"Generations" Combiner Wars Sky Lynx Toy Review

in 2016, Action Figure Review, Autobot, Combiner Wars, Generation One, Generations, Voyager

Generations

Sky Lynx General Information:
Release Date: January 2016
Price Point: $24.99 (suggested retail), $18.99 at discount retailers
Retailer: Limited Release (including retailers such as Marshall's, T.J. Maxx and Ross)

Images above and official text below are from Hasbro.com:
Sky Lynx often talks about himself as one of the most accomplished Autobot warriors. Now that he has mastered the power of combination, he really has something to brag about. His new combined form, Sky Reign, is a ferocious Combiner beast! Sky Reign is formed when Sky Lynx combines with his fellow Autobots. Sky Lynx forms the torso, Autobot Hound and Wheeljack form the arms, Trailbreaker and Smokescreen form the legs, and Wreck-Gar becomes Combiner armor. Collect all 6 figures to build a giant Sky Reign Combiner robot. (Figures are each sold separately.) The Combiner Wars universal connection system makes this Sky Lynx figure compatible with Deluxe Class Combiner Wars figures, so there are numerous combinations that can be created. Sky Reign 3 of 5.

This Sky Lynx figure changes from Vehicle Mode to space shuttle mode in 19 steps. From space shuttle mode, it changes back to Vehicle Mode in 15 steps. It features two cannon accessories that attach to the wings in space shuttle mode and can link together to become a giant Combiner sword. The figure also comes with a collectible character card featuring art from the Transformers Legends mobile game.

Includes Voyager Class Sky Lynx figure, arm-mount cannon accessory, character card, and instructions.

One of the realities modern day toy collectors deal with is knowing about toys sometimes a year ahead of time and waiting for them. Usually this is not a problem, but every now and then a figure that fans will want becomes hard to find because of distribution issues. Past examples of this include "Age of Extinction" Vehicon and "Transformers Prime" Bludgeon. Sky Lynx was one such figure. What made this frustrating for fans is the fact that he was a brand new sculpt (not a retool or redeco) and the limbs for his Combiner form were mass released and readily available.

Towards the end of Summer 2016, some fans had their chance to purchase Sky Lynx when a number of them were released at retail via discounters like T.J. Maxx and Marshall's (for a discounted price, no less!). That is how I obtained my copy of this figure (and also why I am reviewing it so long after its release).

Packaging:
Sky Lynx is packaged in beast mode inside a standard sized Voyager Class "Combiner Wars" box. The background is black with a red Transformers logo on the side along with a "Generations" logo. Sky Lynx's box art features on the front with him firing blue energy out of his mouth. The side panel of the box shows part of the Sky Reign artwork. The back shows off the figure in both modes with a brief blurb on the character.

Accessories:
Sky Lynx includes two sword weapons. Each has a 5mm handle at the end and they feature a fork-like blade section. The swords can be used as blaster weapons as well thanks to pegs on the sides near the hilt. To give Sky Reign a larger weapon you can slide the handle of one sword in between the blades of the other to form a larger sword weapon. Given that Sky Lynx is a beast-based Transformer I like the use of swords as his weapons. The melee nature of the weapons lines up with his beast form, but their elegance also reflects the character's refined personality as seen in the Generation One cartoon.

Beast Mode:
In the Generation One era Sky Lynx was one of the more unique offerings. His primary form was a bird-like creature combined with a Lynx-like robot to form (you guessed it): Sky Lynx! This version of Sky Lynx however does not feature two separate beasts combining into one. Instead the designers recreated the combined Sky Lynx form that the character is best known for, with the bird-like parts on the top and the Lynx-section forming the legs.

Like so many "Combiner Wars" figures, this figure has several details that are direct call backs to the G1 figure. These include:

  • The basic shape of the figure follows the layout of G1 Sky Lynx exactly. This includes the front of the shuttle forming his head, a long neck, wings on the sides and a tail formed by the rear of the shuttle.
  • The inside of the mouth has rows of sharp looking teeth.
  • The top of each leg features a circular section with raised details that widen out to the edges, similar to details on G1 Sky Lynx.
  • Each leg features clawed feet with two claws at the end. While G1 Sky Lynx did not exactly have "claws", each of his feet ended with two points that stuck out a bit in front. These claws are just the natural evolution of that detail.
  • Sky Lynx's vehicle mode cockpit windows form "eyes" on the head.
  • Running along the sides of the main body are strips of grid-like patterns that are based on stickers on the same area of G1 Sky Lynx's body.
  • The front of the body has a square shaped section that sticks out a bit in the middle. This is very similar to the same section on G1 Sky Lynx where the "Lynx head" swings out.
  • There are circular details at the knees on each leg similar that call back to similar details on G1 Sky Lynx.

