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Transformers Toy Review Archive (older series, 1984 to date)
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Sir Auros' review of Skywarp

Generation: Armada
Function: Aerial Warrior
First cartoon appearance: N/a

After months of waiting (and passing over the Starscream and Thundercracker figures), I was finally able to pick up a Skywarp figure and it lived up to my expectations. The figure's paintjob really screams Decepticon. Black and purple color most of the figure and I feel that those are just classic Decepticon colors what with purple being the insignia's traditional color and black being the universal color of evil. The Decepticon insignias really stand out in both modes and look quite sharp. The mold is, of course, altered slightly from the earlier Starscream and Thundercracker figures and includes a different minicon. The only changes I've noticed between the molds is that the jet mode's tail fins are smaller and equipped with hovering fan thingies and the robot mode's distinctive head with a fin on top and more of a visor with eye slits instead of a face. The minicon itself is a neat little figure, but there is only one minicon port where it will actually sit well and that is the port that releases the missiles. Both of the arm ports are too short to allow the minicon to attach in any position that isn't extremely tenuous. This is unfortunate, because I would think that if the mold was already under the process of being altered, the minicon ports would be altered as well so that the included minicon could actually be used in more than just one place. Either that or the minicon itself should have been altered. Aside from that little design flaw, the figure as a whole is pretty top-notch and certainly an impressive display piece at the very least.

Vehicle Mode: Skywarp's alternate mode is that of a futuristic jet fighter and, other than the color change and the different tail fins, is identical to the other two Armada jets. The cockpit can be depressed to activate laser sounds and the figure actually comes with batteries...what a time to be alive. The minicon can be inserted in a port near the back that allows the missiles to be released so they can point forward and activates additional sounds. The jet mode itself looks pretty good except for the missile launchers. I think they just look awkward no matter which way they face and it would've been nice had the missiles been painted to resemble fire or something other than just purple lumps. If I were in the mood, I'd probably play with the jet mode since (for reasons to be explained below) it's easier to manage in this mode than the robot mode.

Robot Mode: This is the mode my Skywarp will almost always be displayed in because it's just so swank. Skywarp looks like a hardcore, evil robot. I still don't like the asymmetry involved with taking his wing off for use as a sword, but it beats having him weaponless I suppose. The figure stands up very well with minimal balancing problems (just don't put him on a slope) and his arms have a decent amount of articulation. It's this mode that I'd really like the minicon to be able to attach somewhere other than on the back port so that it could resemble a weapon or something on Skywarp's arm. Sadly, the only way the minicon can be attached is to fold up the wings, fold the legs up in a weird angle, and then put it on his arm at a crooked angle and hope that it doesn't fall off in a stiff breeze. The legs can be bent at the knees and hips and rotate around the shins, so they're technically articulate, but in practice they are not. If you bend the legs at any point, the figure will be unable to stand at all so it's not really worth moving the legs any more than just rotating the feet. I dislike how the arms bend at the elbow since it's possible to put them in very unnatural poses but also because they're a pain to mess with. I honestly couldn't see myself playing with this toy in the robot mode (and haven't), but it's still a very impressive mode to have the figure on display.

Minicon: I think Skywarp's minicon has nice robot and vehicle modes, but I just can't agree with the designer's choice for combining these two clearly incompatible molds. As I said before, the minicon really only has one effective linking place on Skywarp and there's really little point in even that.

Transformation:3 I'd never transformed the previous incarnations of this mold nor even unfolded the instructions when I transformed the figure in the span of somewhere less than a minute.
Durability: 9 A very sturdy Armada figure (the one universal saving grace of this line), but the detachable wing does come off involuntarily every now and then. It's not a matter of it breaking, but more of a matter of it coming off and then losing it.
Fun: 6 I just don't think it's a very fun toy. The jet mode's fine, but the robot mode is too hard to pose. Doesn't make it a bad toy though and it does still have fun sounds to annoy people with.
Price: 8 I think the toys in Skywarp's price-range are very fairly priced since they're larger, more complicated, and include electronics, so $20 (on average) is really quite decent.
Summary: 8 If you've been waiting for this toy for display, it's well worth it. If you want it to play with, it's no better or worse than the Starscream or Thundercracker molds, but I won't be playing with the figure a whole lot. This isn't an average, but a reflection on my view of the toy overall.
 
 
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