Cliffbee.com: Skyhopper Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Skyhopper
Series: Generation 1
Allegiance: Decepticon
Function: Aerial Assault Commander
Alt Mode: Spyplane, Helicopter



JET MODE
Height: 2.5cm Length: 6cm Width: 4cm

   A grey and pine green Saab Grippen jet, Skyhopper is a repaint of Storm Cloud. Most of the play is a darkish grey while the tail and rear fuselage are green. The canopy is painted a lightish purple. There are silver stickers on the wings and tail, the latter sporting Decepticon symbols.

   The fuselage itself is squashed with rounded sides and twin thrusters moulded on the back while the wings have missiles moulded on the tips. the wings themselves are fairly smooth and devoid of detail, so the stickers come in handy (and make him look more complete than Storm Cloud) as are the winglets towards the front.

   While the purple canopy is a little odd, the dark grey works quite well and the green works fine. The jet shape is fairly good and with the stickers keeping Skyhopper busy, this is a nice jet mode.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Fold up the wings and nose, extend the front of the fuselage and stand him up.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 5cm Width: 2.5cm

   Again grey and pine green, with the grey now less prominent, being limited to his arms and boots. The well sculpted face is painted purple. His thighs look better than Storm Cloud's did and the darker grey boots look better than the lilac boots of Storm Cloud - even though Skyhopper's boots are also hollow. The colours are dark and broody - there's no silver stickering here. Mind you, this suits a Decepticon and since it masks the shortcomings of the mould, works in Skyhopper's favour.

   The poseability is mediocre - the arms lift and that's all we really get. While the knees and hips can bend as one, the false front wheel sticking out from what would be his Achilles Heel ruins any chance of Skyhopper sitting down. He's able to stand in the chopper, however.

   The weaker of his two modes, but the colours hide this a little. I wouldn't call it an inspired repaint, more of a fluke - but still, it works.

HELICOPTER MODE
Height: 11cm Length: 26.5cm Width: 15cm

   A khaki helicopter with black runners, a black tail and black rotor on top. There's a purple dish hidden under the tail (although not really hard to spot), blue window stickers on a false window, just behind this is an open cockpit for Skyhopper to stand in. The cockpit is quite deep - Skyhopper can't quite see over the lip. There's a Decepticon logo sticker on the front, a grey nosegun and twin grey guns on either side. Other than the purple dish trying desperately to hide under the tail, this is a decent colour scheme - if not exactly an interesting one.

   The sculpt on this chopper is quite detailed, and both the twin blade rotor on top and smaller, four blade rotor, on the the tail are well formed. There are little stabilisers on either side towards the front and grey thrusters on either side of the tail. So this _should_ be a goo helicopter - but things don't quite work out that way. The dish on the back looks silly while the false windows don't really need to be there. I'm not impressed that Skyhopper can't see out of his own cockpit, either.

   The cannons can all turn to aim, and the rotors spin, giving about as much play value as we'd expect here. It's not really enough to save a disappointing chopper mode, sadly. What annoys me is that the problems are essentially avoidable ones.

TRANSFORMATION TO BATTLE STATION

   Detach the guns and main rotor. Open the sides, flip out extension panels and attach two yellow ramps on either side. Split the nose and swing out to the sides, attaching the last ramp to the front. Lift the tail up 90, rotate the tip to reveal the dish, attach the rotor on the back of this tower. Swing out the sides of the tailbase, move the yellow platform from the centre to one side, attach the nose gun where the rotor was, attach the side guns onto the blocks to either side.

BATTLE STATION
Height: 14cm Depth: 22cm Width: 34cm

   The khaki has opened up to reveal a base that's mainly purple with yellow ramps on either side, another on the front and a yellow platform in one corner. There are still a few khaki patches here and there, along with some grey weaponry, including a missilerack on the left side of the front (inside what was the nose of the chopper). There's just enough khaki to save this thing from being a giant grape, and it looks pretty good.

   This base is quite expansive and there's a nice path front side to side, perfect for car or truck Micromasters to roll through - it's actually wasted on Skyhopper. All three guns can be positioned while the missilerack sits there doing nothing. The radar dish finally looks good, and is able to rotate (although it can't spin).

   There are steel-gripped areas next to the two side-cannons, so other Micromasters can man those guns, which is nice but like the road running across the base, isn't really much help for poor Skyhopper - who can only man one at a time.

   While this actually a nice base mode, it's not really a good fit for Skyhopper. The road through the centre makes this a great fit for a figure with a land-based alt mode. There's no killer feature that Skyhopper can take advantage of, making him a spectator here. I don't dislike the base by any means, but for it to really shine you need to have other Micromasters around.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of, Skyhopper is a repaint of Storm Cloud as mentioned.

OVERALL

   A nice little Micromaster figure and a good basestation mode - but they don't really belong together. The helicopter mode should have been a lot better than it was, so I'd much rather leave it as a battle station. The set isn't a waste of time - provided you have some other Micromasters to add onto the nifty base mode. While there are better Micromaster bases around, this one's worth getting if you're a Micromaster fan - 6/10

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