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Sunday, 22 September 2013

Prime - Sky Lynx

"Skylynx is a powerful and chaotic force who lives to serve the Predacon cause."
Name: Skylynx
Faction: Predacon
Continuity: Aligned
Toy Line: Prime: Beast Hunters: Predacons Rising

Strength: 7
Speed: 7
Rank: 6
Firepower: 7
Intelligence: 4
Endurance: 8
Courage: 8
Skill: 3
Robot Mode
Sky Lynx has a mostly white robot mode with a lot of blue , and red in some areas, as well as some gold details and missile disks. His main torso is made of the bulk of his beast mode's body as well, featuring his underbelly on his chest. There's not much else to talk about this part of his body, as being a deluxe figure he has limited features. Sky Lynx's torso also has his tail attached to his back, and his wings attached onto his shoulders, which can be posed as desired. The wings feature a disk missile launcher, which is activated by pushing the white trigger on the inside of the wings.
His head is made from his beast mode head, which is simply folded into his chest and opened wide, revealing the robot head, if you want to you can let him keep his beats mode head, but it would look weird. His head is white with red sculpted eyes and a metallic blue forehead chevron and a face mask, with what looks like a breathing filter on it.

His arms are connected to his shoulders at the point where the wings are also connected by a ball joint connector. His elbows are made with a pivot and ball joint connector as well, giving the arm all it's articulation. The hand also features a pivot joint on the wrist, but using this will reveal more of the beats mode foot , so it's probably not worth doing.
His hands feature three sculpted fingers posed around a peg hole so he can hold a weapon if you give him one (not that he needs guns)

His legs are connected to the groin area of the torso by ball joints again. His lower legs feature a couple of pin joints at the knee and mid-way down the lower leg, which makes him bend his legs midway for better support.
His feet feature a pin joint again, and a support strut at the back, giving him some good support in this mode as well.
Alternate Mode
Sky Lynx's alternate mode is a red, white and blue winged dragon, which is actually just basically his robot mode on all fours and his head and tail in a different position. Due to this he has much of the same articulation as his robot mode, so there's no need to mention it here again. His wings are differently connected in this mode, as you have to move them for the front legs/arms to have a better positioning, and this have a slightly different configuration, but not by much.
His beast mode head features an opening mouth (though be careful not to reveal his robot head in the mouth as well. The tip of his tail can be removed, but that doesn't seem to be for any real reason, escept maybe as a drone of some sort maybe. His hands are retracted and switched with his front feet by a simple pivoting joint.
He retains his wing's launching feature in this mode as well, or alternatively you can just remove the disks to give him better flight ability.
My Final Thoughts
This toy is difficult, the main reason I got him was because I knew he was going to be a main character in the upcoming Predacons Rising movie, but really he's a difficult to discuss toy, there's nothing too terrible about the toy itself, but it's also not so great either.
His disk missile gimmick is interesting, but I think could have been pulled off a bit better, the overall design of the dragon mode is very nice, and due to it's design can be posed to make it look like a bi-pedal or quadruped dragon if the owner desires. One major problem I had with this toy, which I believe was a problem with other people as well was that his right leg wasn't able to stay in the ball joint. This was easy enough to fix using some nail varnish, but is still somewhat off-putting though. Another small issue is that his wings need to be dislodged in a specific point, which is hard to locate the first few times.

I actually like this figure because of the bag of homages that he presents. He's obviously based on the G1 Sky Lynx character (his colours match up, as does his beats mode) but he's played as a villainous Predacon instead of an Autobot. This however is another of the homages I mentioned, in the cartoon he was often portrayed as a rival to the Predacons (the jungle animals from G1, not dragons from Prime), which is now his faction. This allegiance shift could also be seen as an homage to how Sky Lynx appeared to be originally planned to be a Decepticon (given how his character model often had a Decepticon insignia, and his rivals were originally planned to be the Anibots, an Autobot team).

I'd say, unless you particularly love Sky Lynx as a character, and want a mountain of homages in one toy, you may want to skip this toy. He makes a good figure for the shelf, but his play value is a bit underwhelming, especially with his fiddlyness in places.

