Airborne is one my favorite of the original GI Joe team members. I can’t really say why, but I have an idea. Most of his original contemporaries were highly specialized, and slightly over the top. Airborne, or Sgt. Airborne in this release, is fairly normal looking as far as soldiers go.
My vintage Airborne spent a lot of time in the second seat of my Skystriker. He seemed the most dressed for it out of the figures I had. Of course, Ripcord was in the front seat as a stand in for Ace. I was never a fan of the Astronaut version of the Joe Team pilot.
This release is pretty much a straight up update of the original vintage version. Out of all of the updates I’ve seen, this one is by far my favorite and best.
Airborne originally came with a specialized helmet that had goggles permnently affixed. This version is the same, but this time the goggle details are painted and they look great. A cool addition is the boom mic coming off the side of the helmet.
The head underneath is pretty generic, but it is painted slightly darker than the regular Joe. This is, of course, due to the fact that he is a Native American. The fingers sticking out of the gloves are painted to match. The eyes are well done, as is the black hair.
The main body is a khaki color and really wouldn’t look out of place on any modern battle field. There’s a rank insignia on his left arm. It looks vaguely military, though I have doubts as to its’ veracity compared to any real world military.
On of the more memorable parts of the original Airborne was his built in knee pads. He’s a badass, so no jokes. They have been updated here to the double hinged style. On each forearm, there’s a matching padded spot.
The gloves and boots are done in grey. They look great and very real world.
There a holster on his right leg that’s painted to match a cargo pocket on the left leg. Going over each leg is a piece of webbing that fits into a waist piece.
Airborne’s trademark blue rest is back it’s been updated with a paint job and some great detailing. One of my favorite details is the silver caribiner on the front. A great little touch for paratrooper.
The downside of the realistic web gear on the legs is they’re slightly limited in range of motion. Other than that, he’s got all the articulation we’ve come to expect from the modern GI Joe line.
As much as the figure has been update to real world, all of his accesories have been updated, as well. The helmet we discussed above, but it’s a little strange in that is molded in the color of his vest and then painted.
Airborne comes well armed. His assault rifle is a well detailed version. The stock is a light weight collapsable version. This is of course makes sense, as it’s common for a paratrooper. The end has a silver painted bayonet, adding to the paratroop look.
If he looses his rifle for some reaon, he’s got a .45 automatic. This time instead of being a molded part of his leg, it’s a separate piece. On top of that, the pistol fits into the working holster. While the holster is slightly oversized, it’s not so oversized it looks bad.
The “Duke” backpack has been updated to a more modern version. A well sculped bedroll is on top. A collapsible shovel holster is sculpted on the left side. Painted green it really stands out as a highlight of the pack.
Where the vintage Airborne is one of my favorites of the vintage line, this version is one of my favorites of the modern line. I love that this figure looks like a modern soldier. I don’t know if it’s the khaki or the helmet, but this Airborne looks very similar to the images of soliders we’ve unfortunately became accustomed to on cable news.
I’d love to see a repaint of this figure in full desert camo. While I managed to find this figure on clearnace, there’s not doubt as to why this figure didn’t hang around on the pegs very long.