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MOTU Classics:
Sky High Review

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…

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28 comments to MOTU Classics:
Sky High Review

  • Brainlock

    “They opted to give Sky High a person weapon…”
    er, what? looks more like a bat’leth to me?

    😉

    kidding aside, his design does look good, aside from that helmet. Something about it just bothers me. Altho, I’m sure some will quickly customize a MOTU Black Knight out of it. Ni!

    btw, is “Darid” his name on the bio or what? I’d think with a few of these one-off characters, you need to include a shot of the bio card. (thank Hama.)

  • There’s a NA poll out there? Dang! Where?

    I don’t remember having the ’83 poster as a kid, so the nostalgic connection isn’t there, but I understand your reasoning completely. Masters isn’t unlike Star Wars with its endless supply of blink-and-you-miss-them characters and Expanded Universe originals. That’s a huge part of what’s kept them both so popular over the various decades.

    Sky High looks cool enough. I like the helmet, it reminds me a bit of the Silver Age DC character, the Silent Knight. Or something LJN might have designed for its 80’s Advanced Dungeons & Dragons line. Theme-wise, his weapon/wings relate him nicely to the Wind Raider, and it’s neat that you can view him as either an army builder or individual character. The sky’s the limit (pun intended) with this guy.

    • The poll is not for us mere subscribers. We just buy the toys. The poll will be held in one of the upcoming panels and attendees have to choose between one of three NA characters to end up in the sub. I really, really want Darius, but I think he’s up against Mara & Tuskador if I recall correctly. So you’ve got a vintage toy vs a character that never got a toy vs an unproduced toy. I’m pretty sure he’s doomed.

  • Great review, as usual! Very much looking forward to this set arriving. You’ve got him humming the Star Wars theme, but I’m fighting not to imagine him crooning the theme from the MST3K snore-fest, Starfighters.

    Am I the only one who has noticed that his red “Wind Raider” emblem looks a bit similar to the Four Horsemen’s logo?

    • Bigbot

      Star Wars theme? I thought that was Ride of the Valkyries…

      • Jackstatic

        I thought he was humming the superman theme…. I think we need some clarification.

        Great review tho I love the figure though my figures helmet is *off* I cant figure it.out. I think it mike be warped or something. The silver piece above the eye slots on mine doesn’t seem straight across the brow but not enough to bother me except for when I stare at

    • The emblem is a funny coincidence!

  • J. Lee

    If was there at the panel I would go Mara. The sausage fest in NA needs a break.

    On Sky High, one will be Capt of the Royal air fleet. Others will be airforce members.

    Fun review and great pics.

    • I agree that we need some NA ladies, but Tuskador would be a much cooler figure unfortunately. I have to go with that, even over my preferred choice.

      Thinking about the ranks on Sky High, it’s a shame they didn’t go with a removable chest plate to change the ranks. Use the basic design for the emblem for the officers and leave the Wind Raider one for him specifically.

  • Mysterious Stranger

    It’s “Ride of the Valkyries” for sure. Why would it be Star Wars or Superman? That makes no sense. Anyway…

    It looks like the blue of this guy matches pretty closely with Icarius which is a good thing for me. I have a second Sky High that I need to figure out what to do with and a mashup of Icarius and Sky High would make a great Royal Air Trooper.

    • Why not? They’re nice dramatic tunes, involving heroic people flying around, and they’re both transcribed the same way. Also, I’m primarily a massive Star Wars geek, so that’s my default inner soundtrack.

      Besides, we’re talking about barbarians flying rocket-planes, who wouldn’t know ANY of those three tunes from Earth. None of it makes sense. };D

      But, in retrospect “Ride of the Valkyries” does make more sense. Although that’s more of a Fright Fighter tune in my book. Scares the Hell out of the Gars.

  • dayraven

    has anyone else noticed his helmet is a different blue than his arms? fail.

  • ero

    This is one where I wished they’d steered away from Emiliano’s design. Conversely, I sure do wish we could get his male Attak Trak pilot. But as beloved — heh — as the FFM are in our little community, fat chance of that ever happening.

  • Polo23

    I never seen this coming with this figure but it was an excellent idea too release him with the Sky Sled.

  • Is anyone actually army building with Sky High? Or maybe “body building” is the more appropraite phrase, since you’d just be getting the figure and swapping heads with a Man-At-Arms or He-Man, etc.

  • KevC

    Aww, I thought it was the theme tune to Z-Cars and the entrance music for the Mighty Everton FC (actually I also though Rise of The Valkeries)

  • Jon E

    I got this set as a birthday present, and the first one they sent to my house featured a headless Jet Sled. I got my replacement yesterday, and I love this figure. It’s amazing that even with the heavy parts reuse and the fact that I didn’t know about this character until I started collecting MOTUC that he stands out as being really fantastic. I also want Eldor and Red Beast!

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