Jet Mobile Propulsion Unit (JUMP)
I hate to sound like a broken record, but here’s another all-time Classic GI Joe accessory/vehicle. Is it really a vehicle? I say yes, anything you strap to your person that allows you to fly about a la Buck Rogers or Commando Cody counts. Technically I guess you become the vehicle, but I’m not one for semantics.
The JUMP was the perfect low price point item for the early Joes. With the launch pad, you’ve got a small playset type environment. Alongside the launch pad sits a combination control station and recharge unit. Again, playset features abound, as the pack and its laser gun can plug into the unit for a pretend charge/storage. The back side of the control station incorporates a display screen readout and communications electronics. How do I know this? By reading the blueprints of course! I’ve been remiss all these years in not spending more time discussing the added value that the back side of vehicle instructions provided. It all helped build the world of GI Joe for kids. It’s an element of toy marketing that’s sadly missing these days.
The pack design just looks like it should work, at least within a toy universe. I think the JUMP pack’s DNA comes from a long line of Adventure Team product, and I’d like to think the JUMP was developed as a successor to the 1970s personal rescue gear. After all, this is the same group that designed a chest winch. I’m sure they also had Grand ideas of strapping a Rocketman-esque jet pack on and careening through the skies. Who cares if the damn thing lights your butt on fire?
The jet pack itself has popped up numerous times in the modern era and also among collectors club exclusives. Even Cobra adapted it for their own special troops. As a big fan of the accessory, I collect the pack in any flavor, even the myriad colors and factions available via third party producers.