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.