The flurry of sub-teams at the end of the Real American Hero line is not looked on favorably by some Joe fans. This I feel is unfortunate, because the concepts introduced, while they ranged from the sensible to the outright goofy, brought some more variety into the toyline. The story from those inside Hasbro at the time goes that Joe sales were flagging by the late 80’s, and something had to be tried to right the ship.
Many collectors of similar age to me, who were in those perfect demographic years of the early 80’s, appreciate 82-86 and not much beyond. There are however, younger fans to whom the 90’s belonged. I’m interested to hear their takes on later figures like this versus the early releases.
Ozone is an interesting member of Star Brigade for the simple reason that he started out in another sub-team, the environmentally minded Eco Warriors. He ended up on a space team as an environmental specialist, neutralizing waste and restoring the ozone layer. I’d call that a successful integration into Star Brigade. At least he wasn’t retconned into being a Han Solo knock-off. I assume it also has a lot to do with to fact that his mold (specifically the helmet) resembled a space suit. I can see that. Actually, he’s not the only Eco Warrior mold to make it into space, as Barbecue was turned into Payload when that character’s original mold went missing.
Ozone appeared in the previous year’s assortment, but I prefer this figure’s color scheme. Something about the maroon and yellow stand out as more eye catching than his tan, grey, red and blue figures of 1993. I even like this figure as an alternative uniform for his Eco Warriors role as well.