Cyberverse Spark Armour Sky-Byte

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Skyquake87
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Cyberverse Spark Armour Sky-Byte

Post by Skyquake87 » Sun Aug 09, 2020 10:48 am

Name: Sky-Byte
Allegiance: Decepticon
Drone: Driller Drive


I was really excited to see a new Sky Byte toy. As a relatively modern character (from er, 20 years ago), it was just so refreshing to see someone other than the usual line up of important legacy characters. Cyberverse isn't really reinevnting the wheel in terms of Transformers, but it's nice to see Hasbro remember the line has something more to offer than yet more Bumblebee, Optimus and Megatron toys. This new Sky Byte also looked a lot nicer than the rather ugly Generations figure.

For the Spark Armour line, which comes in two size classes – nice Legends/ Scout class figures and horrible cheap looking Leader/ Ultra class lumps – each figure is packed with a little drone which can bust apart and form armour for the larger robot. It's Transformers does Centrurions, basically.


Robot Mode: Sky-Byte'srobot mode is really nicely done. To make up for the lack of paint, he's cast in a number of different coloured plastics, which really makes him pop and look like a bit of effort's been put in. The yellow's a bit like that soapy white plastic Hasbro's fond of, so the details on some parts – especially his face – are a bit smudgy and soft focus. He's a bit hollow, as you'd expect for a budget conscious line like Cyberverse, but he feels quite weighty and nicely textured in hand, which is surprising. What I really appreciate is how Hasbro have kept to the original design, but just tidied it up and streamlined it. He looks awesome for a little guy in the line.

Drone: The more I play with this guy, the more bizarre I find it that he wasn't packed with a more appropriate drone vehicle. Something underwater, like a submarine or one of those robot things they send down to the ocean floor. A land based drilling machine seems an odd thing to pair him with. The drill is nicely sculpted and looks the part, but is disappointing to play with as nothing moves. The drill doesn't spin and the wheels don't move. Boring.

Alternate Mode: Sky-Byte's shark mode is fantastic. No longer shaped with a fish waggle, like his earlier toys, Sky-Byte is nice chunky, brightly coloured shark. He can't do much, but he looks great and is good for imaginative play.

Spark Amour Mode: The armour's a bit silly, but I like it. It's a good play pattern. Would have been nice to throw in an action feature – a missile launcher or spinning drill – but it's pretty cool all the same. The wheels clamped on the arms do look daft and I can't imagine these being anything other than cumbersome.

Marks Out Of Ten For The Following:

Transformation Design: For the robot itself, a great simplification of a busy and complex design. He's great fun and compacts easily from robot to shark and you can work it out by looking at him. Less impressive is the overall Spark Armour gimmick. It relies on imaginative play, which I'm fine with, that's what toys are all about, after all, but I feel sold short on having a drone that's basically a lump of plastic that doesn't have much play value in it's own right. 7/10

Durability: Designed with younger fingers in mind, Sky-Byte is nice and chunky and tough feeling. As is the drone. Missing parts are the thing to watch out for. 8/10

Articulation: Suprisingly limited for a Legends scaled figure, Sky-Byte can just waggle his arms and legs. The head is fixed looking straight on. It's fine, but a bit disappointing. Do head swivels really take up a lot of the budget? 5/10

Fun: The Cyberverse line is all about fun. I like what they're going for here and enjoy the play pattern riffing off Centurions and Action Masters. Good call, Hasbro. 9/10

Price/Value: £16.99. That's only a couple of quid shy of a Siege Deluxe figure. The pricing on Cyberverse continues to be it's downfall. I'm sure there's a pointy head at Hasbro that can point to parts counts and budgets and so on, but Cyberverse does feel a bit Poundland next to the 'proper' figures in Siege and the Studio Series. Sky-Byte is enormous fun, but the price is all wrong and I don't feel I've got a good deal. 4/10

Overall: I love this toy and the play concept. I think it could have felt much more valuable to have the drone be more than a few solid lumps of plastic stuck together. I really would have liked some moving wheels at the very least – four, if not all eight. Other than that, I'm chuffed Hasbro have looked outside the usual suspects (Optimus, Bumblebee, Windblade, Grimlock and Megatron) for their junior line. Just a shame it's all a bit nobbled by a cheap manufacturing process and a silly RRP. 6/10
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Re: Cyberverse Spark Armour Sky-Byte

Post by Warcry » Mon Aug 10, 2020 5:00 pm

I really wanted to buy this when it was at retail here, but as you say the price just makes no sense for what you're getting. This set is about the size of a Generations Legends figure plus a Battlemaster, and retails for exactly what that combo would have cost. But the engineering, articulation and materials (plastic, paint) are way below the standards of the other lines. This would have to cost 25% or so less before it felt like it was worth the money. As-is, why are Hasbro even bothering to make this cheap-looking stuff if they can't sell it for a bit less than the Siege or Studio Series equivalent? If this costs the same to make as those, then Hasbro should be making Cyberverse toys that actually look good, with paint and joints and decent plastic. Obviously not at the same level of complexity as the lines with an older target market, but selling toys with KO-tier priduction values for the same price as decent toys really hurts the brand in my eyes.

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Re: Cyberverse Spark Armour Sky-Byte

Post by Skyquake87 » Sat Aug 15, 2020 9:12 am

I've really no idea what they're doing with Cyberverse. I really like some of the designs and toys (even those weird Legends scaled ones that don't transform), but the build quality and pricing is just awful. I don't understand how they can make Rescue Bots and Bot Bots such quality items and then just scrimp on the line that's supposed to keep kids with your toyline until they're old enough for the Generations/ Studio Series stuff. It just feels like they're fleecing consumers with this stuff and I don't understand why they're doing that, when they've recently gone to such lengths with Siege to steer a small, but vocal, section of gtheir consumer base away from Third Party bootleggers. It's just bizarre.

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Re: Cyberverse Spark Armour Sky-Byte

Post by Warcry » Sun Aug 16, 2020 7:32 pm

I gave a good look to Cyberverse Hammerstrike the other day when I saw one in store, because I've heard good things and Denyer seems to like it quite a bit. But they wanted $22 for it! I couldn't convince myself it was even close to worth that. The design looks cool but as you say, the build quality just lets it down. Even in the package, it looks closer to the knockoffs I see at the dollar store than the other Transformers product on the shelf beside it.

Does this stuff sell? I'm assuming it must but I've never actually seen anyone looking at Cyberverse figures in stores.

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Re: Cyberverse Spark Armour Sky-Byte

Post by Denyer » Wed Aug 19, 2020 12:07 am

I'm easily pleased by novelty and not-another-homage, but yeah the pricing is killing the line. With something like Meteorfire I can see a tiny bit more point to it as there's probably a few bucks/quid worth of electronics in the thing (and maybe kids like that shit? I don't remember doing so, batteries ruined one or two toys that had them inserted and after that it was never again). Would feel ripped off at RRP though.

With this, I think I'd have enjoyed the armour concept, it's not a million miles away from Centurions.

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