GUERILLA WARFARE  
  Code Name: EAGLE  
 

For a comic strip intended to sell toys, Battle Action Force had a few odd quirks which suggested Fleetway and Palitoy weren’t on the same page. Take the SAS Force Squad Leader, for example. Captain Rod Buckingham was rarely actually referred to by his codename Eagle, and rarely looked that much like the toy he was apparently based on.

The figure was basically one of the original 1982 Action Force toys, the SAS Trooper. For 1983, it got an SAS Force patch on the shoulder (mine is the 1982 version, with the patch represented by a sticker; sue me) and a rename to SAS Squad Leader, but was otherwise unchanged. The toy has a hood and gas mask arrangement was usually avoided in the comic, where Buckingham usually just made do with the hood (as seen to the left).

It’s not my favourite of the SAS Force figures, to be honest. In fact it’s probably my least favourite, which is ironic considering it is the one an SAS trooper is most likely to look at. The depersonalised nature of the masked head just doesn’t strike the right cord, especially in terms of reflecting the heroic nature of Buckingham in the comic, and just plain doesn’t look as good as either the woolly hat or helmet swearing casts – if you line the figures up, it just looks like Eagle’s a bit of a nutter; at least Sparrowhawk, Chopper and Blades have a good reason to be wearing helmets, while Hunter has his cool bandito origins as an excuse. The head is also very bad for paint wear, like a lot of the Palitoy figures.

This aside, Eagle is the standard straight-arm construction with all that entails. The casting seems less elaborate than it does for, say, Skip, though this might be realism, or it might be the flat black that accounts for everything but the head playing tricks with my perception. Rightly or wrongly he isn’t much to look at, and when you compare him to something like the original Snake-Eyes who was again all black but much more interesting to look at, you have to wonder if compromising accuracy in favour of making the figure a bit more visually interesting might have been the way to go.

Action Force Eagle
Action Force Eagle
Action Force Eagle
Action Force Eagle