"Generations" War for Cybertron: Siege Skytread Toy Review

in 2018, Action Figure Review, Decepticon, Deluxe, Duocon, Generation One, Generations, War for Cybertron: Siege

Generations

War for Cybertron: Siege

General Information:
Release Date: November 2018
Price Point: $19.99 (depending on retailer)
Retailer: General (Toys R Us, Target, Wal-Mart etc.)
Accessories: "HV Electron Breacher," EM24 IR Laser Launcher" (combine to form "LRRF Suspension-Ray Super-Launcher")

Skytread

Official images and text below in italics are from Amazon.com:

  • Build the ultimate battlefield - the generations War for Cyber Tron trilogy introduces an expansive ecosystem of collectible figures. (Each sold separately. Subject to availability). featuring classic G1 characters, War for Cyber Tron: Siege plunges fans into the epic fight to survive on the final day of the Autobot and deception battle to control Cyber Tron. The time of peace is gone. Cyber Tron is a war-torn battlefield, overrun by the Fighting between two factions: the Deception resistance Army and the Autobot counter-resistance fighters.
  • 5.5-Inch scale skytread figure - this articulated deluxe class wfc-s7 skytread action figure features classic conversion between robot and cybertronian jet or tank modes in 18 steps. Perfect for fans looking for a more advanced converting figure. The Siege line offers thrilling throwbacks to G1 and exciting New play patterns for all generations. Adult fans nostalgic for the original Transformers animation can explore a whole new chapter of Transformers lore, while young kids can discover classic characters for the first time. Share the experience across Generations by uncovering the epic story
  • Customizable weapon load out - the Manic deception black ops soldier, Skytread, gears up for battle with the customizable C.O.M.B.A.T. System. The deluxe class wfc-s7 skytread figure features multiple C.O.M.B.A.T. System weapon ports to attach weapons, enabling custom weapon configurations in Bot and vehicle modes. The figure comes equipped with 2 weapons accessories. The 2 weapons combine to form a larger weapon.
  • Expandable weapon selection - War for Cyber Tron: Siege weapon accessories are compatible with figures across the line. Compile an arsenal of additional weapon accessories from other War for Cyber Tron figures, or use battle Masters, micro master, and Deluxe class weaponizer figures to build bigger mission loadouts. (Each sold separately. Subject to availability). battle Masters, micro master, and Deluxe class weaponizer figures convert, combine, or break apart to become weapons to equip all other War for Cyber Tron figures.
  • Add battle effects with Fire blasts accessories - attach fire blasts accessories to the ends of weapon accessories to simulate blaster fire or explosions firing from the weapons. (Not included. Included with battle Masters figures. Each sold separately. Subject to availability) multiple fire blasts ports on the figures and vehicle modes allow fans to enhance their battlefield with simulated battle damage. All figures and weapon accessories in the Siege line are compatible with Fire blasts accessories.

The WFC-S7 Skytread figure features story-inspired battle-worn deco and is equipped with a HV Electron Breacher weapon accessory and a EM24 IR Laser Launcher weapon accessory. The 2 weapon accessories mod-lock together to form the larger LRRF Suspension-Ray Super-Launcher. Multiple C.O.M.B.A.T. System weapons ports in bot and vehicle modes allow fans to attach weapons to figure in custom weapon configurations.

In 1987, two Transformers Decepticon figures were released featuring an unconventional play pattern. Instead of the conventional vehicle to robot conversion, the Duocons featured a play pattern where two vehicles would combine via a spring loaded mechanism to form a single robot. One of these characters was Flywheels, a combination of a fighter jet and a tank. He was not what you would call a "primary" character in Transformers lore, but hardcore fans definitely remembered the character. During the "Titans Return" line, a nod to the character was created with the Titan Master Skytread figure and vehicle. It clearly was intended as a homage to the G1 Duocon Flywheels.

Then, much to the surprise of many fans, Flywheels/Skytread's fellow G1 Duocon Battletrap was given the "Generations" update treatment in the "Power of the Primes" line of figures. Unlike the G1 version of Battletrap, the "Power of the Primes" version featured Battletrap being formed from two different Transformers, each with their own distinct vehicle and robot modes. However, for "Siege" the designers returned back to basics with this new interpretation of Skytread featuring two vehicles that combine into one robot without each vehicle having their own distinct robot modes. In some ways, this makes Skytread more "G1 accurate" than "Power of the Primes" Battletrap.

