It’s pretty obvious from my review of Transformers: Dark of the Moon that I wasn’t really thrilled by the film. It’s no surprise that I wasn’t that eager to pick up many of the toys.
Coming off of two movies already, we’ve gotten enough figures of the main bots to feed that mechanized sandworm for a year. The solicitations for the new line weren’t promising any different. As of this writing, there are already two dozen figures of Bumblebee announced/shelved, many of them re-decos of old toys:
- Legion (formerly Legends) Class Bumblebee
- Legion Class Bolt Bumblebee
- Cyberverse Bumblebee with Mobile Battle Bunker
- Deluxe Class Bumblebee
- Deluxe Class Cyberfire Bumblebee
- Deluxe Class Nitro Bumblebee
- Deluxe Class Rally Bumblebee (Walmart Exclusive)
- Deluxe Class Cybertronian Bumblebee (Target Exclusive)
- Deluxe Class Scan Series Bumblebee (Toys ‘R’ Us Exclusive)
- Leader Class Bumblebee
- Human Alliance Bumblebee with Sam Witwicky
- Dual Model Kit Bumblebee
- Activators Bumblebee
- Activators Recon Bumblebee
- Bash Bots Bumblebee vs. Megatron
- Go-Bots Bumblebee
- Revving Robots (formerly Power Bots) Bumblebee
- Robo Fighters Bumblebee
- Robo Fighters Elite Guard Bumblebee
- Talking plush Bumblebee
- Autobot Daredevil Squad (Kmart exclusive)
- Bumblebee vs. Megatron (Target exclusive)
- Bumblebee vs. Soundwave
- Bumblebee vs. Starscream 4-Pack (Toys "R" Us exclusive)
And that doesn’t even count the various roleplay toys.
From the get go, the only figures I was really excited about were the figures that weren’t included in the movie. I was very curious about the new Human Alliance “Basic” figures for instance. I was eventually convinced about the Wreckers, but that was after reviews of the Deluxe figures began circulating. The one figure that I really wanted to get above all was this one: Voyager Class Skyhammer.
According to his blurb on the back of the box, Skyhammer is a decorated Autobot Commander who acts as an adviser of Optimus Prime. It says he’s an expert in hand-to-hand combat (though it fails to mention either “Metallikato” or “Circuit-Su” or any other silly sounding fictional martial art). In the past, the name was used for another Autobot from the Pretender line who has the exact opposite demeanor from this new robot. The name was used later for a Decepticon minicon and then as a Powercore Combiner. It’s probably ok to treat this guy as a brand new character.
The figure comes in its robot mode as most of the new toys do. I guess Hasbro’s finally realized that kids in the toy store are more attracted to big robots than they are scale model cars.
The design of the new Dark of the Moon packages are crap. Other than the adequate protection they give the figures the fact that they’re easier to open than the previous boxes, I can’t bring myself to like them. They’re so… boring. The Transformers logo on top is barely noticeable, the color is an about face from the bright reds and yellows we’ve seen in the other sub-lines, and that annoying shape makes me crazy. This thing is a space hog if you’re a mint collector.
Once it’s out though, the figure really impresses. Looking it straight on from the front, it really looks imposing for a Voyager Class figure. The torso is proportionally larger than the legs, making him look mean and combat-ready. The legs are thinner and less blocky than I’d like, but considering they’re formed from his tail that’s acceptable.
Articulation is amazing. He’s got about as many joints as a DC Universe Classics figure, and many of them are engineered right into his transformation, which I always get a kick out of. It's a sign of how much went into (or didn't go into) a particular Transformer. If anything, the only joint I really miss on him is a wrist swivel. He can even manage a high kick despite his relatively small foot print.
The best thing about this figure is really his display options. He comes with only 3 accessories but thanks to having multiple c-clip and "Mechtech" ports, you can add additional hardware from your collection.
If you're not familiar with "Mechtech", it's the new gimmick that Hasbro has cooked up for their third set of Transformers movie figures. This time around, it's not an integrated part of the figure like it was with both the "Automorph Technology" and the subsequent (i.e. almost exactly the same) "MechAlive" features of the previous two lines. The additional moving parts that they added during the design process may have been neat the first time you transformed the toy, but over time, some gears could slip, making it useless. Design also suffered since compromises had to be made to allow for the extra parts. This time, Hasbro has confined the gear-age to the figures' weapons.
I'm not too fond of the MECHTECH rifle/Engergon sword. It’s far too big and square-ish. I can’t understand why it has to be this big when the other MECHTECH accessories they’ve packed with other toys are relatively small and in scale with the figures.
It does help that the rifle has the standard 5mm post that has been used since Generation 1 and all through the Armada, Energon, and Cybertron sub-lines. I love the fact that I can just switch the goofy looking box gun for one of the weapons from any of the Classics/Universe Transformers, or use the various 5mm holes that Skyhammer has to load him up with ordnance.
The figure has a port on either forearm (which become the sides of his fuselage so he can also use the ports in vehicle mode) and two more ports under either wing (which are not really useable in robot mode since they are situated behind his head once he transforms). There’s also another port under the cockpit of the aircraft and two more, one on either side, of the MECHTECH weapon.
You can also fool around with the c-clip mounts that recent Transformers have been sporting. Each of the missile pods has one railing where you can mount extra weapons. There are also two more mounts available, one on either of his forearms, which again can be used in either form.
The alternate mode for this particular Transformer is something like the Mil Mi-24 (Hind), a Russian gunship/attack helicopter, but somewhat blockier (CHUNKY!). If you can't remember what a Hind looks like, go and rent Rambo III where he kills one with an arrow. I shit you not. It's awesome.
The helicopter form is really very nice, even if it isn't strictly realistic. I love how we've gotten several great helicopters from the movie lines lately. One gets really sick of cars and jet planes when one is a Transformers collector. It's nice to mix things up every now and then.
Skyhammer looks great in a display with Tomahawk from Revenge of the Fallen, but just as good on his own.
I'm glad I finally decided to get this one before the movie line inevitably goes on sale and I lose the chance. From what I've seen, people are more interested in the Optimus Primes and Iron Hide than they are in this one so there is a chance that I could have picked him up next year at 30-50% off, but I'm not risking that anymore.
Besides, I think this is one of the best figures of the new line anyway. Definitely worth the Php 1,500.00 I paid for it (or if not worth it, at least good enough to make me not regret the cost at all).