BFTB Exclusive - Bob Brechin Q&A!

1982 - 2012! 30 years old and still kicking!
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BFTB Exclusive - Bob Brechin Q&A!

Postby The Baron » 19 Nov 2012 00:54

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Fantastic news, everyone!

I have been contacted by the lead designer from Palitoy, none other than Bob Brechin - the creator of Action Force! He is keen to be a part of the 30th anniversary celebration and has kindly agreed to take part in a BFTB forum Q&A session.

So, if there is anything you ever wanted to know about Action Force, now is your chance to find out! I'll leave the thread open until the 1st of December then submit the questions to Bob. He aims to get the answers back to us within two weeks.

For ease of access, please can you be sure to highlight your question using the red font colour? EG: How old is Action Force?. That way we can discuss this freely and I can keep track of the questions.

Happy 30th Anniversary, Bob!

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Re: BFTB Exclusive - Bob Brechin Q&A!

Postby The Kraken Wakes » 19 Nov 2012 00:56

oh wow, this is brilliant.
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Re: BFTB Exclusive - Bob Brechin Q&A!

Postby humby248 » 19 Nov 2012 01:02

Great news! I wonder if this will turn up anymore hidden gems?
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Re: BFTB Exclusive - Bob Brechin Q&A!

Postby skinny » 19 Nov 2012 02:00

As a US collector I don't know too terrible much about Action Force so forgive me if my questions have been answered.
1. Was there any choice in which US characters and vehicles were to be incorporated into the line or did Hasbro say you are going to use X mold etc.?
2. How were the colour schemes determined?
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Re: BFTB Exclusive - Bob Brechin Q&A!

Postby Chopper » 19 Nov 2012 02:27

Boy oh boy, this is like talking to the godfather of toys. :-)

How much interaction did Palitoy have with Toltoys in Australia and New Zealand?

Did Dave Tree find all the Prototypes? :-)

I'm sure I'll think of more
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Re: BFTB Exclusive - Bob Brechin Q&A!

Postby Quickfire » 19 Nov 2012 07:23

Did you have a military advisor or just do all the research yourself/with your team when designing the :AFLogo: and :enemy: ranges?

Did you have any Russian - or Georgian - speakers on your team, or were the characters used on :enemy: vehicles completely random?

Similarly, who wrote the bios? And developed all the detailed schematics?

How much contact did you have with the writers and artists of Battle Action Force?

Would :enemy: have eventually got a Soviet air cushion assault craft like in Operation Bloodhound?

Why were there no :AFLogo: or :enemy: helicopters like a Lynx or Chinook or Soviet Hind?

How influential were reference books like the Osprey series in helping you create characters?

Would it have been feasible to produce a :sas: Harrier and C130 and how much would it have cost on the shelf?

It is said that the brass mould of the Roboskull was based on your skull: what other gothic features of the Roboskull were inspired by yourself or others?

What other toys would you have produced if Palitoy had remained intact and created a fourth wave of :AFLogo: :enemy: vehicles? Did you have any plans?

What is the inspiration for the :enemy: Shadowtrak, it's very chunky? Or even for the AF5 for that matter...

Oh yeah and who built the motor in the :zforce: tank? it could drag anything anywhere.

Which toy was your favourite? If the Roboskull, which was your second favourite toy? And which figure?


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Re: BFTB Exclusive - Bob Brechin Q&A!

Postby starscreams_ghost » 19 Nov 2012 07:51

If the line was still going strong today without Hasbro's involvement what sort of things would you have liked to see in the line?

If Hasbro was involved which characters would you like to have seen incorporated into the AF line and which group would they go into?

With some AF figures turning up courtesy of the Cons and Figure Subscription Service is there one character that you would like to see done in a modern era style.

Same question but for a vehicle
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Re: BFTB Exclusive - Bob Brechin Q&A!

Postby The Baron » 19 Nov 2012 11:30

01) What is the skull in the Red Shadow logo from? Is it a Kraken?

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02) Is there any truth to the rumour that Skeletron is a dead Kraken?