I love how much this figure is like his G1 counterpart. While many "Combiner Wars" have brought on modern interpretations of classic characters, Sky Lynx has a retro appeal with a design that is unconventional but distinct all at the same time.

Of course, designers are not just going to recreate a G1 figure and not add some new design flourishes. Sky Lynx's head design has some extra fin-like designs that stick out the top and flare out the sides at the top of the neck. The boosters near the rear of his body have forward swept fins on them that G1 Sky Lynx did not have. Also, the accessories attach to the tail to give it some length and create a more conventional looking animal tail that is wide near the base and narrows near the end. Sky Lynx also has a lot of intricate detailing on him that differs from G1 Sky Lynx including a tear drop shaped detail in between the two boosters and some indented lines on his neck. From a sculpting standpoint Sky Lynx looks absolutely awesome.

It's not just the sculpt on this figure that calls back to G1 Sky Lynx, it's also his colors. Like his counterpart he is cast in white, blue, red and silver plastic with white being the dominant color. The white is found on his head, neck, body and the top of his legs. The blue makes up the lower half of his main-body, the ends of his wings and the claws on the legs. Red is mostly used on the legs, though you'll see some on his neck. Silver is used for smaller parts such as the base of the neck and the joints in his legs.

Thanks to the way the colors are broken up on this figure he looks cool even before you take paint applications into account. Most of the paint applications on this figure are gold. Most of the gold is used in small amounts including parts like his eyes/windows, the inside of his mouth, the sides of his body and parts of the booster/fin sections. The wings have the biggest deco points on them: two large Autobot symbols that are red with gold borders. This unusual coloring owes itself to the design of G1 Sky Lynx's Autobot symbols. He doesn't have at on of deco but Sky Lynx doesn't need a ton of deco. Overall I think the figure looks great.

Sky Lynx has a whopping twenty nine points of articulation. A lot of this is thank in part to the multi-jointed neck and the joints in his legs. Some of the articulation was unexpected including the ability of the lower legs to swivel outward. I was also surprised that the front legs have a ratchet joint at the base that allow the legs to swing outward. The only real problem I have had with the figure involve the rear feet. The joints on the feet are nowhere near tight enough to support the leg and keep the pushed down. Instead, when you have the figure standing the claws push right up against the lower legs in the back. This is not a huge deal from a functionality standpoint since the figure stands and poses just fine. It's more of a "nice to have".

Sky Lynx has four 5mm ports. One on each wing and one on the top of each rear leg. You can attach his sword weapons to them as blasters (or any other weapons with 5mm pegs you may have lying around of course).

Transformation to "Lynx Mode":
The "Lynx Mode" is not technically an official mode, however when the character was introduced at Botcon by Hasbro they did a sort of nod/wink about a "secret" mode. This is my interpretation of that mode but feel free to play around with it. These instructions start out in beast mode.

  1. Detach the weapons and set them aside for now.
  2. Rotate all the lower legs around.
  3. Close the beast mdoe mouth (if open) and push the head and neck down (forming a tail).
  4. Push the boosters on the back of Sky Lynx down to reveal the Lynx head and rotate it around.
  5. Push the blue parts of the wings in, then rotate them around and swing them up.
  6. Attach the blasters/swords to the 5mm ports on the sides of the front legs.

Lynx Mode:
In Generation One Sky Lynx's "Lynx" mode was a separate robot from the bird section. Since this figure does not split up, the Lynx mode here has more bulk than you'd expect and he winds up looking rather chunky as a result. Still, this form gives you a nice look at the Lynx head which is beautifully sculpted.

G1 Sky Lynx's "Lynx head" was a very basic, angular representation of a feline head. This sculpt uses that as the beginning but then adds a pile of extra lines and details to make the sculpt look more modern. This includes line details on the sides of the ears, and layers of armor on the sides. I really love the look of this head sculpt. It pays homage to the G1 version of the character and looks modern all at the same time.

This "mode" has pretty much the same functionality as the beast mode,. The deco is pretty much the same too except now you can see the Lynx head which is painted gold with blue eyes.

