Figure Subscription Service 2.0 - Tiger Force Airtight

Airtight was always an interesting character, though admittedly, not one that captured my attention necessarily. In the Sunbow cartoon he made a few notable appearances, most famously in The Germ, and while he was front and center there, as a young kid, he didn't really resonate. He wasn't jumping into the fight, blasting away with his laser gun, he was studying the biological make up of a big jelly worm. That's certainly an interesting twist as an adult, but as an impressionable kid, I couldn't rationalize his place in my combat team.

The Marvel comic did a bit better with him, making a splash with issue #44, and then making the character even more interesting with issue #54, a single panel that really sticks in my mind for some reason. As Airtight is helping device an infiltration plan for the Terror Drome, he hook-shots a wadded piece of paper through a basketball hoop, and for whatever reason that's the image that I always picture when thinking of this guy. Someone who deals with hazardous material for a living, yet is able to retain a unique perspective and sense of humor.

It wasn't until the 30th Anniversary release that I felt it even necessary to explore him as a character in such a way, and because of the awesome quality of that 30th Anniversary release, I don't find myself all that annoyed that he was redone piece-for-piece for this subscription series.

Generally I find foreign repaints pretty fascinating, especially when it's something totally unlike what we saw domestically, but for whatever reason I never had much of an interest in Ar Pujo (Clean Air in Portuguese). He had some very minor cosmetic changes, with the slight addition of tiger stripes, and even in my younger years, I never really grew attached to Tiger Force in general. Because of this, neither Ar Puro nor Marujo was really on my radar. I knew they existed, but unlike some of the fantastic Sky Patrol and Eco Warrior offerings from Brazil, these two figures just didn't call out to me. For that reason, I find myself a bit luke warm on Airtight here, but just a bit. This figure doesn't fit any real hole in my collection, however, he is a fantastic figure. The sculpting is terrific, his articulation is flawless, and the color scheme is certainly interesting, if somewhat unrealistic. From a quality perspective, there is a lot to love about this particular Airtight, it's just that the source material doesn't strike me as fascinating.

Like the 30th Anniversary version, this Airtight comes with a great removable helmet and vest, as well as his unique backpack and vaccuum device (with rubber hose). Unlike the 30th Anniversary version, this figure has a pulse weapon that was more common during the Rise of Cobra, and I'm not entirely sure what purpose it serves here.

In essence, the accessories are fine, and they are distinctive of the character, but there is nothing especially unique or amazing compared to the standard release.

Figures like this make me a bit torn. Breaking this down into simple toy quality, there is nothing bad about this figure. As I mentioned, he has among the best sculpting, design, and articulation that we've seen in a 4" action figure...well... ever. But my own personal opinion is that this version of the character wasn't high on my "most wanted" list. That being said it's tough to say the figure is a bad one, and if you find yourself interested in Tiger Force Airtight, this is not a purchase you'll regret.

Now, maybe with the upcoming 2014 Convention Set being E.C.O. Force themed I might be able to find a way to work a more unique version of this character into my active roster...we shall see.