Q Force

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Q Force
Logo of Q Force
In-story information
Type of organization Special marine-based military unit

Q Force is a fictional marine military unit originated and designed by Palitoy as part of the Action Force range of 3 3/4 inch action figures and vehicles; similar to the G.I. Joe action figures and featured in the comic book series Battle Action Force.[1]

Graphic Representation[edit]

A marine-based unit, and therefore without the scope for variety of characters and vehicles, Q Force was the smallest of the Action Force ranges.

Described in promotional material as:

"Made up of Underwater Specialists, they are the Action Force arm that strikes from the sea"

the unit was introduced as part of the second generation of Action Force (see Action Force – second generation (1983)). In contrast to the First Generation releases and Q Force's fellow units Z Force and SAS Force, the figures and vehicles moved away from the camouflage of their real-world equivalents (i.e. naval greys and light blues) and were painted in bold yellows, reds and dark blue.[2]

The Battle Action Force back stories that accompanied the release of the figures (see Battle Action Force tie in), were less extensive than were the case for the SAS Force and Z Force ranges - the SAS Force for example featured in nearly twenty separate storylines, Q Force in contrast had seven.

However Q Force did appear in the first-ever Battle Action Force storyline, introducing the Action Force team. The Swordfish craft and the two characters Leviathan and Shark represented Action Force's debut in Action Force, written by Gerry Day.[3] Later comic storylines also constructed Red Shadow frogmen and an enemy battlecruiser[4] although these were never realised as action figures or toys.

Despite having frogmen and an array of waterborne characters and vehicles, the Action Force universe still included some cross-over with the SAS Force also including frogmen two water-based characters Stakeout (an SBS-style commando) and Beaver (a kayak pilot)[5] although these characters were used for inland waterways[6] whilst Q Force dealt with marine-based scenarios.

With limited theatres in which to operate and without toy representations of any marine-based Red Shadows characters or vehicles, the stories involving Q Force battling the enemy were limited, often to cameo roles in stories involving other Action Force units such as Operation Spearhead (a holiday special)[7] and their last appearance, a fleeting role alongside Space Force in Crossfire![8] Unlike the SAS and Z Force units, Q Force were never written into any storylines involving Cobra or the Third Generation Action Force characters however the Dolphin character was one of the few profiles to be carried over to the AF (Third Generation) team (albeit without reference to the Q Force unit).

The paucity of storylines was also evident in that two of the seven comic book appearances by Q Force included sequences where sharks were exploded by hand grenades,[4][9] in a likely homage to the shark's demise in the Jaws 3-D movie released in 1983, around the time of the comic book story.

The action figures were, in keeping with much of the second generation of Action Force, repaints and repackages of existing G.I. Joe figures and vehicles as well as some First Generation toys.

Characters[edit]

