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Tommy Gunn was an Action figure or boys' doll produced by Pedigree Toys Ltd from 1966 until 1968. The basic doll depicted a British infantry soldier of the time complete with Sterling submachine gun but was also available in World War II dress carrying a Sten gun. The figure was in direct competition with Action Man by Palitoy and in the same manner as the competing product, offered a variety of alternative outfits and accessories.
An action figure is basically a poseable character doll made most commonly of plastic, and often based upon characters from a film, comic book, military, video game, or television program—fictional or historical. These figures are usually marketed toward boys and adult collectors. The term was coined by Hasbro in 1964 to market G.I. Joe to boys.
A doll is a model of a human being, often used as a toy for children. Dolls have traditionally been used in magic and religious rituals throughout the world, and traditional dolls made of materials such as clay and wood are found in the Americas, Asia, Africa and Europe. The earliest documented dolls go back to the ancient civilizations of Egypt, Greece and Rome. They have been made as crude, rudimentary playthings as well as elaborate art. Modern doll manufacturing has its roots in Germany, from the 15th century. With industrialization and new materials such as porcelain and plastic, dolls were increasingly mass-produced. During the 20th century, dolls became increasingly popular as collectibles.
The Sterling submachine gun is a British submachine gun. It was tested with the British Army in 1944–1945 as a replacement for the Sten but it did not start to replace it until 1953. It remained in use until 1994, when it was phased out as the L85A1 assault rifle was phased in.
It is rumoured that the designers at Pedigree had contacts within the British Ministry of Defence and hence were able to get accurate drawings of British military weapons and dress leading to better models than Palitoy could offer - for instance, the boots had actual laces in them. The standard of construction of the dolls was also considered better by some, and it did indeed offer a better level of articulation than primary competitor Action Man; having better and more authentic shaped hands and grip gave more equipment holding options and was, more importantly, able to stand, run stooped, and adopt a 'kneel + firing' position without alternative support, much easier than the Action Man figure. [ citation needed ]
The Ministry of Defence is the British government department responsible for implementing the defence policy set by Her Majesty's Government and is the headquarters of the British Armed Forces.
Action Man is an action figure launched in Britain in 1966 by Palitoy as a licensed copy of Hasbro's American "movable fighting man", G.I. Joe.
Whilst Action Man originally offered the ability to acquire a free figure (although these models were production 'seconds' often arriving with two of same hand, or overly stiff or impaired articulation etc.) by collection of on-pack 'stars' (which were relative in value to the cost of the item), Tommy Gunn included a 'cigarette style' Medal card in each pack. These were saved onto a presentation card and sent off when the set was completed. The card and 'perfect/boxed' new figure were returned together. However, sadly, the presentation cards were red biro (indelible ball point) inked crossed, which seemed a shame as the cards were very detailed and thus, spoilt the presentation.
Despite all this, they were unable to offer the same wide range as Palitoy who had access to all Hasbro's designs and Tommy Gunn sold in much lower volumes and production was halted in 1968. After Tommy Gunn's demise, Palitoy shifted the theme of Action Man towards British armed forces rather than following Hasbro's American outfits. Whether this was related is debatable. Pedigree Toys went on to use the body moulds for Tommy Gunn to make action figures of the characters from the TV series Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons and these sold well for a brief period.
Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons, often referred to as Captain Scarlet, is a 1960s British science-fiction television series produced by the Century 21 Productions company of Gerry and Sylvia Anderson, John Read and Reg Hill. First broadcast on ATV Midlands from September 1967 to May 1968, it has since been transmitted in more than 40 other countries, including the United States, Australia, New Zealand and Japan. Characters are presented as marionette puppets alongside scale model sets and special effects in a filming technique that the Andersons termed "Supermarionation". This technology incorporated solenoid motors as a means of synchronising the puppet's lip movements with pre-recorded dialogue.
Tommy Gunn and the Captain Scarlet figures are now very rare and are highly collectable.
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Pedigree Dolls & Toys, also known as Pedigree Toys, is a toy company located in Exeter, England. Best known for launching the Sindy doll in 1963, Pedigree also produced the Tommy Gunn action figure from 1966 to 1968. The Sindy doll was very popular from the 1960s to 1980s, and accounted for 80% of Pedigree's sales.
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