Cliffbee.com: ROTF Skystalker Toy Review

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Individual Review




Name: Skystalker
Series: Movie Tie-ins
Allegiance: Decepticon
Alternate Mode: Stealth Bomber



PLANE MODE
Height: 4cm Length: 10cm Width: 15.5cm

   A matte black "flying wing" plane, he blends elements of modern drone planes & stealth bombers although as far as I can determine this is a quasi-realistic vehicles rather than a specific model. At any rate, there's a flat black camera in place of his cockpit with a small red lens, suggesting that he is simulating a drone. There are gunmetal air intakes on either side of the fuselage and white "808" lettering on either side of the fuselage. There are backwards facing badges on the wings with Decepticon logos as their centrepieces. It's a straightforward colour scheme, and one that evokes a stealth feel, although I'm not sure if this airframe would actually have stealth capability.

   As mentioned, this is a flying wing vehicle - Skystalker lacks a tail while his wings are huge triangles that dominate the mass of this plane. There are very well defined air intakes on top, at the front of what look like stealth engines. There are a lot of sculpted details including zig-zag seams (another stealth feature actually), rivets and even fuel hatches on the wingtips.

   Perhaps surprisingly for a movie scout there is play value here. The stealth engines can fold down to form legs, giving him a gerwalk mode - and it ties into his bio which talks about Skystalker swooping down to snatch foes off the ground. It also fits his name quite nicely (much better than does an orange Porsche, it has to be said). The feet spring shut when you lift him off the table, similar to The Fallen. There's a double wheel under the front, which can roll, while at the rear he rests on posts only. The front wheels _are_ able to fold away, but he'll lie nose down, so it's only really meant for the robot mode.

   A good jet mode despite a very understated colour scheme. The stealth look is very well executed, there's no real kibble and the design is something relatively fresh within the endless stream of military plane Transformers. The gerwalk feature isn't in itself that impressive, but it's more play value than would be expected at this level, so it's a good bonus.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Detach the hook-swords stowed under the rear of the wings, set aside. Pivot the stealth engines back to form feet, clip them into place and stand him up. Fold away the landing gear, fold down the nose to form the chest, flip out his head. Unclip the front of the wings, split and pivot up the rear of the fuselage to form the arms (the wings hang off the upper arms), rotate the arms and wings into place, place the hook-swords in either hand and you're done.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 11cm Width: 14cm

   A matte black robot with lots of mid grey on his connecting pieces, Skystalker has grey arms, thighs and feet while his head is solid black with that red camera now forming a solitary eye. There's a spattering of royal purple here and there, notably on his mouthplate, antennae and groin. There are no Decepticon logos visible in this mode.

   Skystalker's a rather bulky little robot for a scout, partly because of those big wings hanging off his shoulders and partly because his knee hinges attach the boots on the outside of the thighs. Adding to the latter the boots are simply bulky anyway. The weapons are impressive looking hooks, which would no doubt cause tremendous damage in close combat but require a lot of skill to use well. While he has a single eye, it's not the drone-like camera eye of some toys supporting the first film - Skystalker avoids the drone look thankfully.

   The play value here is pretty good, with ball joints in his neck, shoulders, elbows and hips along with the attachment points for the wings. The knees are hinged as are the feet and heelspurs - both of the latter two are spring loaded. The waist is fixed and there are rotators below the hips supporting his knee joints. The hook-swords have distinct and removable clasps which look like they're designed to allow the swords to attach somewhere else (perhaps to Mindwipe, since Skystalker's jet mode is designed to plug onto the jet mode of that larger toy), but I'm not sure what they're actually for. The spring loaded feet do limit the poses available but there's still a wide range of poses available.

   A good robot mode despite the potential pitfall of the clamp-feet. While I don't see why Hasbro continued this idea after the disaster of The Fallen, they're a lot less of a liability here - he's easy enough to stand once the feet are clipped into place. The odd knee configuration is a little weird, but less so than some of the unusual robot shapes in ROTF. The weapons look good and the gappy wings form a nice cape. With a cohesive colour scheme and good poseability, Skystalker's robot mode works very well.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of. Sunspot is a repaint of Skystalker.

OVERALL

   A good little scout with an interesting jet mode, a good smattering of play value including a gerwalk option and a good colour scheme. The robot mode's feet are a slight negative and rear wheels in jet mode would have been nice to see, but overall this is a nice, creative toy. Recommended if you like the movie toys in general - 8.5/10

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