Saturday, April 16, 2016

Hasbro Transformers Combiner Wars Skylynx

The Combiner Wars are coming to a close and rather than releasing one more famous Combiner in the retail line, Hasbro has chosen to instead to finish the line with some well-known characters from G1, and the final Voyager is one other than Skylynx.  This figure has been hyped up by fans for a while. We were all surprised that he was even getting a new figure since his G1 incarnation was reissued in Takara’s Encore line and holds up well to this very day. Still, a new take on Skylynx is quite welcome, although this one doesn’t quite live up to the hype it was given.
Starting off with the Shuttle mode, which happens to be his strongest form, Skylynx does look good here. The Shuttle is quite accurate to his G1 self with some nice updates to modernize him a bit. The sculpt is well done with plenty of details to gush over. A very sleek and stylish shuttle with that G1 accurate cargo box on the bottom. Sadly, the box does not remove, eliminating the split robot mode gimmick of the old toy. There are some extra tailfins on the back that weren’t on the old toy, but if they bother you, you can pop them off easily. The majority of the color scheme come from the plastic colors as there is very little paint on this toy, just gold details on the shuttle with big Autobot badges on the wings. The colors are just right though and I think they were chosen well.
Skylynx’s robot mode is the combined robot form of the G1 toy, and the characters most iconic. Robot mode looks good as well, but it’s here we begin to see problems coming up for the toy. As I mentioned, the cargo box can’t come off so he can’t split into the bird and lynx modes he had in G1. This is the sad result of the voyager size as well as the combiner gimmick he was instead saddled with. That said the robot mode is nice, and a fine representation of Skylynx for the Voyager price point. Colors are spot on and I like the gold inside the mouth. The wings actually flip over to form more birdlike wings which is an honest improvement over the old toy.
What isn’t an improvement, however, is how the midsection is so blatantly hollow that it’s way too easy to find an angle where you can see right through him. It’s his biggest problem and a huge detraction for the toy, but he has others. The tail is rather short, but the sword weapons can be used to extend it, which is a nice touch. Sadly, there is no cure for the incorrectly digit-graded hind legs, which look pretty bad, what’s worse is the designers did this intentionally for the sake of the combined mode. It’s a bothersome flaw that can be a bit distracting from the wrong angle.
Skylynx does have some good articulation. His neck has 3 hinges as well as a swivel to look all around with. Front legs have ratcheted universal shoulders, bicep swivels, ratcheted elbows, and toe movement. The wings can flap and the tips swivel for good posing options. The hind legs are a bit more limited though, with only forward and backward movement at the hip, thigh swivel, ratcheted elbows and toe movement. And lastly the tail has a couple hinges to move up and down with.  You can get some good poses out of Skylynx and I do appreciate that.
Now it’s time to meet Skyreign. You know, it’s real sad that all the sacrifices Skylynx made to get a combined form resulted in the worst torso mode in the line. I know most say that Prime/Motormaster had the worst torso, but Skylynx beats them by a mile and a half. The hollow midsection is still present and glaring. There is an attempt to hide it behind an abdominal panel, but it doesn’t quite work. Skylynx also suffers from loose joints. They are tight enough for robot mode, but when combined into Skyreign, they flop all about. This is a real problem when posing him, as you tend to move Skylynx’s joints instead of the combiner’s. At least Motormaster had an implied locking point for his shoulder connections, Skylynx doesn’t even have that. There is a detent where Skyreign’s shoulders are supposed to lock, but they don’t lock and there is nothing even implied to keep them in place. The look is ok, but im not fond of how the shuttle is pretty much just hanging off the back. You can adjust Skylynx’s neck joints to make a beefy tail for Skyreign, which works better in my opinion. Best part about this form is the head sculpt, which homages the lynx mode head from the original toy, it looks awesome. The weapons can combine to form a sword for Skyreign, and it looks like a decent weapon. All in all, this is a figure you get for the individual robot, not the combiner.

Skylynx on his own is an ok figure to have. Both vehicle and robot modes look good enough to fit just fine on a Classics shelf. Just don’t bother combining it, that can only bring disappointment. Still, I can’t help but to wonder what he’d be like if got a fully tricked out Leader class figure instead of this Voyager class one. Would a Leader class Skylynx with no combiner gimmick do better? This is a question I’d like to find the answer to.

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