"Transformers Universe" Skywarp Toy Review

General Information:
Release Year: February 2004
Retailer: General (Toys R Us, Wal-Mart, K-Mart, Target etc.)
Price: $9.99 (depending on retailer)
Transformation Difficulty Level: 3
Accessories: Missiles x 2

Skywarp is proof that a color scheme is enough to make you want a toy, even if it's been out several times before. For Transformers Universe, the designers drew on the past, specifically the character's appearance in the Botcon 2001 comic book, where he had taken on a familiar form: the deluxe sized Jetstorm from Beast Machines. This mold has been used so many times in three or so years it's not funny. Here are the reviews you may want to check out before reading this one:

Vehicle Mode:
Like the Botcon 2001 version of Skywarp, this one is meant to be a full on futuristic version of the G1 character, Skywarp. He's not a homage as much as he is an evolution of the character into a new form.

Skywarp's primary colors are black and purple, quintessential Decepticon colors. The primary color of the plastic used here is black, with purple painted on for detailing on the edges of the wings and the Spark Crystal cover. A different, metallic shade of purple is used for the section that covers the robot head in this form. The same dark metallic purple is used for the front of the missile launchers. The front edge of the nosecone is also purple. A Decepticon symbol is tampographed onto the front of the nosecone.

Of course, pure black and purple can be a bit boring. To add detailing, orange, yellow and silver have been brought into the mix. The silver is primarily used for visually drawing out mechanical details such as those on the sides and towards the rear of the vehicle mode. The silver parts emphasizing the technical details are my favorites. They look simply wonderful against the black backdrop of the vehicle.

Orange is another color brought into the mix, presumably inspired by the orange translucent plastic used on the original Skywarp. The cockpit is painted solid orange, with the translucent "eyes" being orange plastic. On the sides right behind the cockpit, orange is used for details within triangular parts. Towards the rea of the vehicle, orange is used on the pieces on either side behind the Spark Crystal and on the rear horizontal fins. Pop open the Spark Crystal chamber and you'll find that they used a Beast Machines era Dinobots Spark Crystal (in orange) and tampographed a Decepticon symbol on top. I'm glad they did this instead of just filling it in with a solid colored ball as they did with the last two releases of this toy. To top everything else off, the missiles are cast in translucent orange plastic.

In a surprising move, the designers included a tiny bit of yellow. These details are on the rear portion of the jet, and while there are only two spots using the yellow in this form, it looks really nice as it adds an extra touch of detailing that could be anything your imagination wants (I say lights).

The "neck turning" mechanism still works fine. The mechanism does not seem to have degraded at all (after four reuses, that's impressive). Through this (and the missile triggers) you'll see that there are some off-white parts as well, offering a nice, soft contrast to the black that makes up most of the toy.
Also, Skywarp does not appear to have the self-firing-missile problem reported on earlier incarnations of this toy such as Jetstorm.

Robot Mode:
The Jetstorm mold is one of those where a lot of new parts wind up being exposed in robot mode, some of which aren't necesarily very obvious in the vehicle mode. What's great about this is that it also adds a lot of color to the mix, even if they are the same colors used in vehicle mode. Skywarp is a great
example of this.

One of the main new parts revealed is the robot head (of course, most of that can be seen in vehicle mode). The eyes have been done using translucent orange light piping. The face mask is off white, the same color seen on the "neck" of the jet in vehicle mode.

Moving further down, you'll find the shoulders cast in purple plastic and the upper arms are half off-white and half purple. The sections that the arms are attached to on the main body are off-white as well. I'm glad that the designers opted for an off-white instead of a bright, plain white. This is a character who is essentially meant to be dark in color, so if you're going to use a contrast color, even a bright one, it's good to use a darker shade.

The legs are made up of the same primary colors. The hip joints are off-white, the legs are black while the armor over the lower legs is purple. The feet are black and the heels are off-white. The feet have silver painted into the ridge lines for added detail.

Despite the fact that this mold has been released four times already, I have a hard time not recommending this toy. In one bundle you're getting:

  • A cool sculpt.
  • A fun toy.
  • A wonderful G1 homage.
  • A pseudo-Botcon exclusive, basically a character who appeared in the comics and who was never made for Botcon.
  • An above average paint job for a Transformer redeco.

Of course, if you already own the four previous versions and are just sick of the mold, stay away. But if you want all the things mentioned above, this toy's for you. But I will say, at this point, it may be time to let this mold rest for a year or two.

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