Cliffbee.com: Skid-Z Toy Review

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Individual Review




Name: Skid-Z
Series: Robots in Disguise
Allegiance: Autobot
Alternate Mode: F-1 Racer

Indy Heat, Skid-Z's Japanese counterpart



RACER MODE
Height: 3cm Length: 11cm Width: 5cm

   A white and crimson formula one racer with a silver central stripe, Skid-Z has black tyres with silver hubcaps and a crimson Autobot symbol stamped on his nose. The crimson is a mixture of a darker plastic and a lighter metallic paint. Skid-Z doesn't have a racing number, and his spoiler is devoid of writing, which is unusual for this mould. This is a really nice colour scheme, and aside from the lack of a number it's also a good paint mask, with the silver, white and crimson merging well.

   There's a small black seat back in the open cockpit, which is it's own piece of plastic, although there doesn't seem to be any need for this piece. I'm impressed the designer bothered putting it in and along with the moulded steering wheel inside, it gives the cockpit some detail.

   There's not much play value in this mode - the wheels roll and that's it. The good news is that the front wheels are on an axle and all four wheels roll freely. I don't expect much more of a formula one racer than rolling wheels, so the fact that Skid-Z rolls well is enough for me. I guess we could ask for his gun to attach in this mode, but that would involve there being a hole somewhere on the toy, which would have been a mixed blessing.

   It's a simple vehicle mode, but it does what it has to do, so mouldwise I can't really complain. The colours work very well, and unusually for RiD are a distinct improvement on those of his Japanese counterpart, Indy Heat. The colours are certainly better than those on MW Mirage, and better than MW Prowl's also.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   In theory, lift the tail and Skid-Z will transform himself thanks to internal springs. In reality you have to adjust his limbs a little as well - mainly for stable posing. It's about as close as you're going to get with an auto-transform on a poseable toy, mind you. His gun comes in two halves, one inside each shin. Remove the weapon, assemble and place in his hand.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 10cm Width: 7.5cm

   Again a mixture of crimson and white, Skid-Z has metallic pine green fists, thighs, feet and a pine green head with a white face and transparent orange eyes. There's a working lightpipe in his head - something his RiD precursors lacked - and he has a really cool chrome crimson crest on his forehead. While pine green, crimson and white may sound weird, they combine quite well, thanks to intelligent use of the green. The tyres hanging off his waist and ankles are the only other non-white parts of this robot. His head has a pretty complex sculpt, which is lost slightly in the white of his face, but then this contracts with the crimson and green, bringing the facial sculpt out fairly well in the end. There's some silver on his chest, and the front tyres sit on his waist while the rear tyres are on his ankles. The tyres and silver stripe largely blend into the background, since the crimson and pine green are so striking. Like his vehicle mode, Skid-Z's colours are an improvement over Indy Heat's, and look really good.

   Skid-Z has pretty good articulation - his neck, shoulders, hips and elbows are ball joints while his knees are hinged. The airdam forms his groin, and hangs over his thighs limiting his hips while the front wheels sit wider than his shoulders, limiting the arms. The hip restrictions bother me a little, since a lot of poses are ruled out. The tyres don't bother me so much, since they really only prevent the arms from resting at his sides, and I can deal with having to put Skid-Z in action poses.

   You can remove the front half of the rifle, leaving Skid-Z with a small white pistol, and both configurations look cool. I'm really impressed by the dual-section guns that Machine Wars brought us, Skid-Z's gun add to his already impressive play value.

   The airdam and tyres getting in his way are the only substantial flaws in the robot mould engineering, but neither are enough to ruin it. The colour scheme works really well, and helps hide the tyres sticking out on his waist. The articulation is meaningful and the gun is fun, so it's a fun toy to play with, and one that looks great.

VARIATIONS

   A repaint of Indy Heat as mentioned - who had pine green hubcaps and some orange paint on his nose and tail. While the green hubcaps look nice, the loss of orange paint works in Skid-Z's favour. Indy Heat was in turn a repaint of MW Mirage and Prowl, as mentioned. Liger of Robotmasters is a later repaint of this mould.

OVERALL

   At this stage the third version of this mould, but Skid-Z was also easily the best, thanks to a really nice colour scheme. Sure, the name is awful, but they've finally put some effort into the paint job, so I recommend him over either Machine Wars toy. There are some minor engineering problems in robot mode, but he still has great play value. Comes packaged with the rather underwhelming Wind Sheer, but the RiD 2-pack is probably cheaper than finding Indy Heat. While Liger is slightly better, it's a fairly close call, and since the colour schemes are different I'd recommend both - 7/10

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