Static Line (Project: Downfall)
Sometimes a figure in a con set really surprises you. With the Zombie Initiative set, I wasn’t expecting to be as impressed as I was with T’jbang. With the Peril In Paradise set, I wound up being surprised by how much I liked Recondo. In Project: Downfall, the figure that surprised me the most was Static Line. Static Line was another figure that I always had a little difficulty parting out when I’d virtually customize Sky Patrol during JoeCustom’s annual Customs Celebration. However, the GIJCC really stepped up to the plate with Static Line and managed to turn someone I had no real ties to into my favorite modern Sky Patrol figure.
The vintage Static Line was a repaint of Backstop from the neck down, and for me, that was always a real stumbling block in terms of how to create a modern version of him. To my eyes, there weren’t a lot of parts that could replicate that unique look. However, the GIJCC made some great choices and kept the spirit of Static Line’s original look while not having to invest massive amounts in new tooling. Static Line’s legs come from 25th Anniversary Resolute Duke and they’re a great stand-in for the vintage figure’s legs. They’ve got the combat spatsand one holster plus quite a few straps. The legs also give him kneepads, which I think is a nice touch for a paratrooper figure to have. The torso comes from Pursuit of Cobra City Strike Beachhead, and that was an excellent choice. The torso is nicely detailed and has armor on the upper part of his torso that’s very similar to the vintage Static Line figure. The only thing I’m not wild about is that the Beachhead torso has a combat sweater texturing that the arms don’t have. The arms come from 25th Anniversary Resolute Cobra Trooper, and again, that was a great call on the GIJCC’s part. They’ve got that great angular shoulder armor and the gloves look shockingly similar to the vintage figure’s gloves. I say it’s shocking because I’m sure Hasbro didn’t have repurposing those parts for Static Line or Backstop in mind when they created them, but man, if they don’t look almost exactly like those parts. Topping off the figure, Static Line gets the other new head in the main set. Like Airborne, I’m not wild about Static Line having a static helmet, but it’s still a great new piece. The GIJCC’s design, as sculpted by the Four Horsemen, really captures the look of the vintage helmet quite well while looking a little more realistic than the vintage figure’s helmet did. Static Line’s visor is up, so you can see his face, and it’s rather generic. I kind of miss the character that the vintage version had in his face. They made him a little more generic-looking than I’d like, but unsurprisingly, this head was also repurposed for Backstop, who was the parachute figure for this year’s con set, so the generic nature of his face isn’t too terribly surprising since the GIJCC likely designed it with pulling double duty in mind. However, if you’re not wild about the static helmet, Justin Bell over at GeneralsJoes did notice that Air Raid’s head actually looks a bit like the vintage Static Line. The Static Line head doesn’t fit exceptionally well on the Air Raid body, but if you want a version of Static Line that looks a little more like his old self—and you were actually able to attend Joe Con—you do have an option there. Static Line is a great modern take on the vintage figure and he really manages to capture the vintage figure’s look without having to rely on entirely new parts.
The GIJCC did an excellent job replicating Static Line’s build and the color scheme is also strongly based on the vintage figure. Static Line has white pants and gloves, a blue shirt, with blue spats and kneepads, silver armor and black on the various straps. The white looks good, though the vintage figure looks to be using an extremely light gray rather than white. The black paint work on his leg is solid, though it is a little less than crisply done on his right leg. The Sky Patrol logo is done in black on his right thigh as well. The blue shirt looks sharp and the silver armor pops nicely against it. Static Line’s helmet is silver with black for the visor and blue for the nut that holds the visor in place. Static Line still has his African American skintone, but because of the way head is designed, there’s a bit of silver on his face as well. Some of it is clearly part of his chin strap, but there’s also some that has definitely gotten onto his face. It’s not a lot, but it’s definitely there, and it’s something that could have been avoided had Static Line not been given a molded helmet. Overall, though, Static Line’s paint work is executed excellently and the paint work really complements the overall design.
Static Line’s gear also adds a lot to the overall design and like Airborne, I have to applaud the GIJCC for finding a way to reference Static Line’s specialty in his gear. Starting off with his backpack, Static Line is the final figure that uses the great Rise of Cobra Hawk jet pack. Like everyone else that used it, it’s color-coordinated with the figure, this time being blue and silver with a little bit of white on it for good measure to help it stand out from Skydive’s pack. Over his torso, Static Line has a shoulder holster and I’m not sure where this piece originally came from. Regardless of its origins, it’s a good piece and it helps obscure the fact that he shares parts with Beachhead. Slung over his shoulder, Static Line also carries the same demolitions kit that we first saw with 25th Anniversary Snake Eyes. That’s a great call since that satchel has always been used as a demolitions pack and Static Line is Sky Patrol’s demolitions expert. Plus, it’s much better detailed and more useful than the one that came with Pursuit of Cobra Desert Battle Snake Eyes II. Static Line’s primary weapon is the same futuristic rifle that was used with Rise of Cobra Reactive Armor Duke. I’m still not totally sure what I think of this piece because it looks a little odd, but it does kind of remind me of the funky gun that the vintage figure had. Plus, since it already reminds me of the sticky bomb gun that Batman used in The Dark Knight Rises, it’s a piece that fits with Static Line’s specialty. Static Line’s other weapon is the same knife that was first used with 25th Anniversary Lift Ticket. It’s been a long time since we’ve seen this knife, so it’s kind of refreshing to see it here. While he loses the chest-mounted sheath, it’s nice that Static Line still carries a knife like he did back in the day. I think the gear was probably the best thing about what the GIJCC did with their Sky Patrol figures since half the vintage Sky Patrol figures had some weird weapons. It’s nice that Static Line now has some gear that helps him look more like the team’s demolition expert.
I wasn’t expecting to be as taken by Static Line as I was. However, I have to admit that he’s a really great figure. The GIJCC’s parts choices were absolutely brilliant and I have to appreciate that they were able to do so much with this figure without breaking the bank on tooling. It’s a testament to whoever on their team is in charge of designing figures that this figure turned out so well. Static Line is a pretty tough nut to crack, but the GIJCC really succeeded on it. The construction and paint scheme come together almost perfectly to create a great modern take on him. The gear load is solid and it fits with Static Line well. Everything just comes together so well on this figure, it’s somewhat hard not to be impressed with him.