produced and marketed by Mattel
The 1960's saw toy manufacturers begin to produce and market dolls to young
boys. Called action figures, these new dolls were led by Hasbro's G.I. Joe
figure. The 1970's brought additional action figures to the market place,
including Mattel's Big Jim.
The Big Jim line of action figures was geared toward those interested in
sports. The main member of the line was Big Jim himself. Dressed in
red & white sports trunks, the figure had a bendable waist with movable
armes and legs. If Big Jim's arm was raised, it would swing back down allowing
him to simulate a karate chop, a very popular thing in the early 70's. He came
with a barbell, a breakable board for chopping, a baseball, and a muscle band.
The muscle band was an interesting feature. The doll's arms were made of
a rubbery substance that would bunch up when the figure's elbows were
bent, simulatingflexing the bicep. Boys would put the muscle band around
Big Jim's upper arm, and when his arm was bent, the band would snap off.
The Big Jim line of figures also included Big Jack, who was a black version
of Big Jim. There was also Big Josh, who was the lumberjack version of
Big Jim , with beard, vest, and the karate chop replaced with an axe with which to
chop things. Later, the line added Big Jeff, who was the outback version
of Big Jim, with blonde hair and machete.
Later, Big Jim did as many of the action figures of the early 70's did and moved
toward adventure teams. The Big Jim P.A.C.K. (Professional Agents and Crime
Killers) debuted a few years after the original release of Big Jim. New figures
included Dr. Steel, who was Big Jim with no hair, a dragon tatoo on his
chest, and a silver right hand. There was also Warpath, Big Jeff with a
bow and arrow and The Whip, who was Big Josh with a whip and three
The Big Jim continued as a product through the mid-80's. The line gained popularity
in Europe and Canada during the 80's even after it was no longer sold in the U.S.
Some data retrieved from http://netdial.caribe.net/~topace/first.html