1984 Action Force Laser Exterminator

Action Force Laser Exterminator

I’ve found that over the years, while collectors put a huge focus on the recolored figures that showed up in Palitoy’s Action Force, less focus is placed on the vehicles. This is par for the course with Joes, as vehicles always come second to the figures. Still, the Action Force line really cranked out some classics out of both Joe molds and their own original molds, and the Laser Exterminator is a good example of that.

The truth is, I acquired this vehicle along with my other Red Shadows vehicles basically as a gift from good friend 00zxcvb, back around 2012 or so. It was a total surprise and probably one of the most generous things I’ve been sent by friends on the internet (Which is among a lot of nice things that friends have sent me!). In a hobby that broadly consists of consumerism and buying stuff from strangers on eBay, it really puts into prospective for me the value of sentimentality when it comes to toys. Many of my favorite pieces in my collection are things I didn’t even pay for.

This vehicle was my first experience with the HAL mold, and I have to say it’s one of my favorites among the early Joe vehicles. It’s a fun toy that looks good and has some pretty fun gimmicks. The turret can rotate in any direction, and also point upwards almost 90 degrees, so it’s fully functional as an artillery unit. Of course, it’s a towed weapon too, which adds options for using it with other vehicles. For a moderately small item that supports one gunner, there’s a fair amount the HAL can do, which makes it much more fun than something like the FLAK.

I think the leg mechanisms are worth some criticism, however. The turret is propped up by the two hooks used for towing it, as well as a third leg that stabilizes it. The tow-hook legs are kind of cumbersome and have a tendency to flop around, while the third leg really doesn’t have much holding it in place- hence why it’s usually missing. The later ASP had much better legs, but to be fair, this vehicle’s older, so maybe they learned as they went.

The colors are really nice on the Laser Exterminator, maybe even nicer than the HAL’s. The bright red is eye-catching, but more than that, the vehicle’s details really come across thanks to the contrasting charcoal and red plastic. The HAL is mostly a dark olive color, so you really don’t get to see just how much detail is featured on the different pieces. The standard HAL was far more realistic, but the colors here are a pretty good example of how brighter tones can be to a vehicle’s benefit when used tastefully.

Laser Exterminator’s are pretty cheap and easy to get. In general, Action Force pieces aren’t all that rare, and most of the collecting focus is on the figure molds. So, the Red Laser who was included with the vehicle will cost you a lot, but the vehicle itself is really only worth around $30. It’s pretty tough finding one with the stabilizer leg and computer, so that will run the price up every now any then. Usually, the worst thing about buying Action Force items is having to pay for shipping from the UK, which will typically cost you as much or more than the vehicle will.

red laser the black major factory custom night viper hasbro palitoy

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Action Force Laser Exterminator Links:

Forgotten Figures

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3 Responses to 1984 Action Force Laser Exterminator

  1. Mike T. says:

    There was a time when the cannon was more valuable than the figure. How times change.

    The thing that impressed me the most about this toy is the stickers. The Action Force stickers bring so much more depth to it than the American release. And, the two colors also help it stand out more than the HAL.

    It certainly seems like Action Force toys were very common in Europe and the UK in particular. Oddly, the figures seem to have dried up (even with the overstock that was sold) but the vehicles keep coming and coming. Which is nice since so many of them are good. I wonder what happened to all their old molds?

  2. A-Man says:

    Great photos, but it that bottom one it almost looks like the trooper and “De Aco” are holding hands.

    I never owned any Action Force vehicles.

    The HAL always seems smaller than I remember. Like most artillery weapons, it was underused in media. In fact the ASP got more used than any of Joe’s towed weapons.

  3. R.T.G. says:

    Gotta say, I miss 00zxcvb, and hope wherever he is, he’s doing alright!

    The HAL is a fun toy, but I think it’s something that really benefits from the bright colours, and enemy designation. Some goofy death ray contraption, seems a little more in line with COBRA or the Shads than the G.I. Joe equivalent where it was “Grand Slam being annoying and slowing Clutch down”.

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