I was a boy born in 1964 so I had a Captain Action, Action Figure and so did many of my friends. He was a big deal in the late 60′s because he was a 9-in-1 toy. Stan Weston licensed heroes from DC Comics, Marvel Comics and King Features so Captain Action was able to turn into 9 other heroes.
My Captain Action was Batman, Captain America and the Lone Ranger all in one.
Here are a few facts from Wikipedia…
“Captain Action was an action figure, from 1966, equipped with a wardrobe of costumes allowing him to become Superman, Batman, Spider-Man,Captain America, Aquaman, the Phantom, The Lone Ranger (and Tonto), Flash Gordon, Buck Rogers, Sgt. Fury, Steve Canyon, and the Green Hornet. Captain Action was the Ideal Toy Company’s answer to Hasbro’s GI Joe — although the protagonist dolls of both toy lines were created and designed by the same toy- and idea-man, Stan Weston.”
Even though Stan Weston licensed heroes from DC Comics, DC in turn licensed the rights to produce 5 bi-monthly comics with art by Wally Wood and Gil Kane. Jim Shooter wrote the first two issues and in the very first issue he gave Captain Action things he had never had before, a name, a secret origin, a relationship with Action Boy. Jim Shooter changed Captain Action from a toy into a full Super Hero as Clive Arno became Captain Action.
Clive an archaeologist and museum curator, who discovered “the coins of power” in a buried in an acient city. Action Boy was Clive’s son Carl. Clive was a widow, however that didn’t stop the ghost of his late wife Katherine Tracy Arno from being a part of the story. Rounding out the cast was Dr. Evil. Clive’s father-in-law, Dr. Stefan Tracy who was given a tragic origin by Gil Kane designed to make the villain not entirely evil despite his name.
As a child the magic of Captain Action was that he was a hero, and he could bridge the Marvel and DC universe at the same time.
My mother send away for the Kool Pops Captain Action card game and I remember hours of fun playing the card game with my Mom. There were 36 cards total (33 playing cards and 3 instruction cards), which could be used to play 3 different types of games.
Captain Action had licensed characters from DC, Marvel and King Features. The game however was missing the DC heroes. It was odd to me as a kid since DC made the Captain Action comics why weren’t there any DC heroes in the game. The cards included Buck Rogers, Captain America, Flash Gordon, the Phantom, and Spider-Man. Below is the commercial for Captain Action as seen on TV in the late 60′s. Thanks to YouTube for keeping the past alive!
Lastly here is the origin story for Captain Action as described above…