry that we didn’t have Round 2 Prototypes to share at the SDCC Contest Panel. We wish, probably more than anybody, because we put so much into this – that we were further along with Round 2 sets. But like the kids used to say ‘I’m not the boss of them’ (i.e. Round2). And we’re certainly not ‘the boss’ of the TRU buyer or the Diamond Buyer either.”

A prototype of the new "Lady Action" by (Photo: CAE)

A prototype of the new 1:6 scale “Lady Action” from Go Hero. (Photo: CAE)

“All we can assure you is that we’ll continue to put way too much time into Captain Action and that we too are excited to see more costume sets manufactured. We have not abandoned 1:6 scale by any stretch of the imagination. As you know we just announced our new Lady Action figure with Go Hero. Maybe it’s not what you were hoping for or maybe you are unable to afford a higher quality figure, but there are a lot of collectors out there who play in this world. If there wasn’t, Sideshow and Hot Toys wouldn’t be in business.

The world is rapidly changing in terms of retailing, television programming and manufacturing. It’s not 1967 now and never will be again, but you already know that. We do know that it is extraordinarily frustrating for many guys on this list, and especially collectors like Ed, who never had a Batman set as a kid. (He’s been called liar about that too, btw) and we can assure you it will be very frustrating for all fans everywhere with a very narrow definition of Captain Action as simply a 12-inch action figure. No property works that focused any more, and while we respect everyone’s right to like what they like, we’ll continue to work as hard as we can to expand the brand and make better things happen for Captain Action.

Right now, as you all are aware we are working hard on getting a Captain Action Animated Series off the ground. This will be a major game changer and greatly impact the things we will be able to do for the brand as a whole going forward and perhaps alleviate some of the product development frustrations by being able to work with bigger and better companies as we move forward. As always, we are thankful for the support we have gotten. —Best, Joe & Ed”

Bottom Line: ‘Nuff said! Thanks for the updates, Joe and Ed. Keep your spirits high and please keep collectors and fans informed regarding any further developments or intel in the world of Captain Action. Go, CAP!

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23 thoughts on “Captain Action Enterprises Rep, Joe Ahearn, “Feels the Frustration” and Replies to Critics

  1. Al Hartman says:

    Honestly, as a Captain Action fan since 1966, my choices are waiting for new Round 2 product, or having nothing except what I can scrounge on eBay. I have no expectation that kvetching at Ed, Joe or Round 2 is going to bring product to the shelves any faster. I wish the DC line were here. I also want Space Ghost, the Rocketeer, a Jet Pack, a Parachute Pack, and other sets. But, you can’t have everything. Where would you put it?

  2. Conner says:

    I like the Lady Action prototype. At least she is in 1/6 scale. If they carry on with the “Action Elite” hopefully the prices won’t be too bad, but I’m not holding my breath. At least it sounds like they are trying to work with the Round2 sets. They are still some of my favorite action figures. The whole Marvel group has been awesome IMO. All I can say is keep plugging away Joe & Ed, surely these things will catch on with the action figure community someday! Shameless plug/plea: Anybody who hasn’t sampled the R2 CA stuff, go to TRU, or order online–pick up a figure and costume set for yourself and see what they are all about. You won’t be disappointed.

  3. Matthew Pak says:

    My problem with the proposed Lady Action figure is the decision to go seamless rubber body. Maybe it’s just me because I’m an old timer when it comes to collecting, but I have visions of Six Million Dollar Man skin rotting away and G.I. Joe scuba outfits grafted to bodies by Father Time. I was hoping for a Lady Action more in line with a Takara Cool Girl or a G.I. Joe lady adventurer.

    • I loved those CyGirls too!

    • Steve Polzak says:

      I stated that worry a long time ago, Matt. I even asked if what they use now is better, won’t fade, or stiffen up in time. I asked this of Sideshow because they make coverings for Hulk arms. I also asked Go Hero, because this year their Steve Reeves/Hercules figure is coming out and his whole body is like Lady Action, with total skin cover. But no one ever answered me.

      In the long run that worries me. I also don’t like how almost everyone is using hard model plastic for the darn bodies now. I have some where the arms and legs are hard plastic and only the heads and hands are soft. I think everyone that mfg this way is just doing it to get more money out of us.

