Space Force (Action Force)
Logo of Space Force
|Type of organization||Special space-based military unit|
Space Force is a fictional space military unit originated and designed by Palitoy as part of the Action Force range of 3 3/4 inch action figures and vehicles; similat to the G.I. Joe action figures and featured in the comic book Battle Action Force.
A space-based unit, the characters and toys were released around the time of the second wave of enthusiasm for space travel and exploration at the start of the shuttle orbiter program (in 1981) during the space-friendly Reagan administration and the Star Wars era. The range was small and limited in scope.
Described in promotional material as:
"Action Force's eyes and ears above the Earth's atmosphere, they are able to issue early warnings of Ironblood's hostile plans."
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 conventional land-based units Z Force and SAS Force, the figures and vehicles had no real-world equivalents or military reference points. Without a practical need for camouflage, the uniforms and equipment of Space Force were coloured in grey, blue and orange with the principal characters dressed in a style typical of late 1970s and early 1980s science fiction television and movies.
The Battle Action Force back-stories that accompanied the release of the figures were, given the outer-space angle, less extensive than were the case for the SAS Force and Z Force ranges for example. The comicbook storylines created a space station environment to enable stories to be written that included the vehicles, characters and equipment represented by the action figures, toys and datafiles. The space station however was never released as part of the Action Force toy range.
With limited theatres in which to operate and without toy representations of any space-based Red Shadows characters or vehicles other than the Roboskull, the comic stories (see Battle Action Force tie in) were limited, often to cameo roles in stories involving other Action Force units such as Operation Spearhead (a holiday special) and in Crossfire! Like Q Force, Space Force were never written into any storylines involving Cobra or the third generation Action Force characters however, the Moondancer character (pilot of the Triad Fighter) was one of the few Second Generation characters (including Q Force's Dolphin) whose profile was taken over to the AF (Third Generation) release in an unreconstructed form.
|Code Name||Function (figure)||Real Name||Birthplace||Serial number||Primary military speciality||Secondary military speciality||File card or comic book 'Datafile' description||Equipment||Notes|
|Sky Raider||Commander||Charles 'Chuck' Connors||Cincinnati||AF 934101||Space battle tactics||Space command||Top astronaut in NASA during US space programme. Qualities of leadership demonstrated during crisis at American space satellite programme. Seconded European Space Agency as instructor in advanced space technology. joined Action Force, completed induction course in record time, with highest score ever recorded.||Orange cap and blue Uzi submachine gun||Stand-alone carded figure, the character of Chuck Connors was the most prominent of all Space Force characters in the Battle Action Force comic strip.|
|Blast Off||Space Patroller||Greg Taggart||Sydney, Australia||AF 934102||Weapons||Freefall aerobatics||Initial training Australian Air Force. Member of parachute training school. Instructor in advanced weapon training Australian Air Force Regiment. Took NASA free fall space training courses, passed out with distinction. Action Force provided logical step to take and swiftly became indispensable part of the team.||Depending on release, either a blue laser rifle or a blue uzi with an SA80 assault rifle||A new mold released as a stand-alone character, duplicates were issued as Hawkwind with the Satellite Defence craft (see below) albeit with a separate datafile and back-story|
|Kiwi||Space engineer||Scott Walters||Christchurch, New Zealand||AF 934777||Computer engineering||Freefall combat||Lost his hand performing a heroic deed in the depths of space (for which he received three citations for bravery). In time Action Force doctors were able to manufacture a computerised hand to give him greater strength and dexterity. PhD graduate of M.I.T. and an expert in computer security. Knows all there is to know about space hardware.||Welding-style helmet with visor and two optional robotic (bionic) hands with hydraulic pipes.||New mold. Action figure representation differed to the comic book representation.|
|Hot Jets||Space Pilot||Yuri Ivanovich Asimov||Leningrad, Russia||AF 934100||Space Astrogation||Pilot instructor||Received basic training at Soviet military complex at Baikonw. Several sub-orbital and lunar flights on the Soyuz programme. Achieved first successful manual rendezvous with three other craft during Soviet space station project. On loan to NASA for additional two years training. Joined Action Force after special dispensation from Soviet Praesidium.||Helmet (with visor) and uzi pistol, pilot of Cosmic Cruiser||Action figure supplied as a stand-alone character and also variants re-packaged with Cosmic Cruiser and Triad Fighter craft (see below) however only the latter was re-characterised as Moondancer.|
|Hawkwind||Space Security Trooper||Lars Elsund||Stockholm||AF 934103||Combat Helipilot||Unarmed combat||Member of elite section of NATO armed forces specialising in helicopter assault. Chief instructor in unarmed combat school. Expert judo and karate. Olympic gold medal both sports. Transferred Action Force, received space training at special school funded by both US and Soviet space commands. Free-fall combat chevron award.||Variants included a selection of weapons including uzis, SA80s, laser rifles and sten guns, piloted the Satellite Defence craft||Figure was identical to Blast Off but characterised differently when accompanying Satellite Defence (as pilot).|
|Moondancer||Triad Fighter Pilot||Tariq El Shafei||Middle East||AF 934848||Astral assault tactics||Rapid space deployment||Trained originally in fast jets, converted to space. Friendly rivalry with Red Wolf started at NASA. Not so friendly now, but Moondancer hasn't yet given up on his old pal. Secondment to Cosmic Security and further Action Force training have made Moondancer a top rate space combat tactician.||Ubiquitous uzi pistol and helmet (with visor), pilot of Triad Fighter||Identical to Space Pilot (Hot Jets) figure, packaged with Triad Fighter. Moondancer was one of the few characters who was duplicated without adjustment in the Third Generation.|
Vehicles, weaponry and armour
- Cosmic Cruiser
- Satellite Defence
- Triad FIghter
- Bob Brechin Chief Designer Palitoy 1967-84
- Space Commander figure, part of the collection at Leicester City Council museum
- Security Trooper figure, part of the collection at Leicester City Council museum
- Codename Moondancer! storyline courtesy of Blood for the Baron!
- Operation Spearhead storyline courtesy of Blood for the Baron!
- Crossfire! storyline courtesy of Blood for the Baron!
- Space Pilot figure, part of the collection at Leicester City Council museum