03) Were the Krakens sea monsters or aliens?

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04) Is there any connection between the Red Shadows and the Action Man Zargonite range?

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05) What happened to the cardboard Space Force playset in the 1983 Palitoy catalogue? Do you by any chance have the image templates, please?

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06) What do the initials for :qforce: Q Force and :zforce: Z Force stand for?

07) Why is there a Star Wars Scout Walker hatch in the middle of the Sealion?

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08) A few BFTB forum members swear that the Skeletron mailaway figure came with a bio that he was once an Action Force General, while other members swear it didn't happen. Could you shed any light on the rumour, please?

09) There is a variance in the 1983 figures that were sold in 1984. The hands are of a different mould with better grip, the plastic feels more rubbery and some of the colours are slightly paler. The most significant difference is the Red Shadow figure. The 1984 release has a slightly smaller head with a less pointed beak, and the paintjob for the eyeslits has none of the menace of the original. Was this a deliberate change or an accidental by-product of possibly using a second production facility?

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10) In the BFTB toys archive is a promotional Roboskull blueprint that differs from the one boxed with the toy. On the back is a handwritten signature for Baron Ironblood. Do you know anything about this piece and please could you share if so?

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11) The Special Weapons prototypes have been source of joy for us at BFTB, especially your photographs of the initial design. The vehicles all bear the logo SWS, but the repainted figures all came in bags labelled Special Weapons F. Speculation is that SWS stood for Special Weapons Service, while Special Weapons F was shorthand for Special Weapons Force. Please could you clarify this and shed any light on the change?

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12) We would love to know more about the Special Weapons line. Why were they axed?

13) Were there any biographies for the five Special Weapons figures? Please could you give us as much information as you can remember!

14) The 1984 Action Force TV adverts featured animations. Were there any plans to make an Action Force cartoon?

15) The first known example of the battle cry "Blood For The Baron!" is in the promotional mini-comics given away with Battle, Eagle and Tiger. Do you know who came up with it, please?

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16) Which is your favourite Battle Action Force story and why? Do you have a favourite writer or artist?

17) Were you involved with the 1983 and 1984 Red Shadow, SAS and Z Force characters reappearing in the 1985 era Battle Action Force comics? Was that a result of fan pressure or is there more to it than that?

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18) GI Joe comic writer Larry Hama has a figure based upon him; Tunnel Rat. Do any of the Action Force characters have a connection with you?

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19) What is your opinion of the 2005 Red Shadows comic characters created by Devil's Due Publishing?

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20) What is your opinion of the 2010 Red Shadows box set from the GI Joe Collectors Club?

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21) How many people were involved with the concept, design and production of Action Force? Please could you give us a quick breakdown of the Palitoy team structure?

22) Had Palitoy continued to design and produce Action Force into 1985, would the range have continued to expand using the four teams and enemy, or would here have been additional elements introduced?

23) Clearly a lot of thought went into the range. Was Action Force a labour of love, or just another job?

24) Are there any Action Force toys or figures that you dislike, or would like to have done differently?

25) What would you say is the pinnacle of your work?

26) What did you do after Palitoy closed?

27) Do you know who currently holds the copyrights to the Red Shadows and Action Force toys and characters? Do you know who currently holds the copyrights to the Battle Action Force comic strips?

28) If you had the means and the opportunity, would you like to create more Action Force and Red Shadow toys?

29) How did you find http://www.bloodforthebaron.com?

30) Is there anything you particularly like or dislike about the site, or think should be done differently?
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Re: BFTB Exclusive - Bob Brechin Q&A!

Postby wolforrest » 19 Nov 2012 12:16

What an honour, i wanted to attend the talk at the museum of childhood but could not make it.

Would you consider honouring us with an appearance at RORC4?

What was the story I missed at your talk regarding the strawberry smelling batch of Action man figures?
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Re: BFTB Exclusive - Bob Brechin Q&A!

Postby paul463 » 19 Nov 2012 16:53

What was the inspiration for the Red Shadow helmet / face piece on the German stormtrooper head?
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