The Skystriker is one of the most realistic vehicles ever made for the G.I.Joe line, It was released in 1983, the second year of existence of this collection, and the second wave. In that wave, all figures came already with swivel arm.
The Skystriker is a jet fighter based on a F-14 Tomcat, one of the most iconic planes in the military history of the U.S. It was also the plane that appeared in the film Top Gun (1986).
Let´s start with the figure: Ace is a mixture between fighter pilot and astronaut, it has a great white/beige uniform. The grey/red crotch is somehow an strange choice, I don´t know why they took this crotch instead of a white one. The figure had a helmet as its only accesory. The helmet also has a quite futuristic design. Great figure!
The plane is quite long, around 55 centimeters, with relatively broad wings. It has realistic colours, and although I am not an expert in jets or aircraft in general, I think it is quite similar to the F-14, with some differences, like a very long front to fit two figures.
The cockpit also have place for two parachutes. They have to be very carefully folded to fit. Note that this vehicle is the European version ("Action Force" in the box) and it came with one parachute only. The American version came with two, which is more logical. In case of an accident, only one of the two pilots could save his/her life. The co-pilot is often Lady Jaye, at least, in the cartoons. In the toy, there is a sticker with the names Capt. J. Brad Armbruster (which is the file name of Ace), and Lt. Wayne Ruthel, who is no known joe. Apparently, this name is a (slightly changed) name of a Hasbro employee (Wayne Luther). I don´t see the point in printing the secret, classified name there. Other vehicles also have fictitious names on the cockpits or wherever, that were never assigned to any joe character. They may also be Hasbro employees.
The main feature of this plane is the wings position that are correlated to the landing gear, That means, in landing position the wings are expanded and the wheels are out, and in flying position the wings are folded and the wheels in.
The plane comes with 6 missiles, 2 of each kind, and a big fuel tank that can be attached to the lower part of the plane. The fuel tank is fragile and it usually breaks. The small missiles, if attached to the wrong pegs can also break, so be careful.
As almost every G.I.Joe vehicle there are two removable lids that reveal parts of motors, so children can also play "mechanics" with these figures.
FACTS and FIGURES:
- Name: SKYSTRIKER with ACE
- Toy Line: G.I. Joe (Wave 2)
- Year: 1983
- Company: Hasbro (U.S.A.)
- Size of the figures: 9,5 cm (3 3/4'')
- Size of the jet: Around 55 cm (22'') long