I always wondered just what the acronym AVAC stood for. I didn’t notice anything referring to its meaning until the release of this figure in the first lineup of 25th anniversary vehicles. Air Viper, Advanced Class is referenced on the newer file card, and that makes perfect sense in light of the original figure’s file card. It referred to the Firebat pilots being chosen from the Air Viper corps. Looking back, there was no figure-related Air Viper in the 1980s line, and the name wasn’t used until it popped up as a convention exclusive in the 2000s. Of course, the vintage file cards and the mythos in general weren’t being parsed to the infinite degree they are now, so I should give it a break. It’s all just a bit of world-building, and that’s great.
Considering the 25th Anniversary series was in only its second year, the figure acquits itself pretty well in its resemblance to the original figure. Using bits of the same year’s HISS driver, which was made up of modified parts of Flash and Zartan, the overall armored pilot look comes across. Sure, you can recognize elements from familiar figures, but parts reuse was also common among the early years of the 80s Joes. Hey, maybe that’s a double homage to the past. Okay, it’s just a cheap way to create more characters for less cost, but at least I tried.
Unfortunately, the parachute pack didn’t make it into this iteration of AVAC, but there are plenty of options out there for adding your own. I never understood why the vintage pilots and drivers were often left without a sidearm, and it continues here. He did inherit a knife from Zartan’s boot, so that’s at least some sort of weapon. Maybe Cobra Commander realizes that these guys won’t be alive if they end up out of their aircraft, so he doesn’t bother to waste money on arming them.
Of course, he would remedy the situation with the release of the next AVAC in the SDCC exclusive set. The latest pilot rated two machine guns, as well as a very dressy new jacket. Deadly and classy.