Cliffbee.com: Superlink Skydive Toy Review

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Individual Review




Name: Skydive
Series: Superlink (Energon)
Allegiance: Cybertron
Alternate Mode: Bomber (resembles A-10)


The US version, Terradive.


Note: I have the Japanese version of this set, so I'm going with the Japanese names partly because of the G1 links and partly because Hasbro's reuse of names in this set is pathetic.

BOMBER MODE
Height: 5cm Length: 13.5cm Width: 13cm

   A dark blue and white bomber with gold wings and some black and baby blue highlights. The fuselage and rear-mounted propellor engines are primarily blue whole the tailfins, wing edges, undercarriage and nose canon are white. This is a very nice colour scheme, and while there's not really much similarity to G1 Skydive, This is a great colour scheme. The canopy is a dark transparent blue, which fits the scheme but hides the moulded seats inside the cockpit.

   While it's not a perfect A-10, it's obviously not meant to be. It's inspired by the A-10, and actually comes closer in many aspects than Powerglide, who _is_ meant to be an A-10. The wings are about the right shape and the tailfins and engines are in the right places, so the general look is achieved.

   Skydive has a fairly big white canon underneath his nose, a spark crystal between the engines at the rear of the fuselage and white sockets in his wings for his Energon weapon to slot into, as well as big Autobot symbols stamped on the wings. The Energon weapon is a folded over transparent blue double barrelled affair, which can clip into either wing, into a hole on top or actually slide over the cannon on the front. On top is best, since it's bulk looks awkward hanging off the front and on the wing is unbalanced. Of course, if you pinch Sling's identical gun it'll match, but leave Sling without an Energon weapon. It's also possible to unfold and attach the gun(s) underneath the wings, making for a giant pontoon effect.

   There are three retractable wheels underneath the bomber, but you don't really have the option of folding them up and resting him on a table because there's a belly-turret. This little dome-shaped attachment actually rotates, allowing Skydive to target the hinged canons, although if you aim it straight down you reveal his robot head. This turret represents fantastic play value and detail for a basic, and for me really rounds out a good bomber mode.

   The top of the fuselage is a little disjointed since one of the robot thighs forms the surface, but other than that I'm struggling to really find any major flaws here. It's a great bomber with good colours that's crammed with play value for a basic sized toy.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Retract the landing gear, unclip the engines and fold down the panels covering his thighs. Swing the wings down and back, flip up the head and clip into his shoulders. Rotate the head and lift the canons to reveal his face. Rotate the waist, split the legs, lift up the feet. Pose and give him his gun.

   It's a fairly easy transformation once you get the hang of it, but it's a very clever one that relies on asymmetry in the legs and makes good use of the plane features for the robot mode.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 12cm Width: 13cm

   Again blue and white, although now the baby blue is a little more prominent, and the gold far less prevalent. The torso is two-tone blue, the groin, upper arms and thighs are white while his boots and forearms are blue. The wings stick out to the sides behind his shoulders, and the white edges bound baby blue undersides, which looks really cool. His head is gold with blue eyes - and with the sloping cheek and rounded head really looks like that of Tutankhamen with a white night vision scope. The blue eyes have a lightpipe but it's hard to see with the shiny gold paint around them. The paint mask here is great, and while he loses the stamped Autobot symbols the spark crystal is now central on his chest.

   Skydive is a myriad of jet parts, from the canon-goggles on his head to the wings to the tailfins hanging off his shoulders, the turbines in front of his fists to his feet - the left foot is the nose canon while the right foot is his nose and canopy. The asymmetry in the feet is an odd idea but it's been pulled off quite well, and fits in with the plethora of bomber aspects in this robot mode.

   This is a lanky robot, especially around the waist. The wingspan on his back tends to make him look narrower than he is, but the poseability tends to offset that optical illusion in most poses. And there's a lot of poseability for a basic - especially considering he's an interchangeable Gestalt limb.

   The head turns and the canon-goggles swing up and down (if you swing them too far up, they can pop off quite easily). The shoulders, elbows, hips and ankles are all wide range ball joints while the waist turns and the ankles hinge and Skydive even gets heelspurs, making him stable in a most poses.

   The only real flaw in this mode aside from the narrow hips is the turbines in front on his fists - he has moulded fists tucked between the turbines and his forearms, but while the turbines add to the impressive array of plane features, they overshadow the hands and make attaching the gun trickier than it should be.

   Great colours, a very strong plane motif, lots of poseability and this is a combining basic. Despite the flaws mentioned, this is a really worthwhile robot mode, even if it is a radical departure from that of the G1 toy to which he's paying homage.

VARIATIONS

   The pictures I've seen of the unreleased US version, Terradive, suggest that version will have smaller Autobot symbols on the wings. Otherwise, none that I know of.

OVERALL

   Even if you don't care for the combining gimmick, Skydive is a good basic. Both modes are strong, the colours work and the play value is excellent. The strong plane theme in robot mode should appeal to G1 fans and the play value to fans of the later series. The colours are slightly better than Sling's, who shares the mould, although both work and the paint masks are quite different - 8.5/10

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