While there have been many toys with a similar name, the original 1980s toy that Autobot Skids updates has had precious few new toys - Alternators had one, and we got a few reissues. Since the character is rarely on the teevee, the 1984 hero was rarely missed on the toy aisle. I appreciate that the moniker that vaguely recalls stained underpants continues to be used.
At first glance I assumed Skids might be Devcon, but the two just share similar colors. This incarnation of Skids is armed to the teeth, and requires a slight modification. The upper hip piece - the cube-ish thing on the ball joints - was installed wrong. The right is on the left, and vice-versa. It hinders leg movement unless you switch it, so I do suggest making the switch quickly. It's a relatively painless process and allows for better poses. In terms of sculpting, the figure manages to capture the 1980s "let's have doors hang off our back" motif while having the mess of panels we often see in the IDW comic redeisgns. The head is heavily redone, and feels a lot like what the original design should look like three decades on with a larger crest and a more panel-riffic helmet.
Standing just over 5-inches tall, Skids is armed to a preposterous extent. There are cannons on either side of his head, guaranteeing deafness. There are rockets on his shoulders. Each wrist has two guns on it, and they are geared to one another to move in a pleasing way. What's more, he has two handheld guns which can combine into a bigger, Freudian weapon to intimidate the bad guys. While his arms are a wee bit on the small side, the overall bulk of the figure brings you a visually pleasing plastic pal who's fun to be with.
If you don't check out his face, you're missing one of Hasbro's better, more expressive mugs. The slight frown, strong chin, and steely gaze not only looks cool, but I'm thanking my lucky stars Hasbro is getting better at picking the right paint to bring out the detail. It really does remind me of a lot of late-era Marvel G1 comics, walking the fine line between "robot" and "silver human face in helmet." The various car details, especially the grille up front, just plain works for me on all levels.
Transformation is relatively painless as these things go, with panels massaging into place fairly easily. I maanged to get most of it without the instructions, it was tough to place those wrist cannons while getting his cruiser mode. The vehicle itself retains the red and blue look, with distinctive red wheels that roll easily on a table. Many alt modes made lousy toys in the last year, but Skids actually functions nicely as a car. I appreciate that - that's what these things should be able to do. You can even mount 5-mm weapons (his own, BMOG, Mini-Cons, etc.) around where his gas intake should be.
While I like Autobot toys, I have no real built-in love of Skids - it's a nice toy, though, and is fun enough to futz with that I suggest getting him. I'm eager to see what other colors (or characters) might be applied to this mold and even if you hate the toy, get it for his guns on clearance. You'd pay $20 for an oversized axe, so pay $13 for this figure with his nifty cannons. So many of these toys show up and feel like things I'll transform once or twice and put on a shelf - I actually think I'm going to spend a lot of time playing with this one. Kudos, Hasbro!
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