Skydive to Danger

In 2003 Hasbro introduced an FAO Shwarz exclusive Timeless Classic Adventure Team reproduction set called Skydive to Danger, which reprised the vintage Skydive to Danger (#7440) set very accurately. The intent was that FAO Shwarz would sell these at $45.00 each, which is 50% more than any of the other Timeless Classic Adventure Team sets (but then that's why they went out of business.)

Sadly for the line, but luckily for collectors, FAO Shwarz (a source of excellent, but incredibly overpriced Joe exclusives) went under just prior to the release of this set. It went on sale immediately at FAO closeout sales, and their subsidiary, Zany Brainy. I got my first one for $28.00 and two more for about $13.00.

The set is an excellent reproduction of the original. The parachute and backpack are very close to the originals, and the color scheme left intact. In fact some collectors complained about the brown boots, which seemed not to go with the yellow and orange color scheme. The thing is, the original came with brown boots, and when you deploy the chute it makes perfect sense, as the parachute is yellow and brown.


The Story

The story on the back of the box brings back the Black Dragon organization, ever up to no good. GI Joe has to find and destroy a deadly mutant spider capable of corroding metal before it can destroy vital military communications installations.

The GI JOE team heads for a jungle research station operated by the evil BLACK DRAGON organization, which has stolen secret and highly advanced bio-mutation technology. One GI JOE member parachutes in ahead of the team to gather information, and discovers that the BLACK DRAGON gang has the equipment up and running -- in the form of an enormous mutant spider armed with a venom that corrodes metal. Even worse, the spider is already at the nearest military communications grid and ready to destroy it. It's up to the GI JOE team to capture the evil gang and crush the mutant arachnid before it attacks the communications grid!


The Figure

This figure is the fourth Timeless Collection Kung Fu Grip Joe with brown flocked hair. The figure was the "Man of Action" figure, which had dark brown hair and no beard. Again, no beard. This time, however, the figure uses the new 40th Anniversary Collection GI Joe body and head sculpt, which differs slightly from the standard TC figure. The plastic is different, the color somewhat different. I don't find it terribly bad, but it is dramatically less like the vintage Man of Action than previous TC sets, not only for the noticeably different face, but the distinctly different hair flocking. This time the hair is much shorter, and doesn't have that full, vintage look. In fact, the hair seemed to be much more like the new CC Adventure Team heads.

The set includes a yellow AT jumpsuit, which is, in my memory, the hallmark of the Adventure Team. Jumpsuits of different colors just bring the whole Adventure Team era back to me. It's hard to say which of the four TC AT sets has the best uniform, they're all so perfectly AT, but this one is the epitome. It is excellent in every way to me. Some collectors note that it isn't exactly like the original - it had elastic sleeves, and some minor differences in detail, but I love it.

The figure comes wearing a beautiful metal Adventure Team dog-tag.


The Gear

The gear that came with this set is also very nice. The orange helmet with green visor and face-mask; the knife in scabbard, the AT shoulder holster with standard AT pistol, it's all here. The spider web and the spider are all incredibly similar to the originals, right down to the fact that the spider is quite silly, and I'm sure I remember seeing these in toy stores all my life as a kid. The set also includes the standard AT map in case. Silver, this time, unlike the orange one with the other TC sets.

The map is the same that comes with the other TC sets:

(Click to see larger image)

The set comes with instructions on how to pack and deploy the parachute. I believe this differs from the original, which used a ring attached to a string to pull the backpack open while in mid-air. This one is much simpler. Just tuck'n'toss.

(Click to read the instructions)


Vintage Adventure Team Skydive to Danger (#7740) Set
(From The Collectible GI Joe, by Derryl DePriest)


You can see the genesis of Skydive to Danger in this 1969 set, Fantastic Freefall (#7951), later re-introduced for the Adventure Team as Fantastic Freefall (#7423).

(From The Collectible GI Joe, by Derryl DePriest)


The Box

This box differs from the previous three TC AT sets. The art is framed in a rectangle rather than having an upper and lower bar. Thematically it looks different, though the art has the vintage look that these sets should have.

Box Front

(Click to enlarge)

The back of the box shows not just a small detail from the painting seen on the front and side, but a full version of the painting, which is a nice touch. Joe is in full bright gear, skydiving down into the grip of the deadly black spider in its web. The adventure is obvious, the excitement high. Can Joe get through this? Only you can decide!

Box Back

(Click to read the back)

The side of the box shows Joe as he appears on the front, almost in its full glory.


Overall, this set is excellent. The gear, the figure, everything is as I would have liked it to be. I believe it ties with Black Spider Rendezvous for the best reproduction to date. Enough differences to make sure vintage collectors don't get taken advantage of, and similar enough to bring that whole Adventure Team feeling flooding back.

The main problem with this set ended up being its savior. FAO Shwarz (long a fine museum of toys, but a place to look, not buy, as most prices were 30-50% over other sources) went out of business, which forced this brand new set into discount mode immediately, bringing its price down to what I would have gladly paid at Toys R Us or Target. Then, of course, as the close-out sale went on, it dropped even lower in price. Stories I heard had hundreds of these at some Zany Brainy stores, and I personally saw about fifty of them at FAO the day it closed.

I hope these got out to the kids and collectors at a reasonable price - because at $45.00 it was out of range of most people who would enjoy it.

Overall Rating


GI Joe

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