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GI Joe Operation Bear Trap
by yo go re

There's a Storm a-brewin'!

Stormavik is a member of the elite VDV, or Vozdushno-Desantnye Vojska (Soviet Airborne Forces). He's a tough fighter and a loyal soldier. As alliances and borders shift in frequent and contradictory ways, he regards Colonel Brekhov as a solid and consistent battlefield officer. He follows the core values of the colonel: justice, honor, and dedication to his fellow soldiers.

Stormavik has a complete commitment to duty and his unflinching courage makes him a valuable member of the Oktober Guard team. He is totally fearless and lives up to his name, since he storms into a battle with no other thought than to win. He believes that if you don't push your limits, you won't know what your limits are.

Considering that Stormavik is an airman, his codename is probably a reference to the Bronirovannyi Shturmovik (literally "armored storm-bird") planes from World War II, the most famous of which was the Ilyushin IL-2. The figure is built from Sgt. Stone's body, the arms of City Strike Destro, and Shadow Tracker's legs. The design doesn't look very much like the previous Stormavik figure, with all those pads on the arms and knees, but surprisingly, he does look like the comics. In the main story in GI Joe Yearbook #2, Stormavik wore pads almost exactly like this. It's an obscure reference, but it's amazing how well these reused parts match what was drawn in the book decades ago.

This figure's head is the same sculpt as the last one, just retooled to take a G3 balljoint (though the range of motion is basically down to a swivel). That means he has the same Bruce Willis-ish squint, which will be really funny when the Retaliation Joe Colton hits next year. It's neat to see how much crisper the mold is today.

Stormavik's uniform is tan with red stripes down the legs. It's lacking the yellow-green tint that the last Stormavik's outfit had, but that's no big thing. The pads on his arms are brown, which matches the rest of the Oktober Guard figures, but it really would have been nice if they painted his knees the same color. He's wearing green webgear that has brown pads under the shoulder straps, gold apps on the buckles, and black clips of ammo. His shirt is still white and blue striped, as it should be - that's VDV standard. His beret should also be blue, but then, Flint's should be green, so who's going to complain?

Along with the webgear, Stormavik has Duke's machete - it fits in the sheath on the left side. He's also armed with a Glock 19 pistol, a machine gun with (what is apparently his trademark) drum magazine, and a sleek sniper rifle. He could really use a holster for the pistol somewhere, but in a pinch you can hide it inside his backpack. Is that a parachute? Whatever it is, the peg gets massively warped to the side by being smashed between the foam tray and the stiff cardboard box, but a little time in his back will straighten it out.

Stormavik is one of the "plain" members of the Oktober Guard, with nothing really distinctive about him. Still, it's nice that the Collectors' Club managed to make such an accurate rendition. This is a stylish soldier.

-- 12/07/12

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