Tuesday, 6 September 2011
S is for Sky Lynx
The Winning Toy
"A powerful fighter. Self-centered and boastful. Fearless, daring, believes himself to be superior to many of his fellow Autobots. Shell-resistant and steel-reinforced hull can withstand enemy bombardment and extreme temperature variations. Possesses solar powered auxiliary engines. Acetylene blaster inside cockpit shoots 3000 degree celcius flames. As space shuttle, has interplanetary travel capabilities -- maximum speed 30,000 mph, range 40,000,000 miles."
Toyline: The Transformers 1986 line (2008 Encore reissue for my version)
Generation: Generation One
Size Class: Motorized Space Shuttle (Ultra to Leader class Equivalent)
Function: Lieutenant Commander
Quote: "The best achievements are worth repeating."
Sky Lynx is quite a unique Transformer, he comes with two robot modes, but rather than both being different characters, they are the same character (both referred to as Sky Lynx). So in this way they are like Arcee from the ROTF lines (3 robots all with the same conciousness with multiple alternate modes)
The first component is the bird robot mode. This component is almost completely white with red neck joints, tail and legs, and blue outer wings. He also comes with stickers that can be applied to add gold details along his sides an two large Autobot insignias on his wings. A rub-sign Autobot insignia can be found on he upped neck piece just behind the head. The toy is sculpted with shuttle panels and details, like fuel intake areas etc. The very rear of the torso also has his shuttle mode thrusters visible (which can be opened outwards to hide his tail into when transforming).
Most of his body is totally unmovable (why would you need to move his torso?). Sky Lynx has a pair of bird legs which connects to the underside of the torso and can be positioned to be either together or posed as it he's walking. The legs has sculpted knees, which can't be bent, but his feet can be rotated on a hinge. The feet have three sculpted toes which are connected to each other by some plastic.
Sky Lynx's tail is segmented into five pieces: the connector to the rear torso, the upper tail, the lower tail, the end connector and the white tail end. This enables you to pose the tail as you need to, or to even pose it so he can balance out the standing Sky Lynx, let's face it, 2 spindly little legs aren't going to support him too well!
Sky Lynx's neck is in four pieces: the connector to the front of the torso, the lower neck, the middle neck connector and the upper neck which leads to the head. The neck is all red with parts of the front of the space shuttle on the middle and upper neck sections. Because of all the segments the neck can be posed as you want it to be. Sky Lynx's head is just his shuttle mode's cockpit opened up to reveal a set of teeth and inner mouth gun. Sky Lynx's shuttle mode windows act as his eyes in this mode.
The second component is the lynx mode. This part is mostly blue with a gold head, white upper legs, red lower legs, red tails and blue feet, basically acting as a contrast to his other component's colour scheme. He has a few red and gold stickers that can be applied, and also has an Autobot insignia that can be applied to his forehead as well.
Compared to the other component this one is quite basic. Once deployed his tails don't do anything else (like wag or anything) and his head is able to move up and down on a pivot joint after having his neck extended from his alternate mode. His four legs are connected to his torso by a screw each and have loose hanging feet (which is needed for his walking gimmick). The legs are able to be reposed by pushing the small red buttons next to them, which is also how you transform him from his alternate form.
This component is basic in design mostly because of his gimmick, by flipping the switch right near his tails to the "ON" position and making sure the switch under the battery section to "WALK" you can have this figure walk on his own. It's a bit of a staggered walk, but it still works (on level flooring anyway). The feet are loose so that they can be level on the floor regardless of leg position. You require 2 AA sized batteries to make him move.
The two robot modes are able to combine into one larger winged dragon-like robot by folding the shuttle's legs inwards and folding in the lynx's head and neck, then you connect the three hard-points on the lynx into the small holes so they stick together.
This combined form keeps the same gimmick from the lynx component, and because of the addition of the lynx component the figure is extremely stable to stand up unsupported (Four legs good!) as well as making the whole figure much more impressive, even compared to a few modern toys!
The bird robot turns into a pretty much all white space shuttle with gold stickers running along the sides. This mode is actually pretty convincing as a space shuttle shuttle except for the red legs on the under-carriage, though really, who looks at the under-carriage really?
