Air Adventurer (2010)
So where does GI Joe go from here? The second movie has come and gone, and not too long from now apparently, the associated toys as well. There’s no cartoon on the horizon, and no other toys have been revealed as yet. A third film is reportedly in the works, but that’s a few years off. Some are hopeful for a celebration of the GI Joe brand’s fiftieth anniversary next year, and expect some sort of commemorative series of toys. I would be happy to see that, but I would be happier to see the brand re-established as a kid-friendly toy at retail. How could that be accomplished? Why not reintroduce an Adventure Team for the modern era? It’s a concept that could lend itself to many themes and a variety of subject matter. What scale and style would it be? Who knows. Maybe 3 & 3/4, or maybe something else entirely. I’m open to a revival of the Sigma 6 scale and style. Those AT themed sets at the tail end of the Sigma series were delightful. But I digress…
We already know that the small GI Joe scale seems to lend itself well to the AT concept, as evidenced by the Collectors Club sets. The four sets produced utilized mostly existing tooling and new heads to create some interesting interpretations of the old fuzzy headed adventurer Joes. The Air Adventurer set was a favorite of mine, due to my interest in aircraft, as well as the simple, yet effective designs of the toys upon which it’s based.
The FANG helicopter mold is one of the most iconic of the small Cobra vehicles, but its presence works well in this case. The small, open top, one man ride suits the Adventure Team well. One can almost see this as a relative of an ultralight. There’s something about the small vehicle concept that fits the team’s modus operandi perfectly: a single Joe, going it alone in a potentially perilous situation.
The Air Adventurer himself is put together well, although he utilizes some older 25th anniversary styling. Obviously, the club was going for a straight homage here, and was trying to make the figure look as much like its 70s counterpart as possible. There are some wonky aspects of the figure, like a short neck, and the off-center belt buckle, but the idea comes across reasonably well. The parts choices available now are wide ranging, and I think that a new interpretation at this scale could really benefit from going with a less restrictively vintage design, while maintaining the basic AT style. There seems to be a strong trend toward the Adventure Team in the custom GI Joe community at the moment, and I think the creative zeitgeist is really on to something. The concept is really wide open, as evidenced by similarly themed sets being produced in the small Joe scale. Have you seen this submarine? It’s right in the Adventure Team’s funky yellow wheelhouse.
Regardless of where GI Joe ends up next year, I’m still having a great time reminiscing about the good old days, as well as discovering and learning about corners of the brand that I haven’t visited before. Even if Joe takes a little siesta and returns in a form we’ve never seen before, I’ll be willing to give the guy a look. It’s the least I could do for an old friend.