HasLab Skystriker and GI Joe O-Ring Figures Review
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Yooooo Joe!! It can’t be a more exciting time to be a GI Joe Fan! What a better way to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of the GI Joe Skystriker than with this exciting new HasLab version! Nostagia is pouring out of every part of this amazing HasLab project! This set is EPIC and there are no words for how incredibly amazing I think this set it! I absolutely love it and am I gushing over how well made, thoughtful, beautiful and just totally RAD this Skystriker set is!! Hasbro, you have totally outdone themselves this HasLab project! This jet is loaded with a ton of accessories, features, and just great nostalgic play value that it will bring you right back to 1983! From the incredible box and cardback artwork, some new never before made O-Ring Figures, to the little details like a fuel port and cloth parachuttes, this Skystriker has it all! It’s been about 14 months since we backed the Skystriker and now fans are finally getting their HasLab packages in hand! We are so excited to bring you this extra-large, amazing unboxing and review of the long-awaited GI Joe HasLab Skystriker and O-Ring Figures! We wanted to give you a deep dive of the bevy of accessories, figures and extras that came packed with this amazing HasLab Sky Striker! Photos have been provided to you from the The Toy Sorceress’ very own personal HasLab Skystriker! Since this review is so massive, the authoring of this review has been a collaborative effort between The Toy Sorceress and my amazing partner on the Toy Habits website Michael!
Below is a photo of how I (The Toy Sorceress) have my Skystriker set up in my personal collection! As you can see, it is the center peice of this display and looks absolutely EPIC!! So let’s dive into this amazing review! We will take you thru the unboxing and review of the Sky Striker and O-Ring figures, and finally some un photography for your enjoyment!!
The HasLab Skystriker comes packaged in a huge cardboard box that once opened reminds me of Russian nesting dolls! You keep unpacking larger then smaller boxes inside each! After you get past the large first box, you encouter yet another box, that says “Please Open Form Side”…. first off this cracked me up because over 16,000 of these suckers shipped out with that massive typo on the box. Of course should say “from”. But I digress… let’s carry on with the unboxing.
Next, we get beyond the second inner box to reveal a protective piece of cardboard that is covering the holy grail of this HasLab… yes folks that gorgeous Skystriker box is nestled underneath! Carefully packed in here, Hasbro thought of everything as there is another cardboard hammock around the Skystriker box with handles that allows you to safely lift you box out without damaging it.
Then the Russian Nesting dolls continue as you make your way further into the box and find two more smaller boxes. Once side contains the stickers, flight stand, missiles, accessory vehicles, blast effects, missiles and other assorted accessories. The other side of the box holds yet the second prized possession of this HasLab project, the new 7 Carded O-ring Figures! They are safely protected in a layered cardboard that holds each one in place. One side with the 4 Joes and the Other side with the 3 Cobra figures.
Lastly you will notice that once you empty the contents of those two smaller boxes, if you flip them over, they become a cool runway for your jet! They display the number 83 as a tribute to the year 1983, when the first GI Joe Skystriker was released!
So then I finally unpacked this puppy and boy was it packed to the gills with tons of accessories, The pack out for the GI Joe HasLab Skystriker is incredible! it takes your Skysyriker soaring about the clouds! The bevy of accessories that come included are mind-blowing and will make your new Skystriker display the pride of your toy collection!
Of course, you get 7 exclusive brand-new O-Ring figures which includes some never-before-seen characters in O-Ring form! You get:
- Fail Safe
- Pilot Scarlett
- Night Force RIp Cord
- Mickey Mouse Cobra Commander
- Cobra Trooper Pilot
- Cobra Ground Crew Member – Ramp Rat
Now let’s dive into the bevy of accessories that are included in in this pack out! We will go into more detail on each later in this post, but let’s take a quick look at what comes packed in this amazing HasLab project! Ther is an ammunition cart and fuel cart. You can load up 4 missiles on the ammo cart or take the top rack off and use it as a tow vehicle. Also the fuel cart has a working fuel line! Then we have a ton of blast effects! You get count them, 12 freakin’ blast effects! 8 missile effects, 2 fuselage effects and 2 ejector seat effects!
Hasbro packed an extra canopy so you can use the included extra decals to have one labeled for the Joe Tean and one labeled for Cobra and swap them out. There are two sets of tail wings included, one set in the classic gray and one set in black. Then there are 2 small rear side wings.
