G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra SkySweeper w/ Air Raid

Wow, talk about a blast from the past. Barely 18 months removed from the G.I. Joe film, and I'm still finding a ton of stuff that I was just never able to get up on the reviews page. Not because I didn't like it or I didn't want to, but simply because so much product came out that year that it was nearly impossible to keep up with it all.

Some of the stuff was directly based on the film, much of it was not...the Skysweeper was not in the film itself, but has ended up being one of my favorite Alpha class vehicles from the Rise of Cobra line. I really think this is a cool formula that sometimes works and sometimes doesn't. In this case, it works.

The Firebat is one of my favorite vehicles in the old school line, and I love that Hasbro took the Firebat base and was able to really add some nice elements to it. It keeps the great streamlined shape and the compact size of the one-manned attack craft but adds some awesome rear engines and very cool low profile landing skids to differentiate the vehicle, yet still retain the coolest elements of the Firebat. One part of the landing skids I especially like are the embedded gatling guns to add some extra punch to the offensive firepower.

Instead of the more familiar deep red hue, this version of the Firebat is a lighter blue and white that almost seems to indicate a more arctic based flying vehicle (especially with the landing skids). I can't emphasize enough how much the engines and the skids really help take an already cool vehicle and make it even cooler. As an added bonus, it can now work as a Joe vehicle and not be quite so closely tied to its Cobra roots.

Air Raid

Of course, what's a cool vehicle without a cool pilot? Air Raid is absolutely a cool pilot. Using a straight up repaint of the G.I. Joe: Resolute Jetpack Duke, this figure is painted in a nice assortment of gray/blue, black, and lighter blue that has some really awesome presentation. Much better than you would think for a figure pretty much covered in blue.

The intricate sculpting of the Resolute figure is nicely accented by the painted details, and the camouflage pattern is excellent. Being a Resolute figure, he fits in remarkably well with the Rise of Cobra universe, has some great range of motion in his articulation, and comes with very cool weapons (even if there aren't very many of them).

He's got the familiar helmet, machine gun, and pistol, and thanks to Channing Tatum taking over the Duke role during the Rise of Cobra event, he completely works as a different character.

Of course which character he's meant to be can be brought into question, since he carries the code name of "Air Raid", yet has the same file name as "Airborne". Ultimately, I think you can make up your own mind, though it is somewhat of a quirky thing.

So we've got a great, affordibly priced strike plane with some excellent new tooling, a very cool new character pilot, and a nice overall set that will fit nearly any era of G.I. Joe. Yeah, this one is a must have, and I think would even work perfectly in anyone's Pursuit of Cobra collection.

Even better is, they can be found pretty cheap these days at TJ Maxx or Marshall's, so go get one!