May 4th is International Firefighters' Day, the same date as the feast day of Saint Florian, the patron saint of firefighters. JJ Edmondson was inspired to create the recognition day in 1998 after the tragic deaths of five firefighters working to contain a bushfire in Austrialia. Today it is a time of both remembrance for those who have lost their lives in service to their community, and celebration of the work done by firefighters and other personnel.
Following on from the recent series I did on 1/6 scale police officers and miniatures, this post looks at what's available in terms of firefighters. I've used promo pics wherever possible, but some of these pics came from ebay / pinterest - I claim no ownership.
Hot Toys released two Modern American Firefighter figures in 2002 - there's a review over on Toyhaven with lots of detail. Then in 2006 they released version 2.0 - there's a great review of the Lieutenant figure over at MWCToys. For a more fantasy take on fire fighting, Hot Toys also did a cool FireSpecter figure in 2007.
1978 saw Action Man take up firefighting - you could get a uniform set, fireman backpack, fire tender, and fireman equipment set (the bulk of which was also available on the equipment centre workshop accessories card).
Knock-off competitor, Adventure Man, also had a firefighter outfit in the mid 1970s.
Geyper Man Cuerpo de Bomberos (firefighter) from 2003. My Spanish is sucky but I think these were available as limited editions too - read more HERE.
Enterbay released three firefighter figures based on the movie As The Light Goes Out - Station Officer (pictured), Senior Station Officer Ho Wing-Sam, and Principal Fireman Lee Pui-To.
Barbie first became a firefighter in 1995 - in AA and Caucasian versions - and it remains by far the best offering. There is a really cheap and nasty looking uniform with a pink hat and high heeled boots from 2014, and then a better looking doll with red jacket from 2016. Ken has also been a firefighter, as part of a 2012 double pack with Barbie as a police officer (see HERE), and even young Tommy had a little fireman's outfit!
ERTL Collectibles Real American Heroes Top Jake Fireman
Originally released in 1998, then re-released in 2001 in commemoration of the FDNY firefighters who lost their lives on 9/11.
This 2016 figure is based on the computer game The Division, set in a dystopian future New York. The jacket is marked FDNY on the back, so if you're in need of a heavily armed firefighter for some reason, this could be your guy.
In addition to the Search and Rescue and Urban Fire Fighting figures, there was also a 1/18 scale range.
GI Joe has been a firefighter a few times - pictured above is the First Responder Firefighter figure from the 2011 Real American Hero range. There is also Peril of the Raging Inferno (1999) [White / AA], Power Saw Firefighter (2002) / Saw Rescue Firefighter, Red Alert Rescue, Rope Rescue Firefighter, and Search & Rescue Firefighter.
Other relevant releases include Emergency Crash Rescue (Blond, Brunette, African American), Search & Rescue Team, Smoke Jumper, Smoke Jumper 2, Smoke Jumper Set, and the 1960s Crash Crew range - figure, outfit, and the crash crew fire truck. The figure and outfit were later re-released as part of the 40th anniversary range - see HERE - in addition to being reimagined as the Navy Crash Crew figure.
Action Jackson, a rival 8" offering from Mego, had his own version of the Crash Crew outfit, and a Fire Rescue Pack which squirted water.
Billy was marketed as 'The World's First Out and Proud Gay Doll' on the line's release in 1997 - it wasn't, but who's gonna let facts get in the way of a tagline? All the dolls in the line had a go at firefighting - Billy (brunette and blond), Carlos, and Tyson.
21st Century Toys - America's Finest
They released a variety of fire personnel and vehicles in the early 2000s. In addition to the fire rescue helicopter pictured above there was a Fire Command Vehicle, a Fireman, Urban Firefighter (a cheaper figure with the same name was also released on card), Commemorative FDNY Firefighter (online exclusive - read more HERE), Fire Rescue Helicopter Pilot, and Bush Crew Firefighter.
Then there was a two pack police and fire rescue set, Fireman Uniform, and an Urban Firefighter Uniform.
Some other random bits and bobs I came across while searching for figures:
☆ AvaStars, a short lived venture offering customisable 1/6 playline figures, offered a firefighter outfit as pictured HERE.
☆ Kenner's Steve Scout, possibly the uncoolest action hero ever, had a Fire Fighter accessory pack in 1973. If you wanted to dress your Steve Scout - or other 1/6 scale kid as a firefighter - Madelman has been a firefighter in the 2000s (and as a shiny silver jumpsuited type) with an awesome fire engine, as well as back in the 1970s.
☆ Asia Scale Store do a 1/6 scale fire hydrant.
☆ Toys City did a 1/6 figure called Vulcan Dark at the Weekend. He's not a firefighter, but he does have a flamethrower and a spare head shaped like a fire hydrant...
☆ Masterpiece Collectables do a range of 1/6 scale firefighter helmets, styled after those of the SCDF (Singapore Civil Defence Force).