Urban Outfitters Air Adventurer

In early 2007, Urban Outfitters, a clothing store similar to Hot Topic only less goth and more Abercrombie & Fitch styled, which also specializes in pop-culture items, has done a reproduction of the Kung Fu Grip Air Adventurer. Here he is, standing next to his coffin box adorned with the KFG logo.

The Figure

This reproduction is a bit of a mystery to collectors. Using the slightly grayish-skinned 40th Anniversary figure, rather than the more pinkish tones of the Timeless Classic Joes, (ala Hot Topic's Land Adventurer) this figure differs from the original it is supposed to be mimicking. The flocking, though far superior to the Meijer's Air Adventurer in feel, thickness and nostalgic Fuzzhead value, is not the right color. It's a more bright yellow than an original Air Adventurer, which has flecks of other colors in it. Also, a real Air Adventurer has brown eyebrows. Two simple mistakes that would have been simple to fix, if anyone had consulted anyone who knew what they were doing.

Front Face

But yes, the flocking is quite good, even if a little more brilliant yellow than it should be. It's thick, and seems to have the right amount of flocking around the beard and moustache lines. Quite nice if you can forgive the color difference, which I can.

The production of this Joe seems to mimick the Hot Topic Land Adventurer closely. The box comes with a plastic form insert in which Joe is wired firmly. Which makes no sense to me because I would think such wiring is designed to prevent the Joe from easily sliding out of his box and stolen. However, since the plastic form is in no way attached to the box, it is easily slid out of his box and stolen. This shouldn't even be a problem, as all of the Joes I saw at Urban Outfitters at Quincy Market in Boston had the lids taped shut.


The Gear

The outfit and gear has caused some upset among the more staunch GI Joe collectors. I can only imagine that this figure's target audience was not us die-hard collectors, but rather those GI Joe-owners of the past who are not aware that there is a strong nostalgic market going on right now. People who don't know they can get their favorite Joe from the Club in a very accurate reproduction.

On the other hand, so far the Club has not done the Kung-Fu Grip Joes, so those owners who fondly remember those Joes from their childhood might be quite thrilled to get their own Kung-Fu Grip on these figures, and at $20.00 each, it's quite a bargain.

But for us fans who are following all reproduction releases, this one is a big upsetting. In 1974 when Kung Fu Grip was introduced, the Land, Air and Sea Adventurer came not with pistols but with rifles. This version is still equipped with the earlier standard black shoulder-holster and pistol. Unlike Hot Topic's Land Adventurer, though, the pistol is the proper silver Lebling revolver with black hand-grip.

But his outfit is that of the Sea Adventurer, not the Air Adventurer. Right on the box, the Air Adventurer is seen with an orange jumpsuit, and that's what the Air Adventurer should be wearing.

Strangely, this is exactly what the Meijer stores did wrong when they ordered their own Air Adventurer a couple of years ago. They also dressed up our wonderful Air Adventurer in a Sea Adventurer's blue jeans and jean-shirt. Not a bad outfit, just on the wrong damned Joe!

The uniform is a pretty accurate reproduction of the Sea Adventurer's outfit, though, which means collectors will still love it. And it includes the lovely AT logo. The boots are the shorter black boots.

The dog-tag is the standard gray plastic AT dogtag.

The Box

The box is a nice reproduction box which shows the Air Adventurer (with his correct orange jumpsuit) with hands posed in a gripping form, and shows a rifle slung over his back. The interior of the box is green.

Box top (shown upside down in relation to the box)
You can see Urban Outfitters' price of $20.00.
The box has depictions of Adventure Team sets which would have been available at the time to purchase. A notice lets people know that these sets are not currently available and are shown for historical accuracy. More's the pity.
Bed Head

Although the Hot Topic Joe had a little case of bed head (the compressing of the flocked hair due to a plastic form that his head gets shoved into for packing) the Urban Outfitters' Joe's case is much worse. You can clearly see here the flattening of the rear part of his thickly flocked hair.

To fix this problem boil a kettle. Seriously.

Then hold the head of Joe in the stream of steam, but not for long. Seconds at a time. The hair should automatically stand up on end, the way it was when the glue hardened. If you find it's not cooperating, carefully, and gently, touch the hair with your finger, fluffing it very very gently into a standing position.

Soon your Joe's hair will be back to its normal condition.

Please do this gently, otherwise you may rub the hair off, as the glue has softened by the steam.


This is another flawed reproduction when a little bit of care could have made it nigh perfect. But if you also have a Hot Topic Joe, here's what you can do. You can take this Joe's Lebling revolver and give it to the Hot Topic Land Adventurer. At least then one of these two will be a very accurate reproduction.

Then, buy up a 40th Anniversary Joe with orange jumpsuit (there are several) and put the jumpsuit and taller black boots on this guy, and find a rifle (now available at the GI Joe Club Store) and you'll have a very nice repro of the Air Adventurer, provided you can paint his eyebrows a hazel brown.

On the other hand, all Urban Outfitters had to do was flock this Joe's hair red and paint his eyebrows properly and used a Sea Adventurer's box, and it would be a very nice reproduction. Just not of the Air Adventurer.

In assessing this set, I have to say that despite some historical departures, for a price of $20.00 each, this Joe is well worth 8 out of 10.

Overall Rating


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