Palitoy’s Action Pilot is one of the first three original figures created by the toy company in 1966 as it released its Action Man Series. The pilot offered a level of detail and realism that was popular with children then and sought after by collectors today. The success of the Action Pilot led to the creation of four more Action Man Pilots over the course of Action Man’s history.
You can read up on the Action Man Helicopter Pilot (1975 & 1981) here.
1. Action Pilot (1966)
The original Action Pilot wore an orange flight suit, blue cap, tall black boots, and a metal dog tag with the Action Man logo. A simple yet streamlined design, the Action Man Pilot was ready at a moment’s notice. For Action Man vintage collectors, a rare Golden Rod version of the Action Pilot jumpsuit exists that is yellow instead of orange.
Scramble Pilot Outfit
Later on in the same year came the Scramble Pilot. The same Action Pilot key figure would be given a whole new look sans the tall black boots. The Scramble Pilot was outfitted with a gray zip-up suit, a crash helmet, an air vest, a pistol with a belt and holster, and a clipboard with a working pencil. Furthermore, a Survival Set for the Scrambler Pilot was available with a first aid kit, flare gun, knife and scabbard, life raft, oar, and sea anchor.
2. Pursuit Craft Pilot (1978)
The Pursuit Craft Pilot was released in 1978 and was the intended figure of the separately sold Action Man Pursuit Craft released in the same period. The Pursuit Craft Pilot features a green flight suit with orange and white striped cuffs and a belt with the same colored stripes. The pilot’s helmet was either metallic green, plain green, or white depending on the production date. The Pursuit Craft Pilot also came with a Beretta pistol and shoulder holster. For Action Man vintage collectors, note that the original pistol had wooden paintwork since the guns that came with equipment sets were plain black.
3. Battle of Britain Pilot (1979)
Commonly referred to as the Royal Air Force (RAF) Pilot, this figure was released in 1979 to celebrate the anniversary of the Battle of Britain. It was launched alongside its foe, the Luftwaffe Pilot. The Battle of Britain Pilot’s jacket was highly detailed with pilot officer bands on the cuffs, a belt, and four brass buttons. Note that the original tunic’s belt was sewn onto the jacket and had one brass button underneath the belt. Along with the jacket are the pilot’s trousers, red scarf, flying helmet with an oxygen mask and goggles, boots, and a Mae West life preserver.
4. Luftwaffe Pilot (1982)
In 1982, the Luftwaffe Pilot came out to complement his foe, the Battle of Britain Pilot or the RAF Pilot. This figure was also often referred to as the Action Man German Pilot. He sported a gray jacket and trousers, a flying helmet with a face mask and goggles, a scarf, a life preserver, a belt, boots, a Luger pistol and holster, and a map. A Luftwaffe Pilot figure with all patches intact is rare to find.
Over and Out
The Action Man pilots would only see a short run in their careers, having the original Action Pilot be reproduced and brought back five decades later in Hasbro’s 50th Anniversary Action Man line. Regardless of which Action Man pilot you own, seeing the Action Man vintage figures will surely help your imagination take flight.