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Sky Grinder

Xevoz
by Shocka

Like Stryker from Mortal Kombat, the only purely-human, non-magic aided combatant in the series, sometimes the plainest characters seem the most odd, the most unusual, especially if they come from a world of giant mutant insects and ninjas and living skeletons.

Leaders of an underground movement of teens known to devote all waking hours to pursuit of the perfect board - building, modifying, and competing on ultra-speed jet and hover vehicles. Highly skilled and outrageously daring, they live by their own code of honor, protecting their turf against rival crews.

Sky Grinder is a regular human being who's also a flying extreme sports snowboarder guy. His gimmick is that he's not just an extreme sportsperson (is there a better name for that?) but that his snowboard is also a science fiction hoverboard thing, with moving parts and an awesome electrical-blue translucent finish. But we'll get to that in a moment.

Potentially the first "human" character in the Xevoz line, what's amazing here is that Sky Grinder looks both like a regular human being, but is imbued with so much character and recognizability in his design. His colorscheme is white, black and blue, so while he doesn't have a skintone or a face (maybe he's Slenderman?! Dun dun DUN!!) in the world of Xevoz he looks like a regular dude in the cold, with thicker clothes and a beanie, as well as pads on his elbows and knees for extreme-sports safety. But it goes further than that - he has an attitude about him that the simple-but-slick design conveys. He looks great and is incredibly fun to play with, even before getting to his titular accessories.

As a "Sky Grinder," he includes a snowboard with the aforementioned translucent blue finish, which I want to talk about for a moment. One of the many joys with Xevoz is how they can cross genres. For example, one could be a living supernatural medieval skeleton, or with the simple laser-eyepatch accessory, a science fiction sci-fi robot skeleton. Well, here, we see how the transluscent blue plastic can render the snowboard as a regular chilled out board, or something science fictiony - it's entirely up to you, but the toy features additional accessories that means it can be both, or anything else you desire.

Sky Grinder features an unusual hoverboard piece which can be plugged into his back, into the bottom of his board, or held in his hands as a kind of hand-to-hand sci fi weapon, as well as rollerblade attachments for his shoes, a broken length of pipe for beating on chumps, and numerous other armor-like attachments and other weapons. It all goes together to make something as fun as it is customizable. Especially once you start putting on the stickers!

And it doesn't end there! The core Sky Grinder himself also features two extra heads, including a punk-like red haircut and goggles, asserting himself as the same kind of punk as Franken'Punker, and an odd jester head, with one of those jester hats you see at fun parks and Medieval re-enactments. See, most Xevoz include one gag accessory, something that doesn't quite fit with the character and can be included for laughs, as well as mixed with others - the Sledge Trooper has his magnet, the Dune Stinger has his sombrero, and this guy has a jester head. It's very cool and adds to the character of the series.

So Sky Grinder might have been a boring addition to the series, but instead he's imbued with personality and character, and with the same great playability and customizability of the others in the line. He's a terrific toy, and one that is highly recommended.

-- 07/05/14


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