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Transformers Toy Review Archive (older series, 1984 to date)
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SKL

Warcry's review of: Skids

Name: Skids
Allegiance: Autobot
Function: Theoretician
Sub-Group: NA
"Deep down, we are more like than unlike humans."

A daydreamer... often bumps into things at 60 mph while pondering Earth life instead of a Decepticon attack. Considers Earth one vast lab for his research. His findings are often invaluable to fellow Autobots. Enormous memory storage capacity. Carries a liquid nitrogen rifle with 600 foot range. Twin electron blaster of 20,000 volts can short-circuit almost anything. At 60 mph can stop within 25 feet. Not very fast... often in danger due to daydreaming.

Skids is a rarity for me; a Transformer that I don't remember from my youth. He barely appeared in the Cartoon at all, and I wasn't reading the comics yet when he was a main character (which lasted for all of four issues, anyway). I was too young to play with the toys when he was on the shelves, none of my friends had him, and I simply never knew he existed. As such, this review is a rarity for me: a G1 Transformer that I can review without having a single trace of nostalgia for the figure.

Skids was short-packed back in the '80s, so only half as many Skids were on the shelves as the other '85 cars. This led to Skids being one of the rarest US-released Transformers (only Swoop could claim to be more rare), and he wasn't re-released in G2. That means that a vintage Skids costs an insane amount of money, which in turn led to him being one of the first figures reissued by Takara in their numbered reissue series. For reasons known only to them, Hasbro waited until Series 8 to release the guy, preferring to put out shelf-warmers like Dirge and Grapple before him. At my local TRU Skids is practically flying off the shelves, and only Jazz, Prowl and Rodimus Prime sold faster in their first months on sale here. Crazy.

Vehicle Mode:
I'm not really sure what Skids is even supposed to be. The instruction sheet refers to him as a 'race car', but all that tells me is that Hasbro uses trained chimps to write their instructions. Skids appears to be some sort of van, but he's so small compared to the other Autobot cars that I'd be more comfortable calling him a Mini or something [He's just under 3 1/2 inches long in vehicle mode, whereas most Autobot cars are just under 4 1/2]. In fact, he looks utterly ridiculous in the huge box Hasbro ships him in, since 90% of it is wasted space.

Confusion aside, Skids is pretty mediocre in this mode. He's almost entirely blue, with black bumpers and red striping. His side doors open as does his trunk [The Diaclone version of Skids apparently came with a little scooter or something that stored in the trunk; unfortunately, the Transformer version does not]. He has nice detailing on the headlights, but unfortunately his grille exists only in sticker form. The overall effect of the car is pretty nice from a distance, owing mostly to the very nice blue they chose for his main colour.

Unfortunately, on closer inspection Skids doesn't look so hot. There's several millimetres of empty space between his doors and windshield, between his windshield and hood, and between the two halves of his rear door. All of these gaps look tacky, and they take away from the offbeat coolness of the vehicle. The front tires don't help either, seeing as how they aren't covered at all by his front fenders. The bits that become Skids' shoulders in robot mode take up too much space underneath the car, pushing the wheels out too far.

Robot Mode:
Skids is surprisingly tall in this mode, towering over several of his fellow cars who can boast of having much larger vehicle modes. Skids looks pretty plain at first sight, but when he's fully decked out with stickers and shiny chrome weapons he's very striking. He's well proportioned, the midnight blue paintjob looks even better with the chrome to accent it, and he's got a nice head sculpt. Skids has a lot of stickers in this mode, more so than any other Transformer in my collection; in fact, he probably has a few too many.

Skids has a bit more articulation than the average G1 car, too. His shoulders and wrists move, and his head can tilt backwards. Unfortunately, I've found that his shoulder joints are so tight that when I try to move his arms up, his bumper pops away from his hips instead.

As a side note, the instructions included with Skids put his arms in the most idiotic configuration possible. They suggest that you transform him so that his tires are on the sides of his body, with the shoulders still under the fenders. Doesn't make any sense to me, as that's incredibly ugly. Anyway, the arms are configured in a better way in the box art, with his shoulders swung out from the fenders. In this configuration, the tires are on the back of the arms so that they touch his doors, and the screws that hold his arms in place are facing forward.

As it turns out, some of his coolness is mitigated by a ridiculous mold flaw that's existed as far back as the original 80s Skids. In robot mode, his rear wheels fold under his feet. Unfortunately, the tire under his right foot won't fold completely down, which means that Skids can't stand straight in robot mode no matter what you do. It takes away from his value as a display piece somewhat, which is unfortunate given how undeniably cool he looks otherwise. It also pisses me off, since it wouldn't have taken more than five minutes to fix the damned thing in the first place.

As far as I can tell, the only change made for the reissue is that he has a non-firing missile launcher. Thankfully his weapons were left as chrome, as black weapons would have taken away from the coolness of this particular guy.

Transformation: 8 - Easy as pie, but incredibly effective and with a cool end result. My only concern is that you have to be very careful to avoid ruining the hip stickers as you transform him.
Durability: 8 - Surprisingly, there really isn't anything that stands out as breakable. I think that's a first for me, as far as Diaclone-mold Transformers go. His roof seems a little bit fragile, but even that is constructed and engineered well enough that it shouldn't be a worry. That's almost miraculous, as far as Diaclone molds go.
Fun: 8 - He's pretty, he's got decent play value in his alt mode, and he's got a bit of robot mode articulation.
Price: 7 - Even though reissue prices in this neck of the woods have dropped a bit, he's still pricey. Still, I don't feel cheated after buying him at full price.
Summary: 7.5 - He's pretty good for a G1 toy, and if you like the Diaclone molds this guy's a must-have. To be honest, he probably deserves an 8. However, the mold flaw in his foot and the display difficulties it causes means that he loses half a point.

 
 
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