Press Release: Total Action Force: Volume Two is coming to Kickstarter￼
After a successfully funded, produced and delivered campaign for Total Action Force: The Battle Years in 2021, with over two hundred satisfied backers, it’s time for the International Heroes to take the stage!
You may be familiar with G.I Joe; A Real American Hero, but what happens when America’s finest fighting force needs to be sold overseas? The answer, at least partially, is release the toys with new geographically diverse biographies and develop a comic featuring the familiar characters in new locales!
For ‘Total Action Force: Volume Two’ we aim to bring you a hardcover 176-page definitive history and guidebook to the Hasbro Action Force figures and vehicles released between 1987 and 1989. For a brief period, certain European countries received an amended version of the beloved ‘A Real American Hero’ toy line. Character biographies were changed to give the toys a more international flavour to appeal to a new audience while the name of the successful Palitoy series was retained as a marketing tool.
In tandem with covering the toys in detail, the book will also go behind the scenes on the ‘Action Force Weekly’ comic and ‘Action Force Monthly’ (published in the USA as ‘G.I. Joe European Missions). Released by Marvel Comics UK to promote to toys, the comics contained new stories written and drawn by then up and coming creators who’ve gone on to become some of the most celebrated in the comics, film and TV industries. Artists and writers such as Mike Collins, Kev Hopgood, Grant Morrison, Geoff Senior, Steve Yeowell, Simon Furman and Bryan Hitch all cut their teeth documenting the adventures of Action Force. The book will be full of their work, usage of which has been approved by the rights holder, as well as exclusive interviews with many of the creators
For our cover art, we’re pleased to announce that Action Force alumni Mike Collins (Storyboard artist for Doctor Who and The Witcher) has enlisted on this special mission.
In keeping with volume one, which was an ‘honourable mention’ at the most recent International Design Awards, volume two will be a visual feast for its readers with licensed usage of the comics art, character profiles (which for many characters were tweaked from their USA biographies as noted above) and, of course, it will be packed full of diorama photos, showcasing Action Force’s figures and vehicles.
The Kickstarter campaign will require €35,000 to fund a limited print run of the hardcover book, with a number of tiers where backers can receive copies of the finished product, posters and art prints in return for their support.
If the campaign succeeds, further stretch goals will be available to expand the page count, include new Action Force art from a number of artists such as Kev Hopgood, Steve Yeowell, Geoff Senior and Mike Collins and reprint the sold-out Total Action Force: The Battle Years as a softcover.
Our aim is to make this the definitive guidebook and celebration of the vintage International Heroes toys and comics, something that fans will read and reference for years to come.
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 for Boss Fight Studio. 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.