Cliffbee.com: Thunderblast vs Sky Lynx Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review






Name: Thunderblast
Series: Cybertron
Allegiance: Autobot
Alternate Mode: Missile Truck

MISSILE TRUCK MODE
Height: 2.5cm Length: 7.5cm Width: 3cm

   A brown, eight-wheeled missile truck with some very subtle black camouflage on the front. The centre of the tray is orange, along with the single long missile. Thunderblast has a cabin with silver windows on the right hand side (with a fairly well disguised robot forearm hanging off the back), while the entire left hand side is a big grey missile launcher with that giant orange missile loaded. There's a Minicon logo on top of the launcher and a powerlinx port under the cabin, while a small Autobot logo stamped on the back of the truck, next to an orange gas-can like block. The paint mask has been updated - it's not just a straight copy of that used for Bonecrusher, the first toy of this mould.

   I'm pretty happy with Thunderblast's play value. Six of the eight wheels roll - the second set from the front are the exception, and since they've painted the hubcaps silver to match the pins in the others, you won't really notice they're moulded on. The pressure-activated missile launcher is pretty cool - push on the back of the missile and once you reach the threshold it'll fire out and fire about 20cm along the desk. The missile launcher swings right around at the base and there's also a hinge allowing it to lift up about 40 degrees.

   The only real negative to this missile truck is the tendency for the cabin - and the robot forearm - to swing around when you don't want it to. A notch to keep this robot shoulder in place would have been nice. But otherwise it's a powerful looking launcher on a pretty good truck mode. I don't really like the choice of dull orange on the back, which is the robot head, but the robot fist hanging off the back of the cabin isn't painted this time around, hiding it better than during Armada.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   In a word, unusual. The entire thing rotates around a central hinge, but rather than it being front and rear halves it's left and right. The end effect is that the front left and rear right become the chest, which sports two wheels, while the cabin becomes the left arm and the missile launcher his right arm. The front right and rear left become his legs. The hinge ends up becoming his groin.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 6cm Width: 4cm

   I should point out that since the missile is taller than Thunderblast, you can't put his right arm down to his side unless you lose the missile. Anyway, he's a brown robot with grey groin and right arm, orange thighs, dull orange head with a silver eyevisor thing (it looks like he's wearing a night vision scope). There's some grey paint on his chest along with two brown tyres.

   Thunderblast has pretty good poseability, with hinged knees and hips, as well as his left elbow. Both shoulders are swivels, and the right arm (missile launcher) can lift out to the side. The weight of the right arm means that for most poses it has to act as a third leg. Shooting poses are possible if you're willing to lean him back a little. Removing the missile is enough to fix his weight problems, and gives him a claw on his long right arm.

   This mode really is dominated by the giant right arm missile launcher. The colours and articulation are pretty good, and aside from the balancing problems there's not really anything to complain about. The stamped Autobot logo is no longer visible, it's now under the left foot.

OVERALL

   Based around a single gimmick, which for the most part works really well. The transformation is interesting and almost makes him worthwhile in itself. Thunderblast isn't really any more memorable than Bonecrusher. The orange works fairly well with brown and grey, so he's no worse than the Armada MiniCon. He even gets that rarest of features in Cybertron - a new name - 7.5/10


Name: Sky Lynx
Series: Cybertron
Allegiance: Decepticon
Alternate Mode: Bomber Plane

PLANE MODE
Height: 3cm Length: 7.5cm Width: 7cm

   A spearmint green bomber with light and dark grey paint applications on his wings and nose section, Sky Lynx looks nothing like his G1 Namesake. It's a really bad name reuse, since there's no lynx here and there's no link to the G1 Autobot at all. At any rate, Sky Lynx is a four-turbine bomber with the traditional outstretched wings, looking very much like something out of a World War II book. His tail slopes upward, but he's able to lay flat on what will later become the robot chest, underneath the fuselage of the plane. Under his wings are black bombracks and on top of the fuselage he sports a Minicon symbol. The left tailfin sports a small stamped Decepticon logo, which is a new aspect to the paint mask. There's a split in his tail which looks a little odd, but otherwise this is a pretty powerful little bomber mode. Sky Lynx is a repaint of Gunbarrel of the Air Military team. So a spearmint bomber is downright bizarre, but the colours work well together and I like the shade, so I can live with the colour scheme - it works aesthetically at least.

   There's not really any play value here, but then the play value is in his weapon mode, which is equally as impressive as the bomber mode. The lack of play value is offset by some nice moulded details like cockpit windows and a nose-gun as well as blades on all four turbines. The light green plastic shows up the various seams and joints, so Sky Lynx doesn't work as well as Gunbarrel did, but unlike the previous release of the mould (which was essentially the same as the first), the significant change gives Sky Lynx a different feel.

   The colours won't please everyone, but the colour combination is quite if not realistic. The plane looks quite powerful, despite the size. I'm slightly put off by the weird gap in his tail, but he gains the Decepticon logo on the tail, which is a plus.

WEAPON MODE

   Essentially, you fold the wings up and flip back the nose, revealing two more turbines. The six turbines then become a hexagonal gun array, which is quite impressive for such a small weapon. The flat stand that is the robot chest is again able to support this weapon in a standalone mode, but where it really comes into it's own is on the arm of a larger toy - Sky Lynx looks good attached to the forearm of Armada Thundercracker (or another toy of that mould), and this alone makes Sky Lynx fun for me.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Flip back the nose, rotate the stand into chest position, which will reveal his head, swing the legs down to vertical from their sloped position as the tail, swing down the arms.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 6cm Width: 7cm

   Again the base colour is spearmint green, Sky Lynx has dark grey thighs, light grey shins and chest, black arms and a black face with red eyes. There's a mouthplate which is hard to see since his entire face is black save for the eyes. The wings don't actually fold away in this mode, giving Sky Lynx a pretty expansive wingspan - if you don't like the effect you can actually fold them back into their weapons mode position, although the fists will then face out to the sides.

   It's obvious this is the third mode, what with the wings hanging out the sides, and the shoulders that swing out to the sides rather than back and forth. What I don't quite get is why they didn't mould the fists differently, allowing the wings to swing back and the arms to swing properly - it would have been easy enough. The feet are tailfins, similar to those of Powerglide, the hips are restricted ball joints and the knees hinges that bend maybe 40. This lack of leg poseability is more proof that the robot mode comes third here. The chestplate is big and bulky, and it's the main reason why his hips are restricted, so you might wonder why it's there. It's reason for being is to give him somewhere for his powerlinx socket, needed if you want to attach this MiniCon to a hardpoint - and it's a worthwhile gun mode.

   The robot mode is easily the weakest, and I don't think the designer really put too much effort into it. The colours don't work so well now, since the light grey chest looks weird and the face is a mess of black. Sky Lynx's robot mode isn't awful, but it's uninspiring.

OVERALL

   With unusual colours that bring some interesting challenges, especially in robot mode, Sky Lynx is a repaint that doesn't quite work as well as the original. The mould is decent, with a weak robot mode but a great robot mode. The name reuse is simply awful, making this toy less desirable than it would otherwise be - 5.5/10
PACK OVERALL

   With so many MiniCon repaints over the last few years, the MiniCon two packs in Cybertron really need to catch the eye. This set doesn't quite manage to do that for me - Thunderblast is a decent toy without being exciting and Sky Lynx has an odd colour scheme and awful name use. This is one of the better MiniCon two packs in my opinion, and both moulds are worthwhile, so if you missed one or both previously I'd grab it, but as a set of recolours it's forgettable - 6.5/10

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