Z Force (Action Force)
Logo of Z Force
|Type of organization||Special Infantry-based military unit|
Z Force is a fictional infantry conceived and designed by Palitoy that features in the 3 3/4 inch Action Force figure range; similar to the G.I. Joe action figures and featured in a comic book series. Possibly based in-part on the Z Special Unit (also known as Z Force), a joint Australian, British and New Zealand commando unit, which saw action against the Empire of Japan during World War II, Z Force was part of the Palitoy range called Action Force and later depicted in the Battle Action Force comic books.
Z Force was released as part of the second generation of Action Force. Taking the form of a limited number of action figures and vehicles released in two waves, the unit was expanded with back-stories in Battle Action Force.
Z Force has been described as:
The infantry backbone of Action Force, well supported by heavy armour and artillery
The unit had distinctive green and black camouflage (notwithstanding their occasional deployment in desert and other terrain) with a red 'Z' insignia (in military-style stencil typeface) and occasional other red detail.
Z Force fought alongside their fellow Action Force units SAS Force, Q Force and Space Force most often against their Red Shadows enemy but also, on occasions, other fictional and non-fictional terrorist or para-military factions including The Mamba Men, the Gibli and Adolf Hitler and the Nazis.
As the range evolved in the early 1980s (see Action Force - Third generation) Z Force operated alongside the more prevalent G.I. Joe-influenced 'AF' against the new enemy Cobra and were limited to only cameo appearances in later Battle Action Force storylines.
The 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 (e.g. the jeep vehicle was a re-paint of the AF-3 jeep).
|Code Name||Function (figure)||Real Name||Birthplace||Serial number||Primary military speciality||Secondary military speciality||File card or comic book 'Datafile' description||Equipment||Notes|
|Breaker||Radio operator||Gianni Paulo Brazzi||Milan, Italy||AF 396668||Communications||Infantry||Battle hardened soldier who has served in most NATO armies. Very much his own man and hates training. Knows his equipment inside out and expert at using communication satellite network secretly. A radio ham in his spare time and has chess partners all over the world. Breaker's seen it all before and reckons you can't teach an old dog new tricks.||Radio pack, Sterling L2A3 submachine gun and green Garrison cap||Codename was duplicated in the Third Generation (AF) release although the character's profile differed.|
|'Skip'||Captain||Grant James Campbell||Edinburgh, Scotland||AF 39696||Military strategy||Use of heavy armour||Former businessman and international playboy, head of worldwide corporation. Joined Action Force in search of new excitement. Graduated first at Action Force Training College, distinction in unarmed combat and military strategy. Top of class at special Action Force training school. Subject - classified. Skip is a winner all the way, and does not accept second best from any of his men.||Self Loading Rifle (SLR), grappling hook and rope||Repaint of the first generation Action Force Royal Marine figure.|
|Gaucho||Soldier||Rico Gonzalles||Mexico City, Mexico||Unknown||Mechanic||Heavy engineering||Strongest soldier in Action Force. Former circus strongman conscripted into Mexican army for basic military training. Transferred to Action Force after two years in the Engineers. Spends all his spare time body building. Brilliant mechanic, especially with engines. Gaucho can mend anything, and because of his strength, he never needs power tools.||Command Centre||Gaucho came packaged with the Z Force Command Centre (along with Jammer). He is a repaint of the G.I. Joe Gung-Ho figure.|
|Jammer||Soldier||Calvin Mondale||New York City||Unknown||Communi- cations engineer||Electronic warfare||Brilliant electronic engineer. Graduated with PhD from UCLA. Became leading computer designer in Silicon Valley. Joined Action Force. Developed the Command Centre communications systems. Very successful in monitoring and jamming enemy communication. Jammer takes delight in constantly disrupting Baron Ironblood's signals.||Command Centre||Packaged with the Z Force Command Centre (along with Gaucho) and also a repaint, of the G.I. Joe Stalker figure. Jammer is the only dark-skinned Action Force figure.|
|Quarrel||Female motorcycle rider and soldier||Hedda Pulver||Interlaken, Switzerland||AF 396942||Commando||Undercover operations||Diplomat's daughter, early years spent in Japan. Martial arts expert. All round sportswomen and competes in British Motorcycle Championship. Graduated Action Force undercover ops school, advanced unarmed combat school, top of class. Speciality Action Force modified crossbow, Shaken(throwing stars) and Chinese Butterfly knives. Quarrel is normally passive but explodes into violent action at any moment. Drives anything that moves.||Crossbow and Rapid Fire Motorcycle with Attack Cannon||The only female figure produced for the allied Action Force range, Quarrel is a repaint of the G.I. Joe Scarlett figure and came packaged with the Rapid Fire motorcycle.|
