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By Thomas Wheeler

Funskool, the company in India licensed by Hasbro to produce 3-3/4" G.I.Joes for that part of the world, continues to turn out interesting new versions of popular characters, even as Hasbro carries on with their own new incarnation of the Joes here in the States.

One of Funskool's newest additions is WILD WEASEL, best known as the pilot of the COBRA RATTLER attack plane, first released in 1984. Funskool's version is, for lack of a better term, a somewhat more colorful version of the original. The 1984 Wild Weasel was molded in a medium-to-dark red, and had dark blue and black trim, with a black visor on his helmet. He also had a
Cobra insignia on his sleeve.

The new Funskool Wild Weasel is molded in a somewhat brighter red, with yellow and distinctly bright blue trim, including a bright blue visor. But so you don't mistake this colorful character for a good guy, a Cobra insignia has been stamped dead center on his helmet. This was interesting as I didn't know that Funskool had the insignia-stamping ability. Granted their figures have tended to look a little more -- primitive, I suppose, than their American counterparts. Not quite as professional, perhaps. In any case,
the Cobra logo was a nice touch.

Wild Weasel comes with a set of stickers that can be used on the notepad attached to his uniform if you so choose. Best of all, he comes with a working parachute! This was something that not even the original Wild Weasel came with. Granted, the original Wild Weasel came with an entire plane that is generally regarded as the second best right after the SkyStriker, so let's not quibble points here.

The parachute is a nice piece of work, imprinted with Cobra logos all over it. That, I have to say, is sort of asking to be turned into target practice if you're coming down in G.I.Joe territory, but from a toy standpoint, the result is pretty cool looking. I have not yet "field-tested" the parachute, nor am I likely to. I didn't have this figure sent to me from by way of India just to hook him up to a miniature parachute and pitch him over my porch, thank you very much. Besides I only live on the second floor. With my aim he'd land on the roof, and I'd just as soon not have to explain that one to apartment maintenance, and with their backlog, he'd probably get picked up by a hawk for nesting material before he could be retrieved. Okay, so I'm a little paranoid. You don't live around here,
all right...?

Anyway, whether you actually put it to use or not, the parachute seems well made, and is a nice little bonus with the Wild Weasel figure. If you're like me and your criteria for buying any foreign-made G.I.Joe figures is whether or not they're an interesting enough recoloration, then let me assure you that Wild Weasel definitely is. He's one of those characters that never got a lot of coverage in either the comic or the cartoon, but had a really cool
design overall, and the Funskool India version of WILD WEASEL is definitely a worthy addition to anyone's 3-3/4" G.I.JOE Collection, and I highly recommend him.