Sunday, 15 May 2016

A Concise Review of Combiner Wars Sky Lynx (And Sky Reign) In 500 Words Or Less

Pricepoint/Vintage: Voyager, 2016.
Modes: Dinobird, Shuttle, Combiner Torso.
Transformation Style: CW voyager, beastformer.
Play Patterns: Beast and vehicle, combiner, 5mm weaponry.
Points of Interest: A newly combining modernisation of the 1986 original. No partner legend toy. THIS EXISTS.


The Good
His dinobird mode has 26 joints, 4 in the neck and head, making him very expressive. He can't wield his weapons in the normal sense, but there 5mm ports on the wings, and dedicated tabs for tail storage. His shuttle mode captures the G1 toy, with a sci-fi spin. The torso mode is both distinctive and attractive, its lynx head, colours and chest granting much character. For this review, I've been forced to use a few stand-ins, but Sky Reign impresses, not least due to his combined sword weapon. He looks good in all three modes, and the play value is there, and boy, does he stand out on the shelf because he's so weird. Also, he's vaguely adorable.


The Bad
Sky Lynx has been the subject of repeated reports of loose joints, my example being effected. The back feet don't always hold a position, and the major ratchets are too soft. This is problematic in the combined form, not least because the shoulder assemblies don't lock in place. Its not as bad as a problem as say a first run of Motor Master, but it is an issue. Less subjectively, there's a few too many gaps here, and the lynx head isn't properly hidden.


The Mediocre
Due to his reduced size and combiner role, Sky Lynx has lost some modes, but you can fudge a lynx form. The lack of a true robot form will bother some, and I personally prefer to transform the torso mode differently from the instructions. The shuttle mode arguably does a better job than the CW Aerialbot moulds at concealing the robot forms, as while there's stuff under the wing, its not obviously limbs, and its meant to be there.

The Alternatives
Commander Modesty is so hugely odd that no directly comparable options exist other than the G1 toy. There's incoming release of the Liokaiser set which we know includes a repaint of this, but little else. This leaves almost any CW voyager, but none of those are beasts.


The Verdict
Sky Lynx benefits immensely from being completely unlike the rest of Combiner Wars, both visually and in play, while retaining most of the strengths. This is another one of those toys nobody expected, a welcome break from the monotony of the line, and has much to enjoy. However, the loose joints took the shine off things for me. This is not a consistent flaw, and one I intend to fix, but I would be remiss as reviewer to not mention it. Its also a marmite concept that suffers from having to combine with a load of repaints. Definitely good, but not mandatory.

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