A WILMSLOW Action Man fan is gearing up to help launch his favourite childhood hero into Space.

Richard Weston, is part of a group of fans sponsoring the launch of the plastic superhero who is celebrating his 50th birthday since he was first went into production in Britain, by being sent to a place he most definitely has never been before.

Richard said: " I know it sounds a bit of a bonkers thing to do but my business and six others across the UK, including the original Action Man designer, have helped to sponsor the project.

"The capsule with Action Man in it will be launched from Leicester Town Football Club close to the old Palitoy factory in Leicester, which is now demolished. He will swiftly be lifted through airspace to the edge of space by high altitude helium balloon.

"In doing so, Action Man will be exposed to temperatures of -50C as he makes his way to the Earth’s stratosphere. From his peak altitude of approximately 100,000ft he will have an unrestricted view of both British coastlines for the first time in history."

Richard could not be more delighted to be celebrating the launch, as he explains: "My childhood memories are filled with my brothers and me creating every imaginable adventure possible, from deep sea exploration, to climbing the highest mountain and of course going into space, (this was the early 1970s when the Apollo missions were still on telly!"

The launch on Father's Day (June 19), will tie in with the launch of two further Action Man models, but largely produced for the specialist collector's market.

When asked how important Action Man was for him, Richard adds: "The character means everything, every conceivable adventure, every childhood memory, every bit of imagination that has carried me through life today."

Bob Brechin. the former chief designer for Palitoy told the Guardian: "I am thrilled that we are celebrating the 50th anniversary of a toy that has become such a legend and a truly British phenomenon even though it began as a clone of GI Joe, a similarly iconic American phenomenon.

"This 'special' year I am excited to be part of the mission to send Action Man into space. I am so pleased that this will happen within a stone's throw of the old factory in Coalville."

Richard, who will be attending the launch, will also photograph the launch while video recording equipment will be used by colleague Dave Drennan filming the ascent via a drone.

There will also be advanced GPS tracking equipment on board to film the 150 minute mission to 100,000ft and assist in its recovery - that could land up to 60 miles from the launch site.

A label on the side of the launch capsule carries the message: "One small mission for man, one giant adventure for Action Mankind".