Alternate Mode: F-15 Fighter
Height: 6cm Length: 18.5cm Width: 13cm
A black F-15 fighter in the spirit of the original Skywarp toy, with silver and purple highlights. Skywarp is a repaint of Starscream, and in the same spirit as Starscream, Skywarp is a pretty close match for the original toy. The purple is much deeper than on the G1 Skywarp toy, but largely exists in the same areas - nosecone, thrusters and along the front of the wings. Similarly, the silver is on his wings and on the air intakes. There are diagonal silver and purple stripes over the engines, which are the greatest change to this colour scheme. The canopy is transparent yellow with black painted ribs. The paint mask is very similar to that of the original - much close than Starscream's paint mask. The purple is a little bright, but set against the black I wouldn't it's garish. In fact I quite like the contrast betwwn the back and the silver & purple aspects of this colour scheme.
For the size this is a pretty realistic F-15, with a seat inside the cockpit, subtle but complex plane seams moulded on top of the jet and _underneath_ the wings, detailed engine cowlings and canopy ribs. The guns underneath his wings are close to Skywarp's traditional weapons, albeit they're purple rather than black.
The guns underneath his wings are actually missile launchers, the missiles fire about half a metre, and aren't susceptible to popping out the moment you touch the triggers, which I appreciate. The launchers detach for his transformation, but I'm happy to report that the wings and tailfins do not - fuselage-only G1 Seekers are far too common, but this guy won't be ruined by a missing tailfin. There are four pseudo-tyres underneath - moulded lumps rather than wheels, and while Skywarp sits flat on the table, rolling would have been nice.
A much better paintmask that that of Starscream - at least in reference to G1. The colours play off each other quite well and the few changes to the paintmask are nowhere near enough to prevent his jet from nailing the character down. The fixed wings are a nice improvement (something the Robotmasters figure couldn't quite manage) and the vehicle holds together well. I'm struggling to pick out a noticeable flaw on a jet mode that avoided Starscream's biggest flaw.
TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE
Detach the missile launchers, extend the rear to form the boots. Fold up the tailwings and rotate the tailfins forward to form heelspurs. Fold down the feet and stow away the front wheels. Stand him up, swivel the wings up. Fold out the chestplate, rotate the canopy and pivot down to form the centre of his chest, rotate the nose and fold back to reveal his head. Flip out the arms and fold the chestplate back into position. Flip out his fists, give Skywarp his weapons, either on the upper arms as traditional null rays or as handheld missile launchers.
I really like this transformation. Without trying to get too fancy, it takes the original seeker layout and improves on it. He gains proper thighs and manages to keep the wings and tailfins permanently attached, integrates the fists and both configurations are true to the original.
Height: 14cm Width: 13cm
As you'd expect, this is a black robot with a silver chest integrating the yellow canopy. His fists and feet are purple while the head is black with a silver face and red eyes. The wings sit behind his arms and the tailfins on the outsides of his ankles. There are some colour changes, but nothing major. The air intakes sit on his shoulders and the weapons on his shoulders. The rubsign is visible behind his left shoulder, Skywarp's only allegiance symbol. Again the colours are spot on for Skywarp.
So what's different? Well, as I mentioned, this Skywarp has thighs. He's also more poseable - the head turns, the shoulder swing and lift out to the sides while the elbows bend. As with the original, the wings have to swing back accommodate the moving arms - but this isn't as pronounced since these wings are set back slightly. The hips are ball jointed and the knees have both hinges and swivels. The waist is fixed - but I don't mind. The feet are a little too static, the heelspurs are decent but not great, so we don't get too many stable leg poses. On the whole the poseability is good but not fantastic. I actually find that Skywarp's mould is a slightly higher quality than Starscream's was, which is unusual - usually repaints suffer from more mould issues than the originals. The tailfins fold away a lot better on this figure than on my Starscream.
As with most Classics figures, Skywarp lacks any true gimmicks - instead the toy focuses on being a good Transformer. The added poseability, solid build, hand weapon option and thighs are enough for me. We do of course get firing missiles - and they are an improvement over the neutered ones the original had - but they don't really qualify as a gimmick.
While it's simple in many ways, this is a solid robot mode without any significant flaws. The poseability is good even if the legs are a little limited. This is one of the best tribute toys in terms of similarities in appearance alongside the original. The brighter purple doesn't really hurt this mode, even if there's far more of it - again the black offsets it well.
None that I'm aware of. As mentioned, Skywarp is a repaint of Starscream, Thundercracker is a later repaint of the same mould. Universe's Acid Storm is a new character which also uses this mould.
A great modern take on the tried and tested Seeker concept, with great poseability, fewer removable pieces and finally proper thighs. I've always found Skywarp's colours more interesting than Starscream's, and in this case the colours are both more attractive and truer to G1 than Starscream's. Skywarp comes in a two pack with Ultra Magnus (another repaint), so I'm not sure if the format will work for everyone - but on his own Skywarp is a really fine toy and a wonderful tribute - 10/10