This is an update to the previous blog post on the Action Man stickers featuring Rom. The day that post went live, I got a hit on my new ebay search for the stickers, but I was too busy to check my e-mail until the next day. The photos the seller had provided much of info I was looking for. Figures, doesn't it?
Thanks to UK ebay seller bowleycat for granting me permission to use his photos! You can find his auction for the very Action Man sticker album seen below on ebay UK.
The Action Man Sticker Collection was published in 1983 by Figurine Panini under license from CPG Product Corp. (essentially Palitoy). They were distributed by Minicards Ltd. The album weighs in at 32 pages and contains six different stories of 5-6 pages each and each with spaces for 40 stickers. (That's 240 stickers total, for the math challenged.) The story featuring from is titled "Threat From Space" and runs six pages (pp. 6-11). The stickers for the story are #41–80, but Rom appears no earlier than #50.
I'm not certain, but it appears the stickers were sold in packs much like collectible cards in the U.S. (e.g. baseball cards). I do not yet know how many stickers came in a pack. The backs of the stickers all have the same text, except for the number in the top right corner to let collectors know where to put it in their albums, although some are oriented horizontally and some vertically. I believe the album came with one pack of stickers.
Inside the back cover is a cool offer from Minicards Ltd. Once collectors were down to only needing a few stickers to complete their collection (up to 25), they could order the individual stickers they needed. There were ordering instructions for the U.K., Ireland, Canada, Australia, and South Africa. Yes, Canada! That means there might be stashes of these stickers already in North America (for us Rom aficionados in the U.S.A.), but I don't guarantee it. I'd appreciate any information from Canadians on that.
I suppose I should summarize the story, as the photos aren't high enough resolution to always be easily read. An alien ship approaches Earth, not responding to hails. Space Ranger Captain Jack Hardy leads a team of pilots in their solar hurricane interceptors to check it out. The strange ship suddenly fires on them, destroying two interceptors. Suddenly, Rom appears in a saucer ship and destroys the enemy. He then takes the surviving Space Rangers back to their base orbiting the moon and introduces himself as Rom, an android from the planet Zar. The enemy ship was from the planet Margax. To help save Earth from the coming invasion, Rom, Hardy, and two more Space Rangers attack Margax.
Their surprise assault is not successful and Hardy's ship is destroyed, although he ejects and joins Rom in his saucer. Ultimately, they use the saucer to crash into Margax Central Control, ejecting shortly before impact. Rom and Hardy then steal a ship, bombing the city for good measure, and return to Earth. They shake hands and "from that moment, Space-Knight and Captain are inseparable."
As you can see, bowleycat also does not have a complete collection of stickers, so I can't yet tell you exactly which ones feature Rom. I'm surprised that, with all the apparent Action Man fans on the Internet, no one has completed an album and posted photos online. Perhaps I've not been searching the right Action Man or photo sites. If anyone finds them, please let me know and I'll feature them here.
While you're checking out the stickers that are there, make sure you get a good look at #74 (the first one on the last page). Note Rom is firing a weapon, but it's not his Neutralizer. In fact, it's not any of the accessories the figures shipped with. I wonder if it's one of Action Man's guns? And I wonder if the Rom action figure could even hold any of the Action Man weapons since he wasn't designed with that in mind? I tend to doubt it.
As a final note, do not confuse these stickers with the Action Man stickers Panini printed in 1996. Those feature a bright orange Action Man logo. And again, if you read this before May 14, 2012, you might still be able to bid on the album shown above.