The Reverend's review: Skydasher
"Sky Dasher" (original Diaclone name, no official Hasbro name)
This Powerdasher is a new form of Autobot. Power is still growing. Fast and skillful. Little is known about its true strengths and weaknesses. Came to Earth to help the Autobots in their cause. Able to take on a variety of shapes and forms. Has the ability to operate at various levels of kinetic energy. Friendly, cheerful and obedient.
The Powerdashers made their first appearance as cheap entries in the Diaclone line, bearing the names "Sky Dasher" (jet), "F1 Dasher" (car) and "Drill Dasher" (drill tank). They reappeared in 1985 as the cheapest in a Hasbro mail-away offer included with boxed Transformers, alongside the Omnibots and the "Time Warrior" watch. The "jet" version was pictured, with the cautionary statement "POWERDASHERS are constantly evolving. The style you get may be different from the one pictured here", meaning that anyone who ordered one could conceivably receive any of the three. Sky Dasher, according to rumor, is the most common. All three Powerdashers possessed pull-back motors.
The way things go in TF land, if it bears only a passing resemblance to a known vehicle, we call it a "Cybertronian" (insert vehicle name here), so I guess this is a Cybertronian jet. The front half of its relatively sleek body is chrome, the rear is black, and there appears to be a shallow cockpit in it for a Diaclone driver with no canopy. Chrome wings stick out horizontally from the back of the jet, with giant red "engines" (or maybe they're weapons?) facing forward and curious stickers on upraised fins reading "SD-34". Large wheels with rubber tires sit at the rear of the jet (these are the motorized wheels), and the chrome nose piece has two plastic ones free-wheeling underneath to avoid scraping the chrome underbelly on the linoleum. There's an Autobot symbol on top of the black body. As "jets" go, it's actually kind of cool even if it's very small (about G1 Powerglide's size). The robot mode's chrome fists make the nose of the jet, which is moderately annoying (It really doesn't bother me, but other people I've shown it to have commented a lot about it). Unlike some of it's similarly-sized brethren in the line, the jet has a fair amount of molded (if unidentifiable) details, and thanks to its wheels underneath, it can still run along the kitchen floor after being pulled back if you're into that sort of thing. There's something about the general shape of the vehicle mode that looks familiar to me, like it appeared in some show or cartoon or Atari game artwork around that time, but I can't place it.
This is dumb, but I actually made a transforming construction-paper version of Sky Dasher as a kid from looking at the mail-away offer photo. The transformation is just that obvious. Rotate the chrome wings back 90 degrees to form the upper legs, the red engines turn similarly to make his shins, then split the chrome front of the jet down the middle to make arms. No, the robot mode is not as cool as the jet. You get a slightly portly fellow with low hanging arms and a clownish, stickered face on a red head, and no poseability unless waving your arms at right angles to your body counts for something, and a bunch of medieval monks figured out long ago (and many broken legs later) that you cannot fly doing that. He can move his legs at the hips and do an unnatural sideways knee bend, so I guess he can do a sort of karate kick. That's about it. Still, since he's relatively thin and a little lankier than most Autobot minicars, he escapes the "fat little bugger" syndrome that plagued a lot of TFs of this size around this point in the line. Sky Dasher came with no accessories, so it's hard to imagine what exactly he went around doing in robot mode. Maybe he's the one that fell out of the closet in that silly G1 episode that featured Optimus Prime's Botany Bay
-style tomb. (I'm joking - don't go watching it just to see him.)
Marks out of ten for the following:
1 - I made a two-dimensional replica out of friggin construction paper!
3 - From what little I've seen of other people's examples, the chrome wears down to yellow easily. Mine is actually in pretty good shape. But those skinny wings look kind of fragile to me.
2 - Eh. The vehicle mode is cool, but the robot mode is useless.
2 - Harder to find, but doesn't run much more than what it did back then.
1 - It's a curiosity of G1, but that's about all it's got going for it unless you have childhood memories of it.