Masters of the Universe Classics Unboxing and Review….Sky High with Jet Sled

OK.  So I had some worry about this package arriving.  I ordered it on Cyber Monday, and it showed up on Dec. 23….(This was supposed to be a holiday special item).  As I worried, the tracking information indicated only that it was in Georgia.  I was going to call and complain, when lo and behold, the information updated to Greenville SC, and it was magically at my post office before the end of the day.

As I moved from my car to the house with box in hand, I thought…”Odd.  Seems a little light.”  Indeed, compared to the box that came with the Griffin and Teela, it was a little lighter.  But it was something else that added to my worry….(was it really there?)

But on with the show.

The item was in the box…It was boxed in another mailer box, as expected.  I was halfway expecting one of the brown boxes that people have been getting.  Boxes that are supposedly more environmentally friendly or something.  But this is the exact same kind that all of my other figures have shipped in!

The first thing I noticed when I opened the mailer was WOW I CAN SEE THE DETAILS ON THAT SKY JET SLED ALREADY!

To clarify something, in case I slip.  I always called this vehicle “The Sky Sled.”  And over the years I have named a few USB flash drives “Sky Sled.”  Sometimes including a picture of the vehicle from the cartoon as the icon!  I realize that the terms may be interchangeable.  To me it is the Sky Sled.  To you it might be Jet Sled.  Tomato.  To-mah-toe.

When you get the box out, you see it is in a battle cat style window box, where you can also see the pilot, “Sky High.”

And you flip the box over for these not so boring details.

You see, Sky High isn’t a vintage figure.  So he has no back story except what they included here.

Sky High was one of the  model kit pilots from the rarely seen model kit box art.  Wow that’s obscure!  He really belongs alongside the Fighting Foe Men, who I am a fan of, but do not own.  I think the bio-story here is separated from the FFM because the FFM were meant to pay homage to the Four Horsemen’s staff, and Sky High here not so much.

(I run into another nerd problem.  Does Sky High fly the Sky Sled?  That sounds stupid.  His real listed name here is “Darid.”  Darid flying a Sky Sled sounds better.)

I suppose I will go ahead and review him.

This is a cool new figure, that seems to largely reuse parts.  I don’t own Trap Jaw, but it seems his lower body is just Trap Jaw’s stuff.  That is new armor, and a new helmet, but I think those gloves may be Sir Lazer Lot’s.  Since the SLL at my house was stolen….

He comes with a weapon that represents the Wind Raider.  It fits in his hand in the middle, making a “fan sword” like Hotaru used in Mortal Kombat Deception.  Or you can clip it to his back to make a jetpack.  I personally think the paint job is excellent.  I don’t see any slop. I like his color scheme as well.

Sky High here feels generic.  Kind of like Vikor, Blonde Teela, Draego Man, or the Griffin.  He could be any pilot, really, and that is what is cool about him.  You see, you could just forget there is someone named “Darid,” whose nickname is “Sky High.”  This could simply be someone’s flight suit!  Just do a head swap!  Or maybe He-Man was feeling safety conscious, so he wore a helmet on his romp towards Snake Mountain in the Jet Sled.

Tired of seeing Teela as a Blonde?  (The head swap doesn’t really work here.  Her peg is too small.)

How nerdy is the SpartanNerd?  Sky High’s mask reminds me of Maximillian from “The Black Hole.”  I think it is the facelessness of him.  And those eyes.  He also resembles Boba Fett somewhat.

This guy is heading for Hell.  (At the end of the Black Hole!)

Now for the good stuff!  THE SKY JET SLED!

It is amazing!  Should I get a Wind Raider!?  I am super impressed with the SKY SLED!  Those sculpted details that I first saw when opening the box are all over it!  There isn’t one lazy decal anywhere!  Just sculpted, painted, fine details.

I love the Sky Sled so much because it was a Good Buys/ Bad Guys vehicle.  Though you never seemed to see the baddies driving one connected to the Battle Ram.  Somehow, I also seem to think that the bad guy version looked just a tad more evil, like maybe had a more definite dragon head rather than the cat/bird looking thing the good guys had.*  Hey.  Maybe I’m wrong, but I did remember Maximillian!

Pictures are worth 1000 words.  So here goes!

Classic!
I have virtually never seen a vintage Sky Sled who still had the stickers intact.  That will never be a problem with this model!
Both sides are the same.  Here I would like to say, clearly this was designed for a future Battle Ram to dock with.

The underside of the Jet Sled also has a ton of detail, and…What’s with that hole?  It is a hole for the Wind Raider flight stand.  (Not included here.  So maybe I SHOULD get a Wind Raider too?)  You can also see where the horsemen have added some additional guns!

What does Sky High look like on this vehicle?  Pretty cool.  But why fly a Sky Sled if you have a jet pack?

The black handles are nice.  But in a way they don’t feel as rustic as the vintage method of the figures hanging on.

You can see that my vintage Battle Ram and Jet Sled have really done some serious ramming over the years.

