You’ve just been handed a nasty bit of intelligence. Cobra forces have moved into an “unfriendly neighbor” of a US ally and have been set up fortifications. Satellite photos confirm that several bunkers and anti-aircraft emplacements are under construction in a defensive ring surrounding an unmistakable structure—a Cobra Terrordrome. If allowed to continue their efforts, this built up could inflame the already-rising tensions in the region. You need a specialist who can insert behind enemy lines, destroy the fortifications before their completed, and reduce the Terrordrome to a smoking crater with minimal support. Extraction can be by ground but there’s really only one option for insertion: a High Altitude, Low Opening drop. By the time you finish the intelligence report, the choice is clear. You need Sky Patrol and you need Static Line.
Static Line is sporting some pretty outlandish colors for a paratrooper. With a uniform whose colors are comprised primarily of silver, blue, and blue-white, there really aren’t many places where he’d blend in. In fact, his color scheme is more akin to many of the cold-weather troops released in the GIJoe line than those of other HALO jumpers such as Ripcord and Freefall. However, his uniform colors are such a radical departure from the source figure (1987’s Backstop) that unless the two figures were side-by-side, you’d be hard-pressed to notice the resemblance. I’ll even take that statement a step further by stating that Static Line pulls off the ensemble far better than the Persuader Driver. SL’s uniform is comprised of two pieces: a ribbed blue long-sleeved shirt and a pair of “ice blue” (blue-white) pants. His shoulders and upper torso are covered by what appears to be silver composite armor plating with a small knife sheath across the chest. Matching white gloves cover his ands and his black boots are covered by what appear to be blue spats. His belt, which sports molded pouches and a canteen, is painted black as are the two holstered revolvers that are strapped to each of his calves. So, in spite of the color scheme, the Sky Patrol demolitions expert is wearing a uniform that seems fairly practical for his specialty. It’s not nearly as basic as either Ripcord’s or Freefall’s mold but this body was not originally conceived of as a sky diver. So while there may appeared to be a lot of “extraneous gear” strapped to his body, Static Line still manages to convey the impression of a well-equipped soldier.
Static Line’s head sculpt is a mixed bag for me. On one hand it’s a completely new sculpt that makes him a unique character. Topped by the a hair cut that only Vanilla Ice would find short, it captures the essence of a younger man with a hint of a smile. The impression I’m left with is of someone with a sense of humor and a ready quip for any occasion. Not nearly as bland as some of the other heads I’ve seen from this era of RAH, he almost reminds me of a young Wesley Snipes minus the constant “I’m cool” scowl that the Blade actor seems to wear. My only grievance with the head is that it sits a bit too high on his neck. In other words, the head was designed after the body and unfortunately it shows in the exaggerated neck that the Sky Patrol demolitions expert is shackled with. Now, SL isn’t the first Joe to have this problem but it causes him to stand out from other RAH figures—including the rest of his team mates. It’s the one downside in an otherwise strong character design.
When I first showed my fiancé a picture of Static Line armed with his included weapons she wanted to know why a UFO had crashed into his chest. I’ll be blunt—I have no idea what on earth his weapon is supposed to be. It starts off with a silver submachine pistol with a molded flash suppressor and then turns left past ridiculous when it gets to the “weapon harness”. Seriously, what the heck is this thing supposed to be? When I finally figured out that I was supposed to fit his pistol into half-moon shaped harness and then slip it around his waist, I nearly burst out laughing. Honestly, the Sky Patrol demolitions expert looked more like a deranged organ grinder than a soldier who’d be placing charges behind enemy lines. After a few minutes of hysterical laughter, I shot one picture with his gear and then tossed it into my parts bin where it will remain until the end of my Joe-collecting days. It’s such a ridiculously impractical weapon that I’ve no intention of ever using again. I’ve since re-equipped him with a Marauder Inc Beretta and M-16 w/grenade launcher. It’s not my ideal set yet but it’s far better than the weapons he was saddled with. Static Line also comes equipped with a helmet with molded visor and a working silver parachute and backpack.
I’ve really come to love the Sky Patrol figures in my collection. The combination of dynamic uniforms and extremely well-written file cards have made these characters really come to life and Static Line is no exception. To say that he is my least favorite of the sub-team is like saying that I dislike one Neo-Viper repaint over all of the others. He is a terrific figure and while not the strongest design of the sub-team, he is a still a fantastic addition to my collection. I don’t actually see the Sky Patrol as part of the GIJoe team but rather a similar specialized unit that works in conjunction with the Joes on certain missions. The figures have taken on such a life of their own in my imagination that I almost prefer for them to have their own identity. (Okay, maybe I’ve been watching too many episodes of “The Unit” on CBS.) Regardless of how they’re used, I can highly recommend Static Line and the entire Sky Patrol to any Joe collector out there. He’s well worth the purchase.