I’m not going to beat around the bush here. Sky High represents what MOTU Classic is all about. Either you get it or you don’t. And if you don’t, I can’t really explain it to you… but I’ll try anyway.
Usually, I prefer to close a review with the declaratives instead of open with them, but Sky High here has me feeling a little bold. Last year, the MOTU line was fading from my attention. The line was producing solid figures, but they could’ve used a little more love, a little more detail. Character selection was vintage heavy. The heights of Demo Man & Vykor appeared behind us as the vintage line must be finished before we could get a little crazy. I need crazy. Crazy can be the hallmark of a great toy line.
Every MOTU toy line, if successful, will crank out Mantenna, Two-Bad, & Ram Man. (Don’t believe me? I can head out to Wally World right now and grab updated versions of Baxter Stockman & the Rat King right now!). To worry about those characters is to worry about the health of the line, not the quality of it. And while I admit that a MO2K Scareglow would have probably kicked so much ass it still hurts to think about it, I’d rather live dangerously than check off names from vintage toy lists. As I toy collector, I know that what will make Classics unique in the coming years will be the characters it gets to that might never happen again. Batros. Vykor. Wun-Dar. Castle Grayksull Man. And, yes, Sky High.
I love that we’ve come this far. Yes, Ram Man is awesome & Two-Bad looks swanky. Yes, the two vehicles are fantastic. And the fact there will shortly be a Castle Grayskull is amazing. But, what gets me excited for the line will continue to be characters like Sky High. Classics is a summation of all things He-Man, so what better than a thirty-year old obscure illustration to finally get his due?
While this is his first figure, Sky high is hardly new. He has the distinction of being the only item on the 1983 promotional poster that didn’t have a toy. I’m not sure what the deal was when he was painted in as the Wind Raider pilot. Some of the pictured vehicles had no driver. Others were piloted by a different version of He-Man the one featured in the foreground. But, for some reason, the Wind Raider got a prime spot in the center of the poster and, therefore, needed a pilot. Was everybody else already penciled in? Was there some obscure plan to give the Wind Raider a pilot? Was this just a one-off by the artist? I’d love to know, but it doesn’t really change the romantic/nostalgic presence of Sky High. I’m just glad he’s here.
The figure itself came out nicely despite having mostly reused parts. I should note that he was packaged with the Jet Sled (reviewed yesterday) and I imagine most of the tooling budget went to the vehicle. Sky High gets by with only new armor and a new head. The new head is a great realization of the helmet featured in the post and looks sharp.
I will admit that the Roboto lower half is rather tiresome at this point. Some o f the novelty is back thanks to the color. Much like Batros, the dark navy blue color used on Sky High and mixed with the red and light blue does adds some life to pieces. But whatever company makes those boots on Eternia must have cornered the market. It’s probably time for Mattel to invest in some new stock armored boots. Continue to Page 2…