      How? Action figures can break a lot easier this way. Money hungry son-of-a-xxxxxx. Sorry, but I’m sure it’s true. I remember when G.I.Joe, Capt.Action (and others) all had bodies made of the durable PVC plastic used on dinosaur toy figures. I had a G.I.Joe fall from 20 feet onto the sidewalk once with just got a small impact crack in the body. To my amazement, no arms or legs flew off. He got a little scuffed up, but that was it. Now that was a well-made action figure!

      To bad they’re not like that anymore. R.I.P. to all the well-made action figures. We knew you well. To all of you out there who recall the great action figure era, remember them well, for they will not come again. Oh, they’ll make great body shapes. The head-work is spot on for many—but the strength of the figure? NO! Time stands still for no man, woman, or child; and for sure, not our childhood toys. Our kids won’t know the joy we had.

  4. Steve Polzak says:

    I’m with Matthew Pak. I see no reason for the seamless body on the 1/6 Lady Action figure. It will only help if any outfits made for her are bare legged and bare armed. I do not know the make up of the fake skin on action figures or how it will hold up. But I do not believe it will hold up for years without fading and getting less flexible over time. This will mean cracking. I have seen it. This is why I have not gotten the Sideshow Hulk. But someone told me that that is up to the owner, that he or she has to put the arm coverings onto the Hulk. I’ll have to check into that. If so, maybe I will get one. But on Lady Action, I think it’s a bad idea. Whats wrong with nude socks or nylons, really? What are we to do when the skin goes bad and peels off her? Then she won’t be original. I am sorry, but there should NOT be a covering on her body.

    • Conner says:

      Sure cuts down on the play value, huh?

      • Steve-Polzak says:

        Yes, Conner. It does. But if this is what they did already, I guess we’re screwed in the long run. All this shows is another thing now that I WON’T pick up. Not surprising really, from what I see. I hate to say it, but it looks like they’re going off in too many directions. I say you should make sure you’ve got one thing down pat before making other deals. Now look how far behind they are on stuff.

        CAE never took a poll to see what people would like with Lady Action’s body. I’m starting to see the old saying, “Too many Chiefs and not enough Indians.” Lady Action is being made by someone else. Oh, the Captain Action people have their input, and then there will be the cartoon and they will have input on that and other things. But do all these new people getting involved still care what WE think? It doesn’t look that way. Lady Action is being done in a way that a lot of people don’t like.

        Again, I’m sorry, but this is what is happening. This is what people are seeing. And this is what people are getting but don’t want. I am just sitting back to see where all the dust is going to settle. As I said before, they have more or less lost me, my son and many others I know. We were hoping, but it just goes on and on.

        I belong to a sci-fi club that helps put on conventions, so we represent a good number of people. That means more good money that won’t be going to CAE because people are walking away. That’s not good. That’s more lost sales on everything that is Captain Action related. We simply can’t find him. No store we go to carries him anymore.

        Our only remaining option is to purchase Captain Action online and those prices are always up and down. It’s a shame. I wish Captain Action Enterprises well, I really do. I hope The Joe Report lets me know someday when things are “together” at CAE again. And I hope that I (and many others) will still be interested at that time.

  5. Jase says:

    I hate the bashing Ed and Joe are taking in the forums. No one realizes the amount of effort these men put into Cap. Instead of sitting around pissing and moaning those guys need to be thankful for what Ed and Joe have brought to our collections. Without them, there would have never been a Playing Mantis line or the Round 2 line.

    To us fans, CA means a lot. But honestly, we are talking about an obscure toy line that originally lasted 2 years before fading away in GIjOE’s shadow. Fans of the line (like myself) are not going to warrant a huge massive toy line, nor support it financially, because there simply aren’t enough of us to make up the numbers to do that. Sure, they’ll pick up a few new fans along the way, but most kids who want a Spider-Man figure are going to have their parents buy them just that, not a figure that they have to turn around and buy a separate outfit to turn him into Spider-Man.

    I honestly think moving into a premium figure format, ala Hot Toys, ACI, Go Hero, etc., might just be the way to go. You’ll get a higher quality limited figure, with a lower production run, which in turn will increase in value as well as help CA Enterprises produce more items down the road. If they can release a figure with a run of 250 to 500 pieces and sell them all, then it’s a win win. It allows us, the collector to get something of worth, and allows CA to turn a profit instead of seeing their items languish on the shelves at clearance prices.

    Yes, I know there are those that will refuse to buy a $200+ CA figure, which is cool. So don’t! Personally, I will. And I know plenty of other collectors who will, too. Some who’ve never bought a CA figure before in their life. Some may be put off by that, but it’s not 1967 anymore. If it was, you wouldn’t have a forum to bash these guys.

