Funskool Airtight

Funskool Airtight

A lot of international Joe figures fall into a general category of “things that are neat to have, but you don’t really need”. That’s a shame, because used to, it was fun to collect odd color variants from across the world and only pay a small premium for it… or no premium at all! Nowadays, things aren’t so fun, and if international figures aren’t mind-blowingly overpriced, they’re harder to come by. This is the gist of common Funskool figures like Airtight.

1985 Airtight is a cool figure and sculpt to begin with, and is one of the best figure’s from arguably GI Joe’s best year. That’s still the case here, and there’s not much lost in the Funskool iteration of the figure compared to Hasbro’s. Mainly, the plastic and paint hues are slightly different tones, which does at the very least make him pair a little better with different Hasbro figures. Personally, I’m fond of how the brighter green looks with Clean Sweep, so this is the Airtight I might use more often with 90‘s Joes.

That said, this figure is not overly exotic or interesting, just different. I’ve never really used him all that much, as despite how cool any Airtight figure is, he’s got a pretty limited specialty. For years I passed this guy up just because I was content with the Hasbro version, and this wasn’t something odd like Sky Diver or Tripwire. I think while he was still cheap my brother got me one as a gift, which I appreciate more in hindsight. A small variation like this wasn’t even worth the $17-ish price of a Russian one that popped up a few years later, but it was neat while these figures were cheap.

You get the same parts as the Hasbro release, including his backpack, sniffer, and two different hoses. The hose for his head on this release apparently doesn’t work very well, but I wouldn’t know since mine is missing it. Save for the lower quality hoses, his parts are nice and basically look like the Hasbro equivalents. That used to be really cool back in the day when a $3 Funskool figure could be used to augment a domestic one, not that anyone can really do that any more.

This figure used to be super common, and technically, he should be one of the most common GI Joe toys in existence given that Funskool produced them for so many years. When you consider the fact that Funskool produced these for multiple countries for upwards of 15 years(or more?), the population of India versus the United States, and the fact that additional Airtights were commonly packed with Funskool vehicles, I can really only imagine just how many of these there are in the world. That said, as big as GI Joe was in ‘85, Hasbro probably did not make as many Airtights as Funskool did.

Today, Funskool Airtight is a $20 figure. Not the most expensive Indian release by far, but an absurd price given how common he still is. Then again, we’re pretty much watching the dollar collapse at the moment, so maybe I should just start convincing myself this is actually a fair price. Either way, I’m glad I acquired one in the good ol’ days when figures were cheap, as modern collecting really doesn’t support whimsical purchases.

india gi joe hasbro cobra arah eco warriors

Funskool Airtight Links:

Forgotten Figures

The Dragon Fortress

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2 Responses to Funskool Airtight

  1. Mike T. says:

    I love the accessory choices for BBQ and Clean Sweep. They really make those figures stand out.

    Originally, in 2001, Airtight wasn’t available. He was among a plethora of classic figures that Funskool brought back in 2002. (Flint, Zarana, Buzzer, Beach Head, among others.) There were rumors that Funskool chose these figures due to their success selling to US dealers. But, the minimum production run on a Funskool figure was 3,000 per day and US dealers didn’t even buy 1/3 of that on an initial run. So, it seems more likely that Funskool was trying to prop up the flagging sales in India by bringing out more figures.

    On some level, it would have been cool for all Funskool figures to have drastic differences from the US figures. But, Hasbro controlled the look of certain characters and Funskool wasn’t allowed to deviate. So, either someone had plans to reuse the Airtight character in the US, or just really liked him so they didn’t allow Funskool to go crazy with his design.

  2. A-Man says:

    “…as modern collecting really doesn’t support whimsical purchases.”

    True about modern toy collecting in general. I can remember an odd purchase of something from a toy series I didn’t otherwise collect. Now I rarely get stuff I used to buy regularly. Most things cost 50 to 100% more than it should, even with inflation.

    I did get Funskool Airtight in 2002 or 2003, that’s why he’s relatively cheap. I’m glad I did, it was nice to have him with softer hands and able to hold his sniffer better.

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