The set also includes two removeable ejector seats with included parachuttes, which we will cover later in the article in more detail. You also get 2 jet wings with logos already tampo’d on them. They have a nice shine and match the style of the vintage jet perfectly! I do have to tell you snapping them on was a little bit of a challenge, but I got them on. And you also get that incrible flight stand! It has nice ball joint on the top so you an display you plane in all sorts of action positions! It also includes storage pegs and shelves for the missiles!
Next we have avariety of missiles which we will cover in detail later, but you get a total of 15 in variying styles! Also included are two fuselage engines that snap into the back of the jet. They have incredible detail with one end having silver painted jet fans and the other end is open so you can insert those amazing giant blast effects!
There are 3 sheets of include decals in a range of styles. You get the classic Skystiker decals, but then they also included a set of Cobra Hack details for whne Cobra Hyjacks the Skystriker! And you also get some Northrop Grumman inspired decals as well! The display options with all these decals are endles, and if you bought more than one plane, you can display them in totally different looks!
There are also the classic red, white and blue wing stripes included on their own sticker sheet. And finally, some additional smaller accessories that include a ladder, a chin gun, a panel for the ammo carriage and some alternate clips to the various missiles on your flight stand.
Finally we have the classic Skystiker Blueprints, assembly instructions and sticker placement instructions.
The packaging for the Skystriker is absolutely stunning! With the great care that Hasbro went to package this thing up like a baby in a carriage, your Skystriker box should arrive in pristine condition! Based on the vintage Skystriker, but updated for this HasLab, the front artwork is spectacular featuring the Skystriker in all it’s glory flying thru the air shooting off missiles, with the classic GI Joe logo along the top and burst exploding behind it! We also now get Ace and Wayne Ruthel “Fail Safe” illustrated on the front of the box and an illustration of the parachute seat!.
The back of the box has a classic black, white and red illustration of the Skystriker, the included figures and parachutte seat, as well as pointing out the features on the jet!
The sides of the box feature more product images and illustrations of the Skystiker. The style of this box inside and out is just oozing nostalgia!
And here we can see the incredible carded O-ring figures that come included with the HasLab Skystiker! With all new beautiful artwork for each of the 7, these new carded figures come on a nice thick cardback and include the vintage style white boarder that we all wanted to come back! We will cover these in more detail below, including the rear that features an exlusive HasLab cross sell as well as all new file cards for each!
Once you open the box, you will find the main body of the Skystriker safely nested inside. Also packaged in the box are the two rear fuselage engines.
The HasLab Sky Striker
Based on the original 1983 Hasbro GI Joe Skystriker release, the new HasLab Skystiker brings this incredible XP-14F combat jet into the 21st Century. Loaded with a whole bunch of new features, this incredible Combat Jet is the ultimate version of the original O-Ring Skystriker! With gorgeous tampo’d / painted logos, to hidden fuel and ladder hatch doors, this puppy has it all! The engineering has been vastly improved on this version, as well as the durability and look! So let’s dive into the details below.
HEre you can see the various ports that are included so that you an insert the blast effects. There are two small ports near the nose of the plane where you can place the two thin blaste effects so it looks like your Skystriker is shooting at the enemy! Also there are ports in the rear fuselage engines so that you can insert those engine blast effects into and they look so freakin’ rad! The front of the plane also includes an all new chin gun that inserts just under the nose of the jet. It includes a gun and camera molded into it.
You can see here that you can now seat your two pilots comfortably inside the front of the plane! Of course, Ace has to be piloting and Fail Safe gets the co-pilot seat! The Skystriker looks just stunning sitting on it’s flight stand and you can display it anyway you want, banking, taking off, what ever angle you want as it sits on a ball joint.
Enjoy the video below as you can see how the The Toy Sorceress displays her Skystriker in this fun video below!
Here we get some close ups of the two pilots sitting in the cockpit ready to take off!
Below is a top view of the HasLAb Skystriker in all it’s glory! You can see the incredible detail and how beautiful the combat jet looks from above!
Enjoy a series of close up photos below to see the incredible detail this combat jet has! Hasbro has really outdone themselves as a lot of these are painted on! The quality of this plane is just incredible and I just absolutely love how this HasLab version of the Skystriker came out!
