ACTION FORCE IN GERMANY
THE TERROR GANG AND THE ANTITERROR-TEAMS
by Clemens Scholl.
In western Germany, the toys of the Palitoy Action Force Series were released with a different concept than in the rest of the world. Although the basic design of the toys was roughly the same, there are a lot of differences that makes the german Action Force figures & vehicles absolutely unique and easy to differentiate from the normal Action Force toys.
1. The story behind the german "Action Force"
The first thing to know is that the "Battle Action Force" comic series that told the stories of Action Force in the UK were never released in West Germany. Thus the toy distributor had to imagine a way to give some depth to the characters he was going to sell to the children, because no one knew anything about Baron Ironblood and his war against Action Force. So the german distributor, General Mills, Inc. came up with a new concept : on the front of the cards on which the figures were sold, a small paragraph told in brief words the story of a fight of "the Terror-Gang" (Terror-Bande) against "Action Force", an anti-terrorist team with four specialised sub-teams : the anti-terror team ATT (Z-Force), the special anti-terror team SATT (SAS Force), the deep-sea-antiterror team TSATT (Q Force) and the space anti-terror team WATT (Space Force). The description reads as follows :
"Die Welt der Action Force. Die Handlung der Action Force spielt im Jahre 2011. Die Völker der Erde leben schon lange in Frieden und Freiheit geeint unter einer demokratischen Weltregierung. Baron Eisenblut, der letzte Verbrecher, terrorisiert mit einer Bande versklavter Abenteurer, mit denkenden Robotern und modernsten Wunderwaffen die Welt. Sein Ziel : die Übernahme der Weltherrschaft. Action Force wurde von der Weltregierung eingesetzt und kämpft mit den verschiedenen Spezial-Einheiten ATT, SATT, TSATT und WATT gegen diesen gefährlichen Feind. Der Befehl lautet : Alle Terroristen gefangennehmen, niemand darf getötet werden."
This translates as : "The world of the Action Force. The plot of Action Force takes place in the year 2011. The world population lives since long in peace and liberty, united under the rule of a democratic world regime. Baron Ironblood, the last criminal, strikes terror with a gang of enslaved adventurers, with thinking robots and the world's most innovative weapons. His goal : to take over the world. Action Force was set up by the world government and fights this dangerous enemy with his various special units ATT, SATT, TSATT and WATT. The orders are : all terrorists must be captured, no one shall be killed"
It must be noted here as historical background that at the time the public sentiment was strongly anti-violent in germany. Most parents were convinced that their children should only play with "educational" toys such as wood blocks, family games and the kind. This may seem strange today, but there was really some kind of witch hunt going on against all kind of "evil toys" : I remember clearly that the teacher in my class once at a parent meeting stressed that "parents should forbid their children to play with plastic guns or 'Masters of the Universe' toys. They are clearly evil and harmful to the evolution of the child." It was thus essential for the marketing of Action Force in Germany that the "good" and "anti-violent" character of the toys was stressed. The text on the packaging makes this obvious ("no one shall be killed"). There were also changes in the accessories that came with the figures : most of the rifles were abandoned and replaced by "less violent" stun-weapons, laser-weapons or knives. Also the "evil" skull on the enemy figures completely disappeared from the toyline.
2. The released toys
A total of 30 toys was released in West Germany under this concept, all of them are shown in the picture below :
CLICK TO ENLARGE !
Up to date, no evidence has turned up to prove that the later series of Action Force toys (Minesweeper, Medic, Attack Trooper, Kraken, Space Engineer) was ever sold in Germany. I strongly believe that it was never released.
To get an in-depth overview of the figures and vehicles released, just jump to the page on the team that it belongs to :
|TERROR-BANDE||ANTITERROR-TEAM||SPEZIAL ANTITERROR TEAM||TIEFSEE ANTITERROR TEAM||WELTRAUM ANTITERROR TEAM|
3. Some notes
Even if the cardbacks on which these toys got released is clearly german, it seems strange that the names used for the toys as well as the filecards were also written in french and english. I have no idea why this could have been done, because obviously none of this card was ever planned to be released in an other country than Germany. Maybe this had just some kind of legal reason, to stay conform with some european standard. It still seems strange that one would go through all this trouble translating all the filecards in two other languages with no obvious reason ...
If you have anything to add to this site, any bit of information or would like to point out an error, just email me !
All images and pictures, texts and designs/layouts are copyright of Clemens Scholl, unless stated otherwise, and may not be used on other websites, and especially NOT in online auctions. Legal action will be taken against infringement. Palitoy Action Force, Space Force, Z Force, SAS Force, Q Force, Red Shadows, AF, etc, Original character names, Designs & biographies, ship names and designs are copyright of Palitoy LTD. Copyrighted works that are part of this web site are being used under the terms of "fair use". This site is a non profit site intended to document the Palitoy Action Force range.
Other great Action Force sites :
http://www.actionforce.org : in-depth review of the toyline, with all the figures, vehicles, etc ...
http://forum.actionforce.org : the place to discuss about action force toys.
http://www.bloodforthebaron.com : the Battle Action Force comic archives.