The thrusters at the back, windows etc are all just present for aesthetic reasons and don't do anything extra. This mode has his rub sign insignia on the top of it, right behind the cockpit, and also has the two large Autobot insignias on his wings as well. A cargo hold area is able to open up, but there's no space for anything to be put in.
The lynx component turns into a crawler-transporter, which could be used separately as a moving platform for smaller figures, like Mini-Cons or Micromasters (as with Grandus).
This mode is just a folded down version of his robot mode, except that when you activate his motor gimmick you have to now switch it to "ROLL", which enables it to roll in a straight line across a smooth surface. However if you move the forward wheels found at the front of his undercarriage, then you can have him riding around in a circle.
One last time..REMEMBER TO REVERSE THE SWITCH! If you have the switch still on "WALK" mode, then the legs will move and it will go all weird!
As with the robots, the alternate modes can be combined (using the same holes and hard-points). This mode just makes him into a larger jet with a cargo area under the main shuttle. He can also of course use the rolling feature of the crawler-transporter mode just as well as the that mode, though of course you still need to make sure he is switched to the "ROLL" mode.
Sky Lynx was one of the regular characters in the 80's G1 cartoon during season 3 and appeared in several of the episodes where he was shown to be fairly evenly matched against the Predacons, one of the strongest teams in the cartoon. His last appearance was in the season 3 finale, The Return of Optimus Prime where he rescued a Quintesson to revive Optimus Prime and end the Hate Plague, but ended up succumbing to the virus himself near the end (and presumably getting cured afterwards)
He appeared in a couple of issues of the Marvel series where he rescues some kids from being killed by Grimlock, gets captured by the Cosmic Carnival, gets freed, then gets captured by the Meccanibals, then being freed again afterwards. Meanwhile in the Dreamwave series he appeared locked in his shuttle mode and used as a normal shuttle by Ultra Magnus' team, and later used by Starscream to fly back to Earth, where it was discovered that he was in fact the giant Autobot, and was captured by Starscream and his team to be used as target practise...notice a pattern to his comic appearances now?
Something I should note as well, Sky Lynx was originally planned to be used in the Last Stand of the Wreckers Mini-series by IDW, but the writers were told not to use him, possibly meaning that they have a planned use for him in the future.
In all his appearances he's shown as being an egotist and very confident of his abilities, of course all appearances except for his Shattered Glass incarnation in which he's humble (and has a bizarre reverse design for this toy, with the Lynx as the upper body and the bird as the lower body).
The Sky Lynx name has also been used for a Decepticon allied Mini-Con from the Cybertron toyline where he turns into a Cargo Plane (using the Gunbarrel mold) and he also has a Transformers Animated incarnation as well, based on his G1 design (but with a more Zoid-like head cockpit) as seen in the Allspark Almanac II.
This toy has never been reused for another figure and was originally from another company called Toy Box, just like Omega Supreme, however the toy was reissued in 2008 in the Encore line (the one I have).
Something of interest though is that in the Marvel comics Sky Lynx is shown as a triple changer rather than being a combiner of sorts, unlike what's shown in the cartoon and Dreamwave comics. Also Sky Lynx's insignia was shown various times as the Decepticon one, which could mean that he was originally meant to be a Decepticon (much like how the Predacons were originally the Anibots, an Autobot team)
Is he Cool?
For a toy from the 1980's lines he's managed to weather the test of time very well, unlike most of the other figures from that era, who now look outdated (admit it, even if you love the G1 toys, they do look mostly out of place with the newer toys!) His gimmick still works and is even fun (to an extent) and he even has somewhat decent articulation for an 80's figure.
However now for the bad stuff, if you don't apply his stickers then he looks EXTREMELY bare, with most G1 figures you can get away without applying any stickers, but with Sky Lynx he just looks wrong without them. Also it does get annoying if you accidentally switch on the gimmick and it's in the walk mode when he's in vehicle mode (and then it starts worming around).
If you do plan to get this figure, it's probably wisest to get the Encore reissue, for a couple of reasons:
a) it's cheaper than getting an original G1 version
b) he has more paint applications that makes him look better
So all in all, I'd say that this figure is worth getting (despite his character being a total dick) but only if you can get the Encore version, as the 80's version would cost more and has less paint applications (ie the eyes and mouth cannon).