Packaging:
Taking a cue from "Studio Series", the Deluxe figures in "Siege" are packaged in boxes instead of the traditional bubble card used for Deluxe Class figures. These boxes are beautiful featuring an unusual shape with one flat side and one angled side. While elements of previous packaging are still found on the boxes (ex: the vertical Transformers logo, the "Generations" logo, a largely black background etc.) there is a lot more added on. First, the background is not solid black. There are designs on it that look like sparks or perhaps embers from flames On the angled side is the character's package art. In a very uncharacteristic choice, the artists involved decided to portray Skytread in his two vehicle forms, emphasizing his "Duocon" origins. The figure itself is in robot mode behind a clear plastic window. To the left is a chevron with the character name. Below that is the "War for Cybertron: Siege" logo.

In a fun extra, shining a black light on the packaging will reveal Cybertronian glyphs. Input them on Hasbro's "Teletraan-1" web site and you get a translation. In Prowl's cast it is "DUOCON", referring to his sub-group affiliation. Enter that into the Teletraan-1 site and it reveals a video featuring the figure and information on the character's whereabouts during the events of "Siege".

Accessories:
Skytread includes two accessories. One is the "EM24 IR Laser Launcher". This weapon design is based on the tank barrel from G1 Flywheels. Unlike most tank barrels that are tube shaped, this one has a more rectangular shape. The designers did a great job of taking the basic shape of that weapon but making it longer so it looks like a more formidable weapon. The weapon has a 5mm peg towards the back. The tip of the barrel has a small attachment point for Blast Effects from Battle Master figures. This piece is cast in a maroon colored plastic. The top has some gold paint details (which look really nice considering this is just an accessory).

The other accessory is the "HV Electron Breacher". This is based on the blaster included with G1 Flywheels. it has a distinct, rectangular section on the back with angled lines sculpted into it and a round barrel section in the middle leading to a narrow tip in the front. The blaster has a 5mm peg in the back and a small tip in the front allowing you to attach Blast Effects from Battle Masters. This piece is also cast in maroon colored plastic with gold paint on the sides.

Plug the HV Electron Breacher into the back of the EM24 IR Laser Launcher and you wind up forming the "LRRF Suspension-Ray Super-Launcher". This looks like a long rifle with long range capabilities.

Robot Mode:
G1 Flywheels was a fun toy (by my standards anyhow) but it was a toy that focused on the spring loaded "Duocon" transformation gimmick and little else. While articulation was not the strong suit of Generation One, Flywheels was limited even by those standards. In robot mode, Flywheels could only move his arms out to the sides, not up and down and his feet were formed from the front of the tank, so there was no articulation there either. Basically his robot mode was a brick. Not so with "Siege" Skytread! This figure is a very modern day take on the character. Sure, he has a lot of the aesthetics of the original (including the jet forming the torso, the head sculpt and the front of the tank forming the feet) but he is not an oddly proportioned brick. There are some bits that are a tad exaggerated (the feet being the most notable) but for the most part the proportions and aesthetics of this figure are very much in line with figures of this era.

While Skytread uses Flywheels as inspiration for detailing, there are additional details sculpted into the figure, most notably on the legs and arms. That said, he does not go overboard into "crazy greeble" territory in the way that say, "Siege" Starscream does. I think this is a much more "normal" level of mechanical detail on a modern day Transformers figure.

Like his G1 counterpart, Skytread's "jet parts" are all maroon while his "tank parts" (mostly the lower body) are brown plastic though the arms are brown but they are part of the jet. The head is technically part of the jet portion but it is brown to match G1 Flywheels' color layout. The gold color used on the weapons if ound on the arms, chest and feet. The eyes are painted red and the face is silver. The cockpit cover on his chest is painted a bright blue with a Decepticon symbol tampographed on top. Skytread does have some of the "battle damage" deco on him in silver, but curiously it is only painted along the sides of his lower legs and feet. It looks almost like he was only scraped up in that one part while the rest of his is pristine. It is kind of an odd choice but the good news is for those fans who are not fans of the battle damage deco he looks very "clean" from the front.

There are eighteen points of articulation in this form including four in each arm and five in each leg. He has a 5mm port on the back for either weapon storage or to attach weapons that can go over his shoulders. On top of that, each arm has two 5mm ports on the sides and he can hold a weapon in each fist. Need to give Skytread more weapons? Good news! He also has a 5mm port on the side of each lower leg and on the bottom of his feet. That's a lot of potential "Siege" style play value packed into one figure.

