Cliffbee.com: Power Core Combiners Skyburst Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Skyburst
Series: Power Core Combiners
Allegiance: Auobot
Alternate Mode: Stealth Bomber

Thanks to fatbot for loaning me Skyburst for this review



PLANE MODE
Height: 4cm Length: 12cm Width: 9.5cm

   A slate blue jet with gold stripes on the front of the wings and around the air intakes, Skyburst has a complex pattern of black windows on the cockpit at the front. There's a red Autobot logo stamped just behind the cockpit and some gold lines down the sides of the long nose of this jet, which is essentially a triangle with a nose protruding nose at the front (which incorporates the cockpit).

   As you'd expect of a stealth jet, Skyburst has lots of angles and a fairly sleek shape. I'm not sure if he's based on a particular jet, but there are elements of the SR-71 in the shape here. There's a hardpoint on top, mounted on a panel which doesn't sit flush (at least, not on fatbot's Skyburst). The detail is decent, with a few moulded seams here, a complex cage on the canopy & detailed air intakes.

   There's minimal play value here. There are three false black wheels which can fold up underneath, but the jet wont stand up properly without them, so they don't really offer play value. I guess the only play value of any note is the ability o plug a Minicon onto the hardpoint on top, even if Skyburst doesn't come with a packaged Minicon.

   A simple and very static jet mode with some nice detailing but a real lack of play value. It looks okay but does nothing other than sit there. While I personally like this jet mode, it doesn't actually offer a lot in itself. There are no real flaws here, mind you.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Fold away the undercarriage. Unclip the legs from underneath, swing down and forward so they protrude out the front - the nose & canopy do the standard thing and form the chest. Unclip the arms underneath and swing out to the sides, fold the back half of the plane over as a backpack, revealing the robot head.

   This is a very simple & underwhelming transformation, but it works well enough.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 12cm Width: 9.5cm

   The slate blue is joined by a royal blue on his forearms, head and thighs while the feet and upper arms are black. Skyburst's face is silver with mid blue eyes while the stamped autobot logo is now on his waist. His knees and fists are painted silver while there's a red patch on the chest just below his chin. The two blue tones here don't really compliment one another, and while they don't clash, it's an unusual combination which doesn't quite work, without looking bad - it's just dull and feels like something was left out.

   The backpack is huge and prominent, although it doesn't really get in the way as such. Above his head, the middle of the plane floats like a giant hood while the wings splay out like a cape behind his arms. The plane front on his chest is a fairly standard and somewhat tired feature these days, but it does look good here - even if it's surrounded by plane kibble. For some reason the wings have joints allowing them to fold forward, which doesn't really serve any purpose any any mode as far as I can tell.

   Poseability is by the numbers, with the restrictions you'd expect from his kibble. The head turns to the sides - albeit not very far & with difficulty. The shoulders, elbows and hips are all ball jointed while the knees are hinged with rotators. The waist is fixed as are the feet. There are no heelspurs but the standard mid blue connecting pegs behind his feet can be folded down as heelspurs - which I strongly recommend since Skyburst is a _lot_ easier to stand with them deployed. He has Energon-standard holes in his fists, although he does not come with a weapon.

   It's a very simple robot mode - much of Skyburst's engineering goes into allowing the drones to clip on for his combined mode. I won't say "too much", since this robot mode is respectable despite being so simple. It's nothing special and the colours are an odd choice, but Skyburst's robot mode is unremarkable & forgettable without being bad.

CHOPPER DRONE

   A yellow rescue chopper with brown painted windows, a black rotor on top with two blades, white engines on the sides. There are red Autobot logos stamped on either side - which look nice; and the attachment socket on the front - which looks poor. There's a moulded silver hook hanging off the tail, below a lighter silver tail rotor. There's a well placed hardpoint on top of the rotor, which spins well. Aside from the unfortunate placement of the socket, this is a nice chopper.

RECON PLANE DRONE

   A white AWC plane with a large radar disc on the back, that also features a hardpoint on top. The canopy is painted metallic blue and there are some black guns on either side of the canopy and a smaller pair - also black - on the front of the nose. The size of the canopy suggests this plane is a single-pilot bomber, which is unusually small for a plane with an AWAC disc on it. There's black running along the front of the wings while there's black text on the outside of either tailfin reading "AM-5". Aside from the scale issue and the wings folding down further than they should, this is a nice plane, and I'm glad that it's offering something new for a Transformer - even if it is only a drone.

COMBAT HELICOPTER DRONE

   A slate blue apache-style copper with champagne gold windows on the canopy, silver on the engines either side of the rotor and a black rotor similar to that on the Chopper Drone. The tail is black with a black smaller rotor (that spins like the larger one) and two black guns on the nose. Like the Chopper Drone, the rotor spins nicely. This drone is a bit of a mess, visually, and is probably the weakest of this group.

FIGHTER JET DRONE

   A grey fighter jet with a black nose, black wings and twin black tailfins. There's gold along the front edges of the wings and tailfins, matched by a gold painted canopy. There are backwards facing silver Autobot logos on either wing. There's a black hardpoint sticking out behind the canopy and an equally prominent gap between the tailfins. It's messy, but far more unified than the Combat Helicopter drone.

COMBINED ROBOT MODE
Height: 19.5cm Width: 16.5cm

   The torso is the blue Skyburst with a larger royal blue head, featuring a silver face and gold crest. The yellow Chopper drone forms the left arm and the Recon Plane drone forms the right arm. The Combat Helicopter drone forms the right leg and the Fighter Jet drone forms the left leg.

   While the idea of a self contained gestalt is a nice one, this isn't well executed. The legs aren't very stable - this robot mode has a tendency to fold over backwards in a heap since the knee joints can easily give way. There's a nice sculpted hand on the right arm - the underside of the Recon Plane drones, while the hook and some black hooks form a hand on the other arm.

   The poseability is limited by the stability. The shoulders rotate and the head turns. The knees feature hinges but they just collapse if you try to pose him, and this is made worse by the odd angle at which the Fighter Drone plugs in, leaving one leg on an awkward slope.

   A bit of a write off, I'm afraid. The arms work well but the legs are an unstable mess. I've not come across a Transformer this unstable since Supreme Cheetor (okay, it's not as bad as Cheetor, but it's less stable than anything since then).

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of. The drone can be attached to other Power Core Combiners such as Searchlight, if you wish.

OVERALL

   A decent but simple core robot works okay, despite a strange colour scheme. But it's overly simple for a modern toy - it would have fitted better in G2 or Machine Wars. Skyburst's bundled drones are generally decent - aside from the Combat Helicopter - but the combined mode is a mess and isn't nearly enough to make this set work - or even provide real play value on top of the basic toy. There was a lot of potential in this set, but the unstable knees of the combined mode and simple core toy really hold Skyburst back - 5/10

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