I am including some comparison pictures.  The Jet Sled here along with pilot is as large as the vintage version COMBINED WITH THE BATTLE RAM!  That just shows that the real scale differences in the MOTUC figures and the vintage figures.

“It’s comparison time!”

The Jet Sled feels just as hollow as the original, and I am sure it is.  The original has a pretty definite seam running up the line of symmetry…The same thing seems to be the case here, so I wouldn’t REALLY send it in the air, as I am certain it would break in half.  This explains the “lightness” of the packaging I am sure, as it is hollow plastic.  That said, the seam isn’t pronounced, and really just adds to the vintage feel of the thing!

I rate Sky High 5/5 as far as a flight suit is concerned.  3/5 as a Masters character.  I mean, I am deducting points here simply for the fact that he wasn’t ever originally there, and is non-essential to people who are really only interested in updated versions of the vintage figures.  His model pilot origins are pretty obscure, so my question here is, why not have included a different figure here?  Someone more deserving.  You could have put Dekker here, (or who taught him?).  You could have included Trap Jaw or Tri-Clops (technology type bad guys).  Or even another Man-At-Arms.  Why put someone new here and “waste” a SKU, (as Mr. Nitelich points out is necessary to do a figure.)  Or even this.  How about white space-suit Marlena that people seem to want, or an articulated Battle Suit for Castle Grayskull, which was on sale at THE EXACT SAME TIME.  (See…The SpartanNerd knows how this should have been done!)

How do you sell Jet Sleds?

But the Jet Sled gets 5/5…A solid, Solid, SOLID 100%.  It feels vintage.  Plays vintage.  But is totally updated in scale and quality.

Now, I can’t wait until they release a Battle Ram to go with it!

*James Eatock uses the term “War Sled” when referring to the one Skeletor is riding on the “He-man and She-Ra Christmas Special” commentary, which is on You Tube.  I have never heard this term, but like it as a contrast in that it sounds more evil.  (I will never argue with Busta Toons, and you shouldn’t either!)  Oddly, Skeletor is flying a version that has extra room on the seat, as if he intended to carry two earth children when it was designed!

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Metallica….

I like a lot of different music.  My college education has exposed me to a lot of different styles and forms, and my experiences teaching (guitar especially) have granted me access to many new acts and stuff like that.

I’ve had a few spells…Country Music, Punk Rock, Top 40 etc.  But through it all, Metallica remains.  I can’t make a top ten list of songs…I would rather make a top ten list of albums!  Here’s my list with some commentary.

9 and 10.   Load and Reload  I do not have a copy of these anymore.  Just the same, Load and Reload would represent low points for Metallica to me.  Not that some of the songs aren’t good…they are.  But the band is being influenced commercially too much, and they are losing some of their punk edge.  To this day I don’t like the song “Until it Sleeps.” I feel “The Hero of the Day” is a good song, but it’s weak because it is over-produced.  I love “The Memory Remains.”  The use of of the Hurdy Gurdy Marianne Faithful’s singing voice are really cool here.  But the band just seems to be thinking wrong…

8.  S & M (Symphony and Metallica)  Remember the SpartanNerd mentioning the music degree?  You see, I had this idea.  First.  It just seemed…impossible.  Surely Metallica wouldn’t be interested in working with a symphony orchestra.  Surely an orchestra wouldn’t want to work with them.  It’s like angels and devils.  Oil and water.  It is the kind of thing I would dream of, but then dismiss right away.  BUT THEN IT REALLY HAPPENED!  This is a good concert.  Not exactly the same as other live recordings Metallica had put out…A little calmer, a little longer….But you get most of the “hits” and a few others.  Before this concert, I never gave too much thought to the song “Of Wolf and Man,” for instance.  This concert put that song back on my radar.  The orchestra is its own piece of art in this concert too.  I have to wonder how the band prepared for this.  They must have had a recording.  But the orchestra just read the notes on the page.  And if you listen close you can hear some Modern period or Post Romantic style art music coming from them as they play “the fifth Beatle” to Metallica.  It’s good to hear a live orchestra playing “The Ecstasy of Gold” at the beginning.  And it’s good to hear that lead into “The Call of Ktulu,” another song that Metallica had retired.  “The Memory Remains” is a good one here, and the two new songs, especially “No Leaf Clover” are pretty good.  I feel a few things were lacking.  At the end of the concert the producers say “Next year!”  I don’t think this ever happened.  If they did, it would have been good to hear “Orion.”  I also wish they used a heavier live bell sound in “For Whom the Bell Tolls.”

7.  Garage, Inc  I have similar feelings about this as I do to number six on the list.  It is more like a history lesson.  You get the rare EP “Garage Days Revisited,” the “Metallica and Friends” radio show, and some punk rock covers done in Load and Reload style.  But the real gem here is “Turn The Page,” a Bob Seager cover.  Who would have thought?

