AIRTIGHT v.4 (2013)
This here is the 2nd figure from wave two of the G.I. Joe Collector’s Club’s figure subscription service(FSS): Tiger Force Airtight. Air Tight is the Joe team’s Hostile Environment Specialist. The first Airtight figure was released in 1985, my brother Doug had him. I always thought he was a cool looking figure as I was a fan of most characters with full face masks, it made them seem like super heroes or something. Unfortunately Airtight’s cool factor was somewhat diminished for me by the way he looked on the cartoon, helmet off most of the time, receding hairline, kind of a dork. After that initial figure Hasbro never released any other versions of him during the Real American Hero era (1982- 1994). A second version of Airtight was released exclusively in Brazil by a toy company called Estrela. That version was painted in a Tiger Force pattern and named Ar Puro.
A second official version of the character wasn’t released in America until 2008. That version was one of the very last figures of the new sculpt era. In fact the modern era had already begun a year earlier with the launch of the 25th anniversary series. I never bothered picking up the 2008 version as I had fully embraced the new style of figures by then. A modern version of Airtight was released in 2011. That was the first Airtight figure I had ever owned. The 2011 version was an awesome update of the original. He retained all of his signature characteristics but was more realistic looking and even had a removable helmet this time. The figure was so good that I didn’t think I’d ever need another Airtight. This is why I was not excited about Tiger Force Airtight, a straight repaint of the 2011 version, being included in the 2013 FSS.
Well now I have the figure in hand and I’ll be damned but I quite like it. It is the exact same figure as the 2011 figure; no new pieces. Most of the accessories are even the same: vest, helmet, backpack, hose, and gas gun. This version does has a futuristic looking gun that the previous version didn’t have and is lacking his predecessor’s rifle and gas canister. The only real difference here is the paint job and, truth be told, even that’s not that different. Airtight’s standard uniform is yellow and so is his Tiger Force uniform, all they’ve done is add stripes. The main difference is that all of his gear that is usually green, like the boots, helmet and gloves, are now brown.
The changes aren’t significant but it’s a really nice looking figure regardless. I don’t know if the brown gear would look all that great with a solid yellow uniform but the black stripes make it work. Another thing I like about the paint job is that it’s consistent with Tiger Force Shipwreck who shipped out at the same time. The pair look great together in a way the 1988 Tiger Force figures never did. These figures have actually got me hoping that the Club releases more Tiger Force repaints in the future. Who’d a thunk it? The quality of these first two FSS 2.0 figures has me pretty excited about what’s to come. 8 out of 10.