GI JOE The Pursuit of Cobra: Ghost Hawk by Hasbro

The Rise of Cobra line was really starting to get long in the tooth, so its a good thing that the new Pursuit of Cobra toys are starting to hit the shelves. My last trip to Toys R Us didn’t net me any of the new carded figures, but the initial assortment of vehicles were out so I picked up the Ghost Hawk here. Obviously, the Ghost Hawk is supposed to be an update to the vintage Sky Hawk, which was re-released in the 25th Anniversary line under the new name, Ghost Hawk. When I saw the initial brief shots of this vehicle, I thought it was going to be a remold of that reissue, but as it turns out, this baby is a brand new toy, and one fantastic update to a classic design.

The Ghost Hawk is a one-man, short range verticle take off and landing attack craft. Just think of it as a tiny attack chopper without rotors and you get the idea. Its a pretty simple toy, but very well executed and it features a number of nice improvements over the old model.

The new Pursuit of Cobra packaging is fantastic. Its a pretty simple window box, showing off the toy and the figure, but I love the way Hasbro has themed each of the toys into a type of mission and then decorated the package with that theme. The Ghost Hawk is part of the Jungle Attack mission, which apparently entails hunting for the location of the Terrordrome base in the jungle. [No fair, Hasbro. Don’t drop the name unless you plan on releasing the playset!]. This year, Hasbro is taking a page from their defunct Indiana Jones line and having the toy box’s inserts convert into dioramas. I don’t have a lot of use for the gimmick, but its a nice idea. The Ghost Hawk comes mostly assembled, but with a whole mess of stickers that need applying. And some of those stickers are ridiculously tiny.

Once out of the package, the Ghost Hawk is ready for action. The toy features rotating engines, an opening cockpit and two detachable weapon pods on the undercarriage. One is a missile launcher, the other is a chain gun. The missile is ridiculously long, but if you’d rather have realism over play features, you can remove it and launcher could double as just an extra fuel pod or a bomb or something. There’s also two chin cannons under the cockpit that can swivel a bit from side to side. That’s about all the features this thing has. Like I said, its a simple toy, but the beauty is in the design.

The sculpting on the vehicle is extremely well done. There are lots of panel lines on the hull and every inch of the toy is brimming with details.The Pursuit of Cobra line definitely looks like its going for realism in the sculpts, even if they are based on fictional vehicle designs. The original Sky Hawk featured a completely open cockpit, and the reissue had clear plastic added, but this new model has an enclosed, armored cockpit with a small red tinted clear window. There’s also a sticker to go inside that shows a digital Heads Up Display on this screen. I also like the new streamlined stablizers in the back, as opposed to the big square ones on the old model as well as the modernized VTOL engines.

The Ghost Hawk’s pilot is called Tomahawk. He’s a pretty nice figure, especially for a pack-in, but I hate the name. Hasbro must really be taking a beating with the copyrights on their character names, because they’ve come up with some real stinkers lately. Tomahawk has a removable helmet and flight vest and he comes with a combat knife that can fit into the scabbard sculpted onto his leg. No gun or stand, though. Right away, he reminded me of 25th Anni. Mutt and after comparing the two I see its because they share the same bottom half. The only difference is Mutt’s holster has been resculpted into a scabbard for Tomahawk.

In case you haven’t guessed, I’m really happy with this vehicle. Its an Alpha Class toy, so it retails at around $16.99. I think its a much better value than the Alpha Class toys from Rise of Cobra, all of which I passed on. The Sky Hawk was always a favorite of mine, and this is an awesome redesign that brings a lot of realism and grit to the original concept without sacrificing anything that made it so cool to begin with.

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