Updraft (1990)

Updraft is the pilot of the Retaliator, one of the weirdest craft in the GI Joe arsenal. Advertised as a “Bomb Dropping Rescue Copter!”, the Retaliator was a helicopter with a working winch and a rotating tail with grabbing claw that pivoted out of the tail section. An odd-looking  copter with impossibly short blades, it resembled a dragonfly more than the original Joe Dragonfly.

Updraft is a bit odd as well, most specifically his helmet. I always thought mine was ill-fitting, but a close look at the package art shows the helmet sitting high on his head, with his chin jutting out of the bottom. It’s a strange way to design a helmet, and I have to wonder if the package art was produced to match the figure. I know that’s usually not the way these things are done, but the helmet thing is so odd, I have to wonder. The fact that the figure isn’t shown in the 1990 catalog along with his vehicle makes me wonder further.

Helmet aside, I find this to be an interesting figure. He’s also the textbook definition of forgotten. He doesn’t seem to be either highly loved or reviled. He’s just kind of–there.

 

You may also like...

6 Responses

  1. Tom says:

    Updraft is a decent figure. I’m guessing that he flies the Retaliator at a low level, because I’ll agree that Updraft is pretty much below the radar for most collectors.

  2. brandonixon says:

    Wow, I never heard of this guy. Thanks for bringing him out.

  3. Joseph Tages says:

    I used to have the Retaliator and Updraft. Liked them both a lot. I used Freefall as the co-pilot and always thought they made for some friendly competition to Wild Bill and Airborne’s Dragonfly. Interestingly enough, the Brazilian version’s boxed art shows Rampart co-piloting with none other than Gung-Ho IN HIS MARINE DRESS BLUES manning the controls! Plus, Hit & Run is hanging from the tow cable instead of Freefall. Poor Updraft is nowhere to be found. I do find the helmet to be really odd, but his flight suit is cool and the gloves are neatly done. I think Updraft made a cameo in the old Marvel comic, but blink and you’ll miss the guy.

  4. Engineernerd says:

    Head looks a bit like Mark Harmon as Gibbs on NCIS.

    Thanks for remembering him!

  5. Jonah Hardenbrook says:

    I’ve always liked Updraft and the Retaliator. The Helmet isn’t typical, but that’s what I like about it. I really like the figures mold and colors. It’s one of many gems in the 1990 line, which is my favorite Joe year ever.

Leave a Reply to Joseph Tages Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published.