G.I. Joe Convention 2016 Altitude

AirborneAirwaveAltitudeDrop ZoneSkydive
Static LineAir DevilBlack VultureFlying ScorpionNight Vulture
Sky CreeperCloudburstSkymateHeli-ViperAir Raid
FreefallSky SweeperSkystrikerHydra w/ Aero ViperJUMP Jet Packs
Con Set Recap

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In what appeared to be a trend back in the 80s and 90s, Altitude was a Native American member of the G.I. Joe team, and like both Spirit and Airborne (Talltree, not Six), he was written in the filecard as having some sort of mysterious six sense. This trend was also carried forward to Dart, another Native American Tracker who became a stalwart during the new sculpt era. As a kid, these characters were awesome to me. For whatever reason I really loved the “near superhuman” aspects of G.I. Joe. They never really went full board over to comic book ridiculousness, but you had guys like Storm Shadow who could scale walls (according to his filecard), Zartan who had this mysterious enhanced strength and disguise abilities, and these trackers, who seemed to have extremely sensitive senses and abilities. That was cool in my 10 year old world.

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This Altitude update might use the classic as a bare bones inspiration, but really takes the figure in some new places, even though it uses all existing parts. While many of the Sky Patrol characters were repaints of COBRA vehicle drivers, Altitude was a repaint of Slipstream, the Conquest pilot, who never really got a highly accurate modern update. Sure, he was produced, but not really as a direct update to the original, with some
healthy liberties taken. Big kudos to the designer of this version of Altitude, as they aschew the idea of just repainting whatever was done for the 25th Anniversary Slipstream and instead go in a whole new direction. Altitude is a mix of Pursuit of COBRA parts, leveraging Duke and Firefly for most of it, with the head from the Slaughters Marauders Mercer. This is a great touch, giving Altitude his classic flat top and angry grimace. A
very interesting choice of head, and with the different flesh tone, it works perfectly.

The other parts are fantastic as well, chock full of character, nicely developed sculpting, and great articulation. I’ll never grow tired of Firefly’s legs, although they come off as a little bit skinny sometimes.

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The color balance here is very nicely done, using the original brown and green colors, but interspersing those colors on the more modern parts where it makes sense. Gold and silver compliments are spread throughout the torso and legs, and look…well… pretty spectacular. I really love how the silver trim and gold base balance off of each other on the torso armor. Like Airborne, Altitude has Lift Ticket’s arms and they work surprisingly
well.

Accessories

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Altitude’s weapons are the definition of bare bones, as he also comes with the standard military backpack rather than a jetpack. His weapon is an updated version of the COBRA Viper machine gun that came with the 50th Anniversary Danger at the Docks set, and he also comes with a knife, helmet and face shield to attempt to mimic the look of the vintage version. The weapons are fine, but honestly nothing extraordinary.

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Altitude is another solid update to the original figure. He looks familiar, but has enough interesting new elements to stand apart from the classic. I love the reuse of Mercer’s head and the perfect interweaving of Pursuit of Cobra parts, creating texture, paint breaks, and an overall great aesthetic.

Check out the video review for the Sky Patrol half of the boxed set below!

Sky Patrol Altitude
  • Character
  • Sculpt
  • Articulation
  • Paint Deco
  • Accessories

Summary

As a childhood favorite, I was looking forward to seeing how the Collectors Club handled Altitude, especially since there wasn't a really good Slipstream template to build off of. I'm happy to say the Club thought outside the box and put together a really unique formula, including a great choice for an existing head sculpt, and the end result is excellent. A very solid update to the long time Sky Patrol favorite.

3.5

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