Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Where there's smoke, there's FIRE! Presenting 1:6 scale 12-inch Firefighter figures :)

These are some of the 1:6 scale 12-inch Firefighters that I've collected over the years. Firefighters (historically, firemen) are rescuers extensively trained primarily to put out hazardous fires that threaten civilian populations and property, to rescue people from car incidents, collapsed and burning buildings and other such situations.

According to Merriam-Webster's Dictionary, the English word "firefighter" has been used since at least 1903. In recent decades it has become the preferred term, replacing the older "fireman", since many women serve as firefighters, and also because the term "fireman" can have other meanings, including someone who sets or stokes fires - exactly the opposite of the firefighting role. [source: wiki]

First up is the Hot Toys released Modern Firefighter in 2002 and IMHO, the most detailed 1/6 firefighter ever produced. Hot Toys would go on to release two more firefighters much later and they came with the likeness of John Travolta and Joaquin Phoenix from the movie "Ladder 49 (2004)" and these would be the version 2 firefighters.

I'd posted an entry back in September 2008 with a lot more pictures of this particular 12-inch figure. You can check it out HERE: Modern American Firefighter

Another 1:6 scale Modern Firefighter which was released was this 12-inch figure by Real Heroes, ERTL Collectibles in 1999, along with the release of their Modern Police Officer but it paled in comparison to Hot Toys Firefighter although it was good for its day.

ERTL Collectibles Real Heroes Modern Firefighter “Top Jake” came with Leather fire helmet with traditional embossed ivy pattern and face shield, reflective tape, flashlight, door chocks, Firefighting turnout gear with reflective tape detailing, Airpack with metal frame, harness, removeable face mask and regulator, PASS (Personal Assistance Safety System) device, flat head fire axe, Halligan tool (crowbar), cotton-jacketed fire hose with uncoupling solid bore nozzle and remote coiled lapel microphone and shoulder holder, and flame-resistant boots.

This was the Firefighter released by 21st Century Toys under the "Ultimate Soldier" banner. I switched out the Ultimate Soldier figure for the 1/6 scale Dragon "Hans" 12-inch figure but the outfit and gear all came from the "America's Finest" line.

In 1997, 21st Century Toys decided to create a 12-inch soldier with more detailed accessories than Hasbro's G.I. Joe. They were slightly taller than the Joes but with a slimmer build, and made with flexible plastic. The hands were a main concern, because they were stiff and difficult to place accessories into, as well as having an unrealistic head sculpt with a baby-face like design. 21st Century Toys has since moved on to producing smaller palm-sized (1/18 and 1/32 scale) planes, tanks and action figures.

The 1999 Hasbro G.I. Joe Adventure Team Series "Peril Of The Raging Inferno" Firefighter set came with a working Water Spraying Fire Hose with Nozzle that connects to a working Fire Hydrant Pump, Fireman Helmet, Nomex Fire Hood, Pick Axe, Fire Boots, Bunker Pants, and Turn Out.

And this was a re-released G.I. Joe 1/6 scale Crash Crew set that was part of the 40th Anniversary releases in 2004. The 12-inch Crash Crew figure came with fireproof jacket and pants, protective hood, boots, gloves, fire extinguisher, crash belt with ax, strap cutter, pliers and flashlight.

This was a prototype of the Hasbro G.I. Joe Navy Crash Crew that was released in 2001. I'd bought this at the now defunct Clark Quay flea market days. Those days the vendors could get hold of Hasbro 12-inch figures (G.I. Joe and Star Wars) from Hong Kong / China even before they were released and we could get them at really low prices.

The figure came with t-shirt, proximity coat and pants with suspenders, cap, helmet with face shield, boots, gloves, airtank, oxygen mask, fire extinguisher, axe and dog tags.

Vintage Action Man 1:6 scale Fireman outfit on a later released Action Man 12-inch figure

The Action Man Fireman outfit consisted of helmet, jacket, trousers, belt with tools (hatchet, angled torchlight, gold pliers and pick) and boots. He also has the Firefighter back pack with hose and large axe.

Finally, a kitbashed Action Man 1:6 scale Smokejumper 12-inch figure. A smokejumper is a wildland firefighter who parachutes into a remote area to combat wildfires.

The ordinary risk of a parachute jump, the adverse conditions for the jump, and the lack of resources for firefighting and rescue once on the ground in a remote area give smokejumping a reputation as exceedingly dangerous work.


Anonymous said...


I have been enjoying your blog for several months since my friend Billy Kern of Poppo Toys turned me on to it.

Back a few years prior to 9/11 I was an online reporter for a one-sixth collector website called RealAmericanHero.com. My son-in-law and I were based in New York when the World Trade Center was attacked and for several weeks we both reported the events on the RAH website. Our reports were picked up by collectors around the globe and were some of the first onsite stories in print.

My own involvement with action figures dates back to the early days of GI JOE and my work as a toy designer with Hasbro. Later I became partners with Don Levine who headed up the GI JOE team at Hasbro and we created toy concepts together for several years.

I enjoyed your firefighter piece today but I must disagree with you about the "best of show" being the Hot Toys firefighter. I think that the post 9/11 Brothersworker double figure set (I think it was called "Storm & Must") had the most awesome uniforms and die-cast equipment.

The Hot Toys firefighters are certainly awesome and were prized by collectors for their fantastic detail. BTW, there were actually two firefighters released back then -- one Caucasian and one African-American. The uniforms were alike but the equipment varied slightly.
It is fascinating to see the fantastic development of Hot Toys from their first days. I vividly recall seeing their first two figures at TOY TOKYO in New York City and being blown-away by the detailing. Today they continue to produce amazing figures and I continue to collect many of them.

Keep up the fantastic work you do on your blog. It is a great combination of eye candy and information.

Best Regards,
Ted Menten

alex teo said...

Hi Ted

Thank you so much for writing. I'm sorry I missed out on the stories
you wrote then as I wasn't that tuned in to the internet at that time.

WOW! What a joy it must have been to have worked for Hasbro as a toy
designer and to be partners with Don Levine, that really is something.

I'm afraid I didn't get hold of any of the Brothersworker figures so
for me at least, Hot Toys stood out from the rest. I am also aware of the two versions of firefighters
but decided to only pick up just one.

Once again, thank you for taking the time to write and it's a pleasure to know someone who had a hand in making GI JOE and bringing the joy to so many of us.


Super-Duper ToyBox said...

That's The Bomb! Yer FAMOUS!
btw- that opening pic looks like a photo of a real firefighter... i'm usure how there could be one more realistic... damn!

alex teo said...

Thanks Colin. The Brothersworker figures were expensive and they did not have realistic head sculpts but were more stylized in design, hence I didn't get them. I believe the outfit and equipment were produced by the same factory that did them for Hot Toys. CHEERS