This is the Sit-Rep, soldier, the Situation Report! It's here where we get the intel on the new troops, talk to the big brass, and generally do anything else
that isn't in an archival capacity! So what are you waiting for? It's time for your debriefing!
Amongst the repaints and re-releases and controversies over Matt Trakker, there are absolute gems buried in the "big names". For every Snake Eyes, Duke, and COBRA Commander, we get figures like Dusty, Snow Serpent, B.A.T., and now Sgt. Airborne. Where many figures seem to almost hit home runs, there are some out there that blast the ball out of the park with the bases loaded, and Airborne does all that and more.
It's easy to get caught up in weird looking 4-packs with Duke, Snake Eyes, Storm Shadow, and COBRA Commander...it's easy to get all wrapped up in the 15th COBRA Commander repaint, Toys "R" Us 5-Packs with all re-used characters, and comic packs with Dukes where there should be Wet Suits. Fans can tend to dwell on those negative parts of the line, yet overlook some of the really positive ones, and in my mind, Wave 7 (Wave 11 to many folks out there) is a terrific wave, and Airborne is the best of the bunch, which is really saying something.
Airborne is another one of those characters that I never really latched on to as a kid, and I'd be willing to bet lots of kids didn't really latch on. He was the original Native American of the team, but often got overshadowed by Spirit, even though I consider Airborne a much cooler character now, even if I didn't back then. The idea of his Native American almost "sixth sense" is a very cool aspect of the file card and you end up with a very cool character that has been translated into a nearly flawless action figure.
While many figures have certain limitations in the articulation department, Airborne is pretty great. The range of motion in his elbows is much better than most other figures out there, enough so that he can handle his weapon nearly perfectly when many of the figures cannot. His leg harness does restrict his hip motion a bit, but for the most part, articulation-wise, this figure is great.
Sgt. Airborne uses the torso of Snake Eyes and the legs of Gung Ho, and there are more little tweaks that make the Anniversary style so cool. By simply swapping out the knee joints with kneepads except the normal knees that Gung Ho had the figure immediately looks more like Airborne than he might, and with that holster and pouches on the legs, that adds for even more potential customization.
The choices for parts use makes a whole lot of sense, and we still manage to get a figure that looks remarkably like the original vintage version and has a great range of motion.
The paint applications also are very true to the original, and even the strange light blue of the vest works well in conjunction with the tan uniform. There are intricate painted details throughout, like the straps on his vest, the different color apps on his helmet, the sergeant stripes on his arm, this figure is absolutely LOADED with painted details to accentuate the tooling and sculpting of this figure. Fantastic.
Everything great that I've already said about the figure is only further enhanced by his accessories. His helmet with attached microphone, his new backpack, the vest, leg harness, and his weapon are all just perfect. His weapon is very reminiscent of the vintage version, but totally modernized. The only minor issue I might have is that it's some of that rubber material, and is just a bit warped out of the package. If there is one slight downside to the accessories in general, it's that his backpack is somewhat hit or miss. I've heard many complaints that it's hard (if not impossible) to get the backpack mounted on his back. I did have that issue a bit at first, but I just adjusted the vest a bit, and was able to get the backpack in there, and once I got it in there once, it has been fairly easy for me to put it on any time I wanted. Soup to nuts, this is one of the best Anniversary figures we've gotten to date. A big kudos to Hasbro for this one. Nice work.