Below are close ups of the cockpit where you can see the detailed instrument panel and flight stick, as well the two pilot seats!
Photographed below are close ups of the rear tail fins, the front exhaust ports and a rear brake flap. No detail was left out on this thing!
Here we have various ports, there is the maintenance panels that can be removed to reveal some inner working of the jet, which there are two, one on either side of the front wing section of the plane. We also have some more exhaust ports, and a close up of one of the missile clips as well.
Let’s take a look at the wing mechanism and the landing gear. If you recall on all previous versions of the Skystriker, when you activated the wing open mechanism, it would also deploy the landing gear as they were connected, and this was annoying, asyour plane could not fly with it’s wings out without the landing gear down.. Well Hasbro has corrected this on the new HasLab version! The wings and the landing gear have two separate mechanisms to activate them! The wings open with the lever on the top of the plane. And then landing gear is operated by pulling a hidden lever which is molded into the tail hook mechanism on the bottom of the jet.
Below you can see the tail hook at the bottom ofthe jet and that once you pull that down you will see the lever to activate the landing gear. Just slide it forward to deploy the wheels!
At the front left side of the plane there is a hidden fuel port. Behind that panel where you can see the indents, once you pull that off, you can then plug in your fuel pump! We also have another close up of the wing and the stripe decals that goes on it.
The HasLab Skystriker came with a star-studded cast of amazing figures from both the GI Joe and Cobra side! Cobra you ask, well, Cobra Commander had taken control over the production of the Skystriker so we got some really amazing enemy figures plus the famous Mickey Mouse Cobra Commander, paying homage to the vintage first production run of the figure that came with the 1982 Cobra Missile Command Sears exclusive set. We also got a first in the line with RIO Lt. Wayne Ruthel!
GI Joe Team
The GI Joe team features all four figures that are first to be carded in the line! If you recall from the 1983 Skystriker release, Ace was included with that vehicle but he was also offered as a mail away so no carded figure ever existed for him. Same goes for the new figures of Scarlett, Night Force Rip Cord, and, of course, Lt. Wayne Ruthel, who was just featured in the vintage Skystriker box art.
The 4 figures look amazing as the HasLab Skytriker GI Joe squad as you can imagine Scarlett and Rip Cord lending support to Ace and Wayne!
Code Name: Brad “Ace” Armbruster
Ace features an updated head sculpt and is thinner than the vintage figure as well as a brighter white flight suit. His darker red paint apps go nicely with the figure. Ace was originally packaged with the Skystriker XP-14F in 1983. The character looked more like an astronaut than a jet fighter pilot and this appearance was used as the design in the character’s early comics appearance. When the Skystriker was phased out of the toy line, the Ace figure remained to be available through Hasbro’s direct program as a mail away figure.
The carded figure for Ace features new art set off by the classic GI Joe orange burst, which also has all of the other figures from this HasLab illustrated on the back of the card! His bio, which is updated from the vintage bio (denoted in bold), reads:
“Ace would rather fly than do anything else. During high school he worked after school and weekends to pay for flying lessons. Spent one year flying pipelines in Alaska and two years stunt flying for movies. Enlisted in the Air Force at 22. Duty most previous to G.I. Joe assignment: senior instructor pilot combat training school. Qualified Expert: Skystriker XP-14F, Ghoststriker X-16, COnquest X-30, Tigerhawk, Sky Raven.
Ace has one major character flaw: cutthroat poker. A predilection for gambling would ordinarily disqualify an applicant for the G.I. Joe team but in Armbruster’s case you can hardly call it gambling since he NEVER LOSES. That’s why we call him Ace!”
All angles of Ace look amazing and he comes packed with his signature clear flight helmet and a new accessory, his side arm!
Radar Intercept Officer
Code Name: Fail Safe
Lt. Wayne Ruthel is a brand new figure to the GI Joe O-Ring line and it is amazing to finally see his debut, albeit 40 years after we got a tease of him on the vintage Skystriker box! He features a flight suit green deco with some sculpted pouches that are from a dark green vest that is sculpted on his flight suit. He also comes with a cool helmet with goggles sculpted on to them.
