Welcome to “The High Frontier,” a new continent floating deep within the South Pacific, brought to the surface by a new radioactive element Phata 7. Teaming with almost prehistoric life, this new hostile environment is the stage for a battle over the new element that could lead to world domination if it fell into the hands of the evil General Lucas Plague (whom I’m guessing wants to use the Phata 7 for some nefarious scheme that involves plagues, just a guess cause of the name) and The Raiders. Luckily General Mike Summit and his Sky Commanders are on hand to stop The Raiders.
This insane yet generic set up was the basis for the cartoon “Sky Commanders”, an ambitious toy line featuring figures that traveled on ziplines. I had a few and they were fun, but the premise was pretty one-note, and it shows in the cartoon. Each of the teams are equipped with all manner of high altitude line travel. The Sky Commanders all wear technological packs that fire laser cables. These lines shoot out as lasers and solidify when the grapnel attaches to something. All the packs have weapons and they even have a command ship. The villains have similar tech that seemed slightly cooler than the heroes (which is always the case, COBRA had all the cooler vehicles).
Of course there were lots of cool terms thrown around like “Gravity locks engage” and “Hotwire” accelerators but for the most part the show became a G.I.Joe knock off in some crazy floating mountains with crazy creatures and nature. Each team had its stereotypical characters and as was the cool thing at the time, the Sky Commanders were an internationally made up crew. There’s the cool guy, the big Swedish guy, the Scottish lass, the tech expert, etc. And they have cool names like Kodiak, Red, RJ, and Books, with the bad guys having names like Kreeg, Mordax, Raider Rath, and Cutter. Ah the 80’s.
It’s fun to see this again and to see how a cartoon was really more of a marketing tool than anything back then. Sure it happens now but not as often and not to the same extent. The sense of nostalgia is high with this one, and the cheese is palatable but if you’re an 80’s buff then check out “Sky Commanders”.