    Honestly, while you’re bragging about scoring a CA figure on clearance for $6 at your local Toys ‘R Us, think for a second: Who made a profit on that? And if TRU had to mark those remaining figures down that low to get them out the door, do you honestly think they’re going to re-order more? Where is the demand?

    And now you want to bash Joe and Ed that the DC sets are more then likely canceled? Really? Could you have done what they have done? I’m pretty sure there’s a book out there somewhere that talks about casting stones. It’s been amazing to me to read all the hate-filled comments, because I thought we were all talking about TOYS. Aren’t they supposed to be FUN?

    Okay, I’m sure I’ve created a whole slew of guys out there that want to bash me now. Go ahead I’m a big boy, plus if you are ripping on me at least your giving someone else a break. Take Care. Jase of Marshall Made Collectibles

    • Steve-Polzak says:

      Sorry what it sounds like, but that is what is happening out there. Also, why say you have something when the deal is not really locked down? As I said, I hope things do come about. I am the one who has been letting people know in our sci-fi area where to go to get info, like reading The Joe Report. Also, you don’t know how far back I go. I was there in the beginning. Matter of fact, I still have a true Captain Action. He has served his duty!

      I agree on having a real nice figure, but lets not go crazy with the price. And yes, they’re supposed to be FUN. I hope others getting in on this hobby will see that. You know one thing that would be great (down the line)? If Kid Action ever does return, his Panther should be made in full 1/6 scale, not like last time, and it should be an action figure itself, not just a static animal figure. Oh well, I guess you can see I really want things to happen.

      • Anonymous says:

        Why toot your own horn? Why show stuff off before it’s made? Not answering for CA Enterprises, but I’m sure (like most companies) they show off their wares at shows hoping to drum up future orders and generate excitement and that in turn creates orders or loosens up the funds required to go to production. That’s why they talked it up and tried to get the fan base behind it.

        But like I said, when your items don’t sell at retail because the numbers just aren’t there and your buyers drop out like TRU did with the Round 2 line, where will future funding come from? The collector? We’re not talking about Mattel or Kenner who’s departments can support each other if a line fails. Here we have a small company that can’t go forward unless they know that when they swing they are going to connect. That was my whole point for my long-ass message.

        I don’t think most of the people complaining have an idea of the amount of time, money, and effort it takes to get something like this up and running. I personally have made small production runs through my custom figure shop and that was just 25 or 50 figures. Granted, I’m a one-man-band, but there is a reason I won’t do it anymore. It literally consumes your life until production is complete. And in the end, the money made was BARELY worth it.

        Yet, there is not a single person out there that would knowingly shell out their own money on something if they knew in advance they would lose it. If you would like to, contact me, and I will happily play the stock market on some long-shot stocks with your money. 🙂

        Also, Round 2 did make a 1/6 “Khem” a year or two back. You can find them on EvilBay for about $17-$20. There are some scalpers out they wanting $60+ for them, so shop around. They are true 1/6 scale and are pretty awesome. Also, Playing Mantis did produce a 1/6 scale Action Boy, but under the name Kid Action (due to legal reasons). He comes in a very nice retro “coffin box” with a replica Khem. It’s a dead-on recreation of the 1968 figure, minus the chest emblem which has a KA on it instead of an AB. You can still find them for around $60-$100 on EVilBay. Again, watch out for those sellers that are looking to make bank off with your wallet. Again, just my 2 cents. —Jase of Marshall Made Collectibles

        • Steve Polzak says:

          It’s been awhile, but to Anonymous; I do know what it takes. I know people at Go Hero and Warriors Gate. I know their items are high, for as you said not the back of a big place behind them. Oh, on the Kelm the panther to Action Boy or Kid Action, you know something I don’t. Oh I know about them making him and they had laid the fuzz on him. It made him look better, but being a true 1/6 action figure? No. It was static in its pose. A real action figure is articulated. Or did I miss something? Please inform me if this is so (as to who did it what and so on). I only know of the static pose version. Thanks.

  6. Conner says:

    I’m in no way, shape, or form, trying to bash Ed, Joe, or CAE. Fact is, I believe the Round2 CA stuff is the best bang-for-the-buck 1:6 scale available. I wish they were selling all they could make, so they could do the Red Skull, Batman, Joker, Superman, Brainiac, and Lady Action. And do it all with Round2 so the prices are affordable enough for me to buy multiples of each and let my kids enjoy them too. I’m not going to do that with a $100+ action figure!

