Slip-Stream (1986)

When did Nintendo’s Mario join the Joes? In all seriousness, figures like Slip-Stream amaze me because the face is not an idealized, chiseled image of an idealized male, but more of an everyman. It’s something that the small Joe line has done since the beginning. Just look at Grunt from the first series. Not an attractive guy. Sure, the team has a share of Adonis-like visages, but the regular looking folks give the line a wonderful variety and character.

I can’t say enough about the quality of the driver figures throughout the line. To include exclusively made molds with vehicles was a touch of genius. A driver and his ride were often inseparable to me. As a kid, my vehicles were almost always piloted by their included figure. Duke, Flint and others would rarely jump into the Skystriker’s front seat, and were usually piloting the smaller driverless vehicles like the Sky Hawk.

Slip-Stream is a fantastically detailed figure. His g-suit is perfectly rendered, with enough detail and paint apps to rival regularly released figures. That’s another detail of the early drivers that struck me; the product usually seemed to get as much attention to detail as the single carded figures.

The mold was repainted to great effect for the amazing Sky Patrol sub-group, a testament to the quality of this figure. Ace may have a place in my heart as an early favorite and the driver of the greatest of the classic Joe aircraft, but Slip-Stream is my favorite pilot mold.


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