Mike Hazard: the Marx Double Agent, is often underrated or overlooked by collectors, who favour Gilbert's popular 007 and UNCLE figures for their spy fix.
Yet arguably, Mike was one of the most imagination-inspiring toys of the 1960s.
Market leaders like GI Joe and Action Man, always arrived at the birthday party empty handed and unarmed, but sensing the danger ahead, danger man Mike rolled up in an action packed box, brimming with an explosive arsenal of gadgets, guns and gimmicks, that would've done any Mission Impossible screenwriter credit.
Mike was a master of disguise.
He could be a tinker, tailor, soldier, spy. Wearing a curious rubber mask and rather disturbing wig, he could blend in amongst the other toys seemingly unnoticed... often eavesdropping on subversive Action Men with the sonar machine pistol, sound pick-up cone, attached movie camera and headphones.
Few action figures could have equaled his imaginative inventory with over 50 pieces of equipment.
Mike didn't have a back story... but then he didn't need one.
The Cold War telly of the 60's and early 70's was smoking hot with spy stories to brainwash impressionable kids like me. Movies such as The IPCRESS File provided indoctrination for the hazardous world Mike would inhibit within the border-crossings of my espionage infatuated young mind.
He was the spectacled, working class Harry Palmer of my toy world.
To other Cold War kids he would have been Jim Phelps or Rollin Hand of the IMF... possibly John Steed, or even the evasive Number Six... always trying to escape a village patrolled by toothy, grinning, space hoppers.
A product of the 60s, Mike didn't infiltrated my toy collection until the early 70's.
He was part of a spy exchange... a troubled, hardened, hand-me-down, from an older cousin who sold him out him for a leather football.
When Mike and I teamed up, he was in good shape and still had many of the tools of his trade, including his trench coat with secret pockets, hat, specs, booby-trapped attache case, pipe gun and even a neat little stiletto blade tucked behind his tie. He was the real covert deal.
Marx, the toy company, not the revolutionary socialist, had equipped this trouble shooter for every eventuality.
Like Checkpoint Charlie, Mike has been all but forgotten and faded into Cold War obscurity.
Occasionally he does step out of the shadows and can be glimpsed on internet auction sites, reliving old tales of espionage with other bygone toys from those adventurous days.
For me, he really is the toy spy who came in from the cold. Here's to you Mike Hazard old friend!