Night Vulture (1991 Air Commandos)
Gliders, gliders, gliders. The soaring, looping, gliding vehicles made appearances at the beginning and end of the Real American Hero line. I had the Falcon glider as a kid, and it was loads of fun–while it lasted. Even though the glider itself bit the dust after many breakages and careful scotch tape repairs, the exclusive pilot (the legendary tan Grunt) remained.
The exclusive pilot/driver concept was a great element of the Joe line that continued through most of the line’s run. The last blast of driver figures came in the years 1991-1992, many of whom were included with–you guessed it–gliders. Interesting and fun molds, colors and accessories abounded with the Air Commando gliders. Night Vulture is no different.
I’ve always thought this guy had a real Snake-Eyes vibe. Obviously, not because of the colors, but rather the outfit. Granted, a real-wold commando probably wouldn’t be too successful decked out in purple and orange, but then again, this isn’t the real world. The head looks like 1991’s Snake-Eyes sans Jason Voorhees mask. And the mask even has lips, like Mr. 1985 himself. The web gear and vest bring to mind 1991’s ninja commando, and by the way, are those pipe bombs I see on his chest? Awesome.
The Air Commandos also sported some of the most unique accessories and weapons. The combination crossbow/machine gun is a quite impressive and nasty looking weapon, effective in both normal combat and silent operations. Like his fellow glider pilot Air Devil, Night Vulture is a great late line mold that would have been welcome had it ever shown up again.