Action Pilot (1994)

With all the speculation about the goings on for GI Joe’s 50th birthday, and considering the collectors club has shown yet another small scale figure based on the original Joe, I thought I’d join in and talk about one of the 30th Salute figures.

It’s hard for me to belive it’s been twenty years since the last big GI Joe birthday celebration. It was quite a bittersweet event. The brand was turning thirty, and at the same time, the era most familiar to us 80s kids was coming to an end. It felt like going to work and being surprised with a longevity award and a pink slip at the same time. Despite that, I found the event exciting, and I thought the toys were a successful homage to the origins of the brand. The twelve inch figures left a bit to be desired, but that’s a story for another day.

At the time, my foremost Joe interests lay with the newest releases. Having come back to toy buying just a couple years before it all ended for the small Joes, I was on top of each new release, and buying them all as they hit shelves. It was a glorious time to be a collector. There wasn’t much, if any, competition, which made the experience even sweeter. It was a more civilized age, before the dark times. Before eBay.

Appearing as part of the five figure Original Action Team set, the pilot, along with the Navy frogman, was a recolored version of the single packaged release. I was really jazzed about the two repaints in the set, mainly because it meant another throwback to the old Joes. I would have bought repaints of all the 30th Salute molds. In fact, I did, when they were released a few years later as keychains. Yes, the helmet and mask here are awkward, but I applaud the effort with this guy, and all of the 30th Salute product. It was good to see Joe celebrated. Hopefully, that happens again in some way this year.


  • I didn’t have this particular anniversary figure, but it was pretty cool to see some of the classic ’60s designs released as 3 3/4″ figures. The helmet looks way too big, but other than that, this one’s nice.

  • It is a great recreation in the 3.75″ scale, I definitely now want to pick up the rest of them (I got the Marine as my first one a few years ago).

  • Apart from the helmet looking too big its a pretty good looking figure

  • Wouldn’t it be nice if Hasbro did all these Action Soldiers in ME style? Just rerelease the vehicles like the space capsule, the night landing raft and why not a 1:18 5-star jeep? The only army jeep I ever had for figures was this die-cast one made in the 70s with a fold-down windshield. God I miss that old jeep, I wish I still had it.

  • @Vaughn Allan

    The jeep for the M.A.S.H. line ought to work nicely with the 3 3/4 40th Anniversary Joes.

  • I love the 30th anniversary figures. I’m a big fan of Joe’s more traditional action adventure and military roots. After a few years of neon everything, Joes in space fighting aliens, eco warriors, ninja force, etc…. I was really happy to see these classic figures get the 3.75″ treatment. I only wish they used Ace’s torso with the face mask hole built in.

  • I can respect the effort now, though at the time the 30th anniversary didn’t impress me. But why are this guy’s shoulders so low? Were they using larger (Battle Corps type) molding bucks?

  • @Vaughn Aleen
    I found a bag of little green army men at a discount store that had a 3 3/4 Ford Mutt in it. I gave it a coat of paint, put some spare stickers on it and it became a Joe vehicle. I’d imagine finding something simmilar shouldnt be hard.

  • I should start looking around for 1:18 jeeps.

  • A couple of days before Christmas in 1994, I went to my local TRU. The action figure aisle was trashed and picked over. But, they had a couple of these sets. But, the $25 or $30 price tag was way to rich for my blood. Plus, the figures didn’t really interest me.

    In the late ’90’s, though, I I got into these figures since they were dirt cheap and made for good army builders. But, the sculpts are bulky and the awkward hands are somewhat annoying.

  • Power Team Elite Jeep is pretty good. Big Lots often carries it in a set with a trailer. Don’t pay too much from Ebay, as those people probably just bought their at Big Lots, too.

    I liked the 30th figures, but they suffer from the barrel chested style of the time. I think as larger action figures became Joe’s main competitors, they tried to beef up the sculpts and the results weren’t so great. That’s also why Sgt. Savage was a bigger scaled line.

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