Six Million Dollar Man

In 1973, the television network, ABC, decided to take a chance on a new TV series based upon a book series called Cyborg, written by Martin Caidin. They decided to title the series, The Six Million Dollar Man and it debuted on March 7, 1973 with a 90 minute pilot episode. The rest, as they say, is history. The show and its star, Lee Majors, would go on to become a smash hit and gained international success until it ultimately ended in March of 1978. It was kind of a no brainer that a toy line would come from this hit series, and the Kenner Toy Company were the lucky ones who successfully picked up the toy rights. Kenner released their Six Million Dollar Man toy line in early 1975 and to say it was a huge success would be an understatement. Since the show was already an international hit, so were the toys, as they sold out on toy shelves across the globe. With the Six Million Dollar Man TV series being such a massive hit, along with its ultra successful toy line, it was only natural to assume that a spin-off series would also get the same toy treatment, and it certainly did with the Bionic Woman toy line. The origins of the Bionic Woman series began in the Six Million Dollar Man’s show when Jamie Sommers, portrayed by Lindsay Wagner, made her debut as Steve Austin’s fiancée in 1975. As fate would have it, Jamie had the same rotten luck that Steve had when it came to crashing to the earth, so she received the same bionic treatment that her fiancé, Steve got through O.S.I and Oscar Goldman. The Bionic Woman got her own TV series in January of 1976, and her toy line followed just a few months after. With the massive success of the Six Million Dollar Man line, Kenner could now afford to take a few more chances and created an action figure line catered specifically to girls.

In the 1970’s, Hasbro decided to really up their game with the GI Joe Adventure Team line. They began producing new types of inventive figures with never before seen features, such as flocked hair and Kung-Fu Grip, so Kenner decided they needed to do the same thing by adding their own special features to its Bionic figures. Steve Austin had bionic telescoping sight, along with a new Bionic strength feature. Other versions were later introduced with Bionic Grip and a Supersonic Arm. Jamie Sommers had the Bionic hearing, as well the super strength feature. Maskatron and Fembot had all kinds of cool gadgets and even Bigfoot himself was Bionic. Kenner truly unshed in a new wave of creativity and brought the fun back to toys with their Six Million Dollar Man and Bionic Woman toy lines. Despite their massive success, both television series eventually ended in 1978 and Kenner had picked up the rights to a small science fiction film called Star Wars, which turned out to be a pretty big deal, so naturally Kenner dedicated most of their efforts to that line. Without a major media outlet for promotion and a somewhat distracted parent company, both the Six Million Dollar Man and Bionic Woman toy lines came to an end in 1978.

Kenner released some real quality products from 1975 to 1978, and just like every toy line, the values of certain items can greatly fluctuate over time. This is based on several factors, including the item’s time period, scarcity, consumer demand and overall condition. The good news for Six Million Dollar Man and Bionic Woman collectors is there always a demand for items from this era, as Kenner created some truly iconic pieces. Loose individual figures from both lines can still be found in most secondary markets but boxed figures are becoming harder to find in good condition. It should be noted that while the main characters can be easily found, the secondary characters such as Maskatron, Bigfoot, and Fembot can be tough to find in good complete condition. Values on the Six Million Dollar Man and Bionic Woman items remain steady with not many recent changes but the market remains strong due to an ever present 70’s and 80’s nostalgic desire. Boxed versions of the playsets and vehicles from these lines remain tough finds on the secondary market and usually fetch high prices for any in good condition. The figures, playsets, vehicles, packs and other sets from the Six Million Dollar Man and Bionic Woman lines will only increase in value as these figures and sets become rarer and harder to find in the future.

Click These Links to See The Individual Six Million Dollar Man and Bionic Woman Pages

Six Million Dollar Man 1975-1978

Bionic Woman 1976-1978