Palitoy (toy manufacturing company)
Palitoy was a British toy manufacturing company. Among collectors, the company is most renowned for introducing Action Man in 1966, a licensed copy of Hasbro’s American G.I. Joe.
Other popular toys manufactured by Palitoy included Action Force, Tiny Tears, Pippa, Tressy and the Care Bears. The company’s toys were among the most famous of the 20th century among Britain’s children.
Palitoy grew out of a plastics firm established by Alfred Edward Pallett in 1909 and went on to become one of Britain's leading toy manufacturers until its ultimate closure in 1984.
Today, Leicestershire County Council's Toys and Games collection holds many different items produced by Palitoy, some of which have been donated by the company's former employees.
As a concept, Action Man was the first of its kind: a fully poseable artist's dummy style action figure. First figures available to the UK were a soldier, sailor and pilot sold with basic uniform and dog-tags.
Action Man followed on from his American “brother” G.I. Joe which preceded Action Man by two years. G.I. Joe was produced by Palitoy’s parent American company, the Hasbro Toy Co.
G.I. Joe and Action Man were indistinguishable during their first period of manufacture, with only minor differences in detailing. Figures came with black, brown, blond or auburn hair.
All Star Wars toys released in the UK were distributed by Palitoy. These are very popular with collectors, and rarer items have achieved large amounts on the collectors’ markets.
The large Palitoy logo can be found on its earlier cards and boxes, while later boxes have no logos at all on the packaging.
Some items were only available on Kenner packaging, the original use manufacturer of Star Wars figures, with a simple Palitoy sticker.
Vectis Auctions Ltd of Stock on Tees, United Kingdom, auctioned a special edition Palitoy ‘Life Guards [of the] Famous British Regiments’ Action Man in August, 2005. The piece sold for £700.
Also at Vectis, a Palitoy Star Wars Han Solo Figure sold for £2,100 above its £200 - £300 pre-sale estimate in July, 2007. Its condition was described as “Mint on Excellent” by the auction house.
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