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.