HotShot81's Review: Prime Beast Hunters Skystalker
Tales of the Beast Hunters Part 12
With every Transformers line since Beast Wars, Hasbro has released toys that for one reason or another had characters who didn't make a formal or big appearance in the series in question. I've lost how many times Kup, to name one, has had toys made for him, and Skystalker makes that list also. The big difference is between Kup and Skystalker is that he's a brand new character so fans may not expect Skystalker, or dare I say it, want him?
In some ways Skystalker is a character made by the fact that he was needed for the larger overall fiction of the Prime franchise. You had Predaking, you had his "army" being made both on Earth and Cyberton. Both armies were destroyed as we know them, but we also know that Megatron and later Predaking were pushing Shockwave to make more, so who is to say that he isn't one of the survivors.
Off his box here, "Skystalker is an ice-cold predacon warrior with the power to annihilate all who stand before him!"
Skystalker comes out of the box in beast mode. He reminds me of a strange dragon. He looks like what I would consider an arctic dragon with the blues and whites all over him. He's got some massive wings that look large enough to permit him to fly, but by the same token he's close to the ground, and he reminds me of an iguana of all things. A blue and white iguana with horns. I guess his Lordship Predaking wanted to have troops for all the environments of Earth when he commanded that Skystalker be made.
I love the detail work that went into making Skystalker. Everywhere you look on him you see texture, and detail work. There is just one problem, it's half complete. Every pin, every screw, it's all exposed! It's one thing to see one or two pieces of metal, but it kills the illusion when so much of it is exposed. It shows that while he has detailing, no one considered trying to cover up to make him look better. With all his joints he does have a few possible poses, the thing is that because he's built low to the ground, it would be hard for him to "kill" another Transformer. Speaking of transformers, let's go from Beast to bot!
Close his hips up, straighten up his rear legs so they can support him with his tail. You will find some studs in his feet which act like high heels to help stabilize him. Guess he took some tips from Starscream.
Feel free to detach the end of his tail. You flip over his front paws so they face up, now spin them on the pivot under each arm outward from the body which reveal his arms. You will want to push his chest out a bit before you open his beast's jaws which will fit into that space. Lock it in tight by closing the chest , flip his head forward, and hey he's done.
Skystalker has a rather straightforward transformation. I didn't see myself when transforming him checking the manual every step to make sure I was doing it correctly. In layman's terms you could think of him as any quadruped learning to stand on two feet, using his tail as rear support.
How does he look standing up? He looks skinny, he looks narrow. He strikes me as a slasher kind of foe. The guy who will wait somewhere hiding, and then strike his foe. This does fit in with his strength rating of 6, he is clearly not one of Predaking's premier battlers.
Despite the earlier mention of the over exposure of metal, I love his legs. They offer a very spring-like look. Five joints per leg give him a good deal of high articulation. The traditional kneecaps we think of when we think of humanoids are there, and they can move. The tricky part I find is readjusting his tail to support him when you move him up or down. The tail doesn't look that great given the fact that it's all exposed plastic cells. There was no attempt there to hide it. It looks bad, simple as that.
Moving up so to speak, the chest looks nice, highly detailed, the kind of thing you'd want. He can do 360 degree twists, man can I sign him up as my chiropractor? I like how the tops of the shoulders match the knees with the same kind of canary yellow. The arms do have a problem. They are very skinny, I mean so skinny that his paws can't really be concealed by them. His hands can hold his weapon, but nothing else really. It crosses over from "We have limited space" to "It's just bad". On the top of his left arm in silver on the dark blue background is the Predacon logo.
His arms are connected to his chest via a pair of long pieces of white plastic. They also support his wings. While I get the need for them to be long, they don't look that great. I love his wings, highly detailed. I was going to report a botched paint job, but Hasbro says that his wings are supposed to have this splash of white on his blue wings. It is random, but it does give him a more organic sense.
The wings do have two problems. When you flip them forward to attack mode, there are two pivots here. The first one gives him maybe a 100 degree arc of movement. Hard to see him using that to strike at some Autobot or Decepiticon. If you use the secondary one he does collide with the shoulder until it clear it. The upside with the second one is that it does line up with his head and looks like he does on the box.
Sadly the disk firing mechanism does not work as it states in the manual. There is no button on top of the wings to fire them off. I checked on line, and almost took Skystalker apart looking for them. The only way to fire those disks off is via the push device behind them. They have a range of 3-6 inches.
Let's look at his face, he doesn't have the traditional humanoid look we've come to associate with bots over the years. He has a pair of red eyes, nice piece of white in his forehead. Thing is there is no hint of a mouth. He looks like he has maniples there, somehow reminding me of Tarantulas from Beast Wars.
Transformation Design 4/10
Hasbro has him rated as an intermediate. I respectfully disagree. I know and you know the more experience you rack up transforming them, the easier it gets. The problem is this is so easy even a 5-6 year old could figure out the basics of transforming him without needing the manual.
I did some drop tests for him, he's solid. What worries me is all the pivots that aren't ball joins. The small arms just scream, "I might break if pushed too far!"
He's got a few negative marks against him here. The fact that he's not a known character, though it's not his fault. The fact his weapons have such limited range, yeah his fault. He's fun, but average level, nothing super in the end.
If I were rating him on the detail & paint job, I'd be ranking him 7-8 on 10 and I'd be confident on that score. However all the exposed pins, and screws just kill how he looks.
Skystalker has a lot of joints as is typical of the era. However a lot of joints do not necessarily make a good Transformer. The problem with Skystalker is he has limited poses, and he's a pain to change poses in humanoid mode.
I paid $5 for him, normally retail price for him where I live is $16. I am being honest that my value is based on the $5 price make. His design flaws just doesn't make him that great a Transformer. Where I am, it seems he's one of the shelf stuffers that just isn't moving.
Part of me loves Skystalker. He has an amazing paint job. He has a load of detailing that I rarely see in a Deluxe size figure. However then I see the flaws. The exposed pins, the difficulty in posing him, the weapons that don't work as advertised. He has a rushed feeling in the end, like someone designed the details, but didn't think how it'd look when it was put together, or how it'd work when it was put together.