Cliffbee.com: Skalor Toy Review

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Individual Review




Name: Skalor
Series: Generation 1
Allegiance: Decepticon
Function: Amphibious Assault
Alternate Mode: Coelacanth Monster



COELACANTH MODE
Height: 7cm Length: 10cm Width: 7cm

   Skalor is a predominantly blue coelacanth with a pink head, magenta front fins and dorsal fin and blue & pink legs. He's got yellow eyes and a magenta lower jaw. I'm not sure how accurate the colours are, but I'm fairly certain coelacanths don't have legs. They are lobe finned, though, the front fins are lobes, so they've got that right. As for the shape of the body and the colours, well, I've never seen a coelacanth (mainly because I've never been to Mozambique or Comoros, where they're usually found), but I believe they're rather plump blue things, so I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt. I'll let the magenta slide since it fits in with the colour scheme of Piranacon.

   Skalor scores points with me because he's a fish. I know that may sound silly, but there's loads of Transformers that turn into mammals, birds & reptiles, but only a handful of fish (even then, most are sharks or rays, not bony fish). The fact they chose a type of fish with such a cool history (click here if you care) has a coolness all it's own.

   He's got a fair bit of play value. His lower jaw opens and closes - both jaws have teeth and his lips _look_ like fish lips, which is nice. His front lobes can flap up and down, and his rear lobes are more legs than lobes, complete with knee joints as well as hip joints. His dorsal fin swings to the sides, but this is really part of the transformation. It's worth mentioning that his feet are big enough that he can stand in variety of poses.

   Skalor's ahead of his time in terms of his moulding - there's a lot of organic detail here - 15 years before Beast Wars. Much of his body is covered in scales, his dorsal fin has internal spines, his fins have scales and the digits on the front ones look organic, and his lips also have an organic look about them. I'm not sure if this was a deliberate attempt to give him organic look, I suspect it was more to make sure he was identifiable as a fish, but this level of detail is a big plus for Skalor. He has fins on the heels of his feet, which isn't so realistic, since the legs are really oversized fins anyway. He has a rubsign indent on his snout, something no other Seacon has - suggesting he was done first amongst this group (since rubsigns were cancelled for 1988, the year the Seacons were released).

   As you can probably tell, I quite like this mode. The choice of species scores points, the moulding is great and the play value is solid. I'm not quite so sold on the colour scheme, but it's not a bad one, just mediocre. Overall, Skalor's got a good animal mode.

WEAPON MODE
   Looks more like a coelacanth with a broken neck than a gun - it's basically his animal mode on a stick with the head bent back and a gun attached.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Pull the head forward and flip it up. Fold the tail up onto his back, Stand him up. Level out the front fins now on his robot feet. Flip out his fists and position his arms.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 8cm Width: 7cm

   A pink & blue robot with some magenta bits and a yellow face. Basically, he's got a pink chest, pink feet and forearms, blue shoulders, legs, head and central chest stripe. His hands are magenta, as well as the fins now on the outsides of his feet. The colours work better in this mode, since the magenta's less prevalent - he's pretty much pink & blue.

   His facial detail is quite good, it's about average for a Seacon, but the yellow paint is applied a little heavily, so you've got to actually look to see the sculpt. There's not as much detail in the mould in this mode as the fish mode, but there's fewer big surface areas. Two that are available - the shoulders and lower legs, have stickers with mech detailing. A third, the central stripe, has a big Decepticon sticker - which works quite well.

   Skalor's proportions are a little off - his arms are a little too big and his shoulders very wide, he's right on the boundary between stocky and badly proportioned. I can deal with it, others might not like it. His feet also carry the magenta fins which might also bother people.

   While it's not as good as his animal mode, Skalor's robot mode is reasonable, and has a nice colour scheme.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of.

OVERALL

   For some reason, Skalor was a toy I had a lot of trouble acquiring. When I finally got him, I had all the bits I needed for Piranacon. Anyway, he's got a good animal mode, with a good sculpt. And it's about as novel as you could hope for. The robot mode's not as good, but it has a better colour scheme. Certainly better than Seawing and Nautilator, although not as cool as Tentakil, Skalor's worth getting on his own, and of course you need him for Piranacon, so he's a toy I recommend - 6.5/10

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