Code Name Function (figure) Real Name Birthplace Serial number Primary military speciality Secondary military speciality File card or comic book 'Datafile' description Equipment Notes
Shark Aqua Trooper Jean-Paul Rives Toulouse AF 934038 Torpedo technology Underwater demolition Swimmer of undoubted ability. Spent early years in Martinique and was involved in several complex treasure hunts for Spanish galleons. Basic training at French Naval School, Brest, France. Top of Class in torpedo training. Torpedo officer, French Navy. Joined Action Force. Took underwater demolition course Sword-of-Honour.[9] Breathing apparatus Repaint of the First Generation Action Force Frogman with additional breathing apparatus.
Leviathan[2] Deep Sea Defender Jamie Hugh Maclaren Glasgow AF 93403 Naval battle tactics Gunnery Second son of a shipyard worker in Glasgow. Joined Royal Navy straight from school. Sheer ability forced him through the ranks to become Commander of a Destroyer. Action Force recruited him as the best man available. Passed Deep Sea Diving top of class. Experienced Diver. A red aerial and a red backpack. An unaltered repaint of the First Generation Deep Sea Diver figure. Described in Battle Action Force as the "leader of Q Force"[4] although this was never stated on his datafile.
Phones Sonar officer[10] Patrick Liam O'Flaherty Dublin AF 934037 Communications Survivor Ex-leader of specialist survival school. Recruited by Action Force and given extra training in communication technology. Friendly rivalry exists between Phones and Breaker as to who is the best in Action Force with communication systems. Radio pack and AK-47 Repaint of an amalgam of several First Generation figures.
Surfer Sea Skimmer pilot Hoxworth Whipple Hawaii AF 934119 Seaborne rescue Rocket assault A champion surfer in his youth - rode the "Tunnel" at Waikiki. Very happy at sea, he has an intuitive appreciation of moods and weather changes on the ocean. Joined Action Force and has since designed and developed a speed-board capable of 150 knots. Best record on Action Force "Rescue & Recovery" course. Jet-ski (Sea Skimmer) armed with rockets Repaint of First Generation Naval Assault figure.
Dolphin Pilot of Sealion Gareth Morgan Cardiff AF 934332 Underwater solo attack Deep sea exploration Superb formal training. Excellent knowledge of all Action Force underwater weapons. Rapid promotion led to command of Royal Navy submarine at an early age. Given brief to chart one of ocean's least-known expanses, beneath the Polar ice cap. Ideal experience for command of the Sealion, generally acknowledged as the most advanced sub-aqua vehicle in existence. Pilot accompanying Sealion vehicle Originally a repaint of the Aqua Trooper, later releases were entirely new moulds. Dolphin and Space Force's Moondancer were the only characters whose profile was carried over, without amendment, to the Third Generation release.


Vehicles, weaponry and armour[edit]

Unable to produce scale battleships or submarines due to the size such models would require, the figures were supplied with more fantastical equipment and the first release included one full-size missile boat (Swordfish, see below), a one-man submarine mini-vehicle (Stingray) and three stand-alone figures (Aqua Trooper, Deep Sea Defender and Sonar Officer (see above).

A further release added another vehicle and figure set, the two-seater submarine/hovercraft hybrid (Sealion) in addition the range added a mini-vehicle and figure pack, the jet-ski inspired Sea Skimmer.

First release[edit]

  • Swordfish – a hovercraft-styled missile boat. An amalgam of parts of the First Generation AF-5 vehicle and missiles used in the SAS Force mobile missile system.
  • Stingray – a one-man submarine, similar to those used in the James Bond film Never Say Never Again. The craft came packaged with an Aqua Trooper figure whose accompanying file card identified him as Shark.

Second release[edit]

  • Sealion – an original vehicle, the Sealion was a two-man craft piloted by the accompanying Dolphin figure. A submarine/hovercraft type vessel, it included detachable solo-submersibles (or 'diver transport units'), electromagnetic claws and an array of missiles and laser weaponry. The Sealion was also given its own introductory storyline in Battle Action Force although, in the absence of Red Shadow equivalent vehicle, it was written into a conflict with the Singapore Navy as a result of a case of mistaken identity.[11]

Both the Sealion and Dolphin were subsequently re-packaged as part of the Third Generation (AF) release, keeping the same codenames.

  • Sea Skimmer – a jet-ski style mini-vehicle, this craft came armed with rockets and was piloted by Surfer.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Bob Brechin Chief Designer Palitoy 1967-1984
  2. ^ a b Deep Sea Defender figure at the collection at Leicestershire County Council museum
  3. ^ Action Force storyline courtesy of Blood for the Baron!
  4. ^ a b c Sea Fury storyline courtesy of Blood for the Baron!
  5. ^ SAS Silent Attack, part of the collection at Leicestershire County Council Museum
  6. ^ Codename Beaver storyline courtesy of Blood for the Baron!
  7. ^ Operation Spearhead storyline courtesy of Blood for the Baron!
  8. ^ Crossfire! storyline courtesy of Blood for the Baron!
  9. ^ a b Shark storyline courtesy of Blood for the Baron!
  10. ^ Sonar Officer figure at the collection at Leicestershire County Council museum
  11. ^ Operation Sealion storyline courtesy of Blood for the Baron!

External links[edit]