So I finally opened one of mine...
-figures look neat-o, but a couple of them are glued to the card really wonky/shabbily with glue missing in parts and strangely globbed up in others. I expect the rivet counters will be howling about this in hasbro's direction. I'll probably open up the second outer box and cherry-pick the best example of each figure to leave MOC and open the lesser examples.
-stickers are as big of a pain in the rear as I remember from childhood. While there are a ton of extra/alternate stickers so you can really customize the shit out of your jet, the instructions only tell you where 20% of them go. There are a bunch that look like necessary stickers that I have no clue where to put them. And some of the sticker blueprint drawings don't match the actual toy, so you just have to kinda guess. This part of the process, while full of options, feels half-assed.
- the jet itself is impressive in its detail. While I knew it wasn't going to be nearly as big as a JSI Spotcat, I was expecting it to be larger than the original '83 toy. Turns out, it's pretty much the exact same size as it was 40 years ago, just far more elaborately detailed.
- the stand is great, lets you achieve a multitude of climbing/diving/banking poses on your shelf. It also allows you to mount some extra missiles on it with the jet trail effects, as if the missiles have just detached and fired off.
- aside from the added detail, the fact that the wing sweep feature is now independent of the landing gear is the crowning engineering detail of the whole project. The gear now operates by sliding the tailhook mount on the bottom rear, while the wings use the familiar sliding lever on top.
- I went with a traditional skystriker deco, stripes, and tailfin logos (on the old school black tailfins), but the alternate white fins and sticker sheets give you a ton of options, including Ace, Snake-Eyes, Shipwreck, various cobra schemes, and a more realistic tomcat scheme.
- the ladder is "fine" and the fuel/armament vehicles are made of weird "rubbermaid tub" plastic that feel like an afterthought or some place they really cut corners. They definitely aren't traditional Joe vehicle material and feel more like pool-toy plastic. It's a good thing I wasn't planning on doing anything with them, as they're a real zeroburger.
I heard an unboxing reviewer (sorry, can't recall which one) describe this thing as a good toy, but not a great Haslab... and I think that's an apt description. It's worth the price of admission if and only if you factor in the "value" of the seven carded figures and value them at $20+ each like Hasbro does. If you view most of the figures as unlock bonuses or not worth $20 a pop, then the jet alone is probably overpriced despite the extra detail and engineering.
If this was a retail release, many of us would be waiting on the clearance. Vehicle-wise, this thing isn't even close to the value of the BMF many of us bought on clearance for $50-60 a decade ago (15 yrs?). It's really about how you value the o-ring figures. The Skystriker itself is a 6/10 if you're being generous. The figures, stand, effects, and new engineering help take the sting out of the overall price, just not enough.
However, there is no doubt that the flaws won't matter and these things will skyrocket in value as all the FOMOers buy up the extras people bought to resell. If you got one, enjoy it for what it is or sit on it to make a tidy profit down the road. Just don't expect to be blown away if you open it. Save those thoughts for the Haslab HISS later in the year.