Sir Auros' review of: Skids
"Speed is immaterial when you've got intelligence. And killer rims."
In addition to the reappearance of character quotes, Alternators are sporting a new look in packaging. I won't bore you with a description of it, but it's certainly more eye-catching than the previous packaging and matches the Cybertron packaging nicely. Skids is really the only new figure in the current (as of January 2006) batch of Alternators and thus the only one I was excited about purchasing. Really, my only complaint with the figure was that I was really hoping it was going to be Ironhide when we first saw the prototype pictures and then it turned out to be Skids. I have a few other sniggly things, but Skids is a very solid figure overall.
The Scion xB is one goofy-ass looking car, but it's still more aesthetically pleasing than something like the Honda Element. As with every other Alternator to come out, the vehicle mode is wonderful with a great attention to detail with the dashboard and instrument panels and seating. Unlike the other Alternators, Skids has a paintjob I'm really not happy with. Sure, I've complained about black plastic showing through in a couple of other figures, but that's more of a quality issue than actual paint. No, Skids has these flame "decals" painted on the sides, which I could overlook (even though it's stupid ricer crap) if it didn't look like it was printed on by an old paper press. The paintjob is composed of largish dots and it just looks terrible. In addition to this, the shade of blue plastic used in the rear fenders and tailgate of the car doesn't match up with the shade used everywhere else, which is similar to the problem with Swerve.
The car mode ultimately hinges on whether or not you're a fan of this model. I'm not, but I don't mind displaying the figure in vehicle mode.
Here we go, Skids can be placed in the exclusive (but thankfully growing) group of Alternators that does a decent job of getting the car parts out of the way in the figure's back. There is no hood impairing leg movement, there isn't a whole windshield and rollbars dangling from the shoulders, this figure keeps the excess out of the way. There's also a wide range of movement due to this and the unending wonder that is the ball and socket joint. I love displaying this figure in robot mode because it can be balanced in some great poses and the head has a much better range of motion than several of the other Alternators.
The only complaint I have about Skids' robot mode is that the shoulders just don't look solid when one can see right through them from above. The kibble from the car mode can also look like a hunchback in certain poses, so I guess there are two complaints. Actually, since they come in threes, there's another paint problem in this mode too. The red on the arms, crotch, and feet is painted over black and the darker plastic underneath makes it looks like a cheap knockoff.
: 10 - Getting the freakin' backpack/hunchback thing into robot mode took me a longer time than I'll ever admit and I'm never certain if I have it really transformed correctly.
: 8 - Is it just me, or does it seem like the plastic quality has declined?
: 9 - Great little figure with some sweet poses.
: 10 - Still $20 a pop for the best Transformers toyline ever. Bite me fanboys.
: 8 - Nice robot and vehicle mode that's fun to play with and looks pretty good, but loses some points overall for the plastic feeling cheap and the awful flames.