Skyquake87's Review: Skylynx
Skylynx is a powerful and chaotic force who lives to serve the Predacon cause!
So, dull fanboy facts out of the way first. Skylynx cribs his name and livery from the Autobot Lieutenant Commander from the spooky 1980s. And why not? Its a good name and the colours are nice. This little rascal though is one of only three named Predacons that appeared in the Transformers: Prime TV show, appearing in the series capstone Transformers: Prime Beast Hunters : Predacons Rising TV Movie, where he showed up with his pal Dark Steel. They did some stuff and then the show ended and that was that. He's not a terribly memorable character and along with Dark Steel, doesn't really amount to much of a 'Rising'.
The supporting toyline for Predacons Rising is,er just Skylynx and Darksteel in the 'normal' action figure scales of Deluxe and Voyager (at least in the UK, other markets got -wait for it – another Bumblebee!) , plus some rather ugly repaints of some earlier Cyberverse figures. Skylynx himself is a straight recolour of the Predacon Skystalker, whom beat him to retail by about six months. The line is exclusive to Tesco and Skylynx here is a massive shelf warmer and frankly, its not hard to see why.
I picked him up as I've not grown out of that childhood thing of having the 'cool guy' off the TV show. I liked the animation model and the generic bad guy personality enough to pick up the toy. Trying to collect a full cast of the Prime cast is something of a fools errand though, as the cast is not available complete in any scale, which is a puzzling conundrum that Hasbro have presented us with. So well done them. It's probably some strategy to get everyone to pick and mix between the various lines, but I woke up one morning and realised I don't actually want some of the cast in one size and others in another, so all the Cyberverse stuff has gone. Or its due to costs or some other blah, but whatever. Its possibly another reason that Prime hasn't done great business, along with a general decline in both the appeal of action figures, and the waning of consumer interest in yet more Optimus and Bumblebee toys after the movie lines have given us nothing but over a previous five year period.
This is a bit of a disaster. There's some nice elements to it, but it just looks horribly wrong. The torso, arms and head are lovely. The arms are these nice lithe sections in deep blue, broken up with some nice gold flashes and a Predacon faction symbol. The forearms are a bit messy though, with the uncomfortable jumble of dragon claw and robot hand pinned onto his forearms like some act of crude surgery after a terrible accident. The head, hidden inside the dragon's gaping maw, is reminiscent of Beast Machines Strika, all round and grilled with sticky out bits a bit like a gas mask. Again, some effort has been put in to paint this up properly, with the evil glint of the gold eyes, metallic blue face plate and crest. The chest has this nice rib cage like design – smartly painted in gold and blue – and he has a nice heart shaped waist and breadbasket which compliments the dark blue arms. Where it goes wrong is with the chicken legs. Although the joints are pretty good, he just never stands naturally on these scrawny wee things and although with a bit of care he does have good balance, he just looks clumsy and awkward. The wings also really dominate the figure and they can't really be put anywhere without them looking ugly and cumbersome. They are articulated to allow them to be split so you can mess about with the disc launchers, but they do cause a lot of balance problems because they make the toy so back heavy. As well as the aforementioned disc launchers, the tip of the beast mode tail can detach and clip over either of his hands to form ...a studded glove? Hmm, not sure about that one... Despite his questionable weapons and awkward robot mode, with the level of moulded detail and a well thought out palette, Skylynx just about overcomes his problems. As he's packaged in robot mode, he looks deeply unimpressive and rather small - about a quarter of the size of his packaging materials, which is never a good look. In fact Hasbro, if do want to save some money, how about whittling down your card backs and boxes? There's no way on God's Earth these piddly toys need to come on such honking great things. 3/10
