Steel Brigade Skyhawk (2005)
The 2005 convention marked my first experience attending a JoeCon. Located in Minneapolis, it was within a reasonable driving distance from home, and the set theme had really piqued my interest. The black, red and gold of the Iron Grenadiers looked amazing, and the prospect of a new IG villain, General Mayhem, was great.
I find the reveal of the attendee exclusives to be a really fun part of the club exclusives. Speculation runs rampant up until the convention begins, and we never know exactly what we’ll see. They always manage to pull out at least one surprise, especially when it comes to vehicles. I compare it to the old days of wandering into the toy store as a kid, and discovering the year’s new toys. The club manages to keep them under wraps until the package pick-up begins, and in the age before social media, the only way to see the offerings quickly was to be at con. The usual web sites would update within a few hours, but there was real excitement and anticipation.
The Skyhawk was remolded in a marbelized plastic. The technique had been used before on figures, and I only remember seeing it one other vehicle until this point. It may be a side effect of the plastic, but the Steel Brigade Skyhawk feels thin, and dare I say it, a bit cheap. Regardless, the effect is cool and different, and makes a nice complement to the set’s Steel Brigade figures. Each of the three Skyhawks can be personalized with name decals that call out the Steel Brigade Commander or Trooper, and also Gung Ho and Dragonsky. The Brigade also gets its own faction decal, done in a blue that melds with the marbled grey plastic to create a nicely subdued vehicle marking.