Cliffbee.com: Beast Machines Skydive Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Skydive
Series: Beast Machines
Allegiance: Maximal
Alternate Mode: Quetzalcoatlus



BEAST MODE
Height: 11.5cm Length: 14cm Width: 28cm

   A purple pterosaur with extensive orange highlights, including transparent orange on the wings and lower jaw. There's also a fair bit of grey, concentrated on the wings. His back is silver with a green spark crystal (facing backwards) while his beak is silver along with the pupils in his transparent orange eyes. Aside from the fact he's stolen the Phoenix Suns' colours Skydive looks fairly good - the colours blend better than on many BM Maximals, and the transparent plastic doesn't stand out too badly here, again a common issue for Beast Machines.

   There's much conjecture about the initial design of this figure - it looks more like a pelican in flight than a pterosaur, thanks to the head. There are also shades of Transmetal Terrorsaur here - especially in robot mode, which would lean towards Skydive being designed as a pterosaur. The designer, Tim Bradley, has actually informed me that he's a Quetzalcoatlus - a type of pterosaur. He looks like a pelican, and Quetzalcoatlus would have looked fairly similar to pelicans in flight (and may have lived a similar lifestyle).

   Anyway, the sculpt is quite detailed and there's that fusion of organic lines and mechanical details we've come to know as technorganic. There are _muscles_ on the wings, and purple paint nestled in the seams on his orange upper legs, two great highlights. Sadly he suffers from another aspect common amongst Beast Machines toys - the wings do not clip together firmly, instead relying on tight joints to stay in place. This is nowhere near as bad as on Nightscream, but it's annoying nonetheless.

   The poseability here is mixed. The head pulls forward, and will snap back thanks to springs in the hinges at the base of the skull and neck. Inside the mouth is a small orange barrel, which is subtle but still a nice touch, especially considering how many BM Maximal toys were weaponless or close to it. The wings have ball joints at the base, so you can move them around a little, the most useful movement brings them down to the sides, sweeping them back for a landing pose. The legs are jointed but can't really move in any meaningful way here. Essentially most of the joints Skydive has are intended for the robot mode, only the head jointing is really meant to work here, and the rest is a bonus.

   A visually impressive beast - the wingspan alone ensures that since Skydive is wider than pretty much any deluxe out there. The colours are well blended, and purple and orange often work together anyway. The detailing is intricate, I really like the muscles and paint within seams. As Beast Machines Maximals go, this is a good beast mode. My main issue is with the lack of pegs holding the wings (and the rump, actually) together.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Surprisingly complex. Extend the legs right back, straighten. Fold the shoulders forward, rotate the neck and wing assembly, fold the head behind the back - which becomes the robot chestplate, swing up the hips to cover the beast neck. Fold the robot head down into position, swing the robots shoulders forward and fold in the beast shoulders. Swing up the wingtips and click into position, allowing the front edges to become the arms. Swing up the grey panels at the base of the wings, allowing the shoulders to fold into position.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 19cm Width: 8cm

   Skydive is again a fusion of purple, orange and grey, but this time here's more orange. The torso, upper arms, head and thighs are orange while the forearms and lower legs are purple. His groin and the long finger-claws are grey, as are the shoulder pylons. There's not a lot of transparent orange again - the long elbow spurs and the eyes are the main aspects using this colour, and the eyes haver a good lightpipe while the eyebrows and mouth are silver. The spark crystal is central on his chest. Again this is a pretty good colour scheme, since the transparent plastic is used sparingly and the painted purple seams are highly visible on his thighs and upper arms.

   There's more than a hint of Transmetal Terrorsaur here. The pointed head, finger-claws, shoulder pylons and use of purple all hark back to that figure. Skydive is more graceful however - his finger-claws are not the giant sails that figure carries and his feet are better designed. There are four toes and a heelspur on each foot, without the slightly cumbersome jointing of the Transmetal. So while this figure clearly represents an evolution in that concept, I'm more than happy to treat him as a new character.

   The sculpt is characteristically complex. The finger-claws are long - so long that they can't point directly down without hitting the ground. The elbows spurs and shoulderpylons are also long and thin. Coupled with thin lanky limbs, Skydive has an Evangelion feel about him. The lankiness is another trait shared with TM Terrorsaur, but as with everything else, it's more elegant here.

   The poseability here is good, with ball joints all over. The neck, shoulders, elbows, wrists , hips and knees are all ball jointed while the waist is fixed and the ankles and finger-claws are hinged. The shoulders are somewhat restricted and the wrists can't move forward, but overall the poseability is very impressive and his heelspurs are quite useful.

   A surprisingly good Beast Machines Maximal robot mode. Sure, the weird design theme is present - including the technorganic sculpt, but the transparent plastic is used a lot better than on many of his allies. The poseability is at the level we would expect in this line, but unlike many of his peers he has cool weapons in the finger-claws to make posing actually worthwhile. The lightpiped eyes and fairly stable (especially compared to the beats mode) construction are also positive here. While the restricted shoulders hurt his poseability a little and his unusual design aesthetic isn't going to appeal to everyone, he pulls off lanky much better than his predecessor, TM Terrorsaur.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of.

OVERALL

   A good figure as Beast Machines Maximals go. The colours blend well, the paint job and sculpt are excellent and the lanky theme is well executed in both modes. The weaponry is useful, something not all BM Maximals achieved. The poseability of the beast mode is slightly lacking and this is made worse by the lack of tabs holding parts of it in place, but the robot mode's articulation is useful and the reserved use of transparent plastic really helps Skydive - 7.5/10

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