Courtesy of the continuity clusterpluck that is Transformers fiction, Skywarp represents multiple characters - originally a Fall of Cybertron design, this form is also used for Skywarp in the G1 IDW comic book continuity. While most of the time each story gets a new design, this time around we have a design doing double duty. A different deco on Skywarp was released in Japan, but the US one is better and cheaper - generally we only get one the latter, so this is a heck of a nice toy.
This mold has been used for Starscream and Thundercracker in the USA, plus Starscream, Ghost Starscream, Thundercracker, and Skywarp in Japan. I'm a little surprised we haven't been given Sunstorm yet just to keep things interesting, but there you go.
In Japan, this toy has no real black and suffers from an abundance of purple. The Americans may not get the metallic paint, but pink highlights and black plastic elements really make this figure pop in your hands - the photos don't look like much, but in my hands I was genuinely impressed by the toy even though I technically already bought two other versions of him.
The transformation is pretty easy - everything more or less swings out as it should, and other than the cannons being a bit tough to peg into the holes, everything works well. The vehicle basically just looks good, and other than adding weapons via 5mm pegs or posing the wings a tiny bit it doesn't do all that much. Thankfully it looks good, because otherwise it's kind of a drag.
The biggest surprise to me about my sample is that the geared weapons work much more smoothly than usual - they spin freely, much more so than on my Thundercracker and Starscream, I don't know if it's unique to my sample, but I'm putting it down as a mark in the "pro" category because the mold's joints are all still nice and solid, with the guns being as loose as you would want them to be.
The robot as good as always, with decent paint on the face bringing out some of the detailing. Double-jointed elbows, swivel wrists, and some foot articulation make this mold one of the better Decepticons as of late, until you take a step back and realize there just haven't been all that many deluxe 'cons in the Thrilling 30 line - as of right now, I can count 5 on toy store shelves - and in the next few waves, there's Jhiaxus, so that's 6 out of 20. It's sort of unfortunate, so thankfully it's a fun mold to fidget with as it has places to plug guns in his forearms, wrists, shins, and elsewhere. You can also combine the two guns into a single weapon with a geared rotation feature, if you're into that.
The comic is a reprint of Transformers: More than Meets the Eye #23 even though Skywarp doesn't have much to do in here. It's a toy worth buying, the comic book provides added incentive to get it - especially if it's on sale. You probably have a decent Seeker army by now, so go ahead and add one more to the mix.
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