Cliffbee.com: Skydive (Predator Jet) Toy Review

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Individual Review




Name: Skydive
Series: "European" Generation 1
Allegiance: Decepticon
Function: Scientific Advisor
Alternate Mode: YF-23 Fighter Jet



JET MODE
Height: 4cm Length: 14.5cm Width: 10cm

   A purple YF-23 with transparent yellow cockpit, green and blue stickers on the wings, red wing edges and jet exhausts. Skydive's colour scheme is by no means realistic (only two YF-23s were built, one black and one grey), and the solid blocks of colour on this toy don't look so good on purple. The coloured stickers on his feature Decepticon logos, and these are the most welcome additions to the colour scheme. On the upside, there's no chance of this guy being confused for the Aerialbot of the same name. Skydive was only the third name reuse in the Transformers toyline, and represents the first time a name changed factions.

   Skydive isn't quite accurate, his wings are diamond shaped as they should be, but there are large air-intake like lumps on the front, where his shoulder joints are. The mould itself is more angular than the YF-23 is in reality - Skydive's stealth capabilities are sacrificed it seems. Despite these liberties, the plane mode still looks like it could fly, although it'd stand out in purple.

   Skydive has three moulded wheels underneath, and while the front one is able to fold up, doing so will leave the plane on it's belly, pointing down. Like all the Predator jets, there's a grey panel underneath that you can fold out. When you clip him into Skyquake or Stalker you can look through their viewfinders to see a picture of Boss (in red for some reason). It's not the best gimmick ever, but it's different which is nice.

   Skydive is a fairly unremarkable jet, perhaps the most notable aspect here is the unusual choice of jet. The purple isn't a great choice, but most of the Predators were quite bright. He's not the worst jet in the set, although he's nowhere near as well done as his Aerialbot namesake.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Fold down the nose to form his chest, extend the rear to form his legs, slide out the feet and flip up. Lift up the forearms, attach his gun and you're done, making this a very simple transformation.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 11cm Width: 10cm

   Again mainly purple, this time Skydive has black on his thighs, forearms, head and feet, with the transparent yellow canopy on his chest and eyestrip, which features a very effective lightpipe. His face is gold and fairly simple, and is a fairly close match for the bronze missile launcher. There are red stickers on his hips and shoulders, thankfully the blue and green are nowhere to be seen here. The robot itself has a fairly unified, if bright, colour scheme, and as a result is more attractive than the jet mode. I'm not so keen on the fluorescent green missiles, which can be stowed on the wings that form a cape - maybe just one in the launcher.

   The front landing gear actually stays put for this mode, and fills in the gap through which his head pokes, which is clever. The front of the jet is his chest while the wings are a nice cape and the tailfins form big heelspurs, making this a fairly well laid out robot mode. Skydive is quite low on detail, but still looks ok thanks to the layout.

   Poseability is laughable by modern standards - the elbows lift through 90, which is average for the era. The missile launcher actually plugs into the edge of his fists, which is a little odd. The launcher itself isn't all that impressive, although it's better than a lot of the Diaclone based launchers.

   Without a lot of play value, Skydive pretty much stands there looking purple. Still, he looks fairly good for a cheap toy. The layout of plane parts and relatively unified colours make this a decent robot mode, although it's fairly forgettable.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of.

OVERALL

   The random name reuse is a little annoying, but at least it was unusual for the time. Skydive isn't as good as the Aerialbot of the same name, and the jet mode is garish and a bad reproduction of the YF-23 jet it's meant to be. Skydive's robot mode is a lot better, thankfully. The gimmicks here are fairly forgettable but if you want to try the slideshow thing with one of the larger Predators, I certainly wouldn't recommend against Skydive, although I'm not sure if I'd bother importing him into the USA - 6/10<

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