Construction Jack the Carpenter
The 12-inch, or one-sixth scale, action figure has enjoyed a resurgence in popularity in recent years, with Hasbro's GI Joe being joined by figures from many other companies. The vast majority of these action figures are, like the original GI Joe, based on the military. Fire and police figures have also been popular, with 9/11 adding to their popularity. Racing Champtions/Ertl now has a series of figures based on famous hunters and fishermen: their Outdoor Sportsmen are a bit easier (for both kids and adults) to identify with than figures of elite military units.
Link Innovations has expanded on this idea, with their Construction Jack action figures: the Construction Jack series is based on skilled tradesmen, such as carpenters, electricians, plumbers, and painters. Odd are good that you (and more importantly, your children) know more carpenters than firemen or paratroopers. For parents who don't want to give their children war toys to play with, Construction Jack is a non-violent alternative. For collectors who want a bit of variety in their collection, Construction Jack adds a face with a bit more personality - he's a bit more friendly-looking than many other action figures in this size.
For 2003, Link Innovations will be adding more trades to the series, as well as a Construction Jill action figure. They will also be expanding the ethnicities for the figures.
Construction Jack the Carpenter has several accessories to help him build things: a hand saw, hammer, tool box, hard hat, safety goggles, tool belt, and several tools which fit onto the tool belt. A tool pouch for the belt has several tools molded into it as one piece, including a screwdriver and folding ruler. The tape measure is also molded into its holder (which also fits onto the tool belt) so Jack can only pretend to measure things. The tool box opens, and can hold small items.
Jack's outfit is very detailed and accurate. His denim overalls have a loop on the right hip which can hold his hammer. Each of the pockets on the overalls are real pockets and can hold tiny items: front and back pockets, and two pockets on the chest. The overalls have metal rivets for decoration but are held closed with velcro, making it easier for smaller hands to dress and undress Jack. The socks and t-shirt are both made from a stretchy white fabric, and the shirt has a velcro closure at the back, which aids in getting it on and off. The work boots are two-toned: a familiar yellowish color for the bulk of the boot, with a brown highlight color along the back (where you would pull on real boots) and soles.
Jack's work jacket will be instantly recognized by anyone who lives in an area where the winters are cold. There is no brand name on the jacket, yet the details are accurate. The jacket is a light brown color with a darker brown collar. The wrists have snaps which create a more snug fit once the jacket is on. The front closes with snaps which can't be seen once they are snapped. The jacket is fully lined (except the sleeves) with a plaid fabric. Two additional details are real pockets on the front (with one faux pocket on the chest) and pleats on the back to allow for more shoulder movement. The only thing missing is that when you turn up the collar there are no snaps for a hood.
As far as articulation, the Construction Jack action figure can easily pose in positions appropriate for his job: he has a neck twist, ball-jointed shoulders, elbow bends and twists, wrists that twist and bend, a waist, ball-jointed hips, mid-thigh twists, double-hinged knees, mid-ankle twists, and ankles. His hands can hold his saw and hammer and he can carry his tool box. The hard hat and goggles fit without sliding around on his head. Jack is a bit beefier than most 1:6th scale action figures, with bigger and more defined muscles on his arms and legs. Jack has visible seams on many of his body parts, so he won't look as nice in shorts and t-shirts as figures made with solid parts.
Construction Jack action figures come in window box packaging which has a blueprint design for the inner liner. The back of the box has details about what carpenters (or electricians, plumbers, etc) do on the job. The job descriptions are written so that they are easy to understand, but there are a few big words (such as infrastructure and prefabricated) which parents can use as a chance to talk over the descriptions with their children.
More pictures of Construction Jack
|Where to buy Construction Jack: The Construction Jack action figures retail for about $19.99 USD each and are currently only available through ConstructionJack.com, but look for them to be in wider distribution in 2003.