Cliffbee.com: Power Core Combiner Skyhammer Toy Review

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Name: Skyhammer
Series: Power Core Combiners
Allegiance: Decepticon
Alternate Mode: SU-35 Fighter Jet



JET MODE
Height: 4.5cm Length: 13cm Width: 12.5cm

   A steel blue & grey fighter jet with a silver canopy & some orange painted on the tips of his wings, tip of his noce and the tops of his tailfins. There's another splash of orange between the tailfins (a powerlinx port, folded away). The underside is a mix of black, steel blue and "allspark" blue - which is used on all PCC square tabs. The steel blue & grey are mixed in a sort of camo pattern, but it's regular & symmetrical. I quite like the mixture of blue, grey and orange here - it's like a more muted New York Knicks. Rounding things out is a small stamped black Decepticon logo, beside the canopy on the port side.

   He's not quite realistic, as to avoid licensing, but this jet certainly looks quite realistic, aside from colours & the connecting plug on the back. There's a good level of detailing here including small moulded bombs under either win, air intake vents on the nose and of course seams all over.

   As you'd expect, the play value here centres on his sidekick, Airlift. Airlift's weapon mode plugs into that retractable powerlinx port on top, and this works very well - better than on most PCC toys. For starters, Airlift actually clips together properly rather than just curling up, but more importantly his transparent orange body and black guns fit very nicely into Skyhammer's colours, complimenting rather than clashing as many PCC partners do. The black guns are gatling guns that will sit over the top of the fuselage and are independently targetable. There are three false wheels underneath the jet mode, of which only the front one retracts, but doing so means he can't lie flat, so this is only really an option for transformation.

   By PCC standards this is a very strong vehicle mode. The colours work well and Airlift really integrates well. There's not much kibble (only the attachment point for Airlift). There's quite a bit of detail and no real flaws here.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Detach and set aside Airlift, if attached. On the underside, unclip his legs and fold back. Unclip his arms and swing out to the sides. Fold up his tail wings, swing the nose down then the cockpit, swing the head through the fuselage, push the helmet back into the fuselage. Clip the chest and groin together, fold out his feet and heelspurs. As with most PCC toys, the transformation is a little fiddly since there are extra joints for the torso mode, but his transformation feels more solid than most.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 11.5cm Width: 12cm

   A steel blue, grey, black and orange robot, Skyhammer has a blue chest, blue forearms and ankles, grey head, thighs and groin. His elbows and kneecaps are orange while his shins are silver and his face gold with red eyes. The feet are black along with the Decepticon logo now on his chest, alongside that silver canopy. Again the colours work well together, even if there is more happening in this colour scheme - the basic idea is still the same.

   The bodyshape is slightly off here in that his shoulders sit a little wider than they should and his head sits back relative to the top of his chest (which actually slopes in towards his groin, sort of overhanging). The wings sit above his shoulders which is a nice feature. The hips are wide, almost but not quite lizard hips. Skyhammer has silver gun-like attachments on the underside of either forearm, and while they look like he can use them in this mode - and they can detach - there's not any way for him to wield them.

   Airlift provides a useful gun and in a very innovative way for a PCC MiniCon. The gun mode is essentially the same as in jet mode, but Airlift's waist rotates so that in this mode instead of a socket there's a handle for Skyhammer to grasp. And again he clips together (which requires Airlift to clip together two different ways). Okay the gun does look like a robot folded up into a gun, but with the gatling-style barrels it works well and the colours again match Skyhammer himself. What's really nifty about the waist rotating is that as you turn the waist, Airlift's head also turns, so that the face isn't visible on the handgun.

   The poseability here is excellent. His head turns while his waist is fixed. The shoulders and elbows are ball jointed and the latter are also hinged. His wings can also lift up on hinges, if you prefer. The hips swing and lift out to the sides while his knees are hinged with rotators. Skyhammer's feet and heelspurs are hinged, allowing for a fairly good range of poses - although his torso's odd shape means his weight is broadly distributed, so not all poses end up being stable. There's an orange post which can fold up out of his chest allowing Airlift to attach as a chestplate - although he looks better with Airlift as a handgun.

   A good robot mode despite a somewhat awkward bodyshape. The colours work, his gun is great and the poseability works well. As with many PCC toys, the flaw stems from the fact that there's extra jointing included for a torso mode.

Airlift

   A transparent orange robot with black thighs and arms, Airlift has a dark metallic blue head with a simple black face. He looks fairly simple - and he is - but the colours work well alongside Skyhammer and the longish arms end in the gatling guns. He's quite cleverly engineered so I can live with his simple look.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of.

OVERALL

   A good toy by PCC standards, even if Skyhammer does have his shortcomings. The colour schemes of both Skyhammer and Airlift work - and they work well together, and the play value of the set is good, with Airlift's excellent weapon modes really enhancing Skyhammer. The main shortcoming here is the awkward bodyshape of Skyhammer's robot mode - which is offset by a strong jet mode. Overall he's a good toy despite the robot mode's problems. Granted it's a weak line, but he's one of the best PCC toys - 8/10

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