I was quite excited when I first caught a glimpse of the upcoming Supermad Toys 1/6th scale Six Million Bionic Man Collectible Figure (see the toy blog post HERE) as it was essentially Lee Majors as Steve Austin from the 1970s TV series "The Six Million Dollar Man" which was a very popular show I watched as a kid. But alas, on closer examination, the figure was a disappointment. Other than the 1/6th scale Lee Majors as Steve Austin head sculpt, it offered little else.
Seeing the preview pics made me hark back to the 1970s Kenner Six Million Dollar Man 13-inch tall action figure which was a lot of fun and still is today :) I decided to take some pics of the figure and post them on my blog here. I present to you the original Bionic Man action figure!
This 1970s Kenner 13-inch tall The Six Million Dollar Man Lee Majors as Steve Austin action figure has some nice features: a bionic eye you could look through, a bionic arm that would lift items (an engine block accessory was included) when a trigger on the back was pushed, and roll-back skin that would display interchangeable bionic elements. The basic outfit worn by the figure is based on the tracksuit Steve Austin wears during his test run in the original pilot movie and subsequently in the opening credits of the series.
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13-inch Steve Austin's bionic right arm was covered in a rubber-like fake skin that was intended to be rolled back to expose the bionic modules. This material tended to break down with repeated use and age and it is nearly impossible to find a Steve Austin figure with its original skin still intact. And because the bionic arm gets more play time, the right sleeve also tend to be worn out as a result of the constant rubbing of the material. This figure certainly got a lot of play time :)
Due to the rather large trigger in the figure's back to allow for the raising of the bionic arm, all of the figure's shirts and jackets needed to incorporate holes to allow for it.
Check out the close-up pictures of this 1970s Kenner Six Million Dollar Man 13-inch tall action figure with Lee Major's likeness. The Six Million Dollar Man television series aired on the ABC network as a regular episodic series for five seasons from 1974 to 1978. Steve Austin became a pop culture icon of the 1970s.
Here's the Kenner Six Million Dollar Man 13-inch tall action figure without his top, showing the right bionic arm sans the fake skin which was made of rubber. The original release of the action figure included two modules that could be removed from the bionic arm, one on the forearm and a larger one on the bicep. The modules contained holes into which tubes from the Bionic Transport and Repair Station playset could be inserted. It was also possible to switch out both the bionic arm and legs with mission-specific limbs.
The original action figure came out in 1975, and carried a Kenner product ID of 65000. Good to know this action figure is still in pretty good condition after 42 years.
The engine block could slide into Steve's right hand in order to demonstrate the lifting power of what Kenner called the "Bionic Power Arm", which was activated by first turning the head slightly to the right and then pushing a lever-button on the figure's back. To release the raised arm, you just had to turn the head to the front and the arm will be lowered.