The other aspect of "Siege" figures are the "Blast Effects" included with Battle Master figures. On this figure you'll find attachment points for this next to each shoulder and on the right forearm. I am a tad surprised the designers did not put one of these points on the legs or feet somewhere.

When Skytread was announced, many fans were a bit let down that his individual vehicles would not transform into individual robots. As a sort of "consolation prize", the two halves of the robot were designed to be able to attach to either Battleslash or Roadtrap in their "Battletrap body half" modes. This does two good things. One, it introduces a new play pattern between the three figures and two it also ensures the two are roughly in scale with one another.

Transformation to Vehicle Mode:

  1. Detach the accessories and set them aside for now.
  2. Straighten out the arms and legs.
  3. Holding the top and bottom halves of the robot, pull to separate them.
  4. On the top half, swing the jet cockpit up over the robot head.
  5. Swing the mid-connection piece back.
  6. Swing each fist in.
  7. Swing each arm in under the jet.
  8. Be sure to rotate the forearms around so they can tab into the underside of the jet.
  9. Push the forearms down.
  10. Weapons can be attached to the wings or the section under the cockpit.
  11. On the legs, swing open each front panel on the lower legs.
  12. Point the feet down.
  13. Push the feet together.
  14. Swing the hip section forward.
  15. Close the panels from the legs.
  16. Attach the tank barrel to the 5mm port in the middle.

Vehicle Modes:
Skytread's jet mode is based on the F-4 Phantom II with some modifications to the proportions and design to avoid potential licensing issues. Still, like the Phantom it has wings that sweep back at an angle and the rear section has a single vertical fin and two out on the sides. All that said, this jet is much wider than the Phantom and the front end is much thicker. This wind sup looking more like some type of bomber than a jet. Add to that lots of small details like air intakes in the back and cables running under the wings it looks great.

The jet mode is mostly maroon on top and brown on the bottom thanks to the robot arms. Gold detailing is used on the edges of the stabilizer fins and wings. There's also a bit of gold on the vents on top of the vehicle and small sections flanking the cockpit. The blue window contrasts beautifully against the maroon plastic.

There are five 5mm ports on the bottom of the figure. Two under the wings, two towards the center and one under the cockpit. Want to attach even more weaponry? There is one additional port on the top of the jet!

The tank mode is a bit more problematic. The sculpt is great. It looks like a slightly more sleek version of G1 Flywheels' tank omde. There are plenty of details on the top, sides and front. The two problems with the tank involve the panels from the robot legs on top and the cannon. First, the panels that form the front of the lower legs are a bit tough to clip into place properly. You really have to push and nudge it to have them clip in properly. Depending on the temperature, they may or may not even clip in properly. I noticed when it was colder they tended to not hold in but in warmer environments they do manage to stay in place once you push them in place firmly.

The other issue is a bit more of a problem. When you attach the cannon accessory, it winds up pointing downward because the piece behind the cannon keeps the base of the cannon from fully pushing down. Some fans have found solutions including shaving down some tabs here and there, but I am reluctant to do so. Frankly, you should not have to shave off bits of a figure to get it to work properly.

This mode mostly shows off brown plastic with the cannon barrel cast in red. Gold paint details are found in the front and sides. The battle damage is painted in silver. The top could have used some deco but overall it looks good.

Aside from the central connection point for the cannon, there are four 5mm ports on this vehicle. Two flank the cannon while the other two are on the sides.

Final Thoughts:
Skytread is a welcome addition to "Generations" since he helps complete the Duocon pair in the series. It is a shame that the individual vehicles cannot turn into separate robots, but given the origins of the character it is not a dealbreaker for me. Perhaps more problematic is the odd problem with the cannon not fitting as intended in the tank mode. All that said, the figure is nicely sculpted, it pays homage to G1 Flywheels and it is a fun figure to play with. Recommended, but be aware there are issues.

Pros:

  • Very nice sculpt that pays homage to G1 Flywheels.
  • Good deco.
  • Good play value.
  • Ability to connect to Battleslash and Roadtrap is a fun bonus.

Cons:

  • The tank cannon issue should not have passed quality checks.
  • The panels closing up on the tank are also kind of annoying.