Total Action Force: The Battle Years Kickstarter
The comic, Battle Action Force, was published weekly from October 1983 to November 1986 by IPC
Magazines limited, and brought together some of the greatest talents in the British comics industry
of that time, both on the editorial and illustrative fronts. Specifically, this creative team brought to
life the licensed property “Action Force”, created by British toy manufacturer, Palitoy.
In celebration of the 40th Anniversary of ‘Action Force’ in 1982, ‘Total Action Force: The Battle Years’
is currently seeking funding on Kickstarter. Created by award winning photographer and designer
Brian Hickey and writer Paddy Lennon with writer David McDonald, this book will be a highly visual,
retro pop-culture experience for its readers. It will celebrate the work of some of the greatest talents
in British comics, and demonstrate how they brought to life a hugely popular, licensed franchise
from that period – one of the most challenging creative projects for a comic.
The book will contain 176 pages plus hardback cover and will be informed through research and
interviews with surviving members of the IPC creative teams and former senior staff at Palitoy.
The purpose of this book is to tell the story of Action Force, with a particular focus on the period
where the toyline was closely associated with the British comic ‘Battle’.
As well as featuring the toys, this book will tell the story of the people who created the Action Force
universe, with first-hand accounts from many of the surviving designers, writers and artists.
This extensive book will look at the inception of the Action Force brand; it will showcase the design
creativity at Palitoy with the evolution of Action Force series 1 through series 2; it will examine how
IPC secured a licensing deal, giving the comic Battle a lifeline; how the writers and artists, led by
comics legend Gerry Finlay Day breathed life in to Palitoy’s IP and expanded the Action Force
‘Total Action Force: The Battle Years’ will discuss the mythos created in support of the toys; it will
profile each character from Action Force Series 2 and it will be packed full of diorama photos,
showcasing Action Force like you’ve never seen them before.
To help celebrate the toyline and comic, we’re going to push the boat out in terms of award winning
photography and design. This will be a limited run book that will celebrate the incredible work of a
bevy of talented writers, comic artists and toy designers whose creations live on to this day.
The Kickstarter is live right now for the next month on
What are you funding?
Our initial goal of €27,000 will cover the print and shipping costs of the book.
What extras can we expect?
As well as the book, we’ll be offering prints of select diorama images of the Action Force toys as well
as a print from toy designer Erik Araña of Boss Fight Studio recreating the cover from Marvel’s G.I.
Joe issue one using the vintage Action Force characters. This print was previously available in
extremely limited quantities at Roll Out Roll Call and will be reprinted for this campaign.
What are your planned stretch goals?
Assuming we hit the goal required to produce the book, we’ll expand its contents as we hit stretch
goals. Areas we plan to cover in those expansions include the unproduced Special Weapons Force
and the 1985 Palitoy Action Force series three toyline, which utilised existing G.I. Joe product from
What are your stretch goals?
Assuming we hit €40,000, the book will feature an additional 32 pages featuring a whole history and
recreation of the planned but never produced Special Weapons Force with dioramas using the
custom recreations of talented Action Force customiser Ray Murphy.
At €53,000, we’ll unlock 48 additional pages featuring Action Force series three from Palitoy which
utilised exclusively the Hasbro G. I. Joe figures along with a mixture of Palitoy and Hasbro originated
At €68,000, we’ve reached out to legendary Battle, Commando and 2000AD artist Ian Kennedy for
an exclusive cover for the book featuring all new Action Force artwork by this incredible talent.
Assuming all of the planned stretch goals unlock, the page count will reach 256 pages with an epic
new cover to celebrate Battle Action Force and the toys that inspired it.
Brian Hickey is a multi-disciplined visual artist and International Design Award winner. He has
worked in the publishing industry for many years and has self-published 2 books on collectible toys
with Paddy Lennon, fulfilling the roles of art director, photographer and graphic designer for both.
Brian has also worked with acclaimed toy designers, Boss Fight Studio, designing the packaging for a
number of their licensed products, including Bucky O Hare and Sam & Max. In March 2020, Brian’s
image “Drive ’75”, featuring vintage M.A.S.K. toys, was shortlisted for inclusion in the 190th Royal
Hibernian Academy’s Annual Exhibition. His clients include The President of Ireland, Michael D.
Higgins, and international best selling songwriter/musician, Paul Brady.
Paddy Lennon is a writer and podcaster with an interest in the toy design process. He has presented
panels on toy design at Comic Cons and the World Science Fiction convention. Paddy writes
background lore and character bios for the Vitruvian HACKS series of action figures and the licensed
properties Flash Gordon, The Phantom, Zorro and Tarzan. He has collaborated with Brian Hickey on
other toy related books.
David McDonald is the Publisher/Editor of comic Micro Publisher ‘Hibernia’, and writer of the
critically acclaimed Comic Archive series of books, which explores the lesser known and forgotten
aspects of British Comics. He also has written for Comic Scene Magazine and for Rebellion
Publishing’s Treasury of British Comics line, as well as research including fact checking for their
recent Masters of British Comic’s book.