G.I. Joe Convention 2013 - Nocturnal Fire Night Force Night Boomer

Okay, I have to admit something right up front. The vehicle I'm using for this review is courtesy of Mysterious Stranger...reason being that I just couldn't justify to myself spending $145 on a repainted Skystriker vehicle, even as a convention exclusive. I can appreciate folks who are completists, or who love vehicles, but I'm primarily an action figure and character fan, with vehicles secondary. I think the Club did a great job on this one, but in my opinion, that great job was not worth a $145 investment.

Keep that in mind throughout the review, though I do acknowledge, even though it wasn't worth a purchase to me, I can understand why it would be worth it to others. And of course, thanks to Mysterious Stranger for letting me use his vehicle for this review.

Originally released in 1989, the Toys "R" Us Exclusive Night Force Night Boomer was a repaint of the Skystriker, and looks very similar to the vehicle the Club released at the 2013 Convention. Any structural improvements made to the updated vehicle itself are obviously present and accounted for in the Club version as well. The swing-wing functionality is fully intact, the increased detail in the cockpit seat is there, and yes, it is still just a one-seater, sorry.

The black coloring on this Skystriker is really...well... striking in person. I love the Night Force deco, with just the right hints of orange on the rockets and the engines, without going overboard. I wish the Club had used these orange hints throughout some of the other vehicles as well.

One of the main improvements on this particular Night Boomer in comparison to the original, though, is that the Club actually used tampo for the Night Force logos rather than stickers. And yes, even though they are just tampos, they still glow in the dark just as the old school stickers used to. The Collectors' Club use of glow in the dark deco throughout the Night Force set is really inspired and adds a good deal of awesome "fun factor" to these items. Chuckles' flowers, the various Night Force logos on backpacks and duffel bags, and even the box for the Night Boomer are all loaded with glow in the dark fun. A great idea on the Club's part, to be sure.

So yes, if you are a vehicle fan, and you are a Skystriker fan, I think this is a vehicle that is right up your alley. Personally, while I certainly love and appreciate the classic elements of the Skystriker, and while I own a few classic and updated versions, I feel no special compulsion to own this one as well. Obviously many folks disagree with me based on the swiftness that this item sold out, but that's just my own perspective.

Looking purely at execution, I think the Collectors Club hit a home run. Not my cup of tea, but they payed appropriate respect to the vintage version, used a terrific updated template, and by upgrading from stickers to tampos, added a much better sense of permanence to the look of the vehicle, and also removed some headache on the collectors end so we don't have to apply them ourselves.