The PopCult Toybox
Jeff Joslin and Joey Tutor host a panel that looks at the history of cllecting Big Jim action figures and as a bonus, they make an exciting announcement about the future of Big Jim and his return to the world of toys.This was one of the most newsworthy panels at JoeLanta and The Great Atlanta Toy Convention.
Joslin has secured the trademark to Big Jim and is planning to revive this legendary toy line as a 12″ action figure. In this panel Jeff and Joey cover the history of Big Jim, talk about how, unknown to most US collectors the line continued in Europe ten years longer than it did in the United States with loads of great spy and space toys, and discuss their plans to revive the action figure line.
Big Jim was Mattel’s answer to GI Joe, but with a couple of twists: Originally, he was pitched to kids as an athlete, not a soldier or adventurer; he was also only 9.5 inches tall, which made him incompatible with the then-dominant 12″ action figure size.
After a couple of years, Big Jim started having more of an adventure theme to his accessories and playsets, with his “Rescue Rig” being one of the most impressive toys of the 1970s. In the mid-70s, in response to the success of MEGO’s “World’s Greatest Superheroes” line, Big Jim was reintroduced as “Big Jim’s P.A.C.K.” with more of a superhero/sci fi/spy vibe. By the late 70s Big Jim was discontinued in the United States, but the line kept going in Europe, and collectors over there were treated to some of the coolest, most-imaginative toys in the line, before Mattel finally pulled the plpug worldwide in the 1980s.
It’s really cool to see Big Jim finally get some recognition, and also a long-overdue welcome to the 1/6 scale world. Late-breaking news is that the Big Jim revival may not be able to happen due to developing trademark concerns. Keep up with the latest happenings in the world of Big Jim at the new Facebook page.
Yeah, that European stuff was incredible. Friend of mine in England was able to share extensive details about it with me. But I always liked the PACK. I wish Mattel or somebody would bring it back!
I was surprised to read this article about someone besides Mattel resurrecting Big Jim. Mattel has kept the Big Jim trademark active by introducing him to the Max Steel line overseas – according to Mattel people I spoke to in 2009.