Transformers Prime Beast Hunters Skystalker Toy Review

in 2013, Action Figure Review, Beast Hunters, Deluxe, Predacon, Prime

Transformers Prime Beast Hunters

General Information:
Release Date: May 2013
Price Point: $15.99
Retailer: General Release (Toys R Us, Target, Wal-Mart etc.)
Accessories: Discs x 2, Mace weapon

Images:

*Images above with asterisks and text below in italics from the Amazon.com:
Skystalker is an ice-cold Predacon warrior with the power to annihilate all who stand before him! Autobots beware, because this Skystalker figure is just the Predacon to take any of them on! He’s a hardcore Predacon warrior, and his Cryostrike Double Disc Launchers give him the firepower he needs for any kind of battle. He’s just as scary in dragon mode, because his tail becomes a mace! Keep converting him back and forth so his Autobot enemies can’t keep up!

Continued from Chapter 11 Voyager Shockwave (sold separately)

Cryostrike Disc Launchers

  • Perfectly silent - ideal for sneak attacks.
  • Temperature can be adjusted to melt or freeze targets.
  • Can generate a blinding flash of light on impact to disorient enemies.

SKYSTALKER slides from the murky numbness of his Hyperevolution Chamber and into the heat of battle. His Spark aches to join the battle, but his instincts tell him to wait, to understand where he is. Even as the battle between SMOKESCREEN and SHOCKWAVE continues to rage, he takes a moment to look around. He stands in a room full of unfamiliar equipment - a roo he nonetheless recognizes as a laboratory. A laboratory in which he - and possibly other PREDACONS - have been experimented on. His cold, calculating mind is suddenly submerged in anger. His wings spread, and a devastating barrage of white-hot discs fly, burning, blasting and melting all around him.

Continued in Chapter 13 Deluxe Autobot Ratchet (sold separately)

SkystalkerThe Predacon ranks grow with the mid-2013 introduction of Skystalker into the ranks. The name Skystalker has appeared throughout "Transformers" history but its latest owner is not a jet but rather a dragon in his alternate form.

Beast Mode:
Skystalker is a dragon in beast mode. Unlike Lazerback, he's a much more traditional looking dragon compelte with four legs, wings and a pointed, bird-like head. This particular beast mode is a very lithe and sleek looking one. The biggest parts on him are his wings and tail, which give him a regal appearance. In contrast, his four legs are relatively thin and cylindrical in shape. His wings look like layers of blades connected together and the tail has spikes running across the top and the end looks like a mace. The head has two horns sweeping back and layers of armor leading to a beak in front. Despite being a fully mechanical beast, these design cues give him a decidedly semi-organic appearance.

The main plastic colors on this figure are two shades of light blue and white. The darker blue is focused on the main body while the light blue is used on parts like the wings and rear legs. White plastic is used for smaller pieces such as his claws in front and the discs on his wings. In particular, his wings are really interesting, there is a white marbling pattern distributed throughout that really looks awesome. A pearlescent white paint is used on his legs and the top of the tail. The tail is particularly cool as it's sprayed on in a really nice pattern. Blue and yellow paint are used on other parts like the sides of the head and shoulders. On the left shoulder is a silver "Beast Hunters" Predacon symbol. Overall it's a beautiful color pattern on this figure and I really love how much it is set apart in tone from the other Predacons released thus far.

There are twenty seven points of articulation on this figure. This includes four in each leg and the ability for his head to move on a a couple of joints and the mouth opening and closing. The wings can each move forward and back and have separate joints on the wings themselves, allowing the top halves to move outward. The tail can also move up an ddown. I love how much articulation this guy has, it's reminscent of the "Beast" age of "Transformers" toys.

Transformation to Robot Mode:

  1. Straighten out the rear legs (the lower legs will angle back a bit in a "chicken walker" pose).
  2. Push the rear legs together at the waist piece.
  3. On each forward leg rotate the claws around to reveal the robot hands. Swing the arms down.
  4. Swing the chest panel forward.
  5. Push the dragon neck down.
  6. Swing the lower jaw of the beast mode head down.
  7. Swing the robot face down.
  8. Push the chest panel back in place.
  9. Swing the wing sections forward.
  10. On the back of each lower leg, pull out the L shaped pieces.
  11. Push the tail up.
  12. Detach the end of the tail an dplace it in one of the hands as melee weapon.

Robot Mode:
To borrow from the name of another toy line, Skystalker looks very much like a "Beast Machine" in this mode. Sure he has plenty of robotic parts such as distinctive arms with robotic hands, a distinctive chest/waist/robot head layout. However, add in the wings on his shoulders and the backward angled legs with clawed feet and he winds up looking like a humanoid/beast hybrid. Add to this rather organic details such as beveled bone-like details on the chest and mandibles on the head and Skystalker winds up with a wildly elegant yet savage appearance.

This mode of course has all the same plastic colors of the beast mode, but the darker shade of blue is much more prominent with the wings and lower legs being the primary light blue parts. Smaller pieces such as the fists and hip joints are white. The silver, pearl white and yellow colors appear from top to bottom on this figure. Each of these colors is used to accentuate a detail such as silver on the top of the "bone" like details on his chest or yellow on his shoulder and knee armor. His left shoulder carries over the Predacon symbol from the beast mode and finally his eyes are painted red, giving him an extra evil appearance. The paint job looks great, and after part of last year involving figures not having paint schemes missing obvious elements it's refreshing to have such a detailed color scheme on a Deluxe figure.

In this mode Skystalker has twenty four points of articulation, mostly focused on the arms and legs. Surprisingly, he has waist articulation, something that "Transformers" figures in general seem to have largely abandoned last year. I'm also happy that despite having the dragon head serving as a "helmet" of sorts, his head can still turn side to side. The "mace" weapon is really just a cover for his hand with spikes. It looks painful enough for any enemy coming in contact with it however. The wings have his primary weapons in them: large discs. You use them by swinging the top of his wings around to point forward, then you push the discs out of their slots by pushing on the piece in between the top and middle portions of the wings. This launches the discs via pressure. They don't go particularly far, but it does the trick. Previously I thought this mechanism had been removed. Thanks to "Arquinsiel Teknogrot" on Facebook for correcting me on this.

Final Thoughts:
Skystalker is an excellent figure. I know the loss of the disc launching feature reflects badly on the figure, and if that's a deal breaker for anyone I would totally understand. From my perspective however everything else about the figure is too cool to put the figure down. I recommend this figure, but know the loss of the launching mechanism is a definite minus.