Today is a very special day. It’s my son Will’s first birthday. I wanted to do something a bit different for this post, and luckily Will gave me the idea. Last week, I found the new Skystriker at Target, brought it home and sat it on the kitchen floor while my wife and I fixed dinner. Will was in the kitchen near the table eating his meal of cereal and bananas. I looked over and saw him checking out the box. At first, he was fascinated by the bright colors on the box. Then he saw the figure in the clear plastic window. He proceeded to poke at the plastic with his little banana covered fingers. I think we’ve got a little Joe fan on our hands. So thanks, Will for giving Daddy the inspiration to extend these posts to vehicles–like I don’t already have enough subjects to write about.
What do I think of the new Skystriker? I think it’s great that we’ve even gotten it, especially considering how the Rise of Cobra and Pursuit of Cobra vehicles seem to have underperformed at retail. Kudos to Hasbro for retooling it in such a way as to squeeze it into the smallest box possible, keeping the price point low. Also, the sheer amount of stickers (and the optional custom stickers) is amazing and harkens back to the old days of build it yourself vehicles.
I do have a couple of minor quibbles. First off, the plastic. It feels different from the old version, which I guess is natural since there must have been changes in production since the 1980’s. But overall the jet just feels much lighter than I expected. The biggest issue for me is the missiles, as they don’t stay on very well, especially when handling. I remember when I was a kid, I would hold my Skystriker by the middle fuel tank, like a handle. When I tried it with this one, I about dropped it. That was a bit of a bummer. But those aren’t huge negatives, and the overall nostalgia factor combined with the new elements work to make a great modern Joe vehicle. The black tailfins are a great touch, and Ace has a very cool and different modern jet pilot helmet. The level of effort that must have gone into getting the Skystriker to market far outwieghs any negatives I can point out.
So again, thanks to Will for the idea, and happy birthday, buddy. Hopefully they’re still making Joes by the time you’re age 4, so we can geek out together over new Joe stuff. If not, Daddy’s got plenty of cool old stuff too. I also thank my wife Almitra, the social media diva, for being so understanding of my little hobby and for supporting and giving me tips on my foray into blogging. You guys rock.