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.

Cobra Scythe (2015)

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.


  • Thank you very much for all these reviews that you did. Because of them I was able to see this whole set. Another reason why I like this website a lot. Now, this particular plane does not make any sense to me. Why would Cobra want to use an American fighter jet from the 1970’s in 2015? Specially since it is such an American icon that is famously known around the world. Also, an F-14 could most likely be shot down by most newer fighter jets that are made today. The only fighter jet that would have seem right along with today’s fighter jets would have been the 1992 Cobra Liquidator A.T.F. fighter jet. And with the exact same Crimson Guard color scheme as in this one here, it would have been freaking awesome. I definitely would have tried to get me one of those, someway somehow. Even if it was missing it’s original water blasting nose cannon gimmick, I would not have cared about that, I still would have tried to get one. Personally, I do not believe the story that somebody or some people at Hasbro back in the mid or late 90’s decided to destroy or throw away most of the molds of those now classic toys. I truly believe that they are still stored somewhere, but nobody is really trying real hard to find those molds anymore. So it is probably a lot cheaper to just make new repaints of the new retooled Skystriker jet molds, since they already exist and they are available anytime that they need them to make some extra money from the collectors and the fans. And last but not least. Why would the Joes want to use the 1983 Cobra H.I.S.S. tanks now, specially since they never used them before? Why now? It doesn’t make any sense. And unlike other Cobra vehicles or planes that were repainted for the Joes to use in the past, this one does not feel right. The army green color on them doesn’t even fit. Maybe it is the particular design of this Cobra tank that does not fit for the Joes, or perhaps any other United States armed forces, or it could be a variety of a bunch of things combined. Even the artwork on the cover of the box, it just looks so wrong to me. To me this whole set does not work. As for the figures, I don’t care about any of them anyway. And paying over $140 for this set on Ebay, I don’t think so. Thank you again for your reviews, and have a nice day.

    • @JamesfromMiami

      I think you’re more right about the vintage molds being available, but Hasbro unwilling to look for them than the story of them being categorically destroyed. (Though, I do think Hasbro did destroy a lot a few years, but only to get collectors to shut up already about them!)

      The Club proved through their findings that many molds that were “lost in Brazil” were, actually, available. But, it was easier and cheaper for Hasbro to just release what they had handy and collectors really didn’t make enough of a purchasing impact for them to care.

      While I’m not sure that sales of vintage repaints would have been appreciably higher had Hasbro brought out the ’88 Destro instead of the ’92 version, I do know that it would have at least shown the collecting world some respect. But, the Hasbro guys of that time seemed to view collectors with genuine contempt. So, we got what we got.

      • Sorry for taking so long to respond to you. Thank you for that information. For me because I know how shady most people who run companies, and specially corporations are, I just can not trust anything that they say. So, I do not trust those Hasbro folks. I was thinking a while back about how the perfect o-ring Destro figure for me would look like. One that would use the torso of the 92 version with the head of the 88 version in chrome plated instead of gold. With the upper arms of either the 92 version, or the 1990 Stretcher figure, because that Joe figure has some really big looking biceps, and it would make an o-ring Destro figure look way more intimidating. And of course the lower arms of the 83 Destro, and also the waist piece, and the legs of that figure. And in the same exact colors of the original 1983 figure of course. Also include the laser pistol and backpack of the 83 figure, with the rifle from the 92 version. And maybe the 92 version’s disc launcher, with the discs, and a stand. And maybe include the knife that came with the 1993 Star Brigade version. The accessories have to be molded in black, of course. And that’s it, the perfect o-ring Destro figure for me.

  • I’m with you on this thing, Rob. I nearly pulled the trigger on the SDCC set just because of how cool this looked in a Cobra motif. I didn’t, but as someone who doesn’t generally like to go to the trouble of tracking down hard to find exclusives, it was a really close thing.

  • The Scythe is a visually striking toy. Usefulness? I dunno. I’m thinking it’s more ceremonial and symbolic. Maybe Cobra has had this since the ’80s and we’re just seeing it (kayfabe)? The Liquidator (aka SAAB Draken) was outdated 30 years ago as well, so maybe Cobra tricked these out? Cutting edge weapons systems & defensive measures, maybe even radar absorbing paint? Or sorcery? It just looks neat, and that was why Hasbro repainted it. I wonder how it looks with Python Patrol vehicles?

    And I also used the Skystriker’s fuel drop tank as a handle as a kid!

    • Thank you for telling me the name of the real life plane, the Saab 35 Draken. I remember when I was a little kid in the 1980’s, and I saw an episode of G.I. Joe where Duke tells a woman, or some young guy, to run away while he went and got inside one of those planes. And instead of flying away with it, he either crashes the plane against some Cobra Rattlers that were on a runway, or on the inside of a cave that was on the side of a mountain. I can’t remember which episode that was from, and I couldn’t find it on the internet. I do remember that it was made before the 1986 season two episodes, and Major Bludd was in it. Then, some years later in the early 90’s, I somehow got a 1992 catalog and saw a Cobra fighter jet that looked so much like the one in that 80’s episode. The Cobra Liquidator. I was very excited about it and wanted to get it, so that I could pose it next to my 86 Night Raven jet. For some strange reason, I just don’t remember if I ever saw one in any store that I went into. I know that the Liquidator is obviously scaled down, but I really don’t care much about that. It just looks very nice to me. And even if the Draken was older than the F-14, it still looks more modern and perhaps faster. That’s why I said it would have made more sense for the Liquidator to be used for this set. That is of course if the mold was not destroyed, and is indeed somewhere safe. That’s all I’m saying. And believe me when I say that this set was made by these people only to make some money. And that is the reason why it was made, and that’s it. I just know how this business people think, and how they work. That’s all. The Sky Terror would have been a great name for those Crimson Guard jets.

  • i immediately switched out the red and dark cockpits between my Joe and Cobra jets. The only gripe I have is the missile fall off if looked at sideways.

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