Lt. Wayne Ruthel’s illustration is new and his never before seen bio reads:
“From the day he got his hands on a computer, Fail-Safe was glued to the control stick of a flight simulator, using an almost preternatural awareness of his surroundings and nimble reflexes to master near-impossible maneuvers. That only eases up when Fail-Safe graduated to actual planes in the Navy where his even-keeled demeanor and nerves of steel under the most stressful situations rocketed him through the ranks and ultimately to the attention of GI Joe. The perfect counterpoint to Ace’s brash confidence, Fail-Safe shifted his laser focus to serve as the Skystriker’s Radar Intercept Officer (RIO) working in flawless tandem with his pilot and best friend.”
“His first solo combat sortie I was him thread the needle through a squadron of Cobra Rattlers, unleash a volley of return fire, and come out the other side without a paint scratch…For more important missions, you send Ace. For vital missions that absolutely have to succeed, you send Fail-Safe along with Ace to guarantee results.”
Fail-Safe looks amazing with his helmet on, and he also comes packed with a sidearm, just like Ace. You can see the darker green vest detail from the front and the back, giving this olive-green figure a more interesting look and feel!
Code Name: Scarlett
Paying homage to Scarelett’s piloting the Skystriker in the opening episode of the GI Joe cartoon, where she almost takes Duke’s head off as she comes in from a landing, we see her in a redeco of Ace’s flight suit in a sky and dark blue paint app! Scarlett’s head is half covered by the helmet collar and he features a darker red hair color than her vintage counterpart.
Scarlett also features a new illustration and her bio reads:
“Scarlet first learned martial arts from her father and three brothers, who are martial arts instructors. She began her training at the age of nine, and was awarded a black belt at age 15. She graduated summa cum laude from two Ivy League universities and went onto excel in training courses, and all four branches of the arm forces. Graduated: Advanced Infantry Training in Rangers School. Special Ed.: Covert Ops School, Marine Sniper School; Special Air Service School, Marine Tae Kwon Do Symposium. She is a naturally gifted pilot who has flown in some of the most advanced infantry aircraft in the world and is one of the G.I. Joe team’ss helicopter pilots. She’s a qualified expert in multiple weapons, including her trademark XK-1 Power Crossbow, Throwing Stars, Garotte, Ka-Bar.”
“Scarlet is confident in Brazilian. It’s remarkable that a person so deadly can still retain a sense of humor.”
Although her card art shows her folding a sidearm, the accessory she comes with is her cross bow and her clear helmet. This is a very unique look for Scarlett and goes very well with the Skystriker if you throw her in the cockpit.
Code Name: Rip Cord
One of the most exciting figures to be unlocked for this HasLab was Night Force Rip Cord. Originally, Ripcord was part of the 1984 series and featured a camo deco so it’s amazing to see a first in the line with making him part of the Night Force squad. Night Force is a G.I. Joe subteam. They are a covert team outfitted and equipped for nighttime surveillance and defensive operations. They have skills, advanced technology and sophisticated hardware, relying on the element of surprise to strike the enemy under cover of darkness and accomplish their mission. It is the largest of the G.I. Joe subteams and features some very cool repaints of some classic figures.
Ripcord has one of the most dangerous assignments among members of the G.I. Joe Team. What he does is jump from a plane so high up in a sky that you need an oxygen mask just to breathe. He then falls like a dead rock for thousands of feet and, at the last possible moment, opens his parachute. The margin for error is way too small for any corrections. All this is to avoid visual and electronic detection. It takes a man who more than really loves skydiving to take that assignment. Ripcord has great confidence in his skills, experience and coolness under pressure.
Also, you will notice that Rip Cord includes the Nigh Force logo painted on his right shoulder and it looks so incredible!
Due to the Night Force deco for this figure, Rip Cord has a new illustration and what is even cooler is seeing the Night Force logo on a single carded, modern, GI Joe O-Ring figure. Parts of his bio are reused from his vintage figure (denoted in bold), which reads:
“Rip Cord joined the Civil Air Patrol in high school. Discovered skydiving and joined the G.I. Joe team so he could jump from much higher altitudes. Rip Cord jumps and drops like a rock for thousands of feet, then opens his chute at the last possible moment to avoid visual and electric detection. Member: Might Force covert team specializing in nighttime surveillance and defensive operations. Qualified expert: Machine Gun; Medium Arms.
