Cliffbee.com: Skyblast Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Skyblast
Series: Energon
Allegiance: Autobot
Alternate Mode: Space Fighter



FIGHTER MODE
Height: 7cm Length: 18cm Width: 13cm

   Incidentally, at first glance, the above dimensions make Skyblast a very large basic, but 7cm of the length is the add-on Energon nose cannon.

   Skyblast is a very tastefully done white space fighter with cherry red and grey pieces, gold painted highlights and a transparent red cockpit. There are straight red Autobot symbols on his wings, as well as a clear spark crystal on top. There are four transparent red Energon add-ons, the first is a long pole that clips underneath the nosecone and significantly adds to Skyblast's length. There's an Energon chip that can clip over the spark crystal, and while this is kind of useless, it works better than on most Energon basics in that the red fits in with his colour scheme. The last two pieces are wingtip covers of sorts. Skyblast looks equally nice with or without the additions, so I guess it's up to you whether or not to attach them. With or without them, Skyblast has a good colour scheme that fits together very well.

   It's not only the colour scheme that looks good - Skyblast is a pretty cool little fighter plane, and with the accessories added he's got a giant gun on the front! He has twin grey engines on the back and underneath has red claws for grabbing things that I assume also allow him to attach to a bigger Energon toy in some way. He has front wheels moulded underneath, but no rear wheels since he rests on the folded up claws.

   The only real downside of Skyblast's plane mode is a lack of play value. Really, the play value is only in the ability to remove and attach the Energon pieces - which is the point of the Energon line, anyway.

   Something else that's been pointed out to me is the G1 Skyfire overtones on this toy. The blue patch on the top of the plane is a clear copy of the blue canopy that Skyfire had, and the stowed robot legs on top are reminiscent of the backpack Skyfire carries in the cartoon.

   I'm willing to forgive the relative lack of play value - after all, Skyblast's only a basic. The fact is this is a great looking plane mode, and really, at this size, that's all I expect of an alt mode. So on balance, this is a strong plane mode.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   The wings swing out and forward, revealing the robot arms to which they're attached. You can then swing down the legs and swing the arms back in alongside the body. Flip up the feet and heelspurs, rotate the wings on his forearms up. Rotate the chest panel 180, which will cause the cockpit to rotate and reveal the head, then swing the cockpit back behind his head. Give him his weaponry.

   I'm not sure why they included it, but the internal mechanism that causes the head to rotate is a nifty feature that really adds to the appeal of this toy. By rights it's more than you'd expect of a basic.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 12cm Width: 12cm

   The white, cherry red and grey continues. He's still largely white with red shoulders, grey forearms, thighs and feet, and a white head with a grey face and black eyes. The head itself is entirely painted, making the white more vibrant and glossier than the rest of the toy's white plastic. Just like on the plane mode, the colours look really good here. The chestplate is essentially white, but has a lot of red and gold paint, as well as the spark crystal as it's centrepiece.

   The Skyfire homage is more obvious now - since Skyblast's head is essentially that of Skyfire. Oh, if only Hasbro had used the name Skyfire during Armada and kept the trademark alive (they used it in RiD), this toy would have no doubt been called Skyfire.

   The wings are on the outsides of his forearms, sweeping up. There are again moulded Autobot symbols, but these are unpainted, sadly. If you like, you can rotate the wings so they sweep down and reveal the painted Autobot symbols from the jet mode, although they'll be upside down. Whoever designed to leave these unpainted should be sent to bed without any dinner, because the prototype pictures have them painted and it looks _so_ much better.

   The weaponry can be used in three ways, the first two involve combining them together. The first option is to give the combined weapon to a larger toy as a giant sword, but that's beyond the scope of this review. The second is as a giant staff for Skyblast (or another basic, I suppose), and this is my preferred option, since it's taller than he is and makes for a formidable melee weapon. The last option is to attach the wingtip parts to his wings and the use the blaster as a giant gun, but it's a little awkward. The giant staff is fine but a gun that's this long just looks impractical. It's actually possible to detach the main shaft leaving the handle to form a shorter handgun, but it looks like he's holding a luggage rack or something. You can attach the Energon chip to his chest if you like, although the Autobot spark crystal looks better.

   The poseability is for the most part, pretty good. The shoulders rotate and hinge outwards, the elbows are hinged, as are the feet and heelspurs. The head doesn't really swivel since the cockpit is locking it in place. The hips are ball joints, but since the knees only rotate and don't bend, the hip poseability is only of limited value. The head being restricted isn't really an issue, but the knees are probably this toy's biggest flaw.

   Despite the knees and unpainted wing ensignia, this mode looks really sweet. The head is painted well, the colours work, the proportions are nice and the staff really gives him a heroic and brave look.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of. Repainted as part of the live-action movie line.

OVERALL

   This is easily my favourite Energon basic. The jet mode is excellent, the robot mode is also strong, despite the knees and unpainted wings. The Energon accessories actually add to the toy, which makes him even cooler. For the G1 fans there's the added Skyfire homage, which is in itself a reason to get the toy. If you only get one Energon basic, get Skyblast - he's a very good toy - 9/10

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