In 1975 the Six Million Dollar Man had established itself as a major television hit and as a popular toy line for Kenner. Hasbro sensing the competition, countered with a bionic addition to the Adventure Team, Mike Power: The Atomic Man. This Figure had an Atomic flashing eye, transparent limbs and a rotating hand that could power a helicopter rotor. Perhaps the most striking feature was the return to painted hair for this figure. Today I have heard speculation that Hasbro avoided the flocking because Atomic Man had a lense on the top of his head to allow light to pass through to the atomic eye. The theory is that the flocking would have interfered with the lens. Apparently this did not phase Palitoy as the British version has flocked hair.
Atomic Man was a success for Hasbro and sold a million units the first year. Today the story is a bit different. Mike Power is the least valued of all the original 12" figures. It is common to see loose figures sell for less than $30. Part of the problem is the figure isn't very attractive. In addition to the return to painted hair, Hasbro created a new head with a longer neck which gives Mike a "storkish" appearance. Mikes uniform consisting of a camo shirt and brown shorts also is not particularly attractive. Hasbro would have been better off issuing him with the running shorts and t-shirt that came with the outpost set. At least then maybe he would have had shoes! Hasbro did one other unique thing to the Atomic Man uniforms. The jump suits issued with Atomic Man accessories have short sleeves to expose Mikes atomic arm.
One last thing bothers me about this figure. Unlike Steve Austin and Jaime Sommers, Mike has only ONE atomic leg. What does he do with the normal one when he runs? Drag it behind?
The following quote comes from the Bionic Page:
"Steve, Jaime, and Michael all lost their right arm. What are the odds on this, eh? You'd think, at least once, it'd be the left arm. Hell, even both a little more often. But, one arm is fine. :) Now, one leg, on the other hand, is no good. If one of our heroes lost only one leg, the other leg would have to go too. Can you imagine having one normal leg, and one bionic leg? You couldn't do anything right: running (limping), jumping (hopping), kicking (falling, because you forgot which leg you're using, and kicked too hard) . . . ;)"
BTW: The Michael he mentions is Steve's son. Not Mike Power.