All the Preadcons are various shades of dragon. Some have wings, some do not. It doesn't lead to much variety in the line. Skylynx is a more successful proponent of the concept though, in that he actually looks like a dragon, rather than a chicken. It's clear that this has been the main focus of this particular toy, with the robot mode very much an after thought. He looks rather magnificent in this form, all hunched and ready to pounce or take flight. The moulded detail really brings the thing to life – he's all serrated edges and jagged bits of metal. Of the more minor points of dissatisfaction are the magenta claws at the front which seem an obvious sign post of these being the robot arms- they might have looked better matched to the rear legs with magenta forelegs and blue feet. Elsewhere, his head feels like it could have used an extra joint to lift up a little further, to give him a little more character and make him look less like he's constantly glowering at you. The hips and tail aren't a particularly secure part of the toy and just flop about on their various joints which is a poor show. As lovely as his beast mode looks, like some angry flying cheesecake, there's not really much you can do with him, despite all those joints. The wings being forced into that swept back, upright position doesn't lend itself well to play either. Sure, they can swing out to the sides, but that just makes him look like a crest on a coat of arms. Despite his rather static nature, the disc launchers add a bit of brightness to proceedings, so coupled with his colours, its a 6/10
Skylynx' transformation is a classic case of an over egged pudding. All you really have to do is lift the tail up and force the dragon into an upright position. Sounds fairly straight forward, but no, there's a right load of nonsense to contend with going between modes. The hip sections split in two between robot and beast to accommodate the tail (get your minds out of the gutter) and the sliding sections the halves of the hips are on are curiously stiff to separate yet very loose when in position for the beast mode. The tail doesn't properly lock into these sections , despite being designed to do so resulting in his rear legs and tail being loose and messy. There really wasn't any need to make the robot chest open to fit the lower jaw of the dragon head in for the robot mode either and I don't care for the weird jiggle you have to do with the wings / robot arms either. Or that the front feet/ claws are prone to popping off their ball joints as there's not enough clearance when rotating this section about to bring the robot hands into position. Essentially, someone has been slightly ashamed that the same transformation has been repeated for each of the Predacons and made each of the designers go back and tweak it a bit to make each one a bit different. They really shouldn't have bothered, as it makes Skylynx an annoying toy to transform. 3/10
Some parts are made to detach if excessive force is applied. Which on mine means one leg permanently falling off the ball joint. And the dragon's front feet popping off. 5/10
Skylynx' articulation works in favour of the beast mode. The joints in the arms, legs and wings are much more easily manipulated and make more sense in beast mode than in robot mode. The cluttered nature of the robot mode, with its wings all over the place mean he isn't best placed to take advantage of the bevy of joints he has. He perhaps has a few too many joints, as he's one of those toys that takes a great deal of manipulation to be posed decently without looking like he's punch drunk. It just feels like all the points of articulation are working against him. 5/10
The beast mode is definitely the best mode to play with this guy in, but there are just so many problems with his limbs and the way he's constantly looking at the ground that get in the way of him being as good as he could have been, The kinetic disc launchers also require you holding the dragon mode a bit like a Nerf gun to launch them, which crumples the figure somewhat. Likewise, the messy and easily unbalanced robot mode rob the joy out of playtime. 3/10
Skylynx has been an exclusive for UK retailer Tesco and has been excluded from the majority of their offers and various discounts that have been run on Transformers Prime toys, which leaves you paying the full RRP of £12.00 for this guy. In my eyes, even the very best Deluxe toys feel overpriced these days, so Skylynx hasn't much of a hope of representing good value for money. 3/10
Sadly, there's just too much wrong with Skylynx to make him worth the bother. The floppy rear end in beast mode, the pose of the creature, the poor robot mode, the needlessly fussy transformation and all those pointless joints really do for him. Anyone interested in the toy would also be hard pressed to say this is the same guy as in the TV Movie, as the toy is radically different to the hulking chap seen on screen. He's a notorious shelf warmer and despite his glorious colours, he really is one for the completist only. It's a shame as there's the germ of a really good toy in here, but its been utterly fouled up. 4/10