Cobra Scythe (2015)
Some collectors may bemoan yet another repainting of the updated Skystriker that was produced a few years back. I can understand if some folks feel like we’ve seen it a lot since then. However, the versions we’ve gotten haven’t been mass retail releases. I for one haven’t picked up any of them, until now. When I saw the Hasbro press photos for the Crimson Strike set, the Scythe was the thing that most piqued my interest. Sure, seeing Steeler and Grunt along with a Joe green HISS tank was a neat left-field kind of thing, but the paint scheme on the jet had me excited. I haven’t been this jazzed about a Skystriker repaint since I first spotted the Night Boomer in a Toys R Us ad all those years ago.
I wouldn’t have thought that a Cobra color scheme would have worked on such and iconic GI Joe vehicle. Heck, I had a hard time just getting used to the different shade of grey on the reworked plane back in 2011. However, the silver and red colors along with the quite intricate patterning, won me over. I’m glad I ponied up the extra cash to get this version. It’s just really pretty, in a Cobra sort of way. The sweeping cobra symbol theme melds well with the jet’s lines, and the included stickers help complete the deco. And yes, they do fit the hull without wrinkling or bunching. It’s really an impressive bit of sticker engineering, and something I can’t recall seeing in other modern action figure vehicles. The only drawback to the stickers come with the wing applications. Due to the various panel lines, the large sticker area just doesn’t adhere flat against the surface in some areas. The issue might be alleviated by working the sticker into the lines with a small blunt instrument, but I haven’t tried it out. Nevertheless, this is one slick looking jet paint deco.
Most of the other features common to the newer Skystriker survived, including the single-person cockpit. The cockpit canopy is done in a nice dark color, which offsets the bright hull, and also looks appropriate for an evil air force. It seems like the issue of the loose missiles has been rectified, as the Scythe doesn’t drop its armaments at the slightest touch. The center fuel tank however still does not hold up under play. I remember using that piece as a handhold on my original Skystriker whenever I flew it around the yard back in 1983.
Overall, the Crimson Strike set has been impressive, on several different levels. It gave us an interesting variant on two Joe and Cobra vehicles, revisiting the “stolen vehicle” of repaints that was used in the Joe mythos during the original Tiger Force and Python Patrol runs. The Joe team got some nice modern renditions of oft-requested classic members, and the Cobra contingent, while unimpressive to me, at least added to my corps of Alley Viper variants. A well done set, and I think well worth its exclusive nature.
Next week, we’ll be taking a look at the 2015 figure two-packs (minus Gung Ho’s set–I’ve yet to find it!), and then wrap up the year’s new offerings with the Toys R Us version of this set. Don’t fret, fans of the “what’s next?” aspect of JAD, we’ll get back on our random track soon enough.