Airwave (1990 Sky Patrol)
I hope everyone’s not tired of my gushing over the Sky Patrol figures. To me, they’re all just wonderful examples of the effective repurposing of parts. Maybe they all work so well because, aside from the heads, they were each taken from an entire existing figure. As such, each figure was at least assured a unified look from the neck down.
What do you do when you create a force of six paratroopers? Having six guys who simply jump out of perfectly good airplanes would get redundant, so they wisely spread out some other specialties among the group. Airwave is a radio man, and one who is able to make do with whatever materials he has on hand. Just creating a slight difference like this in characters really helps the set stand out.
For a repaint of the Motor Viper mold, the figure carries a lot of interest. I’m not a big fan of the original use of it, I think mostly due to the blue on blue color scheme. But here, the paint choices are such that the mold comes alive, and I can see details hadn’t previously noticed. The unique head sculpt, helmet and weapon also help differentiate the figure from others of the time. All of the Sky Patrol heads have a lot of personality to them, even with the helmets off. I do find it a little strange that he doesn’t come with any sort of radio equipment, considering his specialty, but I suppose he could get a cast off from Dial-Tone if needed.
Well done color schemes, original accessories (don’t forget the working parachutes!) and a variation of specialties helped to make Sky Patrol my favorite of all the GI Joe sub-teams. If they ever get a revisit in the modern line, I’ll probably keep on gushing about them.