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Stephenson College celebrates 50 years of Action Man

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Stephenson College last month launched a campaign to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Coalville’s most recognisable figure, Action Man.

Originally based on American toy GI Joe, the iconic British boy’s toy of the 1960s and 70s was first designed and produced in Coalville, by local firm Palitoy Limited, until 1986.

The college’s celebrations were held as part of new local government initiative called Choose Coalville, which was launched to showcase positive aspects of the town, including events, heritage, shopping and entertainment in order to help build confidence in the town as a whole.

To kick off the anniversary celebrations the college invited staff and students to come to college dressed in their very best action themed gear for Children In Need in order to both raise funds for charity as well as honour the famous native.

Staff and students also had the unique opportunity to take a closer look at a collection of rare action man figures and memorabilia from the 1960s up until the mid 2000s as a display case with was filled to capacity with generous donations from the Stephenson Community.

Another unique element to the celebrations saw the purchase of a 50th anniversary Action Man figure which made its way around the college across 30 days in which he was photographed in various locations around the Coalville campus.

Action Man's whereabouts became a hot topic of conversation on social media throughout the month, prompting outside involvement from North West Leicestershire College, Action Man HQ, Choose Coalville and Coalville Heros.

What has been a fantastic month culminated in a reunion of sorts, with Action Man's original designer, Bob Brechin visiting our Coalville campus for a photo opportunity with Principal Dr. Nigel Leigh, Action Man and a 50th birthday cake kindly donated to the college by Sugar and Ice bakery in Coalville.

Principal and Chief Executive of Stephenson College Dr Nigel Leigh spoke highly of the initiative, he said: "We really enjoyed celebrating the 50th birthday of a true Coalville legend. 

"Staff, students and extenal stakeholders enjoyed seeing where Action Man was going to be next during the month, a particular highlight was seeing him make an appearance at our Graduation Ceremony.

"We were also delighted to have amongst us one of the key contributors to Action Man's creation, Bob Brechin, who came along on the final day of the celebrations."

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