I love toys! There I said it! I'm not talking about big kid toys like electronics, and such. I'm talking about figurines of my favorite super heroes, Transformers, anime characters etc. Truth be told, I don't hold a figure in each and make fight sounds as I bash them together, like I used to. These days, I just display them on shelves and every once in a while I'll change their position or posture for a different look or I'll use them as photo props. Some of my favorite toys are still in the original packaging! Anyways, I thought it'd be helpful for those of you who, like me, score a lot their loot online because it's just way to hard or not possible to find them in stores anymore. Maybe extra images or my 'take' on the toy, will help you decide if it's worth adding to your collection or not.
Hasbro's has introduced this remake of the Autobot Sky Lynx as a Voyager Class figure in the Transformers - Combiner Wars toy line in 2014. He is now a part of a 'combiner team' consisting of Hound, Wheeljack, Trailbreaker and Smokescreen. Together they combine to form Sky Reign. Some of the third party (ie not Hasbro) Transformers toy makers have packaged other limb bots in their sets and the comics use different limb bots for Sky Reign so I'm guessing there really isn't an official version. Since Sky Lynx's third transformation is the torso of Sky Reign, he is bigger than the Deluxe class limb bots. Officially, aside from torso mode, Sky Lynx has a vehicle space shuttle mode as well as a beast mode which is a four legged flying dinosaur, "bird mode". Unofficially, there is a "fan" beast mode which is a winged lynx, which I think is pretty cool but you can check it out and decide for yourself. Sky Lynx is one of my favorite figures in my toy collections because all four modes looks good!
Sky Lynx's red, white and blue color scheme is appealing to me and the gold colored trimmings, in my opinion, adds a touch of class. The paint job on my figure is good, I haven't spotted any issues and I'm so glad that I don't have to stick stickers on this version (unlike the original version). In space shuttle mode the two flaps on other side of the tail fin are hinged so you can adjust the angle of the flaps to your liking. The weapons can be mounted under the wings or on the side of undercarriage. In bird mode, the jaw is hinged and the range of motion is quite large. The head is hinged but the range of up/down position is quite small. The neck has two joints that allows for more up/down neck positions as well as a swivel to allows the head turn 360 degrees. The red neck joint on my figure is extremely hard to move, so much so I didn't think it was able to! The wings have a recessed portion you can swing out for a larger wing span, hinges to facilitate a flapping motion and a swivel to allow the wing to flip upside down (for use in the other modes). The tail has two joints one near the base of the tail and one closer to the tip. Both joints allows for up/down movements but are rather limited. The legs have ratcheted joints at the hip and can spread wide. The knees are also ratcheted as well as swiveled. The feet are hinged with limited movements. All these hinges and swivels make for a very pose-able torso. Very nice, indeed!
Having raved so much about this toy, here comes the negatives and they could be deal breakers for some. Please keep in mind that I'm reporting these details from my experience with my copy of this figure. ALL of the joints are way too loose, except for the one neck joint mentioned above! The feet (blue claws) are so loose, they can't hold really hold up the beast mode figure in most poses, even after tightening with a screwdriver. The ratchet joints are so soft it's laughable, so soft that making Sky Reign stand up straight is a balancing act. Having bigger feet attachments helps a lot in that aspect. Let me try to paint a better picture for you, imagine holding Sky Reign by the torse and twisting your wrist. This will make Sky Reign's legs swing back and forth like a stuffed toy, I kid you not! Fortunately for me, I leave my toys in a display and only need to "play" with them whenever I feel like the display needs a change, so I need deal with the soft joints that often. I just have to place him on the shelf that gets touched the least.
I find the abdomen area a bit too skinny for my liking so I wedged a Prime Armor on either side. You can see how it looks in the last photo below. I like the look better but they aren't that secure, if you move the figure around to vigorously, the Prime Armors will fall out.