“Night Force operates stealthily in environments where the team is usually outnumbered and outgunned. The vanguard of the Night Force covert team, Rip Cord lands with impossible silence, cloaked in Toal darkness before disappearing into the night. What he does once he hits the ground you don’t want to hear about.”
Like the vintage figure, he comes with his helmet, oxygen mask, parachute, and rifle. This Night Force deco goes amazingly well on this figure with an all black deco and some green accents on the waist piece.
Since Cobra infiltrated the Skystriker HasLab, they were offered as last minute unlocks that were added during the final days of the HasLab funding. It is interesting because the GI Joe pit crew failed to reach the required numbered of backers but we got a Cobra crew instead, which compliments the Cobra stickers if you choose to put them on your Skystriker to make an Enemy version.
Cobra Commander is always at the helm directing his often-misdirected troops and one of the coolest aspects of this figure is he comes with the rare Mickey Mouse logo, but more on that later!
This is the second Cobra Commander to appear in the modern GI Joe O-Ring line and pays homage to his first symbol design where it looked more like a Cobra Symbol wearing a Mickey Mouse ear hat. Since the snake’s eyes and upper head have been reduced to an inverted crescent with two solid red bumps that resembles the Mickey Mouse ear hat, the figure has become known to collectors as the Mickey Mouse Cobra Commander, which goes for a pretty penny on the secondary market.
The card features an update, more modern illustration of Cobra Commander and his bio borrows from his vintage description, which reads:
“Absolute power! Total control of the world…its people, wealth, and resources—that’s the objective of COBRA Commander. This fanatical leader rules with an iron fist. He demands total loyalty and allegiance. His main battle plan, for world control, relies on revolution and chaos. He personally led uprisings in the Middle East, Southeast Asia and other trouble spots. Responsible for kidnapping scientists, businessmen, and military leaders, then forcing them to reveal their top level secrets.”
“COBRA Commander is hatred and evil personified. Corrupt. A man without scruples. Probably the most dangerous man alive!”
Cobra Commander looks classic and amazing with his trusty blaster that attaches to his back.
This Cobra Trooper is a straight up repaint of the Cobra Trooper 2-Pack from the modern GI Joe O-Ring line with some differences in paint apps. Most notably, the gray accents on the shoulder and the left part of the chest plus the kneepads. He also comes packed with the same gun and seems to be darker in color. Also this is supposed to be the “pilot” version of the Cobra Trooper so he can fly your combat jet when Cobra takes over the Skystriker!
The illustration for the “Cobra” figure is an updated version rather than showcasing his vintage card art. His bio borrow’s heavily from his vintage description (changes denoted in bold), which reads:
“One of the nameless, faceless legions of COBRA Command. Each COBRA is highly skilled in the use of explosives, all NATO and Warsaw Pact small arms, sabotage, and the martial arts. Qualified expert: Machine Pistol, Submachine Gun, Sniper Rifle, Machine Gun.
“COBRAS swear absolute loyalty to their fanatical leader…COBRA Commander. Their goal…to conquer the world for their own evil purpose!”
The gray accents really make the uniform pop and it’s a welcomed change as it brings the figure to life. This figure would have been great to be offered as an army builder but maybe someday!
Cobra Ground Crew
Code Name: Ramp Rat
A new figure and concept in the line is a member of the Cobra Ground Crew. Featuring a striking Crimson Red vest with gray arms, this is one of the more unique Cobra Troopers! He comes packed with a grenade launcher because, lord knows you need that when directing Cobra Rattler and stolen Skystriker traffic, along with two dark neon green air traffic control batons.
The Ramp Rat’s illustration is also brand new and it shows him directing traffic! His bio is completely new and reads:
“Each Ramp Rat member of Cobra, ground crew is responsible for refueling, maintaining, and marshaling cobras arsenal of aircraft. They also outfit the vehicles with their full ordinance. While Ramp Rats don’t serve on the front lines, working as a member of the Cobra Crew can be just as dangerous with deadly consequences for poor job performance.”
“You don’t want to be the Ramp Rat who has to explain to Wild Weasel by his missile didn’t detonate on impact. You’ll wind up with the Under-The-Ground Crew.”
