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Little Big Man by Palitoy
In the 1970's, UK toymaker Palitoy most famous for turning G.I. Joe into Action Man took a toyline from Spain called "Madel Man" and reinvented for the UK market.
Click here to see the 1974 Toys International Article on the Launch of Little Big Man
The result was Little Big Man, a six inch adventurer who was a lower cost alternative to Action Man. This actually is a bright bit of marketing, all thing considered, why have a competitor do the same thing. I'm lucky enough to not only have catalog pages but some nice pictures from my friend Bill Frost's amazing collection of boxed items.
Basic "Little Big Man" came packaged as a soldier, the UK seemed a little tougher when it came to action figures. When it came to the Mego Superheroes, Palitoy only brought over the males..
Like a lot of toys in this period, Little Big Man functioned on the "Razor and Razor Blades"concept, which meant basic figure, everything else sold separately. This was first popularized by Mattel with Barbie.
The assortments figure and outfit follow a specific pattern that every boys line had Secret Agent, Artic Explorer and various Soldiers. Everybody from G.I. Joe to Evel Knievel had explored these themes.
Again, no good boy's line worth it's salt wouldn't have a scuba diver or a skier, although the Medic was inspired.In his native Spain, Madel Man would explore a ton of different themese such as Astronaut, Pirate, Police, there is even a Madel Man version of Superman!
One of the nicer things about the original Madel Man series is the little detail in the sets as evidenced by these two Western sets, Mounties always make me laugh mostly because I'm Canadian.
These Police and Safari vehciles are likely the highest Price Point items in the entire line and until now, believed to have never been produced.
Below are images from the collection of Bill Frost, who has a real love for Little Big Man. Some of these items are quite hard to find, so it's a rare treat:
Basic Boxed Little Big Man, predictably his outfits are showcased on the back
Some of the lower price point outfit sets.
I guess Motorway patrol was sold with or without the Range Rover
Note that the Pony in this set is a different colour than in the catalog..
Mounties don't dress like this much people, I'm sad to say this is mostly for Parades.
The little Big Man on Motor Patrol wasn't believed to have been produced that was until Dom found a boxed one and sent me pictures.
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