Sunday, January 22, 2017

Autobot Air Patrol

Image from
I used to get the Air Patrol confused with the Decepticon Air Strike Patrol all of the time.  For some reason I believed that the Air Strike Patrol were just the Air Patrol. Up until I started typing this post did I realize the error of my thinking.  I can be an idiot.
The Air Patrol is, in case you couldn't guess, is made up of aircraft.  They were released in 1990 as part of the last wave of US Generation One figures.  According to the group's tech spec, they're the best aerial fighters that the Autobots have.  That doesn't really seem right to me.  What about the Aerialbots?  Surely Fireflight is a great flyer.  Certainly better than a Micromaster.
Tread Bolt is the mysterious member of the Air Patrol.  His bio states that he likes sneak around scaring the energon out of his fellow Autobots.  So I guess he's like Donnie Wahlberg from New Kids on The Block.
Tread Bolt transforms into one of the many variations of what people thought a stealth bomber would look like before it was actually revealed to the public.  It was kind of close.  Tread Bolt looks much better than the G.I. Joe bomber with the name that I can't remember.   The blue is a little much, however.
Yeah, that's it.  Now I can sleep at night.  Photo from
Next up, we have Blaze Master, and he's a military chopper, and the team's resident psychopath.  See, it's hard to have a truly 90's team without a psycho.  You're Wolverine's, Chapel's and whatnot are important to the team dynamic according to Liefeldian Law.  Look it up.  What makes Blaze Master a psycho?  Pouring napalm on everyone until they melt away, which brings in a whole host of issues for me, none of which have to do with his psychotic nature.  Are we to believe that a Transformer that underwent a change to make himself smaller to conserve fuel is able to carry enough napalm to douse and liquefy a full size Decepticon?  Or are the Micromasters small in toy form and not in the fiction?The Marvel comics sure seemed to depict them as small.  Then again, this is a toyline from the 80's and trying to make sense of any of it is a fool's errand.
Toy-wise, Blaze Master is my favorite of the Air Patrol.  I have an affinity for the Micromasters that have extra parts,  Figures like Growl, Tracer, and the aforementioned Blaze Master just seem that much cooler because of a little piece that can come off.
Hey, it's that guy that is constantly showing up in my saved eBay search for Pretender Sky High!  I mean, he's always gonna show up in that search because I just cannot seem to find a decent looking Pretender Sky High, but I'm not bitter.  It's hard to be bitter when you have such a bright optimist like Sky High to hang out with.

Sky High transforms into a Concorde jet, just like Silverbolt!  Really, I wouldn't have realized it unless it was stated in his TFWiki entry.  I think of Concorde jets, I think of Silverbolt, but I guess Sky High is a super deformed version of a Concorde?  Maybe micro-sized?  I see what they did there.
Lastly, we have Eagle Eye, the leader of the group.  It seems that the only reason that Eagle Eye is the leader is because Dreamwave declared that in the More Than Meets The Eye bio series that they produced in the early 2000's.  Even then, they couldn't be bothered to draw the correct jet for his vehicle mode.  One of the things that I liked about the Micromasters that I owned at release was the fact that there weren't listed leaders or any kind of hierarchy for the groups.  If I had received this set when I was 12, I probably would've made Tread Bolt the leader, just based on looks.
The molded missiles on Eagle Eye's jet mode are an odd touch.  I don't know that I would've made that call as a designer.  Guess that's the one reason why I don't work for Hasbro.  Of course, the missiles do add to the effect of the jet as a Hornet fighter.
Here's how I would position the team, with Tread Bolt as commander, and Eagle Eye in support.  The way it should be.  Just ask my 12 year old self.

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