Major Altitude (1991)
I often wonder why Hasbro didn’t take more opportunities to throw in bad puns with code names. I know the obvious thought goes to Sgt. Slaughter, but that’s not a proper pun, just a colorful alliteration. No, I’m talking about putting some thought of relationship into the character’s rank and surname. This is the kind of stuff you begin to dwell upon when you write about toys every day for several years. Anyway, the GI Joe line had its fun as it related to specialty and file names like Alpine’s Albert M. Pine and Cutter’s Skip A. Stone, but I’m thinking at a different level. I suppose it would have been too on-the-nose to go with ideas like General Discharge, Major Nuisance, Corporal Punishment, or my favorite–Colonel Popcorn. So here with Major Altitude, the reference wasn’t as groan-inducing, but nonetheless fun.
Major Altitude is the ultimate Frankensteined driver. Made up of parts from four different figures, they mesh surprisingly well. Star Viper’s torso and arms’ thick flight suit design are complemented by Payload’s pads and unique boots. Overall, he looks like he’s outfitted to pilot an ultralight helicopter. As far as the helmet, I still don’t know what to say. I didn’t get it when Wildcard wore it, and I still don’t. For me, the brain bucket and head sculpt are so distinctive that I have a hard time separating them from their predecessor.
The Battle Copter toys’ action feature functioned perfectly–too perfectly if deployed indoors. They quickly obtain the altitude necessary to endanger light fixtures and suspended ceilings. Believe me, I know.
I also love his secondary MOS: Fuselage Art Designer. Is that really a thing? Wait–never mind, his primary MOS is Battle Copter Pilot. So much for realism.