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Skyquake87's Review: Combiner Wars Skydive

Name : Skydive
Allegiance: Autobot
Sub Group: Aerialbots
Function: Air Warfare Specialist

“Only by studying the past can we win the present”

Bio: Skydive would rather read about jet fighters than be one. He's fascinated by the science of aerial warfare and has the ability - within the limits of his design - to duplicate the flying motion of anything he sees. This makes him possibly the most skilled flyer of all Transformers. In jet mode, he can reach speeds of Mach 2.6, and has a range of 1400 miles. His jet mode is armed with laser guided missiles and in robot mode he uses a nega-gun that crumbles objects by breaking molecular bonds. Due to his acrobatic flying, he's prone to mid-air stalls. With fellow Aerialbots, he combines to form "Superion".

Skydive is the only Aerialbot I have some real attachment to, having owned him in his original form as a youngster. He was pretty cool, a sleek grey jet with lightning bolts on his wings. His robot mode was this blocky little funk box with wavy arms (I didn't have his gun). He was, alright y'know? He wasn't outstanding or anything (he was a combiner limb, how could he be?), but I liked him all the same. So its with a heavy heart that we come to this updated monstrosity...

Robot Mode: Oh Skydive, what have they done to you? Where once you had this marvellous cuboid grill face, now you have this plummy lipped girls face, complete with girls hairdo – think 1920s flapper and you're there. I think this is supposed to look like the Sunbow animation model, except it doesn't. It gets the worse the further down his body you get. And I can't believe I just typed that sentence. His shoulders are hilariously wide and I don't think I've seen anything so daft since the days of Dynasty. Next stop on the crap-o-meter is his ugly great planky legs and these orthopaedic shoes that are passing themselves off as feet. Its like there's been design elements for five different characters going on here. There's also a slight case of over detailing present on him, with loads of lines all over him. Its the sort of unnecessary extreme detailing you'd see on some Third Party effort, its just a bit too busy for its own good and just serves to highlight how awful he looks. The colours are the only saving grace of this in flight disaster, well, those and the weapons. The orange face works well, despite looking like a bit of a disaster with the fake tan, and the red/black/grey looks as good here as it did on the original. His handheld weapon is another triumph, being this cool slightly too big set of cannons. The combiner kibble also pulls double duty as a passable missile launcher (non-firing) which is pretty decent.

Alternate Mode: The jet mode goes a long way to make up for the mess of the robot mode. Like the other Combiner Wars Aerialbots, it somehow manages to be far more bulky than an actual aeroplane and even his original toy, but it looks swish enough. From below is a different matter where the big red chest highlights the huge bulk of robo kibble tucked away under there. Still, its not that bad and only the arms being clamped to the fuselage under the wings, plus some extremely droopy rubber tail fins spoil things. The gold on the wings is nice and livens up what could have been a very dull looking grey jet. As with the robot mode though, the detailing is too much! There are lines and lines and lines and lines all over this thing and it really does not need half of the panel lines Hasbro have drizzled all over this guy like salad dressing. Maybe its because he's just a bit too small to pull this off, or the grey and gold colours aren't dense enough to cover up all this nonsense, but it just doesn't work on poor old Skydive here. At least the attack mode looks a little more well balanced, with the cannons near enough matching the bulk of the combiner fist rocket launchers, so he looks a lot less lop-sided.

Marks Out Of Ten For The Following :

Transformation Design: His transformation adds in a few flourishes the other Aerialbots lack. In addition to the clever split the legs in half piston action he has going on, there's a nice sliding , swivelly shoulder action going on. Although this is largely responsible for making the robot mode look horrible (the huge split visible in his legs, those daft shoulders) it is pretty clever. Maybe less is more in the current era of cost cutting, and perhaps Skydive wouldn't have turned out so weird if clever-dick moves like this had been left on the drawing board. 6/10

Durability: Skydive feels tough enough. His joints are strange though. They don't feel as solid and sturdy as the other Deluxe Aerialbots. They've got this odd fluidity to them. Whilst they don't feel like they'll break, they do feel like they'll wear down quickly with ease. He does struggle to hold the weight of the large cannons in robot mode, with his arms slowly bringing the thing to rest by his knees. 5/10

Articulation: Standard stuff for a Deluxe. I say that a lot in these reviews of late, but its true! Its the standard pattern of heads, shoulders, knees and hips...and also elbows. Its what you need, basically. Nothing too flash and fancy, just the same level of 'that'll do, let's not go mental' you'd have on a Beast Wars Basics toy. 7/10

Fun: Ugly and misproportioned as he is, Skydive is fun to play with. He looks weird in any pose, due to the odd mix of shapes in his robot mode and his joints let him down, like he's got rickets or something. Jet mode is great and I like the attack mode. 7/10

Price/Value: 15.99 for an ugly toy with many flaws and engineering that isn't anything above and beyond what Basic and Scout Class toys were doing five years ago. Skydive is a poor show on the value for money front, sadly. Maybe paint costs a lot these days, who knows? 4/10

Overall: Easily the weakest of the revived Aerialbots, Skydive has too much wrong with him to be a must have toy. He's one of those that whether you like it or not, you're going to have to get to make up the big combined form. Oh wait, that's right, you totally don't with the sixth Aerialbot Quickslinger on his way. Unless you're a G1 purist. 6/10
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