Tuesday 5 April 2016


From February 1987: the launch ad for MARVEL UK's new ACTION FORCE weekly.

Based, of course, on the toys, Marvel had wrestled away from the strip rights from IPC's BATTLE ACTION FORCE the previous year. This was an exciting relaunch: 

the first regular AF comic (with the exception of five mini-comics, IPC had always barracked the team within BAF); 

the first colour AF comic (BAF had laboured under IPC's antiquated print technology); 

the first time the G.I. JOE strip had appeared in the UK (a handy way of the British Bullpen to slice the origination budget); 

and the first time Marvel had given away a copy of issue two with the launch edition;

It was all part of a wider reboot which saw the toys relaunched (now manufactured and sold by Hasbro rather than Britain's Palitoy), the US animated series make its UK debut (albeit straight-to-tape as British broadcasters passed on yet another extended toy commercial) and some punchy TV spots to plug both the toys and the comic (borrowing from the successful US formula that catapulted the G.I. JOE comic books to the top of the sales charts thanks to TV commercials that also just happened to circumvent strict toy advertising rules).

1 comment:

  1. I have fond memories of Action Force, the first time I had read any GI Joe strips. I remember buying those first two issues in WH Smith in Glasgow and being desperate to get home to read them. Recently re-read them and felt a brief ripple of the excitement I felt back in 1987. Nice post, Slow.


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