Above the waist, Sky High features the gloved arms and the smooth ab piece which don’t feel nearly as overused. The new armor is a great piece – I love the amount of detail – and I like that the 4H gave it a Wind Raideresque makeover instead of the simple red line the poster tinily depicted. The symbol does echo the Fighting Foe Men somewhat. It’s a big, raised piece and looks like it’d be easily exchanged for a Horde Symbol had they wanted to go to that route. I’m glad they didn’t, but let’s hold that thought.
The paintwork on Sky High was really the only area that I had some concerns, mostly do the red paint. Red paint can be a little gloopy at times, but it feels like it was only done in thin layers on my figure. A lot of the edges in the armor symbol are thin enough that the black starts to show through and the red on the legs is fairly sloppy considering there’s easy sculpt lines to follow. The helmet is thankfully painted well and I still the color scheme looks sharp with the dark navy blue.
Accessory-wise, technically, he does include the Jet Sled and I think $50 for the figure plus the Jet Sled was a steal! I don’t think I would’ve even noticed if Sky High had gone unaccessoried, but Mattel didn’t take the easy way out. They opted to give Sky High a personal weapon… though it just kinda reinforced the Fighting Foe Men connection. It’s a giant dual-bladed weapon that looks like it came off a junked Wind Raider. It’s cool. He can pose well with it and, hey it clips on his back too if you want it too. It does leave me thinking if Sky High’s sculpt is a little older though. Was there any intention to include him with the FFM or are the similarities just a fluke? He doesn’t hail from the Monogram Kits, of course, so he would be an odd fit with them, but it’s interesting.
Overall, Sky High got a solid figure. He’s a little light on the tooling but packaging him with the Jet Sled was ingenious. Oh, since I forgot to mention it, Mattel was also smart to essentially call him an “Air Force” version of the Palace Guard so you could army build him with the Jet Sled. I still can’t help but view him as a unique character though. My Wind Raider finally has his pilot.
And it’s that uniqueness that lets me enjoy him so much. Classics has been such an unmitigated success these last few years that I’m still in awe that we’re getting a character like this, a no-name guy from a thirty-year old poster. I’m with the “No Rio, We Riot” crowd. I cannot wait to get Rio Blast in Classics (Extendar likely makes Rio a 2015er, though), but the real flavor for me as a toy collector comes from figures like Sky High. It gives me hope that the line still has a little more flourish to it. We have to get Eldor. I want Red Beast. I know he won’t win that NA poll, but I’d love to get Darius. The cutting room floor characters, the one-offs, the obscure guys all do their part to help make a toy line seem greater than just a lineup with the 23rd Batman or a complete A-list group. Sky High is really the cherry on top for me.
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