Traditionally when I'm not focused on vintage Barbie my focus is usually on male dolls. I already have so many women (mostly Barbie) I want some variety. And while I like Ken, I have lots of him and there's a whole world out there of different and unique men dolls, and ones that aren't the human equivalent of an accessory (sorry Ken!). I've actually been getting more into vintage G.I. Joe and action figures. There's a lot of nice and handsome sculpts out there. I actually don't own any of your traditional vintage G.I. Joe's. I did own a reproduction, but I ended up selling him. I could see myself getting one eventually, but I'd have to find one for a decent price. I'm interested in him, but not as interested as I am in some of the clones or knock off dolls of him. Such as the Fighting Ace (Spoiler Alert!)
I was first exposed to the Fighting Ace through Barbie. Someone had listed a lot of dolls that included him, a Walk Lively Miss America, and a Live Action Barbie with her stand. I already owned the two Barbie dolls but I found the unknown action figure bundled with him so interesting. However I did not find the price interesting, 57 dollars for the lot plus 20 dollars in shipping. Both of those dolls aren't really worth very much so even if I bought the lot reselling it wouldn't recoup my expenses so I decided to hold off. Also that's a lot of money for a clone action figure of unknown quality. The listing said he was unmarked. I did do a search for G.I. Joe clones and actually found another one. He was in a lot with two random action figures. They were cheaper, but not by much. It would be 50 dollars for the three of them. And I doubted the figures would be worth much more than the Barbie dolls. Also, in that lot the action figure's feet were put on backwards and I wasn't sure if I wanted something like that. I put both of them in my watch list so I could think about it.
And then they both sold. Darnit.
And I still didn't know who he was! Both auctions said nothing about markings, so I couldn't even use that to help find him. I eventually found a website that talked about G.I. Joe clones where I finally identified him. He was the Fighting Ace made by Elite. He was apparently one of the nicer quality clones and was harder to find. Darnit. Even armed with this new information I wasn't able to find him. He is totally unmarked, not even with a country of origin. But I didn't let that stop me, I really wanted him. So I started searching for him on E-bay, but I had to be very generic. I tried a bunch of different search terms, but they ended up being too specific. The best one I ended up with was "Vintage 12 action figure", that got me the most results.
It didn't take a lot of time, but it did take some dedication to find him again. He was being sold as an unmarked clone. He also came with another head and a different clone that I had no interest in. He started off at 19.99 with free shipping. I didn't want to bid too early so I put him under my watch list and waited. It was a long and slow wait, but the day before his auction ended there were no bidders. I had to be at work when the auction finished so I bid the night before. I put in a pretty high bid but was hoping I wouldn't have to pay that much for him. I called my mother at work and had her look up the auction when it was over. Someone had bid against me, but well below my highest bid. I got the lot for 28 something including shipping. I had her pay for the auction on my behalf so that the seller could at least have the option to ship it sooner. She did and they did. I had it in my hot little hands 2 days after the auction ended. It must have flown to get here since the seller wasn't particularly close to me. I quickly opened the box when they arrived. From the pictures they looked to be in decent shape, but the description was pretty lacking. They all have some play wear, but overall they're not terrible. Especially since I didn't pay too much for them. I'll start off with the full figure.
Standing at 11.75 inches tall the Fighting Ace is an impressive figure. He has dark brown almost black hair and brown eyes. He has very thin eyebrows and it's interesting to note that he has molded in eyebrow hairs at the inside parts of his eyebrows. I thought it was damage at first, but both the doll and the head have it. They molded them in, but gave him pencil thin eyebrows. He's got pretty pink lips and a surprisingly large amount of blush. He has 13 points of articulation and all of his joints other than his wrists use metal (possibly brass) pins. His articulation is a bit odd. For example, his elbows and knees are fully pivoting but his hips only allow his legs to move back and forth. His head uses a traditional neck knob (I assume since I haven't been able to take his head off) and is slightly down turned so he's always looking at the ground instead of ahead of himself. His wrists can rotate, but not pivot. He's got really nice expressive hands with both pointer fingers separated. Usually action figure's hands are posed in a very limited he's shooting a gun pose, but these are very generic and could be posed in a variety of non-shooting poses. I'm not even sure if these hands could pose with a gun and have it look natural, but that's better for me. Proportionally his body is a bit weird. He's got an extremely long torso and arms, but very short legs. I feel like his legs should be at least an inch longer to really work with his body. He's also extremely barrel chested but has no butt (I dubbed it a Hank Hill butt). He can wear the shirts I've made for Joe, but his torso was too thick for a Disney Prince outfit. I think part of the problem is also his long torso. His groin is a little lower than
most figures so one piece pants/shirts have a hard time fitting properly. I did try just the shirt part on him, but even that had a hard time fitting around his shoulders.He can wear Joe's pants, but they're a little long for him and a little loose at the waist. They fit better if you tuck his shirt in. The best fitting thing I had was John Littlechap's suit. The shirt fit nicely, but was just a little long. That makes sense since John is so much taller. The pants were a little tight, I had to pull the snap to close them. I didn't leave it like that, I didn't want to damage the suit. The suit jacket was a little big, but overall the suit was the best fit in the torso for him. I have to really think about the best way to dress his unusual body type. I did put some padding in the back and it did help balance things out. I might have to make some padded underwear for him. Overall he is in good condition. I did wash him when I got him, but he needs a little more detailed cleaning. He's got some minor paint wear, especially to his hair but its not terrible. I did have to clean up several spots of excess plastic on his body. He had a lot of it at both shoulders. His face might have paled a little bit and he's got places on his torso that have gone yellow. He should all be a pink color. It's not awful though. I think he might have had something pinch his left thumb, it looks to have two marks on it, but doesn't look to be too different in shape from the right thumb. Overall he's in pretty good shape and I can live with his issues. Luckily there's not too many battles around here so he can retire from a life of fighting.
The head is in a little bit of worse shape, but not terrible. It's got a
little more paint wear than the full figure and it has a cut to the nose and some light scraping to under the chin. You can barely see the chin damage and the nose cut is hard to see except from some angles. I'm not sure what body to use for him. I was expecting a head that could pivot so I could stick him on a pivotal Ken body but he uses a neck knob. I would like to get a body for him, but will need to do more research as to what one he can use. I have no problem modifying a body for him, but won't do anything damaging to the head. I did put him on a Fashionista Ken to see how he looked, I liked the proportions but the neck and head connection looked terrible. We'll just have to see what works for him. At least I have the full doll to play with while I figure out what to do with just the head.
The third guy will be heading back out I have no interest in him at all. I do plan on at least trying to
So that's the Fighting Ace, the newest addition to my collection, and one of the starts of my action figure collection. I really can't see myself adding too many dolls to that group, but I'm sure Joe's happy knowing he's not the only Action Figure around here.