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Transformers Toy Review Archive (older series, 1984 to date)
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Clay's Review: Skyhammer

Name: Skyhammer
Allegiance: Autobot
Function: Aerial Assault Commander
Size Class: Voyager Class

Back on Cybertron, Skyhammer was a highly decorated Autobot aerial assault commander. He was tasked with personally advising Optimus Prime in countless skirmishes with the Decepticons. Skyhammer is surprisingly nimble given his size and weapon payload. He is an expert with projectile weapons, but also excels in hand-to-hand combat. He carries an Energon blade bestowed on him by Optimus Prime as recognition of extraordinary courage and heroism in battle.

Like the two movie lines before it, Dark of the Moon features some toys that aren't representative of characters on film. Skyhammer fills a slot in the second wave of voyager figures. This is the third or fourth movie-style voyager helicopter to be made in the past few years, and the figure does a good job of distinguishing itself from the rest.

Alternate mode

Skyhammer becomes an 'attack helicopter' of nebulous design, taking several cues from the Apache like a four-bladed rotor and wing mounted missile pods. The colors are fair choices for a vehicle of such function - mostly muted blue with a gray underside. The underside itself conceals the robot parts with mostly flush connections to make a solid surface, something that's frequently omitted from aircraft transformers. The helicopter mode also features numerous 5mm holes for attaching parts, some seven in all. Skyhammer's overlarge mechtech gun thing looks best when attached underneath the cockpit as it creates a terribly asymmetrical look otherwise. The oddest thing about the helicopter mode, though, is the apparent lack of a tail rotor for stabilization. Closer inspection reveals vents in the tail to perform such a function, and probably work just fine in the world of toy robots, but it's still odd at first glance.

Robot mode

Skyhammer's robot mode is really novel. Most transformers that are helicopters, for whatever reason, use the cockpit as the chest and have the tail of the aircraft hang off the back of the robot (most of the time this is so that some mechanism to spin the blades can be incorporated). Skyhammer is a great contrast as it uses the center of the rotor for a chest and has as few spare bits as possible dangling off. The result is a fairly hulking frame, what with its large hands and upper body mass. Pictures basically do the robot mode justice; it's well detailed but a bit gangly. It can hold the large weapon in its hand or mount it on either wrist, and the same is true for the detachable missile pods.

The biggest problem with the robot mode comes from the legs. The knees have an additional joint that rotates at about 45 degrees for the helicopter mode, but these joints do not lock into place. This creates the result of Skyhammer looking like he has rickets if you don't position the feet directly forward, which is unnatural stance to the human eye. Also, it falls down.

Transformation design: 7. Skyhammer is a new idea for transforming helicopter robots. Unlike the two-hundred different ways devised for cars to turn into robots, helicopters don't have much variety. Skyhammer is neat for its new idea, and it actually works pretty well.
Durability: 8. I don't foresee any major problems or fragility issues with this figure.
Fun: 6. It's a helicopter with lots of armament. But the robot is somehow... less intimidating than the alternate mode.
Aesthetics: 5. Middle of the road movie-looking Transformer.
Articulation: 6. The arms and upper body have a great range of motion, but the legs have less useful articulation because of the problem with the knees.
Value/Price: 5. Skyhammer is certainly large and detailed enough to warrant the voyager price, but other more interesting figures are available for the same price right now, so I can't say the helicopter would be the first-choice.
Overall: 6. Skyhammer, despite the problem with the legs, is a really inventive design that works surprisingly well considering no other helicopter Transformer is quite like him. However, I do think that most of what impresses me about this figure can be appreciated without having to own one yourself.
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