December 11th, 2004
He was a handsome older man, with a lined face and dark hair.
Character Biography Edit
Rick Toffen was first seen landing his plane at the airport in Dick Tracy's city, though he did not have authorization to do so. This occurred during a time when the airport was the target of several mysterious acts of sabotage.
Toffen was scolded for his reckless action, but he did not lose his job. He continued to work for Air Gnat, flying a Doodlebug 980S light aircraft. Due to its small requirement for runway space, the Doodlebug was able to take off and land when the larger jet airliners at the airport were not able to do so.Toffen encountered Maggie Irish, the college roommate of Bonnie Tracy. Maggie had been frustrated by the delays at the airport and agreed to take Toffen's flight to Boston. On the return flight, the plane crashed. Due to Toffen's skillful piloting, all of the passengers survived with few injuries.
Toffen was briefly suspected of being responsible for the sabotage, as it had benefited his airline. However, it was discovered that his plane had been tampered with (causing the crash) and evidence pointed to another culprit. Toffen was briefly held, then released. He visited Maggie at the hospital where she was being treated for her injuries, and she rebuked him.
After the crash, Toffen lost his job with Air Gnat, and was soon hired by Bloat Airlines, a national carrier. He was assigned to pilot a plane that (coincidentally) carried both Maggie Irish and Babe, the girlfriend of J. Kindly Goodheart. Goodheart was responsible for the airport sabotage, and he had arranged for Toffen's plane to be tampered with, with the intention that Babe should be killed in the crash.Once again, Toffen's skill as a pilot proved useful and he landed the plane safely. He encountered Maggie Irish once again, and asked her for a date.
- The name Rick Toffen is a play on "wrecked often", an ironic name as Toffen was shown as being an extremely capable (if somewhat reckless) pilot.
- Toffen's request that Maggie have dinner with him at the end of the Airport Sabotage storyline was not unprecedented. An attraction between the two had been implied, though Maggie's volatile temper caused her to instinctively lash out at Toffen. Toffen seemed attracted to the younger woman's fiery disposition.
- His close connection to Maggie Irish also links Rick Toffen to a significant continuity error in the strip regarding the de-aging of Bonnie Tracy. His current status has not been addressed by the subsequent creative team.