Windmill (India)

GI Joes were produced in many countries across the world. Argentina, Brazil and the UK just to name a few. One of the most prolific and longest running producers outside of the US was India. The Funskool company released figures from the 80’s through the 2000’s. In the beginning, there were straight releases identical to their US counterparts. As the years went by, the Indian figures also sometimes departed from the domestic release Joes in terms of color schemes and accessories. There were even a few exclusive “Frankensteined” figures made up of different parts from the US releases.

The original US version of Windmill was the pilot of the Skystorm X-Wing Chopper, a vehicle described as a stopped-rotor aircraft, or a helicopter that could fix its rotor in place and use it as a virtual wing surface. There was a similar concept developed in the 80’s as an actual experimental vehicle. Windmill’s filecard describes him as a helicopter test pilot.

I’m a fan of the strange and out of the ordinary figures that Hasbro makes from time to time, but Funskool, especially in the 2000’s, had some really whacked-out concepts going on. When they produced their version of Windmill, it seems they took the code name literally. Yes, that’s a propeller on his back. No, it was not included with his US release. What’s the practical use of it? Maybe he was the first Joe to go green, and was harnessing the power of the wind to save fuel in his experimental aircraft. It could also have been a experimental replacement for the parachute. That would be something natural for a test pilot to try out: “Hey Windmill, strap this on your back, and jump out of this C-130. What’s that? Yes, it comes in bright yellow. Now get out there.”

Some Funskool figures featured some pretty dubious color choices, but Windmill’s not too bad. I think it’s actually an improvement over his original version. He also includes his signature revolver that would make Dirty Harry envious. Other issues with Funskool releases is the quality of plastic and paint apps. It appears to be a different grade of plastic than we see from Hasbro, and seems thinner and more fragile. In some cases, it’s almost as bad as the knock-off toys you can find in the dollar store. The paint apps are also often sloppy, particularly in the more detailed areas, like faces.

The card art on these is usually good for a laugh. I’d look worried too if I had an overgrown weed whacker spinning inches above my head.

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