COBRA SCYTHE (2015)
For the past week I’ve been reviewing my 2015 San Diego Comic Con exclusive G.I. Joe box set, “Crimson Strike”. Four reviews down, two to go. Today I’ll be taking a look at the second vehicle from the set, the Cobra Scythe. The first vehicle was the G.I. Joe Chimera. The Chimera was an iconic Cobra HISS tank repainted in Joe military colours. Conversely, the Scythe is the iconic G.I. Joe Skystriker repainted in crimson Cobra colours.
The Skystriker was first released in 1983. It was probably the biggest vehicle in my vintage collection. The Skystriker was very well designed and, as far as I could tell, pretty realistic. It had retractable landing gear and adjustable wings. The cockpit seated two back then. Both seats popped out and each of them had a working parachute tucked into the back. They came in handy every time Ace got shot down by Wild Weasel in a dogfight (Wild Weasel was one of my favourite Cobras so Ace never stood a chance). I used to enjoy throwing Joes, seated in the parachute chairs, up in the air from my deck and watching them drift down safely to my back yard. Unfortunately there were no seat belts on those chairs and the only thing keeping them attached to the figures was a small peg in their back. One particular toss led to the untimely demise of Tiger Force Roadblock. 😦
As impressive as the Skystriker was it was never one of my favourite vehicles. First off, the pilot Ace was one of my least favourite Joes. I wanted to like him but his outfit was kind of goofy and I lost his dome helmet early on which only made him look sillier and ill-equipped. Secondly, the vehicle was big and took up a lot of space on the bedroom floor. Thirdly, it was a plane and I’m not really a plane guy. Playing with it required me to run around the room making whooshing sounds. I usually had the Skystriker in one hand and the Cobra Rattler in another. You couldn’t really make them do any cool aerial moves like that and I just didn’t find it very exciting. I much preferred to have Ace and Wild Weasel duke it out man-to-man on the battle field. I think I still have my vintage Skystriker but I couldn’t find it when I went to dig it out for this review. I assume it’s gathering dust in the shed at my folks place.
When Hasbro re-released the Skystriker in 2011 I passed on it. The jet had been retooled slightly to accomodate the taller modern-era figures, which meant losing the secondary seat, but essentially it was the same as the ’83 toy. I try to avoid collecting vehicles for the most part because I simply don’t have room to display them and it sucks buying something only to put it directly into storage. Plus they can be expensive. And yet I got roped into buying a Skystriker in 2011 anyway because Hasbro released one painted to look like the Decepticon Starscream as a SDCC exclusive and I simply had to have it. Two years later they released one painted to look like the Autobot Jetfire which I also had to have. I was really hoping those would be the last two Skystrikers I would ever buy.
As it turns out, that is not the case. Hasbro suckered me in again this year by releasing a repainted Skystriker packaged with a repainted HISS, the one vehicle type that I actually seek out. In order to get the tank I had to get the jet. To make matters worse they took the standard HISS/Skystriker set and repainted it as a SDCC exclusive which meant I had to buy it twice AND pay a ridiculous price to obtain it. I actually don’t have the standard Toys R Us version yet but it should arrive in a couple weeks. The SDCC version however, known as the Scythe, is here in hand.
I think the Scythe is a cool looking vehicle. The Cobra motif painted on the top and the snake head on the cockpit is really neat. The red and silver colour scheme make for a sharp-looking jet. Beyond the unique paint job though this is the same old Skystriker we’ve seen plenty of times before. I have nowhere to display this thing so it will likely end up boxed up by the end of the week which seems criminal given that it was so damn expensive.
I should also mention that the Scythe included some pretty cool decals and it came with options so you could do a little customization. The large diamond pattern stickers that run along the four wings is a little odd but it breaks up the large areas of solid red and serves as a cute nod to a diamondback rattlesnake. I didn’t apply all of the stickers because I got bored. It comes with a ton of tiny useless stickers and i just don’t have the patience for them. It also came with some missiles which I forgot to put on for my photo shoot.