Vehicles have been far and few between in Masters of the Universe Classics, but supporting my assumption that by bundling a figure with a vehicle it seems that Sky High with Jet Sled sold out quickly. The Jet Sled is actually the front chunk of the Battle Ram vehicle, which we saw prototyped at San Diego Comic-Con a few years ago - we were told this was not to be, but here's a piece of it! The Jet Sled frequently appeared in the He-Man cartoon, used by both good and bad guys as a quick getaway vehicle. The driver, Sky High, is based on a never-made figure that was glimpsed at in an old Mattel poster, flying the Wind Raider. (Sold separately, of course.) As bang for the buck goes, this is a decent set.
The figure has a re-re-return of the Optikk/Trap Jaw legs, Mo-Larr gloved arms, a bellybutton-free lower torso, and an all-new chest armor and hooded head. I rather like the bird symbol on his chest, it's well-sculpted and pops nicely. The armor allows you to clip Wind Raider-inspired wing weapons to the back, which brings this pilot into the ranks of the Fighting Foe Men as figures with vehicle-inspired weapons. It was a clever way to get this item out - after all, Sky High by himself might be viewed as dull, while the Jet Sled without the rest of the Battle Ram seems incomplete. Together, it's actually quite a nice package.
The figure looks screamingly 1980s, with some fans saying how much he looks like Boba Fett while I immediately thought of Cobra Commander's hooded visage. The baby blue helmet has a silver T on the front, eye holes, a couple of painted rivets, and black slats for his eyes. There's no face under the mask, nor are there any hints of a face behind it - this is your Steel Brigade, more or less. You may project a personality of your choosing on him, although the box fancies him an Eternian test pilot. An average figure goes $27.00 these days, and I would say this comes close to meeting the mark for value - there's not a ton of special deco here, and an added accessory or alternate head would have made it an unquestionably good figure on its own. As it is, the 7-inch tall warrior clearly benefits from his vehicle accessory.
The reason I bought it is the Jet Sled. Just seeing the pilot did nothing for me until I had it in my hands - sure, he's nice, but I wanted the Jet Sled. If it's good enough for He-Man and Skeletor, by gum it's good enough for me! The vehicle looks wonderful - there are silver rivets, some black soot and "dirt" painted on it, plus the side dragon relief updates the original sticker quite nicely. The paint job is pretty excellent, and while I would have loved for it to have a black outline like the original label this looks a lot better as is. A little paint can add a lot of value, so a lot of paint on the sides makes this one easily - easily - worth more than the $23.00 balance of the 2-pack. I'd have paid $30-$35 just for the Jet Sled, but don't tell Mattel that. The wonderful gargoyle-like hood ornament gives it a ton of personality, and I'm impressed by all the guns and metallic jets on the back. Even the handlebars are painted black - but the thing is, that's barely the tip of the iceberg.
The control console is amazingly great. Rather than a label, the instrument panels on the dashboard are all fully sculpted and painted. Each one of those buttons is raised, the dials and buttons bring the vision of a strange analog era of technology to life with lots and lots of money being spent to decorate something that, most likely, you will never look at once it goes on display. Mattel clearly wanted to give you your money's worth, and this alone makes me feel like I did. I know it sounds silly, but it's hard not to look at it and consider just how much it would cost a customizer to paint that for you. I'm not saying I'd have dropped $50 on just the sled... but... yeah, I might have. The figure is just gravy.
As an added bonus, there's a small hole in the bottom to use with the Wind Raider stand, or the stand I hear will be in Castle Grayskull.
The real kicker on this vehicle are that there are some clear, obvious "hooks" on the back of the ship that seem designed to snap into place on another, larger vehicle. At this point it would be irresponsible of me to not speculate that either a complete Battle Ram or just the back half is on deck for the next year or two. I can't imagine it not happening now, but even if it doesn't at least Mattel was smart enough to design this ship with a sense of optimism indicating that it might be possible some day. This little vehicle is the kind of thing that gives you hope that the line will continue to surprise you in the future, while punching you in the gut to serve as a reminder just how awesome vehicles would be if Mattel felt like doing them. It's disgusting how wonderful this is, particularly when compared to Mattel's stupendously weak, overpriced, underdecorated, and too expensive to be worth it Batmobile for its Classic 1966 Batman line this year. As collector vehicles go, this may be the year's big winner - no big prize, given how little seems to be done in this area, but it would be a strong contender in nearly any year. Again, I adore the deco.
I'm not usually pleased with non-sub items - I just want to get what I expect - this was a supremely pleasant and wonderful bonus item. Some of the MOTUC figures go from the mailbox to the review pile to the shelf with little play time, but I've been enjoying futzing with the Jet Sled a great deal - Sky High is just something that makes it even more worthwhile. I assumed Ram Man would be my favorite item of the year, but now I'm beginning to think that Sky High and the Jet Sled will knock him from the perch. It's fun, the price was acceptable, and given the chance I'd probably buy a second figure-free Jet Sled for my other figures. If you're on the fence, just buy it. You will kick yourself if you opt out of picking this one up, it really is one of Matty's finer packages.
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