Sunday, July 31, 2011

#82: G.I. Joe - Combat Jet Sky Striker XP-21F

The original Sky Striker (the original was actually the Skystriker) was one of my favorite toys. I think I was four or five when I got it, and it was almost as big as I was. It's actually still at my parents' place, although all the removable parts have been long since lost to playtime. Legend has it that the molds broke, so there hasn't been a re-release of the Sky Striker since 1989. Since the recent G.I. Joe revival began, a lot of the vehicles have been slightly retooled versions of the original molds, but especially since the movie there have been more and more vehicles with completely new molds. When this new version of the Sky Striker was announced, getting one was a no brainer for me.

A few weeks ago, word was out that Sky Strikers were showing up on shelves in a few places. Naturally my Target didn't have them out yet. The DCPI number was available online, so I had them check if there were any in the back room, and there were. But they wouldn't be out on the shelves until today, July 31st. So this morning I went to Target bright and early, only to find the shelves completely devoid of any new G.I. Joe toys. Once again, I had an employee check in the back. There were three in stock, and he brought one out for me. Triumph! This is the first time I've successfully been able to get something out of the back room at Target (trying to find a Gentleman Ghost this way never worked).

The box is actually smaller than I was expecting, but the plane comes in pieces and you get to put it together. Then you have to put on the stickers. This will take you a while, I spent at least an hour putting all of them on. There are even some customizing options with the stickers. On the tail fins, you can stick with the traditional eagle, or go with images meant to represent other characters, like Snake Eyes, Duke, Shipwreck, or Flint. Instead of the red, white, and blue stripes along the edges of the wings, you can opt for yellow and black stripes (I'm not sure what the significance of that color scheme is).

Once it's all together and stickered up, the Sky Striker looks great. It looks almost exactly like the original, although the plastic is more grey, and the tail fins are inexplicably black. Also, the cockpit has been reduced in size to only fit one figure. The original cockpit featured an ejection seat with attached parachute which this updated version omits. I think this version is substantially smaller than the original, although I don't have the original handy to compare. As I mentioned, the original is at my parents' house, so I have seen it as an adult, and it is pretty huge. It's still a good size, so I don't mind.

A Sky Striker isn't going anywhere without a pilot, and Ace is included. While the Sky Striker is very faithful to its original incarnation, Ace is completely revamped. The original had a white flight suit that almost looked suitable for space exploration. I'm not too hip to what an actual fighter pilot's flight suit would look like, but this new version certainly looks like what I would expect. He includes a stand and a pistol that can holster on his ankle. Most importantly, he can sit in the cockpit properly.

I really dig this toy. Although nostalgia plays a large part of my appreciation for it, I think it stands on its own merits, and any kid that gets one a Sky Striker will grow up with fond memories of it. This is a must have for a G.I. Joe fan.

1 comment:

  1. I was just looking for reviews on this last night! I am really liking this one! I hope we will be getting them in Canada though. It looks sweet!


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