1988 Windmill

1988 Windmill

In the past, I’ve considered Windmill one of the worst figures in the line. That’s sort of by a loose standard, as if I told you the real “worst GI Joe ever”, it’d be nothing but Shadow Ninjas, since those fail as functional toys. Windmill has no such flaw, but he’s exceedingly ugly to look at, and that’s something that holds him back quite a bit.

His sculpt is surprisingly decent, maybe with the exception of his head. His flight-suit is well detailed, and he even has a little respirator sculpted onto his chest too. His face in unremarkable, but well scaled and reasonably sharp. The only real issue here is his colors. After careful examination, his helmet doesn’t even look that bad by GI Joe standards, it just looks weird and like he has cat-ears because of the bad coloring (there’s a lot of different helmet-mounted displays out there, and some of them look pretty wacky). A lot of real helicopter pilots wear helmets with weird crap all over it, but it doesn’t come across right because of the paint.

Arguably, the worst aspect of Windmill is his colors. The combination of orange and green makes it hard to make out his details, and the black bits on top of it create some harsh tonal crush. For comparison, the similarly obscure Skid-Mark also has similar colors to Windmill, but he’s saved by having a more balanced palette overall, with black used much more sparingly. The Funskool version of this figure does a much better job of showing his details, though it’s red and blue colors aren’t very preferable to me. Maybe someday I’ll custom paint one in V1 Ace’s colors just for something to do.

He includes a single gun, which is a large revolver. In the past, I’ve disliked this gun quite a bit just for how badly out of scale it is, but I’ve grown to see it has some unique merits, and isn’t that badly out of scale by GI Joe standards. In all of ARAH, there’s 4 revolver sculpts (Backstop’s, Downtown’s, ’92 General Hawk’s and this one), which makes it fairly distinct, especially if you’re looking to expand your pistol collection. It also has a nice, skinny handle that makes it possible for figures to hold it well, unlike the terrible Shockwave pistol. It’s size makes me think of something you’d see Yosemite Sam totting around, probably because it’s a revolver, but in actuality, it’s a similar length to most GI Joe pistols (all of the formerly mentioned revolvers are 30mm or longer).

So, I used to hate Windmill. I thought he was a terribly ugly looking figure, with a strange sculpt and a cartoonish looking gun. Now, I find him to be more usable, as the sculpt really isn’t horrible, and the pistol I’ve even developed some fondness for. All of that aside, I still think he looks ugly, which relegates him to a very low-tier as a GI Joe pilot. There’s simply plenty of other figures that fill the niche this guy does, and look far less garish at the same time. Still, he’s a fun toy that can sit and hold his gun without breaking, which makes him factually better than a Shadow Ninja, therefore, he’s no longer a “worst GI Joe” in my eyes.

Windmill is still a dirt-cheap figure, now and presumably forever. You can get a Windmill with his pistol for a measly $5, or less. It’s a common toy and a character of virtually no reference in any GI Joe fiction, so there’s simply no interest in him. That’s sort of a nice thing too, as I highly appreciate figures I can buy cheaply for a spare gun or to have fun painting, which is something current market has made very prohibitive.

1988 Windmill Links:

Forgotten Figures

3D Joes

Custom by Jogunwarrior

Half the Battle

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4 Responses to 1988 Windmill

  1. bradley barnes says:

    I really like this guy. he is usually hanging around somewhere in the ridiculous scenes I set up. I kinda like to use him as a tank mechanic, no idea why though. the gun I gave to armadillo cus it seemed to fit.

  2. Dak Knomadd says:

    I never realized there were only 4 revolvers in ARAH. That kinda blew my mind.

  3. Mike T. says:

    Not a fan of this guy. But, the fact that pilots were always my favorite figures and I was really tough on poor pilot figures is part of it. Aside from the head, the mold isn’t terrible. And, had it been painted, it would be 1/2 way decent. But, man, that head is pretty bad.

  4. A-Man says:

    At that point GI JOE driver figures were getting generic and used bright colors for some reason.

    By the time I got him and the Skystorm, lingering in a store in 1990, after being discontinued for a year or more, my prime playing days were over…he never made an impact.

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