Transformation to Vehicle Mode (Starting in Beast Mode):

  1. Detach the weapons and set them aside for now.
  2. Swing the tail up.
  3. Close the mouth and straighten out the neck, then swing that section back to form the cockpit.
  4. Swing the rear claws into the lower legs. Then swing the legs up and swing the lower legs together in the back.
  5. Push the blue parts of the wings in.
  6. Swing the wings out to the sides.
  7. Flip the vehicle over and swing open the blue panel on the bottom.
  8. Rotate the lower half of the front legs inward, then swing the lower legs up, with the claws pointing towards the rear of the vehicle.
  9. Close the panel.
  10. Attach the blasters to the underside of each wing.

Vehicle Mode:
Like his G1 counterpart "Combiner Wars" Sky Lynx is a space shuttle in vehicle form with what appears to be a cargo container attached to the bottom. For the most part shuttle looks very much like the G1 version including the oval shaped flight deck/cockpit section. The central cargo bay section is curved going all the way to the back where the engines/boosters are located. Those are covered with rounded panels. The wings have the familiar shuttle curved shape though they angle back at a more severe angle than the real life shuttle.

There are of course some differences from the original. The rear section has angled fins in the back that sweep forward. There are tiny fins that stick up above the cockpit windows and the way the legs are arranged forms a section in the back under the boosters that does not exist on G1 Sky Lynx.

Color-wise there aren't any surprises here. What you do get a better look at are the gold paint details that run from the front to the back, including the edges of the boosters. You also get a clearer look at a small Autobot symbol on the left side of the rear section. The vehicle mode looks absolutely fantastic. It calls back to G1 Sky Lynx perfectly and it looks retro and modern all at the same time.

Transformation to Torso Mode (from Vehicle Mode):

  1. Detach the weapons and set them aside for now.
  2. Swing the blue sections of the wings out.
  3. Swing the wings up.
  4. Swing the lower rear beast mode legs out to the sides, then swing down the claws.
  5. Swing open the bottom blue panel.
  6. Rotate the lower legs out.
  7. Swing the front beast mode legs down.
  8. Straighten out the beast mode legs, then swing the claws up to the sides.
  9. Swing the blue panel back in place.
  10. Swing the boosters down to reveal the lynx head.
  11. Rotate the lynx head around.
  12. Push the rear fin down.
  13. Swing the side fins out.
  14. Extend the neck/beast mode head out a bit. Rotate it around then swing it up.

Sky Reign:
Sky Reign is a Combiner formed by Autobot Hound, Smokescreen, Trailbreaker and Wheeljack merging with Sky Lynx. It's a great combination as it represents Autobots from the early years of the Transformers toy line coming together.

Sky Reign's torso form is rather unique among the various Combiners in this line. First his head is the "lynx" head I cover above so he's a "beast Combiner" of sorts. The rear sections of the vehicle form really cool looking chest armor down to the angled fins which angle out to the sides. The overall shape is very dynamic, with wide shoulders that lead to a rather narrow mid-section before it widens out again at the hips. The parts that form the shoulders and thighs are not particularly exciting looking - but I'm fine with that. In a sense, those sections should sort of fade into the background to help bring focus on the various limbs.

Sky Reign's red, white, blue and gold colors take center stage here, with plenty of gold on the middle of the torso. The small Autobot symbol from the booster section makes sense now as it winds up on the right side of the chest. Overall the colors serve as a wonderfully bright backdrop for the darker colors found on team members like Trailbreaker and Hound.

The torso section has six main points of articulation: the thighs. The head can also turn side to side. The rest of the articulation comes from the limbs themselves including the knees bending and shoulder articulation. I have to say that the thighs on my copy of this figure are not as tight as I would prefer. They're not loose, but they could be more solid. As it stands (so to speak) I have to balance the figure carefully to get the Combiner to stand properly.

As mentioned above the two swords can be combined into one. With the standard 5mm ports all over the limbs you can easily have Sky Reign hold his own weapons while the weapons that came with the individual figures all stay attached to their respective limbs.

Final Thoughts:
Sky Lynx was a figure that many fans wanted badly even before he was hard to find. Thankfully the figure delivers. There is something wonderfully retro and fun about the design of this figure while the modern flourishes are super cool. The Sky Reign mold may seem odd to some because of the head, but to me that just adds to the unusual nature of the figure.

It's not perfect however. There are some parts that are more loose than I'd expect and ideally I would have loved there to be separate "Sky" and "Lynx" sections. Still, I do recommend this figure (and yes, it was worth the wait).