Summer of 2013 has brought some changes as well as new Transformers toys. Look carefully at the packaging and you'll probably notice that the Prime moniker has been dropped, and Predacons Rising subtitle has been added.
Skylynx here is the first of many exclusive toys for Target stores to use the new Predacons Rising packaging. From a marketing standpoint I have to say that Hasbro has done a remarkable job here. I can see these toys really standing out on retail shelves. Can't you already see the kids begging mom and dad for a new Transformer toy after seeing the large image of Predaking so prominently displayed? Look even carefully and you'll see flames molded into the blister bubble. Very nice touch Hasbro.
While I love the front of the packaging, there is one thing about the back that bothers me...and it's not unique to this release. Where are the tech specs? I'm not talking just the number rankings either. In the 80's we were treated to several paragraphs about the character, their traits, abilities, skills, strengths and weaknesses. Now we're lucky if a new character gets one or two sentences. That's it! Come on Hasbro, do the right thing and bring back Bob Budiansky. Larry Hama was brought back to right the file cards for G.I. Joe, so why not Bob?
Upon opening Skylynx I was surprised to see how small the instructions were. Impressive. The booklet opens up much like the old G1 instructions. This I like, especially when compared to the massive sheet style instructions that the Prime and Beast Hunters toys previously came packaged with.
Skylynx comes packaged in robot mode, albeit folded and crammed into the blister bubble. Stretch him out a little and you've got his proper robot mode. First off let me say this is my first experience with this mold. I didn't care for the garish colors of Skystalker and his Transformers Go! version doesn't look much better, so Skylynx it is. First impression, how is this guy going to stand on his own with these chicken legs and huge wings pointed backwards? Well thankfully he has a tail (that resembles what you'd find on an Ankylosaurus) that you can use to help give him some stability. Also the right wing's swivel joint was loose out of the package and didn't always want to stay in a vertical pose.
Plastic seems a little soft, but the paint apps were beautifully applied. I love the overall color scheme. If Skylynx wasn't a Predacon I'd say he almost looks patriotic! Articulation is very laid out with the use of ball joints in the shoulders, elbows, hips and knees.
The robot head is concealed by the dragon's mouth, so you get this cone head look He has an interesting head sculpt, but I wish there was a way to get rid of the upper jaw hanging off the back of the head.
Not being familiar w/ this mold and kind of in a rush, I forgot to show off his weapons. I wondered what the odd discs on his wings were for and now I know. Rotate the wings around forward and now he has "shoulder mounted" weapons. I'll have to test those out by terrorizing my cat, Lion-O later on.
Transformation to beast mode is very simplistic. You basically fold him over onto all fours, close the dragon's mouth and post the wings to your liking. The robot's crotch area does slide apart to give the back legs more distance between each other, but the two pieces don't lock into place. I found the back half of the beast to be a little loose and jangly for my tastes. With all the ball joints though I'm sure you can strike much more dynamic poses than mine!
I think my favorite aspect of Skylynx is his beasts' headsculpt. Just look at this head, it looks like it was taken straight off one of Slayer's album covers! Great detailing, especially the red horns. Love it.
Skylynx is a decent deluxe Predacon. I still give Lazerback a slight nod over Skylynx (mold wise), but Skylynx has a much more pleasing overall color scheme. I'm still trying to figure out if I'll be displaying these Predacons with my Prime toys, or just giving them their own little corner? If you like transforming dragons and have a Target nearby then take a gamble on the figure, you just might be surprised.