It's hard to forget Gil Gerard we know, but "Buck" Rogers (initially Anthony Rogers, later William Rogers, with the Buck nicknamed inspired by Western serials) first blasted off in 1928. He started out in Philip Francis Nowlan's story Armageddon 2419 AD, in the pulp mag Amazing Stories, and was later serialised in the National Newspaper Service syndicate as the first sci-fi comic strip.
Until now, there has never been a 1:6 scale figure toy of this era's Buck Rogers - if you can call this a toy, since it costs over 174 dollars and there are only 1000 of them. The limited edition Buck Rogers 12-inch Figure boasts a removable helmet and a die-cast "atomic disintegrator", plus the jet pack has flashing LEDs. Check out the Sideshow Toys site for more information.