Cliffbee.com: Skyhammer Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Skyhammer
Series: Generation 1
Allegiance: Autobot
Function: Ground & Air Assault
Alternate Mode: Rocket Car



CAR MODE
Height: 3.5cm Length: 6cm Width: 3.5cm

   A small grey, gold and red car with a blue wing piece on top, Skyhammer has a blue cockpit and black plastic tyres. The colours don't really blend but Skyhammer is weird enough that it doesn't matter. Thankfully his main colours here - grey and gold, manage to keep him from clashing. The most notable aspect of Skyhammer's colours is the gold plastic, which is the brittle kind Hasbro was so fond of around this time. Thankfully mine is in one piece, save for some minor chipping on the base of the wingpiece.

   There's not really much to say about this car mode - it's small and exceedingly simple, reminiscent of the Pretender vehicle modes of the previous year. It's a passable Cybertronian rocket car, which isn't saying that much for it - but at least his black tyres look better than some of the coloured wheels of the previous year's class. This car mode does the job of giving Skyhammer a transformation, and nothing else. It's interesting to note that Skyhammer himself is landbound.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Detach the wing piece which will become his handgun, swing the grey fenders forward to become his legs, revealing his chest and head. Swing the arms down and plug the gun into the outside of one of his hands.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 8cm Width: 4cm

   Based around gold, red and grey again, Skyhammer's torso, head and feet are gold while the arms are red and the legs grey. The blue window is on his chest while the face and gun are also blue. The colours actually work fairly well here, considering how disparate they are. The facial detail is okay but it doesn't come out so well since it's covered in a matte blue paint.

   While his car mode is pretty weak the robot mode is actually decent (especially compared to the previous year's Pretenders). The black tyres on his hips and upper arms and blue window on his chest give Skyhammer a distinct car theme, more than many "Cybertronian" car Transformers manage. The detail on his arms is very and the legs and torso are a little better although not great, but at this size I can forgive that (Skyhammer is the size of a Minicar).

   There's little play value here, which is to be expected, really. The arms swing at the shoulders but I'd suggest care since the gold plastic of his torso can fracture without much force being applied. His hips swing and Skyhammer can sit down, which is no accident. The gun doesn't look so good attached to the outside of his hand.

   A simple robot mode but one that actually comes off reasonably well, especially when compared to some other, large, Pretenders. The gold plastic is a liability, the gun is of limited value but Skyhammer is a cute little robot with a surprisingly good car theme.

JET MODE
Height: 5cm Length: 14.5cm Width: 11cm

   A red and blue surface skimmer (which strongly reminds me of the skimmer Luke Skywalker rides around in at the beginning of Star Wars: Episode IV). The front is blue with a gold nose, the back is red with blue wings attached at the bottom and a low transparent blue wraparound window. The cabin is open and behind it there's a jetpack piece with twin tailfins and thrusters. The sides sport gold missiles, and along with the nose that's it for the gold plastic - there's less gold plastic here than on the rest of this toy.

   I quite like this vehicle mode. The open cockpit allows the inner robot to sit inside and pilot (which is why Skyhammer himself can sit down), but you don't need the pilot for it to look respectable. As with any Pretender shell, you can stow the inner robot inside this vehicle, and if you look into the open cockpit from above you'll see Skyhammer lying on his back - as if in a flying coffin. I guess he's plugged in and controlling his jet mode.

   While he don't get any real play value here, since there are no wheels, you do have the optional pilot, which makes this a rather nice jet mode and an excellent compliment to the inner robot. As vehicle companions for Transformers go, this is one of my favourites, simply because it looks natural and is versatile.

TRANSFORMATION TO HUMANOID MODE

   Detach the missiles, extend the front to form legs, flip out the feet and heelspurs. Rotate the sides forward, lift up the wings and stand him up. Give Skyhammer his missiles as handguns.

HUMANOID MODE
Height: 13cm Width: 7.5cm

   A Caucasian with black hair, Skyhammer wears a suit which is red on the torso and arms with blue boots and gold feet. The thighs, waist, hands and elbows are grey while there's a transparent blue visor over his face (which can lift up). The colours work very well here, and again I'm happy for the relative absence of gold plastic - not only does it mean this figure is more stable but the colours work better without it.

   Again this figure is a little low on detailing, but the bodyshape is good, other than some grey blocks on the outside of his waist. His face is well done, with white sclerae and black pupils. He's slightly crosseyed, which is a little weird but gives this shell some personality. The guns can be moved up the arm to their jet mode positions if you like, giving Skyhammer arm cannons.

   The play value here is okay, and better than on most Pretender shells. The arms swing and can mount the weapons in two places as I've mentioned. The visor opens and closes, and both positions work visually. It's worth mentioning that the shell can only open in this mode - the boots actually lock the hatch on his back closed when they slide up for jet mode.

   A decent Pretender shell despite it being smaller than most of them. Skyhammer's shell has good colours and admirable play value along with a good bodyshape. Considering that most Pretender shells don't have to transform, I'm happy that this shell doesn't lag behind the average shell.

THE OUTER SHELL

Height: 10cm Length: 22cm Width: 20.5cm

   A giant flying fortress type thing which is grey on top and gold underneath with red wings attached to the top half. There are twin blue cannons at the front, which can swing from side to side (as one) and blue thrusters nestled underneath the grey tail. There's a blue cockpit towards the front and grey VTOL fans in the wings. The colour scheme is about on par with the car mode, and looks similar overall.

   This is a very boxy flying fortress and it really fits his name - I suspect the name was inspired by this beast. The grey top half lifts back to reveal a hollow cavity in which the main shell lies, face down and head first (legs in jet mode). Again we have shades of a flying coffin here.

   Since this thing is a giant box with decorations there is some play value - I wouldn't expect anything less. The fans spin fairly well and the guns move, as I've mentioned. There's a hatch behind the cockpit which lifts up 90, allowing a blue gun to flip out. The resulting cavity is designed so that inner robot can stand and man this gun - there are even posts which his feet plug into. While this is a giant box, I'm really quite happy that it can actually be used with the inner robot - making it more than just a storage unit. There are six black wheels visible at the back and two more hidden underneath, allowing this thing to roll along the table.

   Yes, it's a flying box, but easily beast the beast Pretender shells for creativity and actually has some play value, more than a lot of Pretender shells. I'm happy that the designer made sure this looks like a flying vehicle rather than simply a box with wings. The thrusters, VTOL fans and cockpit all help make this work. My only complaint relates to that damn gold plastic on the underside - mine came with five rear wheels rather than six...

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of.

OVERALL

   A set that's far more than the sum of its parts. Skyhammer himself is small and simple and while his robot mode is decent it really comes into its own when you add the two shells. The inner robot can pilot both shells, and the jet mode of the main shell is pretty good, better than a lot of the Actionmaster vehicles. It's a shame that this set features the infamous brittle gold plastic, since Skyhammer's a fun toy. Despite his fragility I recommend Skyhammer for Pretender fans - 7.5/10

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