There comes a point when you begin to wonder how toy manufacturers in China came up with these names. I mean, does Pikachu really look like a “Pocket Monica” to any of you? Unfortunately, that’s probably the most logical action figure name in this gallery. Continue reading to see more.
The term “action figure” was first coined by Hasbro in 1964, to market their G.I. Joe figure to boys who wouldn’t play with dolls. G.I. Joe was initially a military-themed 11.5-inch figure proposed by marketing and toy idea-man Stan Weston. It featured changeable clothes with various uniforms to suit different purposes. In a move that would create global popularity for this type of toy, Hasbro also licensed the product to companies in other markets. The toy Johnny Hero was introduced by Rosko Industries for Sears in 1965, but was known as a “Boy’s Doll” since the term action figure had not gained widespread usage.
These different licensees had a combination of uniforms and accessories that were usually identical to the ones manufactured for the US market by Hasbro, along with some sets that were unique to the local market. The Japanese had at least two examples where a Hasbro licensee also issued sublicenses for related products. For example, Palitoy (in the UK) issued a sublicense to Tsukuda, a company in Japan, to manufacture and sell Palitoy’s Action Man accessories in the Japanese market. Takara also issued a sublicense to Medicom for the manufacture of action figures.