I’ve mentioned a lot in GI Joe reviews how I was an Air Force brat. It should come as no surprise that I’m an Ace fan. I did put off getting the newest Skystriker for awhile, though. First, I had the old one. Second, I don’t really have a place to display it.
My thoughts on it changed a few months back when I had what I think is a cool idea to customize one. That said you will see a review in the near future hopefully for the Skystriker. I’ll have to figure out how to take pictures of it, since it won’t fit in my normal toy photo setup.
We’ll start with the top. Ace’s noggin. I really like the head sculpt they used here. He’s got that all American flyboy look that you always read about pilots having. You know, confident, slightly smug and a good hair cut. Speaking of the hair, I’m also glad to see they picked a hair color that harkens back to the vintage figure. Nice work!
Another thing that’s done really well is the layering over the base figure. He’s got an upper portion, the backup parachute pack in the middle and some leg straps. All together they break up the figure’s outline, but really give him a modern combat fighter look. The large collar area makes him look like the vintage figure, as well.
I’d almost bet these leg straps are reused from a Star Wars Rebel pilot. Honestly, I’m not sure they are needed. I don’t know of any reason a pilot would actually have these, most of the harness straps are tighter in and higher.
Another thing I’m not sure about are the handles on the ankles. Here they are painted to stand out, and I’m not sure why again. I did some searching on skydiving and could not find a reason to have them. I don’t have a Skydive figure these legs come from to know if they latch into something for him.
The nice part of the use of these legs is the way they are painted. The upper legs are painted to make the G-suit parts stand out. This helps a bit with the realism of this figure to me.
Every pilot needs a helmet and Ace is no exception. In the vintage days, Ace looked to be more astronaut than pilot and his helmet reflected that. Here it’s been updated a bit. Now in black and yellow the helmet is tighter fitting and looks more like what we’ve come to expect fighter pilot helmets to look like. Almost.
The exception is the two large horns on the side of the visor portion. I’m assuming these are some sort of heads up projectors or the like. To me, they look like they would be more in the way than anything else.
The one place I think that Ace suffers a bit is in the pose in these legs. While I like the look of these legs, the pose makes it hard to get him to stand on his own without a slight crouch. At least there is a stand provided.
One small thing is missing. A pistol for the ankle holster. Seems odd not to include such a small thing. Personally, I think this would be an odd place for a pilot wear a gun. It seems it could be caught on something when ejecting, which is probably when he would need a gun.
UPDATE: Okay. I made a mistake. I didn’t realize it until this was complete. Ace does come with a gun. However, it was vacu sealed into the corner of one of the bags. It wasn’t loose in the bag, it was actually sealed in the corner. Since I dumped the bag out and thought that was everything, I didn’t see it. So if you get a Skystriker, look carefully for it.
While I’ve always the character of Ace, I never was a huge fan of his astronaut look. To be honest, when I hung my vintage Skystriker from my ceiling as a teen, it had Ripcord in the pilot spot. I think that this figure has finally bridged the Ace gap for me. He’s got a a military pilot look that has been GI Joe stylized without making him look like he’s going into space.
Except for the standing issues, I’m pleased. I have no doubt I’d have bought this figure if it had been single carded.