Cliffbee.com: Cybertron Skywarp Toy Review

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Individual Review




Name: Skywarp
Series: Cybertron
Allegiance: Decepticon
Alternate Mode: Sukhoi Su-37 Fighter

Thanks to Tiby for loaning me Skywarp for this review



JET MODE
Height: 6cm Length: 18cm Width: 13.5cm

   A bright purple fighter jet with grey plastic on his tailfins, stabilisers and nosecone, Skywarp sports white along the edges of his tailfins and wings, some red paint on a sort of splatter on his wings and a transparent blood red canopy, Skywarp is a rather striking repaint of Thundercracker. These aren't the traditional colours you'd associate with the name Skywarp, nor are they what you'd expect to see on an actual fighter jet. There's a large Decepticon symbol on top of the fuselage, which looks even if the purples clearly don't match. There are grey missiles visible under his wings, rounding out a garish and amazingly unlikely colour scheme. While I don't hate it, this colour scheme makes no sense and doesn't work aesthetically.

   Colours aside, this jet is reasonably accurate, with a few changes made to accommodate the key gimmick. The lines are good, and the seams stand out with the orange paint wash. There are two thrusters at the back and those missiles underneath each wing. The tailfins, missile and stabilisers are all composed of a soft grey plastic. While I'm not a big fan of the tailfins, the soft stabilisers really bug me. The missiles don't detach, but then being soft plastic there's not much point - and he has a hidden missile launcher anyway.

   There are three wheels underneath which can fold down, and while they're solid moulded, they're detailed enough to work. On Tiby's Skywarp, at least, the front wheel collapses far too easily. If you plug the blue Planet Key (code: d02r) into the back of the jet, the spine of his fuselage lists up to reveal a single transparent red missile, which can be fired by pressing two light grey buttons at the back of the launcher. The missile travels okay, but considering how much of the toy is taken up by this gimmick, it's not terribly impressive. The open spine looks strange and it exposes the robot head.

   This jet mode is okay, but the garish colours really hurt, both in terms of the name use and just... the eyes. The purple itself wouldn't be so bad if the white wasn't so jarring and the strong red had been left out. The soft plastic has no good reason for being here and the key gimmick breaks up the jet without bringing much. The mould has unrealised potential in this mode, but rather than this repaint improving on Thundercracker, the jet mode here is weaker than before.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Fold away the landing gear, swing out the spine to form one arm, lift the other arm out from underneath, lift out the legs and then fold to nose down to form his chest. Thundercracker's transformation is pretty much the Cyberjet model, which is 10 years old. He does have a couple of small enhancements - the right fist deploys from within the forearm and the thrusters swap out for his feet.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 13.5cm Width: 12cm

   The purple is still the dominant colour - in more ways than one - while there's now more white. His shoulders, feet and thighs are white while his arms and head are grey. Skywarp has a white face with transparent red eyes and a poor lightpipe. The transparent red canopy is on his chest. Again the colours don't really work - although at least they're not in the way of realism now - and there's nothing here that suggests a link to the original Skywarp concept.

   This robot mode is dominated by the large missile launcher that is Skywarp's left arm, and this is not a good thing. The weight of this weapon arm makes him tricky to balance, and even pulls the chest away from the backplate. There's nothing other than resistance in his shoulders keeping the chest and backplate together, which is really bad engineering. The wings hang off his back, and look pretty good, especially with the missiles underneath, and had they given this toy two proper arms they'd be a great backdrop, rather than kibble to help the arm look awkward.

   Skywarp's legs and normal arm have good poseability, but this is sabotaged by his two main drawbacks. There are only so many stable poses you can achieve without him coming unstuck or falling right arm first. The head rotates and there's some motion in the right shoulder, although the right elbow isn't well articulated, limiting what you can do with the missile launcher part. The key gimmick still works, but is even less impressive now, since Skywarp suffers so much because of it - by the time you fire the missile you're already mad at the gimmick.

   While the Cyberjet plan Skywarp uses was a decade old by the time he was released, this robot mode has quite a lot of potential. Had they bothered to secure the torso and not proceeded with the stupid missile launcher arm, this could be a good robot mode. It's by the numbers, but the idea could have worked. With bad colours thrown into the mix, this is a poor robot mode.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of As mentioned, he is a repaint of Thundercracker.

OVERALL

   A bad repaint of a bad toy - I really don't see why this repaint was released. The mould itself is poor with a gimmick that overwhelms everything else for little return - the launcher is mediocre despite the mess it makes of the robot mode. This repaint adds garish colours into the mix, and they don't suit the name anyway. One to avoid - 2/10

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