In 1976, the Ideal Toy Co. decided to create an action figure line, possibly to compete with Mattel's successful Six Million Dollar Man franchise. They went with a character called J. J. Armes, an adventurer who sported interchangeable hands. The twist was, J. J. Armes was a real person.
Jay J. Armes (born Julian Armas) was a celebrated private investigator from El Paso, Texas. His claim to fame was that he was missing his hands - they were blown away in a railroad accident when he was young. Undeterred, the young man learned to use his prosthetic hooks with as much skill as he could, and went on to build a very successful career despite his handicap. In the mid-70's, Armes was known to millions of kids and admired for his courage and perseverance (thanks in large part to a flattering biography of the man). Ideal Toy Co. learned of this widespread enthusiasm, and decided he was the perfect personality around which to build an action figure line.
The J. J. Armes figure was 10" in height; the body used for the figure was the same used for the previous Captain Action line by Ideal. The basic figure came clothed in sweater, vest (marked with two J's), pants, and shoes.
The figure came with interchangeable hands, which he carried around thanks to a red plastic briefcase. The hands were varied according to different mission requirements: 'normal'-looking ones, suction cups, weapons, etc.
One accessory that came with the line was Armes's Mobile Investigation Unit, a van that housed a number of electronic gadgets and tools; one side of the van lifted off for kids to gain easy access to the contents.
The only other accessory for the line was a Training Center, which housed workout equipment and target range.