Playing with Fire

Action Figures

By Michael J. Legeros


Several notable 12-inch (1:6 scale) firefighter figures have been released in recent years by Hasbro, 21st Century Toys, Blue Box Toys, and Gearbox Collectibles.  Though varied in price ($25 to $75), they're all well-detailed with very realistic accessories.  So realistic, in fact, you'll need to pack extra patience for those super-small straps and clothing fasteners. 

From Hasbro, a number of fire- and rescue-related G.I. Joe figures (and accessory packs) have hit the shelves in the last couple of years.  Best of the best are two boxed figures,  "Search and Rescue Firefighter" and "Navy Crash Crew Firefighter."  The former is a structural firefighter outfitted with SCBA, axe, and thermal imager; the latter updates the classic 1960s figure with modern aluminized gear, SCBA, pry bar, and extinguisher.         


21st Century Toys also produced a structural firefighter, both in yellow and black, as well as smokejumper and brush firefighter figures. All three have accurate accessories, from chainsaw to brush rake to parachute pack.  Other figures in their "America's Finest" series include a fire department helicopter pilot and a female Emergency Medical Technician complete with backboard and jump kit. The miniature medic also has green hair, at least those sold in Raleigh, North Carolina. Go figure.  


On the foreign front, Blue Box Toys released this nifty Frenchman about twelve months ago. He's equipped with the usual gloves, boots, coats, pants, breathing gear, and one of those wild, dual-visor helmets. Neat utility belt, too!  Detail photos are available here. Blue Box also produced a less-remarkable American firefighter that looks like this.  


The newest miniature heroes on the block are from Gearbox, a "nostalgic firemen" series featuring an 1850's volunteer firefighter (released late last year) and a 1896 "masked hero" wearing a Vagen Bader smoke hood (just out).  These are hand-painted issues with exceptional extras like metal pike poles, leather-like buckets, and working wooden extension ladders.  A planned third figure is a 1930's fireman.  


A version of this column originally appeared at Code 3 Collectibles.


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Copyright 2017 by Michael J. Legeros