The colors on the figure make him pop and it’s cool to see a Cobra Trooper with a Crimson motif! The air traffic control batons look amazing in his hands and add to the varying color palette for this figure. Hasbro has sneakily reused the waist piece from Night Force Rip Cord and the legs from Lt. Wayne Ruthel!
Let’s take a look at the multitude of included accessories that came packed with the HasLab Skystriker in further detail below.
The flight stand is a brilliant accessory to include and just makes this Skystriker perfect! First off it makes it super easy to display on your shelf! You just plug it into the ports on the bottom of the jet and it’s snapped on. The flight stand is on a ball joint so you can angle it any way you want! You can have your plane in a neutral horizontal position, taking off at a steep angle or banking in any direction! There are also included pegs on either side of the stand to peg in missiles. The set included alternate pegs as well to swap out the type of missiles you have stored on the sides. The rear of the flight stand has a couple open compartments for additional storage as well.
The included weapons carriage has a storage cart to place 2 larger sized missile and two thinner missiles on the outer ends. You can also hang the included ladder on one side on two hooks that are molded on. The cart has a tow hook at the front as well so you can tow the fuel cart with it! It included some nice decals as well for added detail.
You can also remove the missile storage tray from the top and have it simply be a tow cart instead. Have some Joes hope on for a ride, or simply tow your fuel cart. There is an included plug that has some molded detail that plugs up the hole where the missile storage tray plugged into.
The fuel cart is a very cool accessory as you can tow it with the missile cart as well as it includes a roll out hose that comes in and out by turning a wheel on the side. So, your Joes can fuel up the jet!
Here you can see Fail Safe gettin’ ready to gas up the Skystriker! Also, you can see how the missile carriage tows the fuel cart!
Loaded with a ton of various size and shaped missiles, this Skystriker is ready for combat!
You get 4 larger missiles with painted on text and images. They include ports on the ends to plug in the included blast effects!
You also get 4 medium shaped missiles, also well.
There is one large missile that plugs into the center port on the bottom of the Skystriker which can be used as a handle!
There are also 4 smaller missiles and two fuel tank missiles.
The HasLab Skystriker came with over a dozen included blast effects. For a total 14 different size effects in various shapes and styles, this gives you endless display options. Plus they just look so freakin’ rad! They are made of a translucent orange rigid plastic and all port into the missiles or jet!
- 2 medium white tipped blast effects
- 2 medium grey tipped blast effects
- 2 smaller white tipped blast effects
- 2 thin jet gun blast effects
- 2 ejector seat blast effects
- 2 huge fuselage blast effects
The ejector seat blast effects are super cool cause you can plug them into the cock pit of the plane and it looks like Ace and Fail Safe are ejecting off to safety!
The included ladder is a cool new accessory never offered before in previous Skystrikers. There are a couple of hidden panels on the front side of the plane when removed reveal some cool molded in details and a place to hook your ladder onto! You can finally display your Skystriker with Ace climbing in!
Ejector Seats & Parachuttes
The ejector seats and parachutes are super cool! The two seats are removable from the cock pit and the parachutes are stored behind the seats. By removing the back panel of the seat, you reveal the parachute. Simply rotate the top so that the strings are coming out of the top of the seat and place the rear cover. The parachutes are now made of a high-quality blue nylon/cloth like material and have a gorgeous eagle / Skystriker logo on them! The strings are sewn on, and it is excellent quality! Your pilots peg into the included back pegs on the seats, so now they are ready to eject to safety!
With the included ejector seat blast effects and parachutes, Ace and Fail Safe can safety eject out of the Skystriker and down to the ground to safety! And I have to tell you it is some much fun to do so!
Here you can see Ace and Fail Safe ejecting outta the Skystriker to safety!
History of the Skystriker
Based on the Grumman F-14 Tomcat used by Naval aviators, the most distinguishing feature are its wings, which can be swept back between 20 degrees for takeoff and landings to up to 68 degrees for high speed maneuvers. In addition, the wings have a 75 degree oversweep when being stowed on aircraft carriers. The Skystriker is most likely based on the F-14A Tomcat that is equipped with AIM-9 Sidewinder, AIM-7 Sparrow and the AIM-54 Phoenix missiles and an internal a internal M61 Vulcan 20mm Gatling cannon. I want to give a special shout out to my amazing partner on the Toy Habits website Michael for authoring this incredible History section!
Vintage Skystriker and Cartoon Appearance
The Skystrikers appear in the very first episode of the Sunbow GI Joe Cartoon and, according to Joepedia, “When we first see Skystrikers, they are just a recent addition to the G.I. Joe arsenal. They were fresh from flight testing when Cobra made an assault attempt on the G.I. Joe base. Several Skystrikers were destroyed in the process but Duke and Scarlett were able to commandeer one and caused Cobra to retreat. At the Ring of Fire, Duke and Ace led a squadron of Skystrikers in keeping Cobra from taking the final M.A.S.S. catalyst. Skystrikers came in to make one of the final push against the uphill battle over Cobra’s defenses at the mountain that holds the Cobra Temple. When equipped with a detachable rocket propulsion module mounted between the vertical tails, the Skystrikers were also capable of orbital spaceflight. Though able to reach space under their own power in this manner, launch aboard a large, expendable booster rocket was also an option. Using this method, several Skystrikers could be orbited simultaneously, mounted around the perimeter of the booster’s upper stage. This way, a small squadron of them could be sent up to take on larger targets, such as Cobra manned space stations.”
The Combat Jet Skystriker [XP-14F] was first released in the U.S. in 1983 and included the pilot, Ace. It was was also sold in 1984 and 1985, then was discontinued in 1986. On the vintage box, it featured an amazing Skystriker illustration set off by the classic GI Joe burst. If you notice, there is a copilot and a real-life Tomcat has two crew members, a pilot and a RIO (Radar Intercept Officer). But as shown in the cartoons, it’s often operated by one person with the second seat empty. The RIO on the box is none other than Lt. Wayne Ruthel, who they finally made into an action figure in the HasLab version! The back of the box features a black and white schematic outlining the features of the toy.
Wolf Design Review provides a fantastic review and perspective on the vintage GI Joe Skystriker so here is an exerp from his review with impressions:
Although it’s clearly a toy, it looks almost like an accurate scale model jet fighter. Unlike Kenner’s Millennium Falcon from 1977 which was proportionally compromised to fit its figures as well as toy shelves, the Skystriker very successfully resembles a real F-14 tomcat, without being too big. The main body colour is a warm grey, and this helps to define it as a toy rather than a scale model. Overtime some have discolored to a light beige. The lever switch located in the centre is another giveaway that this is a toy and we think it probably could have been rethought to be more discrete. The choice of red and blue colors in some of stickers help to define this as “American”, since the slogan was “A real American Hero”. In fact, there are a lot of stickers that would have taken forever to apply, with clear attention into what makes a jet fighter, a jet fighter- are there really that many “NO STEP” labels everywhere in real life?”Source: Wolf Design Review
He goes on to say, “Although it’s clearly a toy, it looks almost like an accurate scale model jet fighter. Unlike Kenner’s Millennium Falcon from 1977 which was proportionally compromised to fit its figures as well as toy shelves, the Skystriker very successfully resembles a real F-14 tomcat, without being too big. The main body colour is a warm grey, and this helps to define it as a toy rather than a scale model. Overtime some have discoloured to a light beige. The lever switch located in the centre is another giveaway that this is a toy and we think it probably could have been rethought to be more discrete. The choice of red and blue colors in some of stickers help to define this as “American”, since the slogan was “A real American Hero”. In fact, there are a lot of stickers that would have taken forever to apply, with clear attention into what makes a jet fighter, a jet fighter- are there really that many “NO STEP” labels everywhere in real life? The underside was equally impressive with a lot of fire power.”
Toy Photography fun
If any of you follow our Toy Habits Instagram page and The Toy Sorceress Instagram page, you will see the Toy Sorceress loves Toy Photography, so here are some photographs for your enjoyment and inspiration! The new HasLab Skystriker was such a joy to photograph because you can recreate all sorts of cool GI Joe Cartoon adventures of Joe vs Cobra! Enjoy!!!
Below is an image of the The Toy Sorceress‘ personal Skystriker display! Hopefully I did it justice with the limited space I wanted to give a special shout out and thanks to my incredibly talented partner Michael, from this Toy Habits website for helping me author this massive review! Hope you all enjoyed this spectacular review, and YOOOOOOOO JOOOOEEE!
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