Air Adventurer (2010)

So where does GI Joe go from here? The second movie has come and gone, and not too long from now apparently, the associated toys as well. There’s no cartoon on the horizon, and no other toys have been revealed as yet. A third film is reportedly in the works, but that’s a few years off. Some are hopeful for a celebration of the GI Joe brand’s fiftieth anniversary next year, and expect some sort of commemorative series of toys. I would be happy to see that, but I would be happier to see the brand re-established as a kid-friendly toy at retail. How could that be accomplished? Why not reintroduce an Adventure Team for the modern era? It’s a concept that could lend itself to many themes and a variety of subject matter. What scale and style would it be? Who knows. Maybe 3 & 3/4, or maybe something else entirely. I’m open to a revival of the Sigma 6 scale and style. Those AT themed sets at the tail end of the Sigma series were delightful. But I digress…

We already know that the small GI Joe scale seems to lend itself well to the AT concept, as evidenced by the Collectors Club sets. The four sets produced utilized mostly existing tooling and new heads to create some interesting interpretations of the old fuzzy headed adventurer Joes. The Air Adventurer set was a favorite of mine, due to my interest in aircraft, as well as the simple, yet effective designs of the toys upon which it’s based.

The FANG helicopter mold is one of the most iconic of the small Cobra vehicles, but its presence works well in this case. The small, open top, one man ride suits the Adventure Team well. One can almost see this as a relative of an ultralight. There’s something about the small vehicle concept that fits the team’s modus operandi perfectly: a single Joe, going it alone in a potentially perilous situation.

The Air Adventurer himself is put together well, although he utilizes some older 25th anniversary styling. Obviously, the club was going for a straight homage here, and was trying to make the figure look as much like its 70s counterpart as possible. There are some wonky aspects of the figure, like a short neck, and the off-center belt buckle, but the idea comes across reasonably well. The parts choices available now are wide ranging, and I think that a new interpretation at this scale could really benefit from going with a less restrictively vintage design, while maintaining the basic AT style. There seems to be a strong trend toward the Adventure Team in the custom GI Joe community at the moment, and I think the creative zeitgeist is really on to something. The concept is really wide open, as evidenced by similarly themed sets being produced in the small Joe scale. Have you seen this submarine? It’s right in the Adventure Team’s funky yellow wheelhouse.

Regardless of where GI Joe ends up next year, I’m still having a great time reminiscing about the good old days, as well as discovering and learning about corners of the brand that I haven’t visited before. Even if Joe takes a little siesta and returns in a form we’ve never seen before, I’ll be willing to give the guy a look. It’s the least I could do for an old friend.


  • Go team venture

  • Wow, this was a nice piece you did, touching on where it’s come and where it might go. It’s pretty inspirational.

  • That’s a neat little submarine the Animal Planet brand dished out. Shades of Fisher-Price’s Adventure People, anyone?

    The Air Adventurer is also cool. Hasbro did an excellent job miniaturizing the classic fuzzy head sculpt. Adding the Hasbro logo belt buckle nicely compliments the AT patch on his jacket. It’s always awesome to see the FANG reused as well.

    I’d like to think that Hasbro won’t let such a venerable line miss its 50th birthday next year but seeing how Mattel’s Barbie is showing her age, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Joe in limbo for a couple of years at least. But I’m still hopeful for a commemorative series along the lines of the 25th Anniversary. (PLEASE let it be the Concept Case material!)

    The world makes less sense with each passing day and that applies to how kids used to view toys. We grew up with Joes which lasted years on the pegs whereas the current movie line is barely distributed. Why bother producing army builders like the new Night Viper and Crimson Guard if kids aren’t going to get a chance to see them, much less army build the suckers? I wouldn’t blame them for turning their attention to video games and mobile devices given the state of the toy industry at present.

  • @Clutch
    I was in an electronics store the other day. Retaliation was playing on the big screen tv on display but all the kids in the shop didnt even blink at it; they were too busy playing angry birds on the next g phones.
    If Retaliation came out when i was their age, i’dve been all over it. Then again it doesnt take much to make a better Joe movie then the 1987 one!

  • Yes, I was originally thinking of the yellow Jonny Quest version of the Mantis for the Adventure Team but then I saw an ad for that Animal Planet sub and that is the one now, if I can ever find it. I did manage to score the Chap Mei Sodier Force VII Black Shark submarine this week and that is awesome!

  • The way things are going with Star Wars, I wonder if Hasbro will make some 6 inch Joes and let 4″ line slide into limbo until the next movie.

  • Rob, nice article. I love the big picture thinking. For now it’s up to fanboys like us to keep the GI Joe train rolling while Hasbro figures out what’s next for the brand.

    I’m going to continue focusing my efforts on “the greatest generation” of GI Joe…. ARAH 🙂

  • @Carson
    [In Tom Brokaw voice] Truely ARAH was the greatest generation

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