Action Man is an action figure boys’ toy launched in Britain in 1966 by Palitoy as a licensed copy of Hasbro’s American “moveable fighting man”: G.I. Joe.
Action Man was originally produced and sold in the United Kingdom and Australia by Palitoy Ltd of Coalville, Leicestershire from 1966 until 1984 (Palitoy also offered sub-licenses to various toy manufacturers in various markets).
The figure and accessories were originally based on the Hasbro (US) 1964 G.I. Joe figure (for 1966–1969 production). Hasbro’s GI Joe figure was patented in 1966. Even the specific method of attaching the appendages was patented as a “Connection For Use In Toy Figures” . The first Action Man figures were Action Soldier, Action Sailor and Action Pilot. All were available in the four original hair colours: Blonde, Auburn, Brown and Black. They were accompanied by outfits depicting the participants of the Second World War.
Action Man was subsequently reintroduced in 1993, based on the GI Joe Hall of Fame figure of that time.
Info gleaned from Wikipedia