    I applaud the fantastic work that Joe, Ed, and the whole CA team has done so far. I want MORE. I really can’t understand why the existing figures and outfits aren’t selling better. The play value is through the roof, especially on the deluxe sets (both costumes and figures) from the first 2 waves. The figures and equipment look the part and hold up well. Dr. Evil has interchangable brains for goodness sake! Again, just amazing work all the way around. Their passion for the line obviously runs deep. As does mine. More so since the introduction of the R2 line.

    Ideal CA was gone shortly before my time, but I fondly remember going to Target 15 years ago and being drawn to the beautiful, brightly-colored artwork of the Playing Mantis CA & Dr. Evil boxes just across the aisle from the olive drab GIjOEs. I brought home Dr. Evil that day and subsequently picked up all the other PM stuff as it became available throughout its short run. The 1:6 scale market/competition was a lot stouter in those days, as we all know.

    When I saw online that R2 was re-re-doing CA I was skeptical. He didn’t look like the reproduced PM, etc. Then I saw one at my local TRU and everything changed. He looked so good in his box, and had Spidey and Capt. America costumes right there to change into! By golly, Captain Action was back! The 21st Century version is much improved over the earlier incarnations. Go buy all the figures and costumes you can, dammit, so we can all get more! 🙂

    I’m going to go play. The good Captain and I have rounded up the Dr. Evil with the Battle Brain, and the Bionic Brain, but I can’t help but think that somewhere in the underworld there’s a Dr. Evil running loose with a Brilliant Brain (and a devilish plot of world domination).

  7. Steve polzak says:

    I first thought Captain Action’s car (the Silver Streak) was being done for the 1/6 action figure. But now I’m seeing a lot of posts and articles that show it will be for the 3-inch CA. If anyone has the real info, when will the 1/6th Capt. Action Silver Streak come out (or at least what has been said)?

    • You’re correct, Steve. The Silver Streak you mention (from ZICA Toys) is being made in the smaller 1:18 scale size for use with its upcoming 3.75″ mini-Captain Action figure. There are currently no known plans for a 1:6 scale Silver Streak for use with 12″ figures.

      • Steve polzak says:

        Thanks for the info on The Silver Streak! I thought for sure I had heard they were doing a 1/6 scale car. Oh well, I read it someplace, but we all know sometimes crazy things are said. Too bad. And don’t you think it should be silver? There’s not really enough of the color to call it that. Maybe the “Blue Streak?” Oh well, maybe something else even more streamlined will be done at some point in the future. 🙂

  8. Bob Boogie says:

    The only reason anyone ever got into Captain Action in the first place was for its combination of Marvel and DC hero costumes. Captain Action himself was just a 12″ mannequin to put the costumes on. They marketed him as more, with his lame generic space captain uniform, but we all know that every kid wanted the Superman, Batman, Spiderman, Captain America, Phantom, etc. sets on him, not his CA outfit. Without those costume sets, nothing will make Captain Action a viable product. Not 3″ figures. Not a cartoon. Not a comic book. Not “museum quality figures” for an arm and leg. Not a video game. Not even a Captain Action marionette. That is just the reality. He is not interesting on his own and never was.

    • Al Hartman says:

      I don’t agree. As a kid in the 1960s, I played with Captain Action AS Captain Action more than I did having him dressed in a costume. With Action Boy, I thought of him as similar to Batman. He had his own Villain, Dr. Evil. I have always loved Captain Action just for himself. I can’t say everyone did. But, if I did… others must have also.

      • Steve polzak says:

        I agree Al, but didn’t think of him like Batman, more as a government superhero. But I had a few outfits to for him (about 1/2 a dozen). I think he should get a tux! He has a little 007 Bond-like look to him now.

    • Jase Marshall says:

      I’d be one to disagree with you. Cap was always the main character that could don a costume to become Batman, Spider-man, Supes, etc. So there were plenty of us kids that liked him for that. If not the Action Cave or the Silver Streak would have never sold. The Silver Streak wasn’t the Batmobile was it? The survival vest wasn’t a utility belt and cave wasn’t the Fortress of Solitude. All these item centered around one character…Captain Action.

  9. Bob says:

    Funny, that not once is it mentioned the criticism of the bad plastic of the figures, with loose limbs, or bad skin color, or parts snapping off ( the hand pegs) or ill-fitting costumes. They still have not fixed the CA outfit, the arms when extended make the outfit billow out like spidermans webs that used to be under his arms…..

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