|Steeler||Tank commander||Andreou Stakis||Salonika, Greece||AF 396443||Heavy armour||Heavy artillery||Decorated for bravery. Battle scarred veteran. Instructor in heavy artillery, deployment, and tactics. Graduated Advanced Driving School (Distinction). Expert tank warfare and mobile assault. Steeler is a tough as they come. Once his mind is made up he cannot be deflected from his course.||Z Force Battle-Tank, an Uzi machine pistol, red helmet and black night-vision / binoculars attachment.||Came packaged with the Z Force Battle-Tank. He is a repaint of the G.I. Joe Steeler figure who was also a tank commander.|
|Wheels||Jeep driver||Frits Van Eyck||Eindhoven, Netherlands||AF 396900||Transp- ortation||Infantry||Wheels was a mechanic for an international transport company. Joined Action Force to work on the best engines there are. Completed basic infantry training with distinction in Advanced Convoy Driving. Qualified expert: M14, M16 rifle. Wheels is always covered in motor oil and calls all vehicles 'she'.||Z Force jeep||A variation on the Infantryman (see below) Wheels was packaged with the Z Force Jeep.|
|Commander||None||None||None||None||None||None||Pistol||This figure was only available by mail offer. It is an amalgamation of several first generation figures. The Black Major is a repaint of the same figure.|
|'The Doc'||Medic||Sven Inglesen||Tronsk, Norway||AF 396047||Field combat medicine||Arctic survival||Son of a Norwegian trapper. Learnt his skills the hard way on various field combat missions across the world. Studied medicine in Vienna. Speaks five languages fluently. At 45, he's the oldest member of Z Force, but he keeps fit by running five miles a day. A tough but compassionate man.||Mortar or Flare Launcher (depending on issue) and a white first aid kit||The figure is another amalgamation of several first generation figures.|
|Various||Infantryman||Various||Various||Various||Infantry||Ballistics||The backbone of Action Force. Experienced infantrymen from all over Europe. Highly trained flexible soldiers ideal for large scale military operations demanded by Action Force. All members graduated Advanced Infantry Training. Dependable soldiers that won't let you down in a fire-fight.||Heckler & Koch MP5 rifle and back-pack||The Wheels figure (see above) is a variation of this figure.|
|'Scout'||Minesweeper||Wolfgang Dremmler||Leipzig, East Germany||AF 396954||Mine warfare||Bomb disposal||Formerly a member of the Soviet Tank Command, with plenty of experience fighting in mid-African states. His water divining ability helped to keep him alive during many a desert campaign. Has a sixth sense of danger, and an almost psychic relationship with Steeler, the Z Force Battle-Tank driver. This has saved Z Force on many occasions. Expert at defusing car bombs. Scout always says you don't have to see danger to know it's there.||Mine detector, three landmines, and a specialist back pack||Also manufactured from entirely first generation figures.|
|Tracker||Sapper||Raoul Santillana||Madrid, Spain||AF 396669||Engineering||Infantry||Joined Spanish army straight from school and swiftly became foremost expert on rapid motorised deployment. He is tough, a fast worker, and trained under battle conditions. If Z Force are in a tight situation call on Tracker. Can handle most types of projectile. Tracker is the best rifle shot in Z Force and is an expert sniper.||M60 machine gun and ammunition box||A repaint of the first generation Commando figure.|
Vehicles, weaponry and armour
- Attack Cannon
- Battle-Tank (driven by Steeler)
- Jeep (driven by Wheels)
- Rapid Fire Motorcycle and Attack Cannon (ridden by Quarrel)
- Armoured Troop Carrier (or ATC)
- Command Centre (operated by Gaucho and Jammer)
- Dart (mobile rocket system)
- Lance (self-propelled gun with four-wheeled drive)
- Shaft (a tripod-tracked gun with rotating range finder)
- Whirlwind Cannon
- Bob Brechin Chief Designer Palitoy 1967-1984
- Desert Strike! storyline courtesy of Blood for the Baron!
- Infantryman part of the collection at the Leicestershire County Council Museum
- Command Centre at the Leicestershire Council Museum collection
- Whirlwind at the Leicestershire Council Museum collection
- Death in South America storyline courtesy of Blood for the Baron!
- Venom of Cobra storyline courtesy of Blood for the Baron!
- Duke's Revenge storyline courtesy of Blood for the Baron!
- Battle Tank at the Leicestershire County Council Museum collection
- Blood For The Baron!!! Battle Action Force comic scans