Big Jim was an action figure toy produced by Mattel from 1972 through 1986. In Latin America he was renamed Kid Acero, and for a short period of time, Mark the Strong in Europe. The 10 inches high Big Jim action figures became popular in Europe, USA and Japan. Big Jim, Big Jack, Big Josh, Big Jeff, Dr Steel and Chief Tankua were the basic characters from the 1st series. More characters and series were marketed regularly during 15 years. ig Jim was less military-oriented than the G.I. Joe line, having more of a secret agent motif, but also had a large variety of outfits and situations available including sports, space exploration, martial arts, hunting, western, camping and even unusual choices such as fishing and photography. Famous characters like Torpedo Fist, Zorak, The Whip, Big Jim Commander, Warpath, Big Jim Double Trouble formed the P.A.C.K. series in USA. Captain Drake, Captain Hook and Captain Flint (alias Sandokan) formed Pirates series in Europe.The European Spy series was made up of Big Jim 004, Alpinist Joe, Big Jim Secret Agent, Professor Obb, Commando Jeff and Boris. There was also a Western series and a Space series.
The basic figure had a push button in the back that moved the right arm down, like a karate chop, and had bulging muscles of the arm. Other functions were created for some characters. Torpedo fist, Captain Hook and Boris action figures had a telescope right arm. Big Jim Double Trouble, Zorak, Captain Drake and 004 had a changing face. Captain Flint had a right arm firing caps.
At their debut season, Big Jim action figures came out in a small blue box with red and white stripes. The entire 1972 toy line was split from the beginning in three sub lines: the Basic Line, the Adventure Line and the Sports Line, being the sport one the first which hits the shelves as with the sub line name "All Star". Simultaneously, Mattel released an almost identical figure named Mark Strong, The Man from Mattel in Europe. He was Big Jim's former concept, and at first sight looks exactly the same as Jim, and came with same accessories. A close inspection of the crotch piece reveals Mark's is in fact, more fragile. Jim's piece has thicker junctions.
The Basic line was composed mostly of figures which came almost naked, with minimal clothes or accessories. The original basic Big Jim came simple dressed in orange shorts with white stripes. Came with a karate board, a dumbbell and test of strength belt. Jack was an identical, figure, with only a different head. He was one of the first African American related toys ever produced in the United States that represents a minority in a plain, simple and respectful way.
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