Ideal Captain Action figures
The Ideal Captain Action figures is a vintage action figure produced during the 1960s by the American toy company Ideal.
The Captain Action figure was designed by Stan Weston, creator of the successful Hasbro figure G.I. Joe. After selling his idea to Hasbro, Weston used his fee to establish a licensing company called Leisure Concepts which represented major publishers such as DC Comics and Marvel Comics.
He then created a new action figure for Ideal known as Captain Action, which could also be changed into a large number of other characters using separate costumes. These characters (all of which were licensed by Leisure Concepts) included most of the era’s popular comic book and television characters such as Superman, Batman, the Lone Ranger, Spiderman, Flash Gordon and The Phantom.
The Captain Action range was expanded to include other characters such as Action Boy and Dr Evil, along with a range of vehicles and play sets which established the figure as a character in its own right, similar to G.I Joe. However in 1968, after just two years, the Captain Action range was discontinued by Ideal due to failing sales.
The Ideal Captain Action figures
The Captain Action figure itself is a 12” doll with poseable arms and legs. It wears an outfit consisting of a two-tone blue top with dark sleeves, and light blue leggings, along with black knee-length boots and a military peaked cap. It also came equipped with accessories in the form of a pistol and a large serrated dagger.
The Action Boy figure measures 9” tall, and wears a red, blue and black outfit similar to that of captain Action. A later version wore a modified blue and silver outfit complete with a space helmet. Both figures came with black panther known as Khem.
The Dr Evil figure also measured 12” tall, and wore a purple/blue suit with a large medallion and sandals. The figure comes with two disguise masks, and a later set came with a large selection of weapons and disguises.
There were 14 costumes available separately, each including a range of accessories and a facial mask. These were:
- Captain America
- The Phantom
- The Lone Ranger (Red outfit version)
- The Lone Ranger (Blue outfit version)
- Steve Canyon
- Flash Gordon
- Sgt Fury
- Buck Rogers
- The Green Hornet
In addition, three separate outfits were also available for the Action Boy figure, based on the DC Comics Teen Titans series. These were
How much is a Captain Action figure worth?
As they were only produced for two years, the captain action range of figures and superhero costumes is now popular with collectors. Boxed mint or near-mint condition figures can sell for more than $150 on auction sites such as eBay, and complete individual outfits can often sell for up to $50.
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