I loved the Six Million Dollar Man. I couldn't count how many times I ran around my house in slow motion, going "na-na-na-na-na." I remember the day I went to class and there was a kid with the Six Million Dollar Man action figure. That kid was the proverbial Man that day. The one thing I remember most is how the figure had a hole in the back of the head that you could look through, and see through Steve Austin’s eye. Other kids were lined up, and I remember waiting my turn and looking through the hole and seeing the little crosshairs. That feature alone made me think this figure was one of the coolest toys ever. In researching this flashback, I discovered that the action figure was even more awesome than I realized. The Six Million Dollar Man action figure was packed with features. I want one even more.
- Arms and legs could be removed and replaced with new ones called "Critical Mission" limbs. The limbs had special features like karate chop action or blinking “laser” light. Steve Austin never replaced his limbs in the TV show, but he did in the original novel the series was based on.
- One version of the action figure came with a “bionic grip” in its right hand. The right arm could raise objects weighing up to two pounds.
- One version came with a fake steel girder for him to pick up, another had a plastic engine block…just in case he needed to fix his car.
- An elastic flesh-colored cloth covered the arms, so you could roll back the "skin" and expose his bionic components. In the original figure, the bionic parts could be removed, but complaints from parents' groups about choking concerns made later versions non-removable. Parents…they ruin everything.
- The action figure also had a Bionic Transport and Repair Station. Essentially combination vehicle and playset, on the outside it was a rocket ship for him to pretend to fly around in. Open it up and you get a bed to lie the figure down in and attach wires so you can "test and repair" his bionic parts. How cool is that?
- If that’s not enough for you, the cool kids could get a Mission Control Center, an inflatable dome that included a repair station, as well as a communications desk with interchangeable pictures of Steve, Oscar, and other characters, and an emergency escape hatch for him to bust out of.
- The Six Million Dollar Man action figure was the Tickle-Me Elmo of the seventies – demanded by every child, and hard to find.
- The action figure’s fragile nature (the arms and legs came off, the bionic components get lost, the fabric covering the arms tore) makes complete and intact figures hard to find.
Hands down, the best link on the Net about this figure is Plaid Stallions, which features photos and scans of the boxes for all the Six Million Dollar Man toys. Feeling Retro has a forum where people post their memories of the figure. There’s also an ebay guide for the completist which describes the different versions in frightening detail…so you know it’s authentic. You can watch the original 70’s commercial for the Bionic Grip action figure on YouTube.
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