A GI Joe Action Soldier kitted out with early issue combat equipment. See information below.
The Action Soldier combat sets are GI Joe essentials. There are many variations, and the items were available in a number of different packaging configurations including cards, window boxes, and some Sears exclusive and extra value sets. Originally called Combat Reconnaissance, the Combat Field Pack Set (7502) is above, Combat Attack set (7501) is below.
Combat Helmet (7507) & Combat Sand Bags (7508)
Images of three sets above (7505, 7506, & 7510) copyright and courtesy of Vectis Auctions
Combat Mess Kit (7509). The early tm/tm example on the right courtesy of collector Anthony Gunter. Note the alternate configuration on the earlier card.
Ready for the charge!
Notes on Variations
There are a ton, and I'm probably missing a few here, so if you can fill in some blanks, contact me! See canteen and mess kit variations on the Bivouac page. Boot and fatigue varieties will be available on the Fatigues and Basics page.
The most sought after Combat variation is the prototype/early issue cloth cartridge belt. This appeared in the 1964 catalog and very few early boxes before being replaced by the ubiquitous plastic version (below). These grommeted pouches were glued to the belts initially, though many have fallen off and were later slid on.
Entrenching tools come unmarked, marked just Hasbro, or Hasbro Japan. The rarest has a brass collar and is unmarked (not shown). The ribbed collar (far left) is also an early variety. Both of these have the shovel head attached with clips in the front. Later ones have the swivel attachment slide in through the back. Covers vary in shade.
Collector Jeff Dilbert shared this great picture of his rare brass collar entrenching tool. This version never made it to full production, but it does show up in the 1964 catalog photos. The top of the e-tool handle is a threaded brass tube hiding the tightening head on the shovel. There are counterfeits of these out in the collecting community, so be very careful of provenance when buying one, and expect to pay handsomely for it!
M-1 rifles (left). Early versions have a raised mark mid-stock and are a bit chunkier. These were followed by unmarked versions, and then those with either raised or engraved markings close to the butt.
Medic pouches (below) were initially released in cloth and then transitioned to plastic. The shiny residue on the palstic one is a remanent of the mold release used in production.