Review & pics by: Fred Meyer
A great many fans listened with interest when the GIJCC announced Figure Subscription Service 2.0 at this year’s G.I. Joe Collector’s Convention in Indianapolis. After all, the first FSS gave us a decent assortment of figures. However, what surprised me when the 2.0 roster was announced was the abundance of Tiger Force figures in the line-up. Now, you might be saying “two figures aren’t really an ‘abundance’ Mr. Reviewer!” Normally that would be true, except that with only 12 announced figures in the entire line-up, those two comprise 1/6 of the shipments. That’s an awful lot of space to devote to one particular sub-team that I never found terribly appealing. When the first shipment was revealed to be an “all Tiger Force deployment” my first thought was: well, this gets them out of the way. However, how does the Joe team’s premiere HAZMAT trooper fair in hand with his new striped color scheme? Read on and find out one fan’s opinion.
This part of the review is pretty easy—if you already own the 30 th Anniversary release of Airtight then you will be VERY familiar with this figure. Tiger Force Airtight is a straight-up repaint of that initial figure! The color changes follow pretty simple pattern in keeping with the original Brazilian vintage figure. Everything green is now brown and his predominant shade is a bit more of a straightforward yellow this time around. (The original 30th version had a bit of an orange hue.) Toss him some Wolverine-esque black striping and you’ve got the general picture. Aside from the striping, it’s a perfectly plausible alternate to the original design. I was particularly happy to see that the tiger striping continued across the entire torso of the figure and was just applied on the exposed areas. (Look under his vest!) One interesting change is actually found on the back of Airtight’s helmet; there’s now a green HAZMAT logo painted in green. It’s a nice little addition to an otherwise straight repaint.
When initially released in the 30th line, Airtight was packaged with a wide assortment of accessories. However, for the FSS he seems to have scaled back a bit; Kurt Schnurr is packaged with his trademark “sniffer” accessory, a brown back version of his original back pack, a flexible hose, and a gray shotgun/SMG. (I’m honestly not certain which it is supposed to be. Sorry gang.) It’s a decent assortment of gear and it’s honestly no more than he really needs however given the fact that the 30 th Anniversary version’s release is still fairly fresh in the minds of many fans it makes his kit feel a bit light—especially considering the premium price point of an FSS figure. I don’t know what else I would have included but after the abundance of gear that was packaged with both the Pursuit of Cobra and 30 th Anniversary figures, this just feels light to me.
So, the question that most fans want answered by a review is: Is this figure worth purchasing? This is tricky for me to answer for two reasons. First, as I’ve stated before, I’m not a fan of the 80’s Tiger Force color scheme. Sorry kids, but I didn’t care for Tiger Force in the 80’s and that sentiment hasn’t really changed. Secondly, I’m not a huge International figure collector. With Tiger Force Airtight falling squarely into both of those buckets I was prepared to view this figure as a frivolous waste of a Figure Subscription Service slot from the get-go. However, I have to admit that Tiger Force Airtight works far better than most of cohorts. (Tripwire you poor ill-colored slob!) The yellows, browns, and even the black striping blend together quite nicely actually. However, in my mind he’s just not different enough from the standard 30th Anniversary Airtight to give him an outright stamp of approval. He’s a solid figure—and he’s definitely the better of the two pieces in the first FSS 2.0 shipment but he’s not an essential buy for most fans out there.
The bottom line: Unless you’re a die-hard fan of vintage Tiger Force, international figures, or even Airtight this figure is an optional addition to your collection.