I remember Action Man from when i was a kid and you've got to appreciate the effort Palitoy in Coalville put into these toys up to thier closure in 1984. Children could use their imagination which is something lacking in many of todays toys and they were built to last. The 40th re-issue has been a godsend to many collectors as has Ebay as how many people got rid of their collection once they'd outgrown them!? My favourites were the Electronic Command Centre, Frogman and Scorpion Tank.
One good way to spot a vintage item from a 40th is (probably quite obviously) the smell. Anything packed away (especially clothing) may have that musty not-been-used-in-years odour about it. It depends where it's been stored, which is up in the loft in many cases. Many vintage items of clothing (the top half anyway) have a white 'Palitoy Made in Hong Kong' tag. Exceptions include items made from rubber, though vintage rubber items may be starting to perish anyway unless looked after.Signs of wear are another good indication, except for items never used. If things have been looked after and not subjected to water/moisture they'res no reason why even battery-operated items won't still work. Even if they don't a bit of WD40 and a clean will help no end. One item that constantly seems to suffer is the large gun mounting in the Command Centre. If you remove the 2 screws from the front of the pillbox the console will come out. Look underneath the console and the mounting should be held in place with a lock washer. Carefully remove it and fit a replacement mounting, taking care not to overstretch the 2 wires connected to the speaker. Hey presto, as good as new. Unfortunately these mountings get brittle with age.
Wish i could keep on collecting so good luck to all you other Action Man fans. Remember collecting is a hobby and building it up is most of the fun, especially when you obtain that 1 missing part you've been waiting years for.
My collection is up for auction as i don't have the space and my 2 small children will only end up breaking it!