Explorer 12 from BHS was a re-purposed toy line based on a battery powered ATV like the red one shown above [SpaceX T5 shown for scale].
This was an unbranded 'space' vehicle which appeared on discount and beach shop shelves. It was a cheap alternative to the larger radio control trucks and buggies which began to proliferate in the 1980's following the advances in chip technology courtesy of the Silicon Revolution.
As electronics became much more complex and affordable, all terrain cars became popular and at the impulse end of the market, the Hong Kong toy makers went for a sliver of the market by making a variety of all terrain toys powered by batteries.
Some of the larger makers such as Tomy and Buddy L produced larger and more robust toys such as the yellow tank and the six wheel buggy above.
Other unbranded vehicles such as the large white six wheeler with grey conical wheels, which is amphibious in shallow water, were often seen in holiday shops and discount stores.
BHS seems to have acquired either the molds or the rights to produce a range of toys based on the 12 wheel chassis and developed a series of rescue and exploration toys on a pre-made motorised base.
Several basic version of the unbranded 12 wheeler were made and BHS took the base and remodelled the cab and trailer to accomodate a small figure.
Mini figures were popular with other lines at the time, such as Action GT/Schaper Stomper trucks and Tonka Legions of Power toys.
BHS maximised the appeal of the range with five different units, Rescue, Polar, Space, Ocean and Terrain.
Each unit had a distinctly colour coded vehicle and pilot, a definite nod to Thunderbirds.
Explorer 12 also included a female pilot, presumably to attempt to draw in curious girls on shopping trips in BHS!
A large and extensive range was developed, with many interchangeable trailers and cargo loads and a modular base unit made of simple panels and girders.
Probably the best vehicle design was the Ocean with large clip-on balloon tyres to give flotation and motivation in water.
The six wheel design was reflected in other cheap toys such as the long running Multimac and its endless spin-offs.
As action figures became more and more popular, the smaller less poseable fgigure fell out of favour in response to the onslaught of Star Wars and Gi Joe 3.5 " models.
Tandy or Radio Shack also took advantage of the popularity of the 12 wheel form and created a Mars Explorer with an additional two obstacle breaching front wheels and the addition of rubber tracks.
Woolworths also exploited the idea with their own cheaper version of the toys.