|JET & HELICOPTER PILOT|
|Code Name: CHOPPER|
The base for Chopper is one of the most used Palitoy Action Force moulds. In 1983, it was released as the Mission Pilot, Helicopter Pilot and Night Attack figures, while in 1984 the SAS Pilot (Chopper) and Parachute Attack (Sparrowhawk) figures were both minor recolours, with the body also being used for the Silent Attack (Beaver) figure. Even then the SAS Pilot version was produced in two variants, one with a yellow visor, the other with green.
I went for the yellow one because it fits in better with the SAS Force colour scheme, even if I can't think why a pilot would have a yellow visor. But then I can't think why they'd have a green one either, after all.
The toy's nice enough in its' flight-suit, featuring the best of the three Palitoy arm layouts - one extended, one slightly bent. He looks a lot more natural holding a weapon than the toys with two extended arms, and has a slightly better range than the ones with a fully bent arm. Like several figures, Chopper has one of the fragile lifejackets. These originally came with a thick orange elastic band to hold them in place, which tends to be missing or perished on most loose examples. A good replacement are the clear ones used in modern toy packaging - these are strong enough to go around the figure's waist a few times, hold the jacket in place securely and are nearly invisible while doing so into the bargain.
Chopper's not a bad figure, but there's an overriding worry about what exactly to do with him. He's a pilot, but SAS Force didn't have any planes. Indeed, off the top of my head the only flight-capable toy in the Palitoy range is the god-awful AF5. He won't even fit in the Skystriker, at least not without seriously hacking up those lovely ejector seats. He won't even fit in the (much later) Cobra Liquidator, one of the few G.I. Joe jets which wouldn't look out of place reworked as an SAS jet. So, while I should like him, he just leaves me feeling bewildered and annoyed...