Review by VF5SS
The Decepticon jets are some of the most iconic characters in Transformers. Often available in multiple flavors, they represent the backbone of the bad guy brute squad. When Takara announced their Masterpiece Starscream, I was hesitated on snagging one and even missed the US release. One great thing about these guys is that they are repaint fodder. So hot on the heels of Masterpiece Megatron came Skywarp. Out of all three Masterpiece jets, Skywarp is the one with a great presense. This Jetron is back in black.
Right out of the box, Skywarp is a fantastic piece. He is packaged in jet mode with his twin whatever guns attached. Skywarp measures about a foot and a half long. He is molded in glossy black plastic and it detailed with numerous small white markings ranging from Decepticon Air Force roundels to tiny "No Step" signs. In this mode Skywarp rests atop three landing wheels. The nosewheel is properly depicted, while the main wheels have been moved from the center of the jet towards the rear. This is my only issue with jet mode since it makes Skywarp look a little squashed on the table.
From the rear, Skywarp has that classic F-15 aesthetic. Here you can see his jet nozzles are mounted on balljoints and the wing flaps are hinged.
Moving on the paperwork; Skywarp comes with a manual, a collectible card, and a decal sheet. The decals are interesting because they contain the purple stripes and Decepticon symbols which make the toy more like the Generation 1 design. Also included are tiny squadron markings such as "Kremzeek Attack" and "Decepticon Air Force." One of the decals is a name tag for the stand.
Included with Skywarp is a display stand adorned with a purple plated Decepticon symbol and some mechanical detail. The two holes are for storing the guns or the optional Sidewinder missiles. It has two slots for attaching the display arm. One slot is for robot mode while the other is for jet mode.
On the back of the stand you can store the display arm and the tiny Megatron gun mounting clip. This gun is the one that is included with the Masterpiece Optimus Prime toy. I honestly don't known why they didn't just include the gun with the jets, since they included a couple of other less interesting accessories.
Here is one of those less interesting accessories. This tiny Dr. Arkeville looks like it was made out of whatever scraps they had left. He fits loosely in the cockpit.
While on the stand, Skywarp is made to emulate a gate guard or desktop model. Skywarp fits pretty snugly on the stand and will not fall off accidentally.
Here is a video review of jet mode.
In robot mode, Skywarp's most salient feature is his huge wings. He is fairly stable when just standing up, but the weight of his wings and tail binders. He's really not made for dynamic posing, but I find the toy is more playable than most give it credit for.
Skywarp is not terribly exciting from the back. Neither is the "Stabilizer mode" where you flip up all the possible panels. I'm not even sure why they bothered to mention this in the instructions, but whatever pads the manual I guess.
Skywarps arms are fairly flexible. His shoulders rotate 360 degrees, his elbows bend up to a natural position, and his arms can rotate at the bicep.
Skywarp also feature swiveling wrists and articulated fingers.
Underneath the chest panels are a bank of non-firing missiles. These were only used by Starscream in one episode. However, the engineers at Takara thought they were cool enough to include. The missiles are a little hard to see on Skywarp since they are not painted.
His head is mounted on a ball joint. Skywarp also features two different expressions. Simply flip the head up, pull the silver face portion down, and twist it around to reveal the second face. Although once you see his expression, you may wonder why anyone would want to do this.
Skywarp can be mounted on the stand in robot mode as well. Doing so will allow you to get a little more play out of his lower legs. His legs feature articulated hips, swiveling thighs, and double jointed knees.
While this is not in the manual, I found that by using the stand's jet mode configuration Skywarp can achieve a decent flying pose. He's a bit more unstable like this so expect at least one face plant.
Robot mode video.
With all the controversy (read: fan whining) over Masterpiece Starscream, I find that Skywarp is really the first smash hit for this design. He's really a solid, playable toy that looks great. Since Skywarp is a more forgettable character, prices for this toy are beginning to drop so look out for a good deal and pick one up.
|Posted 5 May, 2009 - 10:08 by VF5SS|