Ghost Hawk w/ Tomahawk

Even though the Sky Hawk got considerable screen time in the Sunbow cartoon, it never really knocked me off my feet. As a kid, the one I owned fell apart at a moment's notice, and it never really felt like it would hold up to rough play like the box proclaimed.

However, the one we got for the 25th Anniversary line was an amazing improvement on the vehicle in nearly every single way. It retained the look of the original Sky Hawk, but with a much thicker, sturdier frame, a better canopy, and a far improved attachment system for the rear fins and engines. It retained the look of the classic, but was a huge improvement in all areas.

But however improved the Sky Hawk was, and however more modern it was made to appear, it will always be relegated to a "vintage" style just because of the overall appearence and its resemblance to a vehicle that originally came out in 1985. So for the Pursuit of Cobra line, Hasbro elected to take a very familiar classic vehicle, add some specialized new tooling, and totally re-engineer it and give it new life for the twenty-first century. The results are surprisingly effective.

I can't help but think back a little to the Skysweeper. Released for the Rise of Cobra line last year, it took the iconic Firebat tooling, added some rear engines, some new weapon-mounted skids, and re-decoed it for G.I. Joe use. I absolutely love the Firebat, and honestly thought I'd never be able to accept this replacement, but I was totally wrong. The Sky Sweeper ended up being a spectacular update, and this next generation Ghost Hawk is the same way.

With the sleek and aerodynamic design, the Ghost Hawk looks like something that can fly through the air at record speeds, and retain an impressive amount of mobility while it's at it. Thick armor plating looks protective, yet streamlined and adds some great design elements to what was already a pretty neat looking vehicle.

Electing to forego the familiar plated fins and replace them with some slick looking thrusters, this new Ghost Hawk does lose just a little bit of the realism factor (however "realistic" you can expect the Sky Hawk to be). Sure, it now has some very potent looking VTOL thrusters, but how the vehicle is controlled and steered remains a very big question mark.

Another aspect that's been receiving some complaints is the armored canopy, which further limits viewability within the cockpit. Honestly, I'm kind of on the fence with this one. I like the thick armor "tank" feel that this vehicle has with the plating over the canopy, but I can certainly understand the need for visibility, especially in an airborne vehicle. While the new Ghost Hawk certainly looks more powerful than it's predecessor, what good does that power do if you can't see where you're going? But the larger problem with the cockpit, in my opinion, is the fact that Tomahawk can't even grab the control stick when he's sitting in there. With that bulky vest on, his mobility simply isn't enough to do it, which is a bummer, even though with the cockpit closed you can't tell anyway.

Perhaps the coolest improvement with this vehicle, in my opinion, are the landing skids. Done up in a lower profile, thicker sculpt, these new skids have a ton of great added detail. In fact, even though this vehicle is fairly monochrome (painted up in mostly gray with just the right amount of burn-marked paint apps in the proper places) the added sculptural detail more than makes up for the lack of color. The Ghost Hawk also comes with the requisite chin-cannons for offensive firepower, but also has other weapons mounted under the vehicle in the form of a minigun and rocket launcher. These socket and plug connections are compatible with the recently released HISS v.5, so you can mix and match weaponry if you so choose. I will admit, part of me feels a bit anal-retentive about this, because I like my vehicles to have some level of symmetry. I would much prefer a Ghost Hawk with twin miniguns, one on each side, and this mix-match concept kind of throws me just a bit.

Along with the vehicle and figure, Hasbro also advertises the "diorama" feature of the packaging, similar to how the Wal-Mart Battle Stations did theirs. The cardboard insert folds together into a little diorama scene that honestly doesn't do a whole lot for me (and likely won't for a lot of fans out there) but it's a neat little extra tidbit to be included with the set.


Tomahawk has already received his share of criticism, mostly due to the name (named after the classic G.I. Joe helicopter) and due to his resemblance to both Lift Ticket and Clutch. I can see where the complaints are coming from, especially considering the fact that another Clutch is coming out with the VAMP in a couple of short months. Couldn't they have at least changed the hair color or something?

As far as comparisons to Lift Ticket, obviously this figure uses the same exact body and secondary tooling as Lift Ticket did, only in darker colors, and I gotta say, I really love this update, much to my own surprise. I was half expecting these vehicle drivers to be half-assed pack ins with no real thought or inginuity, but I've been pleasently surprised. Kickstart was great, Cyber-Viper was pretty neat, and Tomahawk is very cool as well, even with relatively few paint applications. Like Kickstart, for some reason I find myself quite interested in his base figure look, even without his vest over it. The plain dress uniform has some awesome detailing throughout, and the dark green color is remarkably appealing.

For the head sculpt, Hasbro tried to differentiate a little bit by not painting Clutch in a full beard, and to some degree it works...and honestly, I wouldn't have as much of an issue with it if Clutch wasn't coming out in October. I wouldn't see myself displaying Pursuit of Cobra stuff with the vintage stuff much anyway, but having two vehicle drivers so closely resemble each other is going to be pretty odd. I don't understand why they didn't just give Tomahawk blonde hair or something.

Like the Mech drivers, Tomahawk comes with bare bones in the accessory department. He's got his vest, his kick ass Lift Ticket helmet, and a knife. I really, really love this helmet. It was awesome with Lift Ticket, and it's just as awesome here as well, and fits in perfectly with the state-of-the-art pilot motif. Amazingly effective.

The end result is a figure that, in spite of being cobbled together from an existing figure, is amazingly cool and surprisingly impressive. He fits in well with an equally impressive vehicle update and I find myself loving vehicles once again. They fit into the Pursuit of Cobra theme well, and I'm almost considering buying multiples to beef up my Pursuit of Cobra arsenal. I haven't had the urge to army build vehicles in a long time, so that is really saying something.

Sure, there are some idiosynchrocies that folks have issues with, and I share some of those concerns, but by and large this is a fantastic vehicle update with a great looking pilot, and I really recommend picking one of these up if you can find it at retail.

Buy this vehicle at BigBadToyStore!