Cobra Air Trooper (Black Dragon Pilot)

October 19, 2011 | By More

Included with the Black Dragon is a requisite pilot figure. Similar to the VAMP, this vehichle comes with a generic driver instead of a named pilot. This pilot is generic enough that if it wasn’t for the one small Cobra insignia, he could have came from either side of the GI Joe/Cobra battle lines.


I don’t think there is any doubt this guy is some sort of aircraft troop or pilot. The straps, pouches and such all point to that. The most unique feature of this figure is obviously the head. I’m guessing this is sort of VR heads up display. It’s very angular and has a distinct faceted look. Even the back of the helmet is squared off. To be honest, it reminds me a bit of the police helmets in “The Fifth Element’ except for the bottom attachment. Speaking of that breathing mask (?), it would have been nice to have some hoses or something attached to it, but that might be just me.

His body appears to be some sort of jumpsuit. I thought at first he was a re-use of Matt Trakker, but it appears like only the upper legs and lower torso are, although both the front and back of the torso pieces have been modified. The front has been modified for the back up parachute pack. The pack is pretty solidly attached and seems like it would get in the way of flying the craft.

The wrists and ankles are puffed out like a civilian skydiver, so I’m not sure what look they were going for here. They give the outfit more of a skydiver appearance than pilot. But maybe that is just me.

The legs have a couple of ammo clips on one side and a non working holster on the other side. Neither of these really seem like good additions, and I think would have rather have seen Matt’s pockets. Speaking of odd limb features, the left arm has a blank grey patch on the shoulder. A Cobra logo here would seem obvious, but maybe it’s one of those velcro deals and he’s taken it off.

There is one small logo on his inflation device. Compared to most recent figures, he seems greatly under Cobra’d. The vest piece looks pretty pilot like, but the way it sits on the reserve chute pushes it up so the vest won’t sit on his shoulders. It kind of gives him a perpetual little kid hung on a coat peg look.

One thing I do like is the paint on the boots. instead of just plain black there’s a splash of grey on them. They remind me quite a bit of the non leather Vietnam era combat boots with the green ballistic nylon sides.


Well, he is a vehicle pilot, so there is only so much one can expect from a figure like this right? I suppose. And considering some of the horrible figures packed with Marvel vehicles, I guess we shouldn’t complain.

I do have one major complaint about this figure, however. His knees are a disaster. How you ask? See how in the above pictures it looks like he’s getting ready to jump on something? That is as straight as I can get his legs. I actually suspect the knee piece is in upside down. I may have to take him apart to see if that helps, but it is frustrating I can’t get a figure that will fit properly in his vehicle because the knees are screwy. There just isn’t quite enough clearance.

Remember that non working holster? This guy comes with one of the flattest most generic looking pistols I’ve seen in a while. You know what would have been much cooler? A crowbar and some hooks in the cockpit for it. (I threw that in for the old school comic readers.)


You know after the surprise goodness of the Steel Brigade VAMP driver, I have to say I’m pretty let down here. A pretty funky looking head on parachutist? Just doesn’t say military pilot to me. The grey and black could be Cobra or Joe so one very tiny Cobra logo just isn’t enough. Throw in the knee issue and I’m left wishing they would have put just a little more effort in this guy.

Engineernerd Score: 75/100




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Category: Featured, GI Joe, Toy Reviews

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  1. Errex says:

    Looks like a really cool figure. After seeing the first picture I thought it had a freakishly elongated torso , but now I see it is his vest that rides up and makes it look so.

  2. Engineernerd says:

    After the VAMP Driver, he was a let down for me. Now it the helmet was removable or the visor could move up and down, he’d have scored better.

  3. Tom says:

    Black Dragon was a major bust for me vehicle and pilot, I know the vehicle was in Renegades though I’m not sure about the Air Trooper. To me the design is just “meh” aside from the new head sculpt, the added doo-dads i.e. ammo clips for the non-gun, the non-holster for the actual gun, the knee pads (WTH!!??), the reserve chute that makes the vest sit up around his ears… sigh 75 was generous

  4. Engineernerd says:

    I still haven’t finalized my thoughts on the Black Dragon.

    I would have almost have preferred a plain Viper with this. I wonder if he was caught between this being a Renegades vehicle and a 30th one, and this was just a fill in figure.

  5. Tom says:

    I tried the knee pad flip this weekend and it didn’t quite work, the closest I came to acceptable was reversing the upper legs altogether and flipping the knee pad and it still doesn’t work well, my guess is that you’d have to actually carve down the knee pads.

  6. Engineernerd says:

    Thanks for letting me know! I still haven’t managed to get good pics of the Black Dragon for review, so I hadn’t wanted to try it yet.

  7. cj says:

    I think hes a awesome troop i really like the helmet i would like the gun better if it wasnt such a flat gun because it looks like the gun big mama used on snake eater.what i hate is the non working pistol holster i like the steel brigade delta figure better than the cobra air trooper