What makes the combiner teams special is their 'ability' to merge into one giant robot. This means that each member of the team will have a third transformation mode, one that's specifically for the giant robot. The groups will typically consist of five members, one of them being larger than the others (Voyager Class figure) and will transform into the torso/head of the giant robot. The other four will transform into a limb, either an arm or a leg and you can place them however you like. NOTE: Some combiners, whose 3rd transformation is a limb, (when sold/purchased separately) only come with the hand attachment (Prime Armor) which means that the foot attachment will then be included with the torso figure. Since Combiners from the Combiner Wars and Power of the Primes toy lines are interchangeable and not all of them have the same hand/feet pieces you'll have to really look at the included pieces if you're planning on mixing and matching to create your own Combiner team. Sky Lynx DOES NOT come with any hand or feet attachments! This is what caused my dilemma and resulted in my "Collectibles" series of posts. Here's the story:
A year or so ago I caught a glimpse of Sky lynx in a gift shop within the Hong Kong Airport. I walked straight in and bought it and while waiting to board my flight I looked it over and I realized it was a combiner! Bonus! The only issue now is who to use for the limbs, since I wanted an all dino or monster theme. Couldn't think of any at the time so I put it off for awhile. Many months later I saw a Terrorcon Combiner in a toy store in Singapore and bing, that was it. I recently acquired all 4 Terrorcons to complete my version of Sky Reign (I think I'll have to rename my version, though). It was only after opening all the figures that I realized that Sky Lynx did not come with feet!!! So a few swear words later, I was back online looking for solutions since the feet are packaged with Hun-Gurrr (the torso). I had decided long ago not to get Hun-Gurrr because I'm not a big fan of pink robots, the monster mode looks weird to me and one 2 headed dragon/monster on the team is enough. What I found online was something called a Perfect Effect upgrade kit. They make a whole bunch of different kits for Combiners. Some are just hands and feet, others have weapons, chest plate add ons and limb widening add ons. Some of them look really awesome and I'm considering a couple of kits, however, they are quite pricey. While searching I also found some cheaper, different styled, different colored sets that were not from the Perfect Effect brand. I ordered the least expensive one I could find. It was a very pleasant surprise that both the hands and the feet can be transformed into weapons. The feet can transform into a really big double barreled blaster or separated into two blasters while the hands transform to something like a rifle. In foot mode, the tips of the barrels can be removed so that they don't protrude from the back of the foot. I think the feet look better without the protruding barrels. The peg for the leg is on a swivel for better posing stability.
Pictured below is an original hand/foot attachment for Combiner Wars combiners. This one part can be transformed to either a hand or a foot. However, the pictured foot attachment is from Mirage, the arm of Optimus Maximus. Even though this particular attachment is not for Sky Reign combiners (theirs is black), it serves as an example of roughly what the hand/feet part looks like. Be mindful when mixing and matching as the limb bots from the Power of the Primes toy line come with either a hand attachment (Prime Armor) or a foot attachment.
The moral of this story is, if you're like me and collect toys based on how much you like the toy, set, theme or whichever and whatever, then you're probably going to mix and match. If you do, please make sure you are set on parts as mentioned above and that the figure you plan on using for the torso is actually capable of that third transformation. For example, just because the figure is from the Combiner Wars series doesn't mean it is a Combiner. I made that mistake...now I have two Ultra Magnus'! Lucky he's one of my favorite characters, so I don't really mind. If you have older Combiners using the older feet (like the one picture above), you can use the hands for feet then the Prime Armors for hands, that way you don't have to buy an upgrade kit.
|Sky Lynx + Terrorcons||Merge into||"Primal Reign"|
|Sky Lynx||Transforms into||Torso|
|Rippersnapper||Transforms into||Right Arm|
|Cutthroat||Transforms into||Left Arm|
|Sinnertwin||Transforms into||Right Leg|
|Blot||Transforms into||Left Leg|
I call him "Primal Reign."
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