A.V.A.C. (2008)

I always wondered just what the acronym AVAC stood for. I didn’t notice anything referring to its meaning until the release of this figure in the first lineup of 25th anniversary vehicles. Air Viper, Advanced Class is referenced on the newer file card, and that makes perfect sense in light of the original figure’s file card. It referred to the Firebat pilots being chosen from the Air Viper corps. Looking back, there was no figure-related Air Viper in the 1980s line, and the name wasn’t used until it popped up as a convention exclusive in the 2000s. Of course, the vintage file cards and the mythos in general weren’t being parsed to the infinite degree they are now, so I should give it a break. It’s all just a bit of world-building, and that’s great.

AVAC (2008)Considering the 25th Anniversary series was in only its second year, the figure acquits itself pretty well in its resemblance to the original figure. Using bits of the same year’s HISS driver, which was made up of modified parts of Flash and Zartan, the overall armored pilot look comes across. Sure, you can recognize elements from familiar figures, but parts reuse was also common among the early years of the 80s Joes. Hey, maybe that’s a double homage to the past. Okay, it’s just a cheap way to create more characters for less cost, but at least I tried.

AVAC (2008)Unfortunately, the parachute pack didn’t make it into this iteration of AVAC, but there are plenty of options out there for adding your own. I never understood why the vintage pilots and drivers were often left without a sidearm, and it continues here. He did inherit a knife from Zartan’s boot, so that’s at least some sort of weapon. Maybe Cobra Commander realizes that these guys won’t be alive if they end up out of their aircraft, so he doesn’t bother to waste money on arming them.

Of course, he would remedy the situation with the release of the next AVAC in the SDCC exclusive set. The latest pilot rated two machine guns, as well as a very dressy new jacket. Deadly and classy.



  • I always wondered why the vintage AVAC didn’t get more love from Hasbro. He had a planned (terrible!) repaint that never came to be and he was a mail away for a while. But, the mold was strong and could have easily made a comeback in Air Commandos or Star Brigade.

    At least he gets some attention in the anniversary style. Keeps him from fading away.

  • ”Air Viper Advanced Class.”A.V.A.C.,(1986) is always remembered with the classic FIREBAT(1986) , as its driver/Combined with the Terror Drome, 1986.”

  • I hope to see a new version of the A.V.A.C.s…

  • What was this planned AVAC repaint that didn’t come to be?

  • Due to a snafu in the animation studios, he appeared in a few episodes well before the toy was released

    • That had to do with Hasbro giving designs to the animation team before product was finalized. That’s why Sparks existed, apparently he was planned but cancelled entirely. Hasbro had the Firebat design but it seems hadn’t decided how to release it. Flint, Lady Jaye, Shipwreck, Snake-Eyes V2, Crimson Guard, the Dreadnoks and Cobra flight pod appeared in 1984’s Revenge of Cobra miniseries (September 1984) months before their 1985 toys.

      • I see. I forgot that the same thing happened with Transformers. Numerous characters who were part of the following years toy line usually showed up months before the toys were on shelves.

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