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 (1991)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.

Major Altitude (1991)

Major Altitude (1991)


  • I just hear Ted and Robin saying “Major Altitude” while saluting. Yeah, I watched a lot of bad 2000’s sitcoms….

  • For bad puns how about a Lieutenant who’s last name is ‘Kurnal’ [Lieutenant Kurnal]

    The only thing that bothered me about Major Altitude was that prior to Ice cream soldier [is that a bad pun?], he was the youngest guy on the team. So why does he look like the mascot for Burly towels?

  • ”Major Altitude looks like someone who would come from the ”Star Wars Universe”,or ”The Centurions”(1986).

  • If they’d found a different helmet to fit that head, it might help distance him from Wildcard. Some Sky Patrol helmet would’ve been cool. Keel Haul’s waist was an odd choice, too, but maybe Major Altitude hastily dropped out of the US Army and joined GIJoe as a Navy pilot.

  • The legs are actually from Hardtop. And in terms of frankensteined figures, don’t forget Claymore.

  • The best pun character name ever in G.I. Joe was “Major Bludd.” That was so subtle, that I didn’t even get it until I was 30 and a friend pointed it out to me.

  • I thought Major Altitude was a decent figure. The body ended up being so different from Wildcard helped his case. Heck, as a kid I had Star Viper & Major Altitude and never picked up on them having the same torso.

    Notice the Battle Copters were a yin-yang each year. 1991 had a frankensteined Joe and an all-new Cobra (Interrogator) while 1992 had an all new Joe (Ace) and a frankensteined Cobra (Heli Viper). Heli Viper was also handled reasonably well.

  • Needed a different helmet and hair color. He looks like Wildcard when he was in the space shuttle drop mission.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.