Sunday, 15 September 2013

Prime - Dark Steel

"Dark Steel is ready to annihilate the Autobots in glorious combat."
Name: Dark Steel
Faction: Predacon
Continuity: Aligned
Toy Line: Prime: Beast Hunters: Predacons Rising

Strength: 10
Speed: 7
Rank: 6
Firepower: 8
Intelligence: 5
Endurance: 9
Courage: 6
Skill: 5
Robot Mode
Dark Steel's robot mode is a large, well built blue and grey, winged form with a dragon head down the middle of his upper torso.
His torso is made of the bulk of his beats mode's main bulk too, with the neck folded inwards into his torso, with only the head really visible. This part of his body features some panels to give his bidy more of a shape. His head is connected to his torso by a ball joint connector that alows it to move as needed.
His head is sculpted to feature his orange face, blue and dark grey helmet with light grey decorations. His face itself is sculpted with blue eyes (unlike the yellow from the movie) and other facial details like a mouth, nose etc. When moving his head though, be careful of the dragon head, as it tends to come loose as it's not properly connected to anything really.
His wings are connected to his back by a simple connecting part and can be flapped a bit, but nothing else, so they're mostly just decoration. The wings also feature the peg hole for his accessory to live in if wanted too.

His arms are connected to the torso with a pivoting hinge which is mostly hidden by his shoulder pads. His arms feature a pivoting joint in the middle of his upper arms, his elbows are made of a hinge joint, he has a pivoting joint under the armour on his lower arm. All these articulation points allow him to move his arms in almost any direction and in any yeah, give him some weapons and have him go all out!
His hands are sculpted with clawsand feature a hinge joint on the wrist to allow them to fold in and out, he also has a hinge on his thumb that creates a peg hole when closed for his accessory to be held in.

His legs are connected to his lower torso by a pivoting hinge again. The upper legs also feature a pivoting joint and a hinge based knee as well, these give him some decent amount of articulation in his leg (well as much as anyone should anyway. His knee joint is hidden by a knee pad, making it look more attractive.
His feat are sculpted with claws, connected to the lower leg by a simple ball joint, The backs of his legs feature a solded down heel that give him a great amount of support.
Alternate Mode
Dark Steel turns into what is called an Ursagryph, which I guess means he's a Bear-Dragon combo of some sort. He's mostly blue all over, with some silver/grey highlights and inner wings. His body also features several orange Cyberglyphics, which just makes him look more interesting.
This form in itself is pretty much just the robot mode in a prone position, with the robot head retracted and the dragon head exposed, so it has much of the same articulation as his robot mode, just with less of a chance of him falling over due to him being on 4 legs rather than 2.
The only real issue in this mode is that his wings cant fold back (to clarify, you can make them flap, but that's all, it doesn't fold back like on some of the other Predacons).
His dragon mode's beak is able to open and close, so you can give him the illusion of talking in this mode if you want (even though Predacons don't talk in beast mode).
There are 2 points in this mode that can be used to store the accessory, between his wings, and near his small tail. The one near the tail doesn't seem to work that well, and keeps popping out for me, so it's best to just have an awkward placement between the wings instead (though honestly, you'd be better off just leaving it off him in this mode).
Dark Steel's accessory is designed to look like a smaller dragon monster, and thus could be a separate Predacon as well, like it is in his mold-mate Grimwing's, however since this one doesn't have a name, it's just a lifeless drone or something instead. This thing is able to shoot out his grappling missile on a piece of string (by unravelling the string and pushing the grey button on it's back) so he can knock over some annoying Autobots or Decepticons. This accessory has a peg that allows it to be slotted in one of the holes on Dark Steel's body, or in his closed hands.
My Final Thoughts
Honestly, Dark Steel is great, he looks good in both modes, has a great amount of articulation, and besides the issue with his beast head in his robot mode chest not being secured, it holds together well.
Now for a little weird thing I noticed...Dark Steel looks a lot like a beast mode version of Dreadwing, from his base colours, even down to his cockpit-like chest decoration and wings!

I would highly recommend this figure to anyone who asks, and I think you'll love him more after watching his actions during the movie itself. Enjoy!