DotM: Skyhammer

I’m the non-Power Core Combiner guy.

So in conclusion…
Skyhammer pulls off successfully what a lot of the RotF line got wrong. For instance, he definitely has the movie look, but still has enough conventional aesthetically pleasing traits so that even if you don’t dig the movie look, he still looks good based on non-movie merits. A major complaint of the RotF line was that the transformations were complex for complexity’s sake. While Skyhammer’s transformation is involved, it isn’t frustratingly so. At no point do you get the feeling you’ll never be able to change back from one form or another.

Anyways, robot mode is good with the aforementioned conventionally pleasing aesthetics as well as movie-ness, and the vehicle mode’s pretty exceptional. He’s collectible yet highly playable. Skyhammer scores high in every category.

Downsides are that he’s very light despite his apparent size and the plastic initially feels pretty cheap. Although it gets better once you handle it for awhile.

Should you get him? Hmmmmmm… it depends on what you think when you see his pics. If you dig him in pictures, you’ll dig him in person. If for some reason he doesn’t photograph well for you, then you might consider conserving your cash, especially since the Dark of the Moon toyline has a boat load of upcoming merchandise. Skyhammer’s definitely good, but he’s probably not going to surprise you.

Nonetheless, this is a Recommended toy.

Review
Okay, before we get to the toy proper, a minor but somewhat notable factoid. The manuals for the DotM toys no longer use CAD or whatever it was they use to illustrate the transformation steps. Instead, it seems they use a model of the toy itself. This is particularly notable for Skyhammer because throughout the manual, they keep reorienting the position/view. Like, on one illustration, you’re getting a view of him straight on, while in another, it’s a frontal but upside down view. That sorta thing. So using a model helps out a LOT, as it’s easier to identify what part of the toy you’re looking at.

Okay, now let’s talk Mech Tech. This is the new line wide gimmick. Basically, you get an oversized weapon along with your toy. These Mech Tech weapons each have a gears/spring mechanism that’s similar to the 2007 movie line’s Automorph (actually, it’s much more similar to the Power Core Combiner limbs system), wherein you push some tab or something and this usually results in the weapon expanding. The downside is that for most of them, there’s nothing to hold them in their deployed position, so they’ll just pop back into their regular mode as soon as you let go. On the plus side, they tend to have plenty of peg holes to stick other Mech Tech weapons onto them as well as bars for the 3mm clip system.

Skyhammer’s Mech Tech weapon is a large gun that looks decent when he’s holding it in robot mode, but not so much when he’s in Apache (helicopter) mode. Pushing the extension/handle thingy on it’s back causes it to turn into a so called Energon Sword. Although really, it looks more like RotF Megatron’s middle finger of doom than anything else. While the regular gun mode is decent enough, overall, Skyhammer’s Mech Tech weapon pretty much fails.

Finally, we have Skyhammer himself. In robot mode, this guy looks… pretty good. His head is very reminiscent of the movie-verse version of Jazz, complete with a narrow “face” and bunny ears. Yet somehow, it still ends up looking more like a Beast Wars Fuzors rejected mutant head design. Frankly, his head reminds me of a mosquito’s. Yet somehow… I don’t hate it. I ignore it, but I don’t hate it.

Body-wise, he’s very Bayformer, yet he has nicely done heroic proportions, such as a wide chest and big shoulder pads, that make him a pretty good looking robot despite the movie aesthetics. This was a problem with the Revenge of the Fallen line where they completely embraced the movie style in the hopes that people will simply like the movie aesthetics, while totally forgetting that the movie aesthetics are UGLY from a conventional aesthetics sense. Skyhammer succeeds where RotF failed by treading the best of both worlds. About the worst thing I can say about him is that his arms are a tad too long and his face might not be everyone’s cup of tea.

Speaking of Skyhammer’s aesthetics, this guy has a whole lot less kibble than he first seems. Looking at his pictures, you might think he has loads of helicopter parts hanging off his back, ala movie Blackout. But in truth, he doesn’t. He’s actually rather similar to toys from the Animated toyline in that once you see how little kibble he has, you’d find it kind of hard to believe he can actually transform into a coherent vehicle mode. Which he does.

The downside to having such a “clean” sculpt however is that he is extremely light. I was surprised at how light he was when I first pulled him out of his package. I almost thought I got a well made knock off because of how light he was. Not to mention, he had a cheap hollow plastic feel to him. Once you play with him a bit, you’ll find he’s fairly durable and well made, but first impressions won’t be good.

Articulation is good. It’s what you’d expect from a modern Transformers toy. Especially one in the Voyager scale. Heck, he even has a waist joint, despite what you might think from a first glance of his design. Feet articulation is slightly limited by modern standards, considering that just about every Deluxe nowadays have ball jointed ankles. But really, that’s just nitpicking. He has enough movement in his feet to strike some pretty decent poses. Also, he has some places for the 3mm clip system, as well as peg holes for assorted weaponry. This guy can be heavily armed if you’ve got the right accessories.

Transformation is highly involved, but not frustratingly complex. I recommend using the manual for the first time. He’s got a transformation that has a definite sequence, which isn’t necessarily obvious the first time you try. After the first time, everything should be hunky dory.

Helicopter mode is absolutely divine. Amongst modern Transformers, Mindwipe, Lugnut and Highbrow have the best plane modes. Skyhammer here has the best copter mode (along with Cybertron Evac). Like his robot mode, Skyhammer’s helicopter mode can be obscenely loaded with (compatible) weaponry if you’ve got ’em.

Also, I kind of love his Mer-Robo fan mode.

Skyhammer is a toy that tries to do a lot of different things. It tries to be movie yet conventional. Displayable as a collectible yet playable with lots of options. Involved yet not overly complex. And the thing is, he succeeds. Unlike others that tried to do too much and ultimately fail, Skyhammer tries to do too much, yet does everything very well indeed.

Pros: Attractively innovative designs (tell me the rotor thing didn’t do it for you). Successful in every aspect.
Cons: Cheap feeling plastic. Minor quibbles here and there.

Grade: B+

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This entry was posted in Dark of the Moon, Toy Reviews, Transformers and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to DotM: Skyhammer

  1. CookSux says:

    Fantastic review. This guy wasn’t on my radar until now… but I don’t like the deco very much. Unless he’s an important character, I may have to just wait on the repaint. Damn that Shockwave looks tiny too.

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