6.  Kill ’em All  My punk rock friends would probably bash me right now, for listing this album at number six.  But I really like this album.  It’s just my sixth most likely to turn on.  When I’m bored.  TO me it is more of a history lesson.  And I never listen to it without thinking of Megadeth.  (Mustaine was fired just before the recording, evidently)

5.  Ride the Lightning  People like to talk about sophomore albums generally being failures.  I like Ride the Lightning to Mortal Kombat 2.  It is an advance on the original in almost every way.  Where “Kill ’em All” had an unpolished sound, this album is only slightly less raw…That tiny bit of shine helped them really get noticed.  You also get “For Whom the Bell Tolls,” “Fade to Black,” and “The Call of Ktulu,” all experiments of baby-band Metallica that would grow into greater things in the future.

4.  …And Justice For All  I like this album because it is a beatdown.  It has plenty of weaknesses. (Lack of bass, band seems to wander a little, over produced at times, etc) But still it delivers the kick in the gut I need.  Guitar World Magazine said (wrongly) that after this album “Metallica laid down their axes and walked away from Thrash Metal forever.”  (That was a loose quote, and from a magazine 10 years ago.)  I like just about every song, but strangely not “One.”  I mean I like the guitar solo, but the whole life support thing and all is just too depressing.

3.  Metallica  What most people call The Black Album, me and my middle school friends used to all “Metallica Metallica”, I think because it would be listed this way in catalogues and all.  This one takes me back to a younger SpartanNerd, who was just learning the ropes of listening to music and getting involved in a scene.  I enjoy music from the 1990-1996 period more than other music…I see it as MY generations music.  The singles, videos, radio play, and grammy performances of this album are what exploded me into being a Metallica fan.  Prior to this album, I had a little exposure to “..And Justice For ALL.”  But this one got me hooked.

2.  Death Magnetic  You might be saying “Seriously?”  Yes.  It represents a return to their roots.  But they’ve matured and gone through their own little fads and all.  PLUS Robert Trujillo gets to shine.  “All Nightmare Long” and “The Unforgiven III” are my favorites, but I like it all.

1.  Master of Puppets  (of course!)  The book 1000 Recordings You Must Hear Before You Die says something deep about this album.  It says that it is the point where Metallica began to create “thinking-man’s music.”  A statement so true.  I firmly believe this album is the brainchild of Cliff Burton alone.  Sure the rest of the band definitely had a role, but it is so much more artistically advanced than their other albums, in ways the band has not returned to since.  References to H.P. Lovecraft stories, Sonata Allegro forms, guitar synth, and concept album.
           My highlights are…

The intro to “Battery”, with it’s clean but still heavy opening chords, to the punch in the gut you get right after…Then this song breaks into something akin to stuff on “Kill ’em All.”

The song “Master of Puppets.”  Honestly, I get sort of tired of this song because of the heavy rotation it gets EVERYWHERE.  But no denying it is a true metal masterpiece.  The instrumental section in the middle that leads to a beatdown chorus and then a wild solo…this is great stuff!

“The Thing That Should Not Be” is just about the HEAVIEST SONG IN HISTORY.  This song is TERRIFYING!

“Sanitarium” Arguably the weakest song on the album.  I do like the chimed harmonics at the beginning.  This song cements to the concept premise of people exerting power over others…the theme of the whole album.

“Disposable Heroes” is a war song.  I love it!

“Leper Messiah,” probably the most controversial song on the album.  This song comes close to the heaviness of “The Thing That Should Not Be.”  And man is it fun to play!  Do I agree with what it says.  I do, in fact.  This song is about TV preachers and the like who abuse the religious trust that other people put into them…Somewhere I heard that James Hetfield’s mom was a member of Christian Science, and died of cancer, refusing treatment.  If true, this song and other religious statements by Metallica probably speak to their anger and feelings towards the way the Church has treated them.  And instead of people going around criticizing them for their views, or wondering why they aren’t afraid of satanism, humanism, and atheistic viewpoints or why they might yield those (whether they do or not), they should instead show them the joy that a true relationship with Jesus Christ can bring.  The problem is most people of christmas persuasions in America do not show joy and peace.  Just judgement, head shaking, and finger pointing.  But that’s enough of my high-horse!

“Orion”  If I was stuck on an island…….You know the rest.  I don’t have a favorite song.  More like a list of favorite songs.  But this song is up there on that list.  I tried to play this for years.  Then one day I cheated, and looked in a tab book.  I mean this piece is heavy, danceable, imaginitive, sexy (yes!) and is also a statement….It belongs on this album as a testament to the artistry of Cliff Burton…and goes along with the theme of people controlling others…The stars are ever above us.  Orion the hunter hunts every night.  Horoscopes are printed every day….

“Damage Inc.”  I believe that this song was recorded as a continuation of “Disposable Heroes.”  This is probably truly the last “old school” Metallica song.  You could argue about that, but with the death of Cliff Burton, this creative mode came to an end.  What if Cliff was still with us?  How would the band have been different over the years?