Scramble Pilot (2000 Timeless Collection)

I was a 12 inch GI Joe collector for a period of time. I had seen the larger figures from time to time over the years, though I had little exposure to them as a child. When I began collecting the small GI Joes, and toys in general again as an adult in the early 90s, I naturally began to see them more and more via the various toy books and magazines that I read. The 30th anniversary collection of 1994 really brought the older toys to the forefront for me, and set me off for a while on a collecting frenzy for the big guys. Sadly, my interest later waned, and I sold off everything within a few years. I really must elaborate some day on my transient fickleness when it comes to toy collecting. It continues to plague me even now. As I write this, I’m in the process of purging my collection of Transformers Classics, Generations, etc. figures.

The Action Pilot, specifically the Scramble set, was high on my list to acquire during my period of 12 inch collecting. It represented everything I found fascinating about the large scale toys. Having grown up as a Star Wars kid, I wasn’t familiar with the idea of toys with removable clothing or large amounts of gear, unless it was a vinyl cape and a lightsaber. The older GI Joes opened up a whole new world of collecting and play to me, as now the uniform and accessory was of utmost importance. The Scramble set also interested me because it was an example of a set contemporary to its time of release. Many of the other GI Joes of the 60s were based on World War II era uniforms and equipment.

The Scramble pilot set is just plain awesome. From the grey flight suit to the wonderfully detailed helmet and accessories, this figure exemplifies the detail and quality of the 1960s GI Joe figures. From the standpoint of an 80s kid, these Joes don’t seem as much to me like toys as my era of Joes. That’s an odd thing to say, but I suppose the age and the unfamiliarity turns these guys into something more than just disposable playthings. It’s as if they should be treated with great care, like some sort of museum piece. Maybe that’s simply due to the toys’ age, as I get the same kind of feeling from my father’s collection of postwar era Lionel trains. In the end, I just can’t imagine those highly detailed figures being tossed about in a backyard.

Fortunately, the Timeless Collection re-releases allowed those of us who missed this initial period of GI Joe to relive some of the excitement of the introduction of America’s Movable Fighting Man. I don’t have an original figure any more to compare the two any longer, but the uniform and the accessories match their old counterparts, at least in look. The more I study this figure, the more I want to return to these reissues and pick up a few more choice figures.


  • Before Star Wars and 3 3/4 inch Joes, I was into the larger Joes for a bit. I was lucky enough to catch them during the days of flocked hair and Kung Fu Grip. There’s a lot to be said for these guys. In fact, Tomarts did a price guide around ’91 that focused on both the 12” inch and RAH lines. In general, one type of collector prefers one over the other but if I had the finances, I’d happily collect both.

  • *SALUTE!*

    I used to rib the 12 inch guys and call them “dolls” too till I realized how dumb it was.

    Was that a Duke-style scar on his face, by the way?

  • The figure was sculpted with a scar to make him different from something from Barbie. He also has his thumbnail sculpted on the inside of his thumb so noone will be able to copy the mold without Hasbro’s notice.

    That was a trivia question on one of the podcasts

  • Rob, you really hit home with me as far as purging your toy collection.In the early 2000’s I got rid of all the Toy Biz figures.Not long after that I sold off all my POTF figures from 95-2002.Last year I sold off 95% of my 25th figures. Just recently I sold off about 100 Marvel Legends and DC figures. I don’t have room to display everything. When I need extra cash, I end up getting rid of a lot of stuff that just sits in storage any ways. I now try to by only what I REALLY like, rather than to succumb to the “thrill of the hunt” for completest’s sake. Is it true “Star Wars Black” 6 inch figures are 22 dollars a piece? This hobby is super expensive to the point that I hardly ever buy new figures at retail anymore. With the ever increasing cost of everything, I’d rather get beer and toys for my kids instead. BTW, that’s a sweet looking 12 Joe.

  • @Troublemagnet
    My bedroom used to have an 80’s theme. All four walls were covered in various toys from the 80’s. It eventully got so big i couldnt dust it all which made me sick and i was wasting money on things i didnt really like or need. I managed to sell most of it off. I donated all the TMNT stuff to some kids who loved them. From now on, i only collect Joes and Transformers.

  • Epic figure.

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