“Mum, I wanna Action Man! I have $10!!” “Ok my boy!” “Mum this is not an Action man??” “That’s because Action Man was $20, this one was $10”.
So that’s how Big Jim came into my life in 1982.
After my initial disappointment of getting Big Jim instead of Action Man, things started to pick up. Sure he was a lot shorter than Action man and he was an Olympic swimmer, but he had these amazing arms coated in flexible rubber than would move at the elbow with no sign of joints. He could flex his biceps!!
A flaw in design meant his legs broke off quite prematurely. There was no way to reattach them. The round connectors where his legs had attached resembled roller skates so the immobile Big Jim was moving again, rolling alone the ground and engaging with the other figures again. Engaging is not actually the right word as Big Jim was terrorizing the figures! He would command their loyalty and punish all that would rebel!
In February 1983, I finally got my Action Man! He was the mountain climber in 1970s orange style packaging. Big Jim and Action man teamed up to conquer the figures and soon entered the costumed character game as vicious super villains.
Big Jim borrowed Action Mans climbing boots and placed them on his hands. Christening himself “Shoe Man” he went on a rampage! With the rapid speed of his built in roller skates, he blitzed many a figure and hammered them with the flat soles of the shoes!
Shoe man’s clumsy run came to an end when Big Jim envisaged a new Identity. He would become Wolverine! Yes the Marvel Wolverine, complete with the adamantium claws which I fashioned from sellotaping sewing pins. He wore himself a nice brown Jacket a made from some spare material and teamed up with Action man who by then had become the infamous “Machine Man”. Wolverine lost his claws along the way and one came into the hands of the figure super hero “The Three Clopsed Eyed Side”.
Big Jim’s final attempt was as “The Blob”. This comprised of his torso (remember he had no legs) comfortably placed into one of my swimming arm floaters that you would blow up and seal. It was genius and he had slime underneath and slide around bumping the small figures with hit juicy fat. His mass was made of an impenetrable material. Figures would kick, blast and slice to no avail! But it was the battle between the Blob and the Three Clopsed Eyed Side that would prove Big Jim’s undoing. The Eyed Side has obtained one of Wolverine’s adamantium claws! The Blob laughed at the prospect of another 3 & a half inch figure trying to climb his 8 inch blob suit! But the Eyed Side had no such intention. He penetrated the Blobs fat mass easily with the claw. Big Jim deflated slowly but surely, screaming abuse at the Eyed Side. Once Big Jim was helpless on the ground, the Three Clopsed Eyed Side rammed the claw into his chest, ending his life.
Big Jim’s remains have become unknown and lost to time.