Ghoststriker X-16 (2013 Kre-O)
While the Kre-O series nailed many a minifigure version of classic GI Joes, the vehicles in the line left a lot to be desired. There were attempts to replicate classic playsets, like the Checkpoint and Outpost Defender. The Terrordrome set was probably the most successful in bringing an 80s favorite into the building blocks concept. Venerable Joe rides like the VAMP were absent, and though Cobra got an ASP and HISS, both were not quite there in terms of their silhouette.
The Ghost Striker X-16 reproduces one of the oft-forgotten 90s GI Joe aircraft. The original is not a bad toy at all, particularly in terms of play features. With a projector feature that threw images of enemy planes on walls, as well as the usual 90s missile launcher, the jet was a substantial and fun vehicle from a time when the line seemed to be going it cheap. The X-16 was also impressively sized, and though it wasn’t as large as the Skystriker, it was a two-seater and made for a nice addition to the Joe air force.
Like all the Kre-O sets, the quality of the bricks as well as the build itself doesn’t measure up to the average Lego release. I’m no Lego snob, but the main issue I’ve had with Kre-O has been the quality of the bricks’ clutch. I bought the Dungeons & Dragons sets on deep discount, and was disappointed that most of the modular buildings just won’t hold together during play with my son. Some of the Joe sets suffer from the same issue. Most of this Joe jet thankfully stays together well, but there are elements that tend to come off a bit too easily thanks to construction and brick quality. The rear cockpit piece and the landing gear can get frustrating, and the wing missiles will come apart if you’re not careful.
It’s not all bad news however, as Ace is also included in the set. Like other Joe Kreons, he’s a nicely simplified version of his original figure. His unique helmet is a very cool mold, and he’s also got a ladder to help him get into his ride–a simple but nice little bonus mini build.
The Kre-O vehicles overall left me wanting something a bit better, but I’m happy in this case that Hasbro attempted a 90s vehicle. Makes me wonder, if the line had continued, might we have seen a brick version of the Cobra Rat or Patriot? One can dream…