G.I. Joe Convention 2016 Skymate w/ Glider
|Static Line||Air Devil||Black Vulture||Flying Scorpion||Night Vulture|
|Sky Creeper||Cloudburst||Skymate||Heli-Viper||Air Raid|
|Freefall||Sky Sweeper||Skystriker||Hydra w/ Aero Viper||JUMP Jet Packs|
|Con Set Recap|
Do we really and truly live in a world where we have a modern update for Skymate? Is that even possible? That crazy dude with the pink knife on his wrist and bright yellow webgear? The dude wearing a baseball hat with a freaking kangaroo on it? That guy?
Yes. That guy.
The vintage version of Skymate was one of my favorite 90s figures in spite of the fact that he liked wearing pink and yellow. I loved that his bow and arrow plugged into his chest, I loved that crazy knife sheath on the back of his wrist, the translucent visor. Everything. He was the 90s personified and a character I really latched onto. I enjoyed the Air Commandos so much in fact, that I worked them into my Kindle Worlds Whisper novella (and did so enthusiastically).
For obvious reasons the updated Skymate can’t quite include all of the nuances of the classic. There really isn’t any tooling that can approximate the knife sheath or chest-mounted compound bow, but the formula they went with for the figure is eminently successful regardless of these facts.
We got a great new head sculpt with Skymate featuring his trademark baseball cap and closely shaven beard along with a nicely different combination of parts including nicely detailed pieces from the Pursuit of COBRA era. Most recognizable are the Recondo arms, which I imagine were chosen to at least somewhat approximate the look of added weaponry on the forearms, even if they don’t exactly resemble the knife from the vintage days.
His colors are well done, a nice balance of green and black underneath the crazy yellow and pink, but the colors are understated enough where an enterprising collector who doesn’t like bright colors could easily swap out web gear and not even worry about the eye-searing yellow. Not much to do about the pink hat, however.
Skymate comes with an interesting allotment of accessories including a newly tooled boomerang! That’s a really fun touch, and of course, since he’s Australian and as we all know, everyone in Australia walks around with boomerangs. If they don’t they damn well should. He also comes with a bow and arrow (the same one initially seen with Shadow Tracker I believe) as well as the removable machete and pistol.
Along with all of these, he also comes equipped with his own huge ass glider! It’s funny to sit back and see all of the different new sculpt era components that make up this set, and while these gliders are not nearly as aesthetically pleasing as the jetpacks or wingsuits of some of the other figures, they do fit the Air Commando aesthetic quite nicely. The deco pattern of this glider is matched with Skymate’s vintage version, and it comes equipped with the handlebar and two missiles. Skymate can fit on it really well, and hold the handles firmly, and while this glider isn’t necessarily my favorite vehicle made in the past 10 years…oh crap… maybe closer to 12 years… I can see how the match was made to the Air Commandos here.
Skymate is such a fun character and this is a really fun representation of that character. G.I. Joe is always at its best when it doesn’t take itself too super-seriously, and that’s why I’ve loved sets like this one and the Eco Warriors from a couple years back. They embrace their color brightness and their near-ludicrous sub teams and yet manage to work it into a modernized, slightly more realistic format in a fun and well-executed way.
Another entry from the “Best of the 90s”! While he lacks just a little of the ingrained uniqueness of the vintage Skymate, this updated version packs plenty of fun into a modern format package. Great parts selection, a new head sculpt and some great accessories all come together to provide an exciting update to some old school G.I. Joe greatness.