Kenner was the house of Star Wars. Sure, they had Bionic Man as their first hit, but after that, it was Star Wars.
Once Star Wars was done, what was the next Kenner hit going to be?
Kenner was famous for licensed lines. Outside of Star Wars, they did Super Powers, ALIENS, Beetlejuice, Jurassic Park, Bill and Ted...but they would also take chances on concept-based lines. M.A.S.K. was one of the bigger hits. One of the lesser entries was called Sky Commanders.
It took me a while to find an eBay auction for this one - Ascender with Jack Reily - because I didn't know the name of it.
The concept was simple - a super earthquake happened, making a new continent rich with a new element people wanted, so good fought evil for it etc etc etc.
Now, this continent was one that you couldn't walk on due to dangerous steam and probably lava (as well as animals mutated by the new element), so the good guys and bad guys had all of these machines that could move around on laser beams or something.
The lasers were represented by string, so you were supposed to make these lines all over your room and then have the figures all over the place.
It only went one year, with a second series shown in the Kenner catalog for 1988.
Where are the people begging for Sky Commanders to come back? There just aren't any.
Sky Commanders is the perfect example of something that they tried to see how it worked. And it didn't, so it went away.
Maybe we'll see one of these guys as part of Unit:E.
Still, you can get a few minutes of fun making this guy go up and down on his string line...
Fun fact - this backpack was later used